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PACE/EXPORTS Win Robert H. Goddard Awards

Posted on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 12:00:00

Members of the PACE and EXPORTS team were recognized for their hard work last month as recipients of the 2021 Robert H. Goddard Award.

The PACE team at Goddard Space Flight Center
The PACE team at Goddard Space Flight Center - developing new ways to study life in the ocean. Group photo taken September 22, 2017. Credit: NASA.

The yearly award given out at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. recognizes achievement in outstanding work done at the center.

For science research, the EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) campaign won for its continued efforts to understand the twilight zone, the dark area right below the ocean's surface.

The 2021 deployment of NASA's EXPORTS oceanographic field campaign consisted of 150 scientists and crew from more than 30 governmental, university and private non-governmental institutions.

Ivona Cetinić, project scientist and oceanographer at Goddard the award shows how dedicated her team is in conducting research, even in uncertain times.

"The pandemic changed many things. We weren't sure we were going to have a field campaign,” she said. "This award demonstrates our determination and passion for the work we do. I'm so proud of my team."

An aerial view of the R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa
An aerial view of the R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa (foreground), positioned close to the RRS James Cook (middle) and RRS Discovery (back) at a meet up point in the northeast Atlantic. Credit: Marley Parker.

EXPORTS experienced delays because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the safety and security of every individual involved, a two-week quarantine was required before sailing and social distancing protocols were enacted for the first week aboard the ships.

More here: Studying the Ocean's Twilight Zone »

The PACE Project Science and Science Data Segment received an award for their algorithm and software development efforts. The nomination focused on extending proven approaches to optimize the capabilities of PACE instruments. It praised the development of new techniques to exploit multi-angle polarimetry. The team was also recognized for their efforts to improve processing efficiency through "parallelization" of software and generating simulated instrument data for testing of algorithms.

Other key members of the PACE team were also honored for their contributions. They included:
  • Armando Morell of the PACE mechanism team.
  • Son Ngo of the PACE and Ocean Color Instrument (OCI) team.
  • Henry Mulkey of the PACE propulsion team.
  • Wen-Ting Hsieh for coordinating the logistics of PACE's polarimeters, SPEXOne and HARP2.
  • Paul Barret, a Ka-band transmitter technician. This antenna transmits science data to ground stations on Earth.
  • The SPEXone or Spectro-polarimeter for Planetary Exploration polarimeter team.
  • Colin Bornmann, a contracting officer for many PACE components between companies and vendors.
The awards, given yearly, are named for Robert H. Goddard, who is known to man as "the father of modern rocketry." His research helped give humans the ability to send rockets to space.

Blog Archive
PACE project team screenshot
Learn more about the members of the PACE Project Team.
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