Colloquium: Iwonka Palusinski

    Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    Optical Engineering Beyond the Design


    Concepts and principles beyond traditional optical engineering that are used at The Aerospace Corporation to develop novel sensors for airborne and space environments will be discussed.  Designing and deploying such novel sensors requires a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to optical engineering. Three case studies will be presented to demonstrate this collaborative approach:  concurrent engineering, CubeSats, and airborne sensors.  Concurrent engineering enables a multi- disciplinary team to assess the performance of a sensor system on-orbit during the design phase through iterative Structural, Thermal, and Optical performance (STOP) modeling.  The STOP models generated in this way can be used throughout the lifetime of a sensor to inform integration and testing and address anomaly resolution on-orbit.  CubeSats and airborne sensors permit rapid, low-cost evaluation of developmental technologies required for larger, Class A space assets.  These evaluation platforms also reduce the risk of technology insertion into Class A assets. The AC11 CubeSat will carry The Aerospace Corporation’s first optical payload and will perform multi-spectral weather collection similar to Landsat 8 OLI.  Mako is an airborne hyperspectral imager that detects, identifies, and tracks gaseous emissions from compact sources.  These space and airborne pathfinder sensors engage the efforts of talented optical designers, engineers, scientists, and data analysts working together to demonstrate the application of new technologies and sensor systems to civil and national defense applications in space. The Aerospace Corporation is the Federally Funded Research and Development Center tasked with addressing the most challenging technical problems in the space arena.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Iwona A. Palusinski is the founder and Director of the Integrated Sensor Design and Analysis Department at The Aerospace Corporation.  The Department designs electro-optical payloads in a concurrent engineering platform that enables designers to model the effects of the space environment including thermal and structural changes on optical performance.  The Department is also involved in CubeSat experiments and airborne remote sensing system pathfinders.  In her previous position at The Aerospace Corporation, Dr. Palusinski was the Associate Director of Integration and Testing for several Class A national space assets.  She has supported the DoD and the NRO in the development of novel optical materials and technologies for future large aperture systems.  She is an expert on space qualification of new optical materials with an emphasis on silicon carbide.  She was the principal investigator on the Materials on International Space Station Experiment (MISSE 6 – 8) and collaborated with scientists in industry and at national laboratories. Prior to joining Aerospace, Dr. Palusinski was a Research Scientist at Jackson and Tull Chartered Engineers working in integration and testing one-of-a-kind, high-risk experimental spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force. She has chaired sessions at international conferences on materials and the space environment, participated in SPIE panels on hiring and career development, and presented on hiring strategies at Photonics West.  She received her BS degree in optical engineering from the University of Arizona and her MS and PhD degrees from the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center.