High School: Phillips Exeter Academy, NH
Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical)
Master of Engineering (Electrical)
I joined JPL in 1968 after receiving my Bachelor
of Engineering (Electrical) degree from Cornell
University. I later obtained a Master of Engineering
(Electrical) from Cornell. I organize and lead
the activities of five engineers. Our team, known
as the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility
(NAIF) Team, is responsible for designing, building
and helping to deploy and operate a software system
used by scientists to help plan scientific observations,
and then to analyze the data that comes back from
their instruments. This system- known as "SPICE"
(Spacecraft Planet Instrument Camera-matrix Events)-
is used to compute many kinds of complex geometric
quantities, such as, at a given time, where was
the spacecraft, where was the sun, in what direction
was the camera (or some other instrument) pointed,
and what part of the target body was visible to
Photo of Tom Duxbury (left) and Chuck Acton (right) receiving
the prestigious Institute of Navigation, Samuel M. Burka Award for their
pioneering work on Optical Navigation in the early 1970's.
I have liked science from as
far back as I can remember. I always watched the
"Tomorrow Land" episodes of the early
Walt Disney TV series. I was fortunate to be picked
to work on a NASA-sponsored project during my
last year in college. The sponsor of that project
was from JPL, and he hired me upon my graduation.
I've been at JPL ever since then.
February 5, 2005