Dr. Vishnu Viswanathan

Dr. Vishnu Viswanathan

  • visiting research scientist
  • 301.614.6466
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 698
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE CO
  • Brief Bio

    My research focuses on the analysis of laser ranging data and radio tracking data to decipher the interior structure of planetary bodies.

    During my PhD, I improved the dynamical modelling of the Moon within the French planetary and lunar ephemeris - INPOP and performed fits of this model to nearly 5 decades of lunar laser ranging (LLR) data using constraints from the NASA GRAIL gravity field data. This model (ephemeris) is now among the few most accurate models describing the lunar positional and rotational states, giving access to the knowledge of the dynamic interior structure of the Moon. My contributions include new constraints for the geometry of the lunar core-mantle boundary and the use of LLR data for performing fundamental tests of the principle of equivalence at the scale of the Earth-Moon system.

    Research Interests

    Planetary interiors

    Lunar Laser Ranging

    Ephemeris

    Radioscience

    Positions/Employment

    4/2019 - Present

    Visiting Research Scientist

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center | UMBC CRESST II, Greenbelt, MD, USA
    11/2017 - 3/2019

    Post-doctoral Researcher

    Institut de Méchanique Céleste et de Calcul des Éphéphérides (IMCCE), Observatoire de Paris, Paris, France
    10/2017 - 11/2017

    Research Engineer

    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Sophia Antipolis, France
    10/2014 - 9/2017

    Doctoral researcher

    Observatoire de Paris & Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, France

    Education

    Ph.D. 2017, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Observatoire de Paris - France, "Improving the dynamical model of the Moon using lunar laser ranging (LLR) and spacecraft data", Supervisors: Prof. Agnès Fienga and Prof. Jacques Laskar

    M.S. 2013, Space Systems Engineering, Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace, Toulouse - France, "Emulation of a geostationary channel using software-defined radio platform", Supervisor: Prof. Laurent Franck

    B.Tech. 2011, Electronics and Communication Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Trichy - India

    Professional Societies

    American Geophysical Union, 2019 - Present
    European Geophysical Union, 2016 - Present

    Professional Service

    Reviewer for ApJL, A&A, ASR, ESS, JGeod

    Panelist for NASA ROSES

    Grants

    03/01/2021 - 02/29/2024 Cassini Data Analysis Program, NASA HQ Science Mission Directorate, NASA NRA #: NNH20ZDA001N

    Independent Measurement of Saturn's Dissipation using Cassini Astrometric Data

    ; PI
    11/15/2017 - 11/15/2018 Post-doctoral research grant, LABEX Exploration Spatiale des Environments Planétaires - France

    Study of the interior structure of the Moon using lunar laser ranging data

    ; 1.0 FTE
    10/01/2014 - 09/30/2017 Doctoral research grant, Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation - France

    Improving the dynamical model of the Moon using lunar laser ranging (LLR) and spacecraft data

    ; 3.0 FTE

    Publications

    Refereed

    Mazarico, E., X. Sun, J.-M. Torre, et al. C. Courde, J. Chabé, M. Aimar, H. Mariey, N. Maurice, M. K. Barker, D. Mao, D. R. Cremons, S. Bouquillon, T. Carlucci, V. Viswanathan, F. G. Lemoine, A. Bourgoin, P. Exertier, G. A. Neumann, M. T. Zuber, and D. E. Smith. 2020. "First Two-way Laser Ranging to a Lunar Orbiter: infrared observations from the Grasse station to LRO’s retro-reflector array ." Earth, Planets and Space, (In Press) [Full Text (Link)] [10.1186/s40623-020-01243-w]

    Viswanathan, V., N. Rambaux, A. Fienga, J. Laskar, and M. Gastineau. 2019. "Observational constraint on the radius and oblateness of the lunar core-mantle boundary." Geophysical Research Letters, 46: [10.1029/2019GL082677]

    Viswanathan, V., A. Fienga, O. Minazzoli, et al. L. Bernus, J. Laskar, and M. Gastineau. 2018. "The new lunar ephemeris INPOP17a and its application to fundamental physics." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 476: 1877-1888 [10.1093/mnras/sty096]

    Courde, C., J. M. Torre, E. Samain, et al. G. Martinot-Lagarde, M. Aimar, D. Albanese, P. Exertier, A. Fienga, H. Mariey, G. Metris, H. Viot, and V. Viswanathan. 2017. "Lunar laser ranging in infrared at the Grasse laser station." Astronomy & Astrophysics, 602: A90 [10.1051/0004-6361/201628590]

    Non-Refereed

    Viswanathan, V., A. Fienga, M. Gastineau, and J. Laskar. 2017. "INPOP17a planetary ephemerides." Notes Scientifiques et Techniques de l'Institut de mécanique céleste S108: ISBN: 2-910015-79-3. [Full Text (Link)] [10.13140/RG.2.2.24384.43521]

    Courde, C., J.-M. Torre, E. Samain, et al. G. Martinot-Lagarde, M. Aimar, D. Albanese, N. Maurice, H. Mariey, H. Viot, P. Exertier, A. Fienga, and V. Viswanathan. 2017. "Satellite and lunar laser ranging in infrared." Proceedings of the SPIE Conference on Photon Counting Applications, 2017 10229: UNSP 102290K [10.1117/12.2270573]

    Talks, Presentations and Posters

    Talk at Lunar Surface Science Workshop 2020

    Poster presentation at the 51st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2020), Texas, USA

    Poster presented at AGU Fall Meeting 2019, San Francisco, USA

    Talk at 42nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly (H0.5-0006-18)

    Talk at Journées Scientifiques du Programme National GRAM (215219)

    Poster presented at EGU General Assembly Conference (Vol. 19, p. 7450)

    Poster presented at Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (Vol. 48, p. 2329)

    Talk at EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 18, p. 13995)

    Talk at IAU General Assembly, 22, p.27116.

    Teaching Experience

    "Principles of Thermodynamics", Undergraduate level, ESAIP Graduate School of Engineering, Grasse - France

    "Satellite systems", Graduate level, University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis

     

    Selected Public Outreach

    50th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, National Mall 7 / 2019 - 7 / 2019

    Volunteering work at the Moon Tours (Moon trek + LRO) tent using lunar topographic data, 3D prints of the lunar surface and lunar simulant samples.

    Brief Bio

    My research focuses on the analysis of laser ranging data and radio tracking data to decipher the interior structure of planetary bodies.

    During my PhD, I improved the dynamical modelling of the Moon within the French planetary and lunar ephemeris - INPOP and performed fits of this model to nearly 5 decades of lunar laser ranging (LLR) data using constraints from the NASA GRAIL gravity field data. This model (ephemeris) is now among the few most accurate models describing the lunar positional and rotational states, giving access to the knowledge of the dynamic interior structure of the Moon. My contributions include new constraints for the geometry of the lunar core-mantle boundary and the use of LLR data for performing fundamental tests of the principle of equivalence at the scale of the Earth-Moon system.

    Publications

    Refereed

    Mazarico, E., X. Sun, J.-M. Torre, et al. C. Courde, J. Chabé, M. Aimar, H. Mariey, N. Maurice, M. K. Barker, D. Mao, D. R. Cremons, S. Bouquillon, T. Carlucci, V. Viswanathan, F. G. Lemoine, A. Bourgoin, P. Exertier, G. A. Neumann, M. T. Zuber, and D. E. Smith. 2020. "First Two-way Laser Ranging to a Lunar Orbiter: infrared observations from the Grasse station to LRO’s retro-reflector array ." Earth, Planets and Space (In Press) [Full Text (Link)] [10.1186/s40623-020-01243-w]

    Viswanathan, V., N. Rambaux, A. Fienga, J. Laskar, and M. Gastineau. 2019. "Observational constraint on the radius and oblateness of the lunar core-mantle boundary." Geophysical Research Letters 46 [10.1029/2019GL082677]

    Viswanathan, V., A. Fienga, O. Minazzoli, et al. L. Bernus, J. Laskar, and M. Gastineau. 2018. "The new lunar ephemeris INPOP17a and its application to fundamental physics." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 476 1877-1888 [10.1093/mnras/sty096]

    Courde, C., J. M. Torre, E. Samain, et al. G. Martinot-Lagarde, M. Aimar, D. Albanese, P. Exertier, A. Fienga, H. Mariey, G. Metris, H. Viot, and V. Viswanathan. 2017. "Lunar laser ranging in infrared at the Grasse laser station." Astronomy & Astrophysics 602 A90 [10.1051/0004-6361/201628590]

    Non-Refereed

    Viswanathan, V., A. Fienga, M. Gastineau, and J. Laskar. 2017. "INPOP17a planetary ephemerides." Notes Scientifiques et Techniques de l'Institut de mécanique céleste S108 [Full Text (Link)] [10.13140/RG.2.2.24384.43521]

    Courde, C., J.-M. Torre, E. Samain, et al. G. Martinot-Lagarde, M. Aimar, D. Albanese, N. Maurice, H. Mariey, H. Viot, P. Exertier, A. Fienga, and V. Viswanathan. 2017. "Satellite and lunar laser ranging in infrared." Proceedings of the SPIE Conference on Photon Counting Applications, 2017 10229 UNSP 102290K [10.1117/12.2270573]

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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