SJAA Ephemeris November 2006 | SJAA Home | Contents | Previous | Next

November General Meeting

Dr. Ivan Linscott

David Smith


Our November 4 speaker, Dr. Ivan Linscott, will guide us through this story. Dr. Linscott is a Senior Research Associate at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in high energy physics from U.C. Berkeley. He teaches courses on waves, the Fourier transform, and digital signal processing.


In the mid 1970’s, a graduate student in EE Stanford’s Center for Radar Astronomy discovered an obscure transform could take a radio signal from a spacecraft and produce a precise profile of the temperature and pressure of planetary atmospheres. That student was Gunnar Lindal, and his discovery ushered in an era of exploration using a now well practiced technique called radio occultation. Spacecraft radio beacons are even now probing the structure of atmospheres, surfaces and rings throughout the solar system. In particular, the search for water on Mars brought together a team from Stanford and JPL last November to perform a UHF bi-static radar experiment during Mars opposition. Because UHF wavelengths penetrate deep into the Martian surface, the echoes recorded on-board the Mars orbiter Odyssey tell a rich and complex story of the Northern plains on Mars, one that I am pleased to share with you.


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