Technical Experience

Visidyne, Inc., Burlington, MA – Aug 1992 to Present

Senior Project Scientist in Visidyne’s Applied Physics Group.  Responsible for the development and implementation of image and optical data processing, analysis and data visualization algorithms primarily for data returned from Earth-orbiting platforms such as CIRRIS 1A, IBSS, MSTI 3, MSX and RAMOS.  In support of these and other projects, have developed techniques for image restoration, noise suppression, registration, mosaicing, stereo scene reconstruction, multispectral imaging polarimetry as well as a variety of data display methods

Currently responsible for the development of a hybrid pseudo-stereography technique to determine the altitudes of fast-moving clouds using a GEO/LEO satellite combination as part of  the CyMISS (Cyclone Intensity Measurement from the ISS) project to determine the strength of powerful tropical cyclones such as hurricanes.  Currently working with the astronauts on the International Space Station to acquire data needed for the development of this project.

Principle Investigator on U.S. science team for Stereo Experiment in the joint U.S.-Russian RAMOS program.  Also provided support in data reduction and all aspects of experiment planning and mission design for the U.S. contribution to this program.

Other accomplishments include:

The development of stereo imaging and analysis techniques using Earth orbiting satellite data.


Analysis of pathfinder aircraft- and spacecraft-based IR and polarization imagery in support of RAMOS project instrument and experiment development.


Coordinate modeling and simulation efforts.


Played lead role in developing detailed experiment plans.


Lead member of science team in developing and negotiating instrument and spacecraft requirements with Russian and American engineering teams.


Have also gathered and disseminated information on Russian space-based remote sensing assets, capabilities, and instruments for U.S. program managers to support RAMOS project planning.

A complete bibliography of RAMOS-related work can be found here

Responsible for the development of optical data reduction and  processing software as well as a key contributor in the system design, experiment planning and operation of the portable SAM  (Solar Aureole Measurement) designed to measure cloud and atmospheric aerosol properties by observing the Sun.  Was lead scientist for several field measurement campaigns employing SAM and other instruments responsible for experiment design, managing teams in the field, analysis of data and preparation of reports.

A complete bibliography of SAM-related work can be found here

Key contributions to other major projects include:

The development of image reconstruction algorithms for novel synthetic aperture/adaptive optics telescope concepts.


Reduction, noise removal and analysis of photometer and spectrometer data acquired by EXCEDE III sounding rocket flight of April 27, 1990.


The development of computer simulations needed to support engineering studies of various laser-based ranging and scannerless 3D imaging concepts for commercial and defense applications.

Digital Equipment Corp., Andover, MA – July 1987 to July 1992

Senior Hardware Engineer in DEC’s Advance Test Technology Group.  Was Project Manager and key technical support for in-house effort to develop optical and laser plasma-based methods for non-contact interconnect verification of PWBs (Printed Wire Boards) and similar devices.

Received total of seven patents in U.S., Europe, and Japan for the development of these new technologies:

Laser Activated Plasma Chamber for Non-Contact Testing, U.S. Patent No. 5,202,623 issued April 13, 1993


Test Cell for Non-Contact Open/Shorts Testing of Electrical Circuits, U.S. Patent No. 5,032,788 issued July 16, 1991, European Patent No. 409,398, Japanese Patent No. 3,037,578


Method and Apparatus for Non-Contact Opens/Shorts Testing of Electrical Circuits, U.S. Patent Number 4,970,461 issued November 13, 1990; European Patent No. 405,737, Japanese Patent No. 3,135,778


In addition to these accomplishments:

Responsible for the Advance Test Technology Group’s optics, machine vision and computer imaging needs for prototype manufacturing and testing.


Appointed as Andover site laser safety officer.


Served as a permanent member of several internal technical committees charged with evaluating new test technologies and directing research as part of joint programs with area universities such as the University of Massachusetts – Lowell and RPI of Troy, NY.

Visidyne, Inc., Burlington, MA – Jan 1985 to Jul 1987

Scientist in Visidyne’s Experimental Research and Development Group.  Involved in a wide variety of projects for the development of X-ray and infrared optical instrumentation for space-based applications.  Accomplishments included:

Developed image processing, restoration algorithms and software needed to support the development and evaluation of a variable MTF imaging system.


Responsible for IR optical design of variable MTF imaging system flight-prototype.


Developed manufacturing and testing techniques and used them to fabricate prototype X-ray mirror arrays for Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s LAMAR telescope intended for use as a Space Shuttle payload.


Evaluated the effects of manufacturing defects on the performance of thin foil X-ray reflectors of the type used on the BBXRT flown on NASA’s Astro 1 Space Shuttle mission flown in December 1990.

Other Experience:

Freelance Writer – Mar 1990 to present

Freelance writer (with over 100 articles published) specializing in astronomy and the history of spaceflight.  Publications include Scientific American, Sky & Telescope, and Ad Astra.  Currently a regular contributor to Centauri Dreams and The Space Review.

Also maintains a web site, Drew Ex Machina, with regularly posted essays on various space-related topics.

A complete bibliography is available here.


Concord-Carlisle Adult & Community Education Program, Concord, MA – Sep 1996 to Dec 2001

Instructor for popular-level course, Astronomy for Beginners.


Helmers Publishing, Inc, Peterborough, NH – Jun 1995 to Sep 1998

Member of the Editorial Board of SETIQuest Magazine.  Regular contributor of popular level articles and technical publication reviews on astronomy, astrobiology, and SETI.

A complete listing with access to these contributions to SETIQuest Magazine can be found here.


BS Physics with minor in Optics, 1985, University of Lowell


University of Lowell Physics Department – Summer 1984

Responsible for the reduction of meteorological data and the development of data visualization software. This work served as the basis of an article, “Searching for Patterns of Rainfall in a Storm”, that appeared in the Amateur Scientist column in the January 1985 issue of Scientific American. The article can be accessed on line here.


University of Lowell Research Foundation – Summer 1982

Assembled, tested and modified high-vacuum systems for use on 7.5 MeV particle accelerator as well as designed and constructed monitoring and timing circuits for vacuum pump cryogenic condensers.


Other Achievements

Presented paper on original research, “Population Changes in Nearby Stars”, at a national meeting cosponsored by the National Society of Physics Students and the American Vacuum Society in November 1983.

Received The Bendix Award in 1983 for project on “The Development of a IR Laser Diode System for Studies in Optical Non-Linearity”.

Vice President of local chapter of the Society of Physics Students 1982-83, President 1983-84 and Zone 1 New England Associate Councillor 1984-85.