Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Brook Lakew


Brook Lakew's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.286.1111
Org Code: 690
Mail Code 690
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Employer: EMERITUS

Current Projects

Space-borne instruments focal plane assembly development

Solar System

Magnesium Diboride Detector Array (MDA) Development for Infrared Instruments on Future Missions to the Outer Planets and their Icy Moons.

Served as Principal Investigator for the following projects

  • "Cryogen free cooled IR focal plane detector for infrared instruments on the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO)" project
  • "High Temperature Superconducting detector characterization with low Tc SQUID" project.
  • "Development of HTS and MgB2 detectors on monolithic sapphire membranes for future planetary exploration missions" project.

Research Interests

Infrared instruments for future planetary exploration missions

Solar System: Solar System

Technology investments and future planetary missions planning. Infrared astronomy. Development of mid and far-infrared sensors for the exploration of the outer planets and their icy moons.

Overall chair: International NASA Workshop on "Instrumentation for Planetary Missions"- IPM-2012

Overall chair: 2nd International NASA Workshop on "Instrumentation for Planetary Missions" - IPM-2014

Founder and lead: Planetary CubeSats Science Institute (PCSI) at NASA - Goddard

Keynote presentation given at the "Planetary Exploration 2061" International Workshop (Lausanne, Switzerland, April 2018) on technologies needed to explore our Solar System planets by the year 2050:

Research Experience:

Cassini Mission to Saturn (1991-97): Development and characterization of flight Far Infrared (IR) detectors for the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) instrument on board the Cassini spacecraft. Cassini arrived at Saturn on July 1, 2004.

COBE Mission (1985-1989): Study the effects of ionizing radiation on the InSb, Ge: Ga focal plane IR sensors on board the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) (launched 1989).

Cooled focal plane sensor arrays for a possible Infrared instrument on the reformulated Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) mission



Associate Director for Mission Planning, Research and Development, Solar System Exploration Division

NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center

2010 - Present

Deputy Chief of the Planetary Systems Laboratory

NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center

2008 - 2010

Astrophysicist, Planetary Systems Laboratory

NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center

1999 - 2008

Senior Scientist

Raytheon Corp - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

1995 - 1999

Chief, Flight Instruments Section

Hughes Aircraft Corp - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

1992 - 1995

Space Scientist

STX Corp - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

1984 - 1992


Ph.D., Physical Chemistry (with focus on physics of surfaces), University of Paris, 1982.

Other Professional Information

Science committee chair: International Workshop on "Instrumentation for Planetary Missions", IPM - 2012 and IPM 2014. More at:

NASA- Goddard Senior Fellow since Feb 2016 :

Selected Publications


2016. "Dual-telescope multi-channel thermal-infrared radiometer for outer planet fly-by missions." Acta Astronautica 128 628-639 [10.1016/j.actaastro.2016.08.009] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "MgB2 thin-film bolometer for applications in far-infrared instruments on future planetary missions." Physica C 483 119-126 [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "1/f noise in the superconducting transition of a MgB2 thin film." Physica C, Superconductivity. 470 (9-10): 451-455 [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "“Low-frequency noise measurements of high-Tc superconducting films: effect of DC capacitor in experimental setup”." Electronics Letters 43 (23): [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "Effects of ionizing radiation on noise in MgB2 thin films- a candidate material for detectors for post-Cassini planetary missions." Physica C 440 1-5 [Journal Article/Letter]

2004. "Long-term stability of the Cassini Fourier transform spectrometer en route to Saturn." Research and Development in Optics 4 (95): 113 [Journal Article/Letter]

2004. "Transition-edge superconducting (TES) bolometer on monolithic sapphire membrane - construction and performance." Sensors & Actuators A [Journal Article/Letter]

2003. "In-flight Far-Infrared Performance of the CIRS Instrument on Cassini." [Journal Article/Letter]

2001. "A comment on the reported detectivity of a new uncooled thermal infrared detector." Sensors and Actuators A 3159 [Journal Article/Letter]

2000. "High Tc superconducting bolometer on chemically etched 7 μm thick sapphire." Physica C C329 69-74 [Journal Article/Letter]

1994. "High Tc Superconductor Bolometer with Record Performance." Appl Phy Lett 64 6 [Journal Article/Letter]

1992. "High Temperature Superconducting Magnetic Susceptibility Bolometer." C lee J. App. Phys. 3639 [Journal Article/Letter]

1991. "High Tc Bolometer development for Planetary Missions." SPIE 1477 166 [Journal Article/Letter]

1990. "Upcoming Planetary Mission and the Applicability of High Tc Superconductor Bolometers." SPIE 1292 155 [Journal Article/Letter]


2003. "Recent advances in high and mid temperature superconducting thin films for infrared sensor applications." Proc. International Workshop on Thermal Detectors (TDW03) 4-1 [Proceedings]

1990. "Progress in the Development of High Tc Superconducting IR Bolometers." Paper Presented at the 2nd World Congress on Superconductivity [Other]