I am a Research Assistant Professor based at The Pennsylvania State University, (University Park, PA, USA) in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. I work in the field of high resolution X-ray spectroscopy using high precision X-ray optics, Off-Plane Reflection Gratings and solid-state imagers. My work is aimed towards the development of X-ray detection instrumentation for sub-orbital rocket payloads and orbital satellites.
I work with a group at the Penn State University, run by professor Randall McEntaffer, that is working on two sub-orbital rocket missions (OGRE and WRX-R). The payloads of these missions are designed to test the effectiveness of off-plane gratings in a high resolution soft X-ray spectrometer and show that such instruments could improve understanding of shock fronts in supernova remnants and find the WHIM. My primary responsibility is to oversee the specification, design, fabrication, testing and launch of the X-ray CCD camera intended for the mission. In addition I assist in the integration and testing of the rocket spectrometer optics.
I do a lot of work with UK colleagues from the Open University, where I am a visiting researcher, on the design of the X-ray CCD camera and am a visiting researcher at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) beamlines at BESSY II (Berlin, Germany) where I have access to a high precision X-ray beam over the 50 eV to 1900 eV energy range. In addition to this, I have varying levels of experience using the following facilities:
- Paul Scherrer Institute (Zurich, Switzerland) using the Swiss Light Source
- Goddard Space Flight Center X-ray Interferometry Testbed (Greenbelt, MD, USA)
- Marshall Space Flight Center Stray Light Facility (Huntsville, Al, USA)
- Diamond light source (Harwell, UK)
- MPE PANTER test facility (Munich, Germany)
- BESSY II (Berlin, Germany)
- SPring-8 (Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan)
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