CloudSat Team Members Receive Awards From NASA

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CloudSat team members with their awards outside JPL in Pasadena.

The CloudSat mission (which recently passed its second anniversary this spring) has already won much acclaim and attention for its innovative concept and design. On Wednesday July 23rd, prestigious NASA awards were given to members of CSU’s CloudSat/CIRA team. The awards were presented at the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California where the CloudSat mission is managed. Professor Graeme Stephens, Phil Partain, and the CloudSat Algorithm Development Team were all recipients of NASA awards.

Stephens, CloudSat’s creator and now mission leader, received the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal for his work and service to NASA and the nation as CloudSat’s principal investigator.

Phil Partain, who became associated with CloudSat in 2000 as a data processing engineer, is now a researcher at Colorado State University’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere or CIRA. He was awarded a NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal for his design work on the advanced Level 2 data processing infrastructure for the CloudSat Data Processing Center.

As well as Partain and Stephens, NASA also awarded the CloudSat Algorithm Development Team an award. The team was assembled in 1999 to develop algorithms to create the Level 1b and Level 2 Standard Data Products for CloudSat. Due to the fact that CloudSat is the first 94-GHz radar to be flown in space, the team had no previous flight experience or examples to work with, making their task a challenging one. For their success in their inventive designs and pioneering approaches to the implementing of algorithms, they were awarded a Public Service Group Achievement Award. Members of the Algorithm team include Richard Austin, Angela Benedetti, Stephen L. Durden, Philip Gabriel, Andy Heymsfield, Laurent Labonnette, Tristan L’Ecuyer, Li Li, Thomas L. Logan, Gerald Mace, Roger Marchand, Phil Partain, Igor Polonsky, Dale Reinke, Donald Reinke, Ken Sassen, Graeme Stephens, Simone Tanelli, Deborah G. Vane, Zhien Wang, Norm Wood, and Qiuqing Zhang.

In addition to awards presented to Colorado State members, Deborah Vane of JPL received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for contributions to the CloudSat mission in the roles of proposal manager, deputy principal investigator, and project manager.