The talk introduces the audience to the environment of scientific space exploration, reviewing in particular the challenges presented by navigation, communications, computing and software, as well as the rewards of fifty years of discoveries and major advances in the understanding of the universe, including our home planet. NASA missions to Earth are providing valuable global observations necessary to characterize and understand a number of physical processes affecting the entire Earth system. This provides the foundation for informing models for predicting future Earth climate, eventually leading to more accurate predictions that can be useful in policy decisions.
Dr. Cinzia Zuffada is currently the Associate Chief Scientist of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, where she has been for the past 18 years. In this capacity she plays a key role in the management of the internal research investment, and of the programs of collaboration between JPL and the research community. Her recent research interests are in modeling of the electromagnetic properties of the atmosphere, rough sea and ice surfaces, to understand the characteristics of GPS signals scattered by such media and develop algorithms for data analysis and science. Dr. Zuffada graduated from the University of Pavia, Italy, and was on the Engineering Research Faculty of that university before moving to the US.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory