Sciences and Exploration Directorate

benito d prats

(ENGINEER)

 benito.d.prats@nasa.gov

 301.614.5645

Org Code: 699

NASA/GSFC
Mail Code: 699
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: eINFORMe, Inc

Brief Bio


Benny Prats is an aerospace engineer by training and planetary research engineer by trade employed by eINFORMe Inc at NASA GSFC in the Planetary Environments Laboratory. His primary engineering interests are design, repair, test, operation, and analysis of electromechanical and thermal systems for quadra-pole mass spectrometers (QMS), gas processing systems (GPS), micro valves, miniature pyrolysis ovens, miniature turbo wide-range-pumps (WRP), linear ion trap (LIT) mass spectrometers, tunable laser spectrometers (TLS), sample manipulation systems (SMS), and gas chromatograph (GC) instruments. He analyzes scientific and engineering data to assure proper instrument operation and longevity and correct interpretation of results from labs on earth, spacecraft and rovers in space, Mars, Moon, and beyond.

Current Projects


Mars Organic Molecular Analysis (MOMA) on ESA Rosalind Franklin Rover (previously known as ExoMars) Laser Desorption Mass Spectrometer and Gas Chromatograph

Mars

Benny Prats has been a member of MOMA electrical and data-analysis teams since 2013 responsible for electrical system design and bench-testing prior to and after integration into flight, testbed, and engineering models. He is responsible for writing and executing multiple procedures, work orders and drawings at GSFC, University of Michigan Space Physics Research Lab, and Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research Electronics Laboratory. As a member of the data-analysis team he continues to update software tools and analyze data during integration, rover-level testing, and periodic checkouts while in storage waiting for 2028 launch to Mars.

 


Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) - Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover Pre-launch Team Member

Mars

Benny Prats joined the SAM team four years before launch assuring proper design, fabrication, integration, test, and operation of all systems. He selected heaters for gas transfer pipes and manifolds and thoroughly tested in Mars environments early in the program resulting in a request to JPL/Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) for two additional (SAM Bus 4 and 5) electrical circuits. Four years of continuous testing by Benny Prats and the SAM team for all SAM components, QMS, GPS, WRP, TLS and GC, before and after integration, resulted in numerous anomaly identifications, replacements, modifications, and repairs before launch. All components continue to operate on Mars nearly 11 years after landing with successful identification of organics on Mars.


Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS)

Mars

The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) Mission was designed to characterize the source region for escaping atoms in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars. Benny Prats was responsible for electrical system design, modeling, and bench-testing prior to and after integration into flight and testbed models. And he performed in-orbit analysis to assure properly functioning electrical and science systems.


Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS)

Moons

Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Mission Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) (electrical systems design, modeling, testing, and integration). James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) (cryogenic thermal design, modeling fabrication and testing). Hubble Space Telescope (HST) (thermal systems for servicing missions 3A and 3B including flight console to provide space shuttle attitude control), TIROS, DMSP Weather Satellites (thermal system testing and anomaly investigations), Space Shuttle (Mach 10 and 14 wind tunnel testing at AEDC Hypervelocity Tunnel 9). Also, DRAMS, SEAL, LEMS, LRO/LOLA, Landsat 6/7, DSCS, MilStar, D2, SDI, A10 Trainer, Ford, and Chrysler Automobile Wind Tunnel Testing.

Positions/Employment


Senior Electromechanical Systems Engineer

NASA/eINFORMe Inc, Planetary Environment Laboratory - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD

July 2007 - Present

SAM Payload Downlink (from Mars) Lead, SAM Testbed Refurbishment and Operations (on Earth), DRAMS, SEAL, LEMS, MOMA, MAVEN, LADEE, JWST, LRO/LOLA thermal, electrical systems.


Senior Systems Engineer

Fairchild/eINFORMe Inc - Frederick, MD

August 2003 - July 2007

Responsible for Systems Engineering of Airbus A380 Supplemental Avionics Cooling Systems


Program Manager/ Senior Systems Engineer,

Lockheed Martin, Martin Marietta, GE Aerospace - Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, Sunnyvale CA

March 1990 - August 2003


Completed Lockheed Martin Systems Engineering Training, Communication Satellites, International Space Station Thermal Systems, Cassini Re-entry, D2, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and Missile Design and Testing


Project Engineer

AAI Corporation - Baltimore, MD

May 1986 - March 1990

Uninhabited Air Vehicle (UAV) design and fabrication, DARPA projects, Working with AAI President Irwin Barr


Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel Test Engineer - GS-9

Naval Surface Weapons Center - Silver Spring, MD

June 1980 - May 1986

Lead for Mach 10, 14, 20 testing of Missiles and Space Shuttle Projects. Plan tests, design nozzles, instrument, calibrate flow and computational fluid mechanics modeling.


Project Engineer

Maryland Government Classified Employee - Large Subsonic Wind Tunnel Operations – University of Maryland - College Park, MD

January 1976 - May 1980

A10 Trainer, Ford/ Chrysler Automobile, Buildings Subsonic Wind Tunnel Testing.


Professional Societies


AGU

2017 - Present


AIAA

Senior Member

1972 - Present