William B. Brinckerhoff is a senior research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, MD. Dr. Brinckerhoff is an experimentalist involved in a number of research and development projects for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. He has served as PI, deputy PI, or Co-I for several NASA instrument development projects concerning mass spectrometers and sample handling systems for future missions to planetary bodies. His interests in instrument science extend from definition of measurement goals to detailed implementation of miniature sensor, sample handling, and vacuum system technologies. Dr. Brinckerhoff also has strong interests in small body geochemistry, planetary mission design, and astrobiology. He serves as PI of an Exobiology project to study the synthesis of organic molecules in dense hypervelocity impact plasmas, such as generated in the early solar system or among interstellar dust particles. This research could have broad implications for the pre-biotic inventory of the primitive Earth. In addition, he is a Co-I in the Goddard Center for Astrobiology team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, a virtual research consortium seeking to design and conduct experiments related to the formation and distribution of organics.
Positions and Appointments
Mars Scout Mission of Opportunity/Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer, Co-I (2007 - present)
NASA Astrobiology Institute, Goddard Center for Astrobiology, Co-I (2004 - present)
Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets Program, Co-I (2004 - present)
Mars Science Laboratory/Sample Analysis at Mars Suite Investigation, Co-I (2004 - present)
Astrobiology: Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology, PI (2002 - present)
Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program, PI (2001 - present)
Titan Flagship Mission Concept Study, Airship/Lander Instrument Lead (2007)
Enceladus Flagship Mission Concept Study Science Definition Team, Member (2007)
Mars Instrument Development Project, Co-I (2003 - 2005)
Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development Program, PI (2002 - 2005)
Astrobiology Field Laboratory Mission Concept Science Steering Group, Member (2004)
Ph.D. (Experimental Condensed Matter Physics), The Ohio State University (1995)
B.A. (Physics), The Johns Hopkins University (1990), with Departmental and General Honors
B.S. (Computer Science), The Johns Hopkins University (1990), with Departmental Honors
Brinckerhoff, W.B., On the possible in situ elemental analysis of small bodies with laser ablation TOF-MS, Planet. Space Sci. 53, 817-838, 2005.
Brinckerhoff, W.B., Pulsed laser ablation TOF-MS analysis of planets and small bodies, Appl. Phys. A 79, 953-956, 2004.
Cabane, M., P. Coll, C. Szopa, G. Israël, F. Raulin, R. Sternberg, P. Mahaffy, A. Person, C. Rodier, R. Navarro-Gonzalez, H. Niemann, D. Harpold, W. Brinckerhoff, Did life exist on Mars? Search for organic and inorganic signatures, one of the goals for SAM, Adv. Space Res. 33, 2240-2245, 2004.
Managadze, G.G., W.B. Brinckerhoff, and A.E. Chumikov, Possible synthesis of organic molecular ions in plasmas similar to those generated in hypervelocity impacts, Int. J. Impact Engng. 29, 449-458, 2003.
Managadze, G.G., W.B. Brinckerhoff, and A.E. Chumikov, Molecular synthesis in hypervelocity impact plasmas on the primitive Earth and in interstellar clouds, Geophys. Res. Lett. 30, 1247-1250, doi:10.1029/2002GL016422, 2003.
Brinckerhoff, W.B., T.J. Cornish, R.W. McEntire, A.F. Cheng, and R.C. Benson, Miniature time-of-flight mass spectrometers for in situ composition studies, Acta Astronautica 52, 397-404, 2003.
Cabane, M., P. Coll, G. Israël, F. Raulin, H. Niemann, P. Mahaffy, R. Sternberg, A. Person, C. Rodier, and W. Brinckerhoff, Organic and inorganic signatures in Mars ground and underground, one of the goals for ‘SAM’ (Sample Analysis at Mars), Proc. 2nd European Workshop on Exo/Astrobiology, ESA SP-518, Nov. 2002.
Brinckerhoff, W.B., G.G. Managadze, R.W. McEntire, A.F. Cheng, and W.J. Green, Laser time-of-flight mass spectrometry for space, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71 (2), 536-545, 2000.
Cornish, T.J., S.A. Ecelberger, and W.B. Brinckerhoff, Miniature time-of-flight mass spectrometer using a flexible circuitboard reflectron, Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 14, 2408, 2000.
Brinckerhoff, W.B., R.W. McEntire, A.F. Cheng, and G.G. Managadze, Laser ablation time-of-flight mass spectrometer for elemental and isotopic analysis, in Third IAA International Conference on Low-Cost Planetary Missions, Preprint #IAA-L98-1106, International Academy of Astronautics, Pasadena, CA, 1998.