Prof. Siqueira joins Science Definition Team on $600-Million NASA NISAR Mission

 Prof. Paul Siqueira is one of 15 scientists selected by NASA to serve on the Science Definition Team of a $600-million collaborative mission between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). In a meeting in Toronto on September 30, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of ISRO, signed two documents to launch a NASA-ISRO satellite mission to observe Earth and establish a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars. The Science Definition Team is a group of 15 scientists nationwide who are considered experts in their field and who will help direct the formulation of the mission. 

Siqueira explains “With the interaction of NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory staff scientists/engineers, the Science Definition Team works with the mission planners to determine a configuration and observing strategy to make best scientific use of the satellite resources (observing time, power consumption, data rate, etc.).”  In 2012 he was selected to serve on the Science Definition Team for a NASA space-borne radar mission meant to study “Earth Deformation, Ecosystem Science, and the Dynamics of Ice.” Now that project has evolved into the joint effort between NASA and ISRO.

Siqueira’s expertise falls into the Ecosystem Science category, which is related to carbon accounting, habitat identification, and monitoring of forest resources on Earth. In that context, Siqueira recently received a Harvard Bullard Fellowship to work at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts, in part to study the remote sensing of forest structure using airborne and satellite observations, such as NISAR will provide.

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