Michael W McElwain

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Michael W McElwain

  • RSCH AST, STIR GALCTIC&XTRGLTC ASTR
  • 301.286.6094
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 667
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    2019 - Present: Exoplanet Spectroscopy Technologies Project (ExoSpec) Principal Investigator

    2016 - Present: James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Observatory Project Scientist

    2011 - Present : Research Astrophysicist, Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory (Code 667), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    2018 - 2019: Associate Lab Chief, Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory (Code 667)

    2013 - 2018: HCIT/PISCES Principal Investigator

    2013 - 2018: NASA Roman Technology Fellow

    2014 - 2015: James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Deputy Observatory Project Scientist

    2013 - 2015: Exo-C Science and Technology Definition Team Member

    2009 - 2011: National Science Foundation Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University

    2007 - 2009: Henry Norris Russell Postdoctoral Fellow, Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University

    Spring 2009: Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Board on Physics and Astronomy, The National Academies

    2001 - 2007: Graduate Student Researcher, Physics and Astronomy, University of California at Los Angeles

    1999 - 2001: Undergraduate Student Researcher, Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania

    Current Projects

    James Webb Space Telescope Observatory Project Scientist

    As the JWST Observatory project scientist, McElwain is responsible for technical issues related to the Observatory, including the telescope, sunshield, and spacecraft.  He is also planning direct imaging observations of exoplanets using the JWST.

    Exoplanet Spectroscopy Technologies (ExoSpec) Work Package Principal Investigator

    Our work package links four e fforts at Goddard that enable future missions to more eciently characterize directly imaged exoplanets. Our emphasis on system-level spectroscopy optimization prepares for future exo-Earth characterization missions, complements the existing technology development plans of WFIRST, and addresses recognized Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) technology and science gaps.  The technologies involved include high contrast integral field spectroscopy, parabolic deformable mirrors, and photon-counting radiation hard detectors.  There is a separate spectral retrieval effort that uses our end to end integrated modeling, incorporating the new technologies, to assess the scientific yield of missions with varying levels of technological capabilities.

    PISCES: Advancing High Contrast Imaging Technologies with Integral Field Spectroscopy

    This ROSES Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship (PI McElwain) is to build a novel optical integral field spectrograph (IFS) called the Prototype Imaging Spectrograph for Coronagraphic Exoplanet Studies (PISCES).  PISCES will be integrated within the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program High Contrast Imaging Testbed (HCIT) facility at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and carry out a performance demonstration as part of the WFIRST-AFTA Coronagraph Instrument's (CGI) technology program.  PISCES is optimized for high contrast imaging (contrast ~10^-10) and represents a viable design for the WFIRST-AFTA CGI flight-instrument targeting exoplanet spectroscopy with direct imaging. Integral field spectroscopy is ideal for high contrast imaging, because in addition to spectral characterization of exoplanet atmospheres, the data products will also sample the chromatic effects of the telescope optical assembly. It is of paramount importance to correct for the aberrations introduced by the telescope optical assembly using focal plane wavefront sensing techniques.

    Professional Societies

    Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , 2007 - Present
    American Astronomical Soceity (AAS) , 2001 - Present

    Professional Service

    NASA ExEP Exo-C Science and Technology Definition Team Member
    Goddard Exoplanet Club Co-organizer
    SBIR Phase II Contracting Officer Representative
    Goddard Peer Award Panelist
    Goddard Code 600 Diversity Team
    SBIR Phase I Technical Manager
    SOC "Signposts of Planets Conference" NASA GSFC
    NAOJ Subaru Telescope Time Allocation Committee
    National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Grants Panelist
    National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Program Panelist
    Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Referee


    Awards

    NASA Roman Technology Fellowship
    NASA Goddard Peer Award
    NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship, Princeton University
    Co-discovery of GJ 758 B - TIME Magazine Top 10 Science Discoveries of 2009
    Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Fellowship, The National Academies
    Phi Delta Theta Educational Foundation Graduate Fellowship, UCLA

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Stark, C. C., A. Roberge, A. Mandell, et al. M. Clampin, S. D. Domagal-Goldman, M. W. McElwain, and K. R. Stapelfeldt. 2015. "LOWER LIMITS ON APERTURE SIZE FOR AN EXOEARTH DETECTING CORONAGRAPHIC MISSION." The Astrophysical Journal, 808 (2): 149 [10.1088/0004-637x/808/2/149]

    Carson, J., C. Thalmann, M. Janson, et al. T. Kozakis, M. Bonnefoy, B. Biller, J. Schlieder, T. Currie, M. W. Mcelwain, M. Goto, T. Henning, W. Brandner, M. Feldt, R. Kandori, M. Kuzuhara, L. Stevens, P. Wong, K. Gainey, M. Fukagawa, Y. Kuwada, T. Brandt, J. Kwon, L. Abe, S. Egner, C. Grady, O. Guyon, J. Hashimoto, Y. Hayano, M. Hayashi, S. Hayashi, K. Hodapp, M. Ishii, M. Iye, G. Knapp, T. Kudo, N. Kusakabe, T. Matsuo, S. Miyama, J. Morino, A. Moro-Martin, T. Nishimura, T. Pyo, E. Serabyn, H. Suto, R. Suzuki, M. Takami, N. Takato, H. Terada, D. Tomono, E. Turner, M. Watanabe, J. Wisniewski, T. Yamada, H. Takami, T. Usuda, and M. Tamura. 2013. "Direct Imaging Discovery of a `Super-Jupiter' around the Late B-type Star Kappa Andromedae." The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 763: L32 [10.1088/2041-8205/763/2/L32]

    Brandt, T. D., M. W. Mcelwain, E. L. Turner, et al. L. Abe, W. Brandner, J. Carson, S. Egner, M. Feldt, T. Golota, M. Goto, O. Guyon, C. A. Grady, J. Hashimoto, Y. Hayano, M. Hayashi, S. Hayashi, T. Henning, K. W. Hodapp, M. Ishii, M. Iye, M. Janson, R. Kandori, G. R. Knapp, T. Kudo, N. Kusakabe, M. Kuzuhara, J. Kwon, T. Matsuo, S. Miyama, J.-I. Morino, A. Moro-Martin, T. Nishimura, T.-S. Pyo, E. Serabyn, H. Suto, R. Suzuki, M. Takami, N. Takato, H. Terada, C. Thalmann, D. Tomono, M. Watanabe, J. P. Wisniewski, T. Yamada, H. Takami, T. Usuda, and M. Tamura. 2013. "New Techniques for High-contrast Imaging with ADI: The ACORNS-ADI SEEDS Data Reduction Pipeline." The Astrophysical Journal, 764: 183 [10.1088/004-637X/764/2/183]

    Mcelwain, M. W., T. Brandt, M. Janson, et al. G. Knapp, M. A. Peters, A. S. Burrows, A. Carlotti, M. A. Carr, T. Groff, J. E. Gunn, O. Guyon, M. Hayashi, N. J. Kasdin, M. Kuzuhara, R. Lupton, F. Martinache, D. Spiegel, N. Takato, M. Tamura, E. L. Turner, and R. J. Vanderbei. 2012. "Scientific design of a high contrast integral field spectrograph for the Subaru Telescope." SPIE, 8446: [Full Text (Link)]

    Mcelwain, M. W., A. M. Mandell, B. E. Woodgate, et al. D. S. Spiegel, N. Madhusudhan, E. G. Amatucci, C. Blake, J. G. Budinoff, A. Burgasser, A. Burrows, M. Clampin, C. Conroy, L. D. Deming, E. Dunham, R. D. Foltz, Q. Gong, H. Knutson, T. T. Muench, R. Murray-Clay, H. L. Peabody, B. J. Rauscher, S. A. Rinehart, and G. L. Villanueva. 2012. "NIMBUS: the Near-infrared Multi-Band Ultraprecise Spectroimager for SOFIA." SPIE, 8446: [10.1117/12.927094]

    Cady, E., M. W. Mcelwain, N. J. Kasdin, and C. Thalmann. 2011. "A Dual-Mask Coronagraph for Observing Faint Companions to Binary Stars." Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 123: 333 [10.1086/659038]

    Janson, M., J. Carson, C. Thalmann, et al. M. W. Mcelwain, M. Goto, J. Crepp, J. Wisniewski, L. Abe, W. Brandner, A. Burrows, S. Egner, M. Feldt, C. A. Grady, T. Golota, O. Guyon, J. Hashimoto, Y. Hayano, M. Hayashi, S. Hayashi, T. Henning, K. W. Hodapp, M. Ishii, M. Iye, R. Kandori, G. R. Knapp, T. Kudo, N. Kusakabe, M. Kuzuhara, T. Matsuo, S. Mayama, S. Miyama, J. Morino, A. Moro-Mart’n, T. Nishimura, T. Pyo, E. Serabyn, H. Suto, R. Suzuki, M. Takami, N. Takato, H. Terada, B. Tofflemire, D. Tomono, E. L. Turner, M. Watanabe, T. Yamada, H. Takami, T. Usuda, and M. Tamura. 2011. "Near-infrared Multi-band Photometry of the Substellar Companion GJ 758 B." The Astrophysical Journal, 728: 85 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/0004-637X/728/2/85]

    Mcelwain, M. W., S. A. Metchev, J. E. Larkin, et al. M. Barczys, C. Iserlohe, A. Krabbe, A. Quirrenbach, J. Weiss, and S. A. Wright. 2007. "First High Contrast Science with an Integral Field Spectrograph: The Substellar Companion to GQ Lupi." The Astrophysical Journal, 656: 505-514 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1086/510063]

    Mcelwain, M. W., and A. Burgasser. 2006. "Resolved Spectroscopy of M Dwarf/L Dwarf Binaries. II. 2MASS J17072343-0558249AB." The Astronomical Journal , 132: 2074-2081 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1086/508199]

    Brief Bio

    2019 - Present: Exoplanet Spectroscopy Technologies Project (ExoSpec) Principal Investigator

    2016 - Present: James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Observatory Project Scientist

    2011 - Present : Research Astrophysicist, Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory (Code 667), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    2018 - 2019: Associate Lab Chief, Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory (Code 667)

    2013 - 2018: HCIT/PISCES Principal Investigator

    2013 - 2018: NASA Roman Technology Fellow

    2014 - 2015: James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Deputy Observatory Project Scientist

    2013 - 2015: Exo-C Science and Technology Definition Team Member

    2009 - 2011: National Science Foundation Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University

    2007 - 2009: Henry Norris Russell Postdoctoral Fellow, Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University

    Spring 2009: Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Board on Physics and Astronomy, The National Academies

    2001 - 2007: Graduate Student Researcher, Physics and Astronomy, University of California at Los Angeles

    1999 - 2001: Undergraduate Student Researcher, Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Stark, C. C., A. Roberge, A. Mandell, et al. M. Clampin, S. D. Domagal-Goldman, M. W. McElwain, and K. R. Stapelfeldt. 2015. "LOWER LIMITS ON APERTURE SIZE FOR AN EXOEARTH DETECTING CORONAGRAPHIC MISSION." The Astrophysical Journal 808 (2): 149 [10.1088/0004-637x/808/2/149]

    Carson, J., C. Thalmann, M. Janson, et al. T. Kozakis, M. Bonnefoy, B. Biller, J. Schlieder, T. Currie, M. W. Mcelwain, M. Goto, T. Henning, W. Brandner, M. Feldt, R. Kandori, M. Kuzuhara, L. Stevens, P. Wong, K. Gainey, M. Fukagawa, Y. Kuwada, T. Brandt, J. Kwon, L. Abe, S. Egner, C. Grady, O. Guyon, J. Hashimoto, Y. Hayano, M. Hayashi, S. Hayashi, K. Hodapp, M. Ishii, M. Iye, G. Knapp, T. Kudo, N. Kusakabe, T. Matsuo, S. Miyama, J. Morino, A. Moro-Martin, T. Nishimura, T. Pyo, E. Serabyn, H. Suto, R. Suzuki, M. Takami, N. Takato, H. Terada, D. Tomono, E. Turner, M. Watanabe, J. Wisniewski, T. Yamada, H. Takami, T. Usuda, and M. Tamura. 2013. "Direct Imaging Discovery of a `Super-Jupiter' around the Late B-type Star Kappa Andromedae." The Astrophysical Journal Letters 763 L32 [10.1088/2041-8205/763/2/L32]

    Brandt, T. D., M. W. Mcelwain, E. L. Turner, et al. L. Abe, W. Brandner, J. Carson, S. Egner, M. Feldt, T. Golota, M. Goto, O. Guyon, C. A. Grady, J. Hashimoto, Y. Hayano, M. Hayashi, S. Hayashi, T. Henning, K. W. Hodapp, M. Ishii, M. Iye, M. Janson, R. Kandori, G. R. Knapp, T. Kudo, N. Kusakabe, M. Kuzuhara, J. Kwon, T. Matsuo, S. Miyama, J.-I. Morino, A. Moro-Martin, T. Nishimura, T.-S. Pyo, E. Serabyn, H. Suto, R. Suzuki, M. Takami, N. Takato, H. Terada, C. Thalmann, D. Tomono, M. Watanabe, J. P. Wisniewski, T. Yamada, H. Takami, T. Usuda, and M. Tamura. 2013. "New Techniques for High-contrast Imaging with ADI: The ACORNS-ADI SEEDS Data Reduction Pipeline." The Astrophysical Journal 764 183 [10.1088/004-637X/764/2/183]

    Mcelwain, M. W., T. Brandt, M. Janson, et al. G. Knapp, M. A. Peters, A. S. Burrows, A. Carlotti, M. A. Carr, T. Groff, J. E. Gunn, O. Guyon, M. Hayashi, N. J. Kasdin, M. Kuzuhara, R. Lupton, F. Martinache, D. Spiegel, N. Takato, M. Tamura, E. L. Turner, and R. J. Vanderbei. 2012. "Scientific design of a high contrast integral field spectrograph for the Subaru Telescope." SPIE 8446 [Full Text (Link)]

    Mcelwain, M. W., A. M. Mandell, B. E. Woodgate, et al. D. S. Spiegel, N. Madhusudhan, E. G. Amatucci, C. Blake, J. G. Budinoff, A. Burgasser, A. Burrows, M. Clampin, C. Conroy, L. D. Deming, E. Dunham, R. D. Foltz, Q. Gong, H. Knutson, T. T. Muench, R. Murray-Clay, H. L. Peabody, B. J. Rauscher, S. A. Rinehart, and G. L. Villanueva. 2012. "NIMBUS: the Near-infrared Multi-Band Ultraprecise Spectroimager for SOFIA." SPIE 8446 [10.1117/12.927094]

    Cady, E., M. W. Mcelwain, N. J. Kasdin, and C. Thalmann. 2011. "A Dual-Mask Coronagraph for Observing Faint Companions to Binary Stars." Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 123 333 [10.1086/659038]

    Janson, M., J. Carson, C. Thalmann, et al. M. W. Mcelwain, M. Goto, J. Crepp, J. Wisniewski, L. Abe, W. Brandner, A. Burrows, S. Egner, M. Feldt, C. A. Grady, T. Golota, O. Guyon, J. Hashimoto, Y. Hayano, M. Hayashi, S. Hayashi, T. Henning, K. W. Hodapp, M. Ishii, M. Iye, R. Kandori, G. R. Knapp, T. Kudo, N. Kusakabe, M. Kuzuhara, T. Matsuo, S. Mayama, S. Miyama, J. Morino, A. Moro-Mart’n, T. Nishimura, T. Pyo, E. Serabyn, H. Suto, R. Suzuki, M. Takami, N. Takato, H. Terada, B. Tofflemire, D. Tomono, E. L. Turner, M. Watanabe, T. Yamada, H. Takami, T. Usuda, and M. Tamura. 2011. "Near-infrared Multi-band Photometry of the Substellar Companion GJ 758 B." The Astrophysical Journal 728 85 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/0004-637X/728/2/85]

    Mcelwain, M. W., S. A. Metchev, J. E. Larkin, et al. M. Barczys, C. Iserlohe, A. Krabbe, A. Quirrenbach, J. Weiss, and S. A. Wright. 2007. "First High Contrast Science with an Integral Field Spectrograph: The Substellar Companion to GQ Lupi." The Astrophysical Journal 656 505-514 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1086/510063]

    Mcelwain, M. W., and A. Burgasser. 2006. "Resolved Spectroscopy of M Dwarf/L Dwarf Binaries. II. 2MASS J17072343-0558249AB." The Astronomical Journal 132 2074-2081 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1086/508199]

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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