Kenneth G Carpenter

Photo of KENNETH CARPENTER

Kenneth G Carpenter

  • (AST,STELLAR,GALACTIC,EXTRAGALACTIC)
  • 301.286.3453 | 301.286.1753
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 667
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Kenneth Carpenter is currently the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Operations Project Scientist and the Ground System Scientist for WFIRST. He leads the Stellar Imager Vision Mission concept development, and provide scientific guidance to the OpTIIX ISS-based technology demonstration project. His scientific interests include studies of the chromospheres, transition regions, winds and circumstellar shells of cool stars, as well as the calculation of model atmospheres and synthetic spectra and investigations of line fluorescence processes; hardware interests include development and operations of UV spectroscopic instruments and large baseline space interferometers. He is currently a member of the "Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory" at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Positions/Employment

    8 / 1988 - Present

    Astrophysicist

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD


    Currently:
    Operations Project Scientist for Hubble Space Telescope
    Ground System Scientist for WFIRST
    GSFC Lead Scientist for OpTIIX ISS-based technology demonstration mission
    Principal Investigator, Stellar Imager (SI) Vision Mission Concept

    Research Interests

    Stellar Astrophysics and Space Instrument/Mission Development

    Ultraviolet spectroscopy. Chromospheres, transition regions and winds of cool stars. Stellar activity. Model atmospheres and synthetic spectra. Line fluorescence processes. Chemically peculiar stars. Instrument development, in particular development and calibration of UV spectrographs. Long-Baseline Imaging Interferometry.

    Carpenter is the lead scientist/architect for a long-term study of the outer atmospheres and winds of stars cooler than the sun, utilizing IUE, HST, ground-based and other space-based facilities. Core HST/GHRS results, based on combined GTO and GO programs, have been published in an ApJ series: ``GHRS Observations of Cool, Low-Gravity Stars. I-V''. He has collaborated in studies of stellar activity/chromospheric heating in Hyades F stars and of the origin of Ba-star abundances anomalies with E. Bohm-Vitense (U. Washington) and shared leadership (with H. Johnson/Univ. of Indiana) of large, international consortium study of carbon stars with HST. He has been involved in a multiple-cycle HST program to determine masses of Cepheid variables, published frequently-cited UV reference spectra for cool stars, obtained first measurements of turbulence and plasma downflows in the chromosphere of a cool giant star, and published a definitive summary of fluorescence in cool giant atmospheres (in collaboration with C. Jordan/Oxford U., England and S. Johansson/U. Lund, Sweden). He has also computed detailed, line-blanketed model atmospheres, including magnetic pressure, for upper main sequence stars to study effect of magnetic-field on structure and emergent spectrum and the degree to which line strength peculiarities in chemically peculiar stars can be explained without recourse to anomalous abundances.

    Current Projects

    HST Operations Project Scientist

    Carpenter is currently the Operations Project Scientist for Hubble Space Telescope and provides scientific leadership, advice, guidance, and oversight to the Operations Project Manager and Staff, monitors budgeting activities as related to HST mission scientific requirements and participates in tradeoff decisions, monitors in-orbit performance of flight instruments & other spacecraft systems, provides scientific guidance in the assessment and resolution of spacecraft anomalies, supports the development of future science operations concepts, and oversees current STScI science operations.

    Ground System Scientist for WFIRST

    Carpenter is the Ground System Scientist for WFIRST and supports mission concept and ground system designs efforts via the GSFC WFIRST Project Science Office.

    GSFC Lead Scientist for OpTIIX

    Carpenter provides scientific guidance to the JPL/GSFC/JSC/STScI Optical Testbed and Integration on ISS eXperiment (OpTIIX) Team.

    Principal Investigator, Stellar Imager (SI) Vision Mission

    He is the Principal Investigator of the Stellar Imager (SI) Vision Mission Study - a concept for a large, space-based UV-optical interferometer designed to image the surfaces of nearby stars, probe their subsurface layers through asteroseismology (acoustic imaging), and improve our understanding of solar and stellar dynamos and thus our ability to predict solar/stellar activity and its effect on the habitability of planets, planetary climates, and life.

    Principal Investigator, Fizeau Interferometer Testbed (FIT)

    Carpenter led the Fizeau Interferometer Testbed (FIT) experiment, a ground-based laboratory testbed located at GSFC. This testbed developed and tested algorithms for closed-loop control of actuated multi-element (7-20) sparse aperture systems, using feedback from Phase Diversity analysis of the combined beams - a critical technology for future long-baseline Fizeau Interferometers and Sparse Aperture Telescopes.

    GHRS Investigation Definition Team Co-I for Science Operations

    Previously, Carpenter was GHRS (Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph) Investigation Definition Team Co-Investigator for Science Operations and guided GHRS Operations Development, Science Verification/Guaranteed Time Observer science program implementation, and helped ensure the high science productivity of the GHRS when it was installed on HST.

    Education

    B.A. (Astronomy) Wesleyan University - 1976 Cum laude
    M.A. (Astronomy) Wesleyan university - 1977
    Ph.D. (Astronomy) Ohio State University - 1983
    Ph.D. Thesis: "A Study of Magnetic, Line-Blanketed, Model Atmospheres"

    Professional Societies

    International Astronomical Union, 1988 - Present
    Member of IAU Commission 29 (Stellar Spectra), Organizing Committee - Commission 29, Commission 44 (Space & High Energy Astrophyics), and Commission 54 (Optical & Infrared Interferometry)
    American Astronomical Society, 1977 - Present
    Member.

    Awards

    NASA Awards:
    GSFC Astrophysics Science Division Peer Award 2012: For demonstrating timely and dedicated professionalism to both the Astrophysics Science Division and Goddard Space Flight Center (by providing Scientific Leadership and Guidance to the OpTIIX Project)
    Special Act Award-Individual (Outstanding Oversight of HST
    Operations Project, leading to the success of SM4), August 2009
    Performance Award, August 2009
    JSC Group Achievement Award/STS-125 STOCC Team, July 2009
    Special Act Award-Individual (HST SM4 Prep.), August 2008
    Twenty Year Service Award, August 2008
    Special Act Award (Stellar Imager/Fizeau Interf. Testbed Dev.), May 2006
    Outstanding Teamwork--HST Robotic Serv./De-Orbit Mission Team, 2005
    Fifteen Year Service Award, August 2003
    Performance Award, March 2002
    JSC Group Achievement Award HST SM3b, March 2002
    Group Achievement Award--HST SM3a Team, Sept. 2000
    National Resource Award--HST SM2, Feb. 1999
    Special Act Award, Sept. 1998
    Ten Year Service Award, August 1998
    Performance Award, June 1998
    Performance Award, 1996
    Group Achievement Award--SL9 Jupiter Impact Observation Team, 1996
    Quality Increase Award, 1995
    Performance Award, 1994
    Special Act Grp. Award--HST Continuous Process Improvement Team, 1994
    Group Achievement Award--HST First Servicing Mission Science Team, 1994
    Quality Increase Award, 1992
    Certificate of Outstanding Performance, 1992
    Special Act Award (GHRS/MAMA), April 1992
    Certificate of Outstanding Performance 1991, Oct. 1991
    Group Achievement Award (GHRS Development Team), March 1991
    Performance Award, March 1991
    Special Act or Service Award (GHRS Development Team), Sept. 1990
    Viking (Mission to Mars) Internship, 1976

    Other Awards:
    Certificate of Appreciation, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, 2008
    The Ohio State University Presidential Fellowship, 1982-83
    Franklin B. Littell Prize for Astronomy, Wesleyan University 1976
    National Merit Scholarship, 1972-76
    State of Connecticut Scholar, 1972

    Other Professional Information

    Publications:
    70 Refereed Papers
    93 Other Major Publications and Review Talks
    80 Abstracts of Meeting Presentations

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Kenneth Carpenter is currently the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Operations Project Scientist and the Ground System Scientist for WFIRST. He leads the Stellar Imager Vision Mission concept development, and provide scientific guidance to the OpTIIX ISS-based technology demonstration project. His scientific interests include studies of the chromospheres, transition regions, winds and circumstellar shells of cool stars, as well as the calculation of model atmospheres and synthetic spectra and investigations of line fluorescence processes; hardware interests include development and operations of UV spectroscopic instruments and large baseline space interferometers. He is currently a member of the "Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory" at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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