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Charles Acton Photo Education
High School: Phillips Exeter Academy, NH
Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical)
Master of Engineering (Electrical)

Background Information
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 the instrument.

Photo of Tom Duxbury and Chuck Acton

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.


Last updated February 5, 2005
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