Solar System Exploration Division

Dennis C Reuter


Dennis C Reuter's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.286.2042
Org Code: 693
Mail Code 693
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Research Interests


Earth Science: Remote Sensing

Expertise in spacecraft and aircraft remote sensing instrument design.  Principal Investigator on high-resolution infrared laboratory spectroscopic studies of planetary and astrophysical species. Expertise in the fields of atmospheric and surface radiative transfer and remote sensing, microwave and infrared molecular spectroscopy, tunable diode laser (TDL) spectroscopy, Fourier transform spectroscopy, and infrared astronomy.  Analyzed spectra in terms of comprehensive quantum mechanical models to obtain molecular parameters of astronomical and theoretical interest.  Analyzed astrophysical data to obtain structural information (e.g. composition, temperature etc.) from planetary asteroidal and cometary bodies.  Developed techniques for retrieval of atmospheric and surface parameters from infrared and microwave radiance data obtained from polar orbiting and geostationary earth satellites.  Well over 100 refereed publications.

Current Projects


Remote Sensing

Lucy Mission: Instrument PI for the L’Ralph instrument which includes MVIC (Multi-spectral Imaging Camera) a CCD based 6 filter imager and LEISA (Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array) a wedged filter based 0.95 to 3.95 μm spectral imager using a H2RG HgCdTe detector array. Science team Co-I. Launched in October 2021, Lucy will travel to the Trojan objects that orbit in the L4 and L5 Jupiter Lagrange areas and flyby 6 Trojans. L’Ralph will provide compositional and geometric data that will provide clues to the initial formation and subsequent evolution of the solar system.  

OSIRIS-Rex: Mission Instrument Scientist/PI for the OVIRS (OSIRIS-REx Visible and InfraRed Spectrometer), a wedged filter based 0.4 to 4.3 μm point spectrometer using an H1RG HgCdTe detector array. Science team Co-I. Launched in September 2016. During close approach operations in 2019, this spectrometer has produced maps of the surface composition and characteristics of the asteroid Bennu that are providing clues to its formation and that have helped guide sample site selection.

Landsat 8/9 Missions: Instrument Scientist for the TIRS (Thermal InfraRed Sensor). A two channel (10.9 and 12 μm) band filter based thermal IR imager using QWIP arrays. Science team Co-I. Landsat 8 was launched in February 2013 and Landsat 9 was launched in September 2021. Since their launches L8 and L9 TIRS data have been used for a variety of applications including soil moisture and crop health monitoring, large ice sheet dynamics in the Antarctic, volcanic subsurface magma flow monitoring, and the identification of possible sources of insect borne diseases.

New Horizons: Ralph Project Scientist and LEISA Instrument Scientist. Ralph includes a 5 filter MVIC and a 1.25 to 2.5 μm LEISA using a PICNIC HgCdTe detector array. Science team Co-I. Launched in January 2006, flew-by the Pluto system in July of 2015 and flew by Kuiper Belt Object Arrokoth in January 2019. Ralph data from the flybys have revolutionized our understanding of the processed occurring on these objects, and of the formation history and evolution of the Kuiper Belt and the broader solar system.

EO-1 Mission: Principal Investigator for the LEISA/Atmospheric Corrector (LAC). EO-1 was a tech-demo mission on the New Millennium Earth Observing spacecraft. Science team Co-I. Launched in November 2000, data from EO-1 demonstrated that the filter-based LEISA was a viable technology for obtaining space based hyperspectral images.


Astrophysicist with emphasis on Planetary Studies

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

1987 - Present

Space Scientist

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

1984 - 1987

Visiting Scientist

University Space Research Association - Greenbelt, MD

1983 - 1984

Special Consultant

Sigma Data Services - Goddard Space Flight Center

1982 - 1983

Resident Research Associate

National Research Council - Goddard Space Flight Center

1980 - 1982


Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 1981
B.S., Chemistry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 1974 (cum laude)

Professional Service

Applied Optics, Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Astrophysical Journal, Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy, Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, Planetary and Space Science, Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, SPIE (Session Chairman, 2005 San Diego Conference).



2020 NASA/GSFC John C. Lindsay Memorial Award for Space Science

  2019            Chosen as a Goddard Senior Fellow

  2018                    NASA Distinguished Service Medal

  2016                    Finalist, Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies)

  2014                    NASA/GSFC Exceptional Achievement for Leadership Award

  2012                    NASA/GSFC Robert C. Bauman Award for Mission Success         

  2007                    NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal

  2006                    Asteroid 4706 named Dennisreuter

  1984-2024           Numerous NASA Group Achievement awards        

  1984-2024           Numerous Goddard internal awards.

Selected Publications


2024. "A contact binary satellite of the asteroid (152830) Dinkinesh." Nature 629 (8014): 1015-1020 [10.1038/s41586-024-07378-0] [Journal Article/Letter]

2024. "The First Lucy Earth Flyby (EGA1)." Space Science Reviews 220 (1): 3 [10.1007/s11214-023-01034-1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "L’Ralph: A Visible/Infrared Spectral Imager for the Lucy Mission to the Trojans." Space Science Reviews 219 (8): 69 [10.1007/s11214-023-01009-2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "OSIRIS-APEX: An OSIRIS-REx Extended Mission to Asteroid Apophis." The Planetary Science Journal 4 (10): 198 [10.3847/psj/acf75e] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Phyllosilicate decomposition on Bennu due to prolonged surface exposure." Icarus 115809 [10.1016/j.icarus.2023.115809] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Overview of the search for signs of space weathering on the low-albedo asteroid (101955) Bennu." Icarus 115563 [10.1016/j.icarus.2023.115563] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Spacecraft sample collection and subsurface excavation of asteroid (101955) Bennu." Science 377 285-291 [10.1126/science.abm1018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Landsat 9 Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2) Stray Light Mitigation and Assessment." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 1-1 [10.1109/tgrs.2022.3177312] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Cross-Instrument Comparison of MapCam and OVIRS on OSIRIS-REx." Space Science Reviews 218 (2): 5 [10.1007/s11214-022-00873-8] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Composition of organics on asteroid (101955) Bennu." Astronomy & Astrophysics 653 L1 [Full Text] [10.1051/0004-6361/202141167] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Lucy Mission to the Trojan Asteroids: Instrumentation and Encounter Concept of Operations." The Planetary Science Journal 2 (5): 172 [10.3847/psj/abf83f] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Visible–near-infrared observations of organics and carbonates on (101955) Bennu: Classification method and search for surface context." Icarus 368 114579 [10.1016/j.icarus.2021.114579] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Spectrophotometric Modeling and Mapping of (101955) Bennu." The Planetary Science Journal 2 (3): 117 [10.3847/psj/abfd2d] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Derivation of the final OSIRIS-REx OVIRS in-flight radiometric calibration." Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems 7 (02): [10.1117/1.jatis.7.2.020501] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "The Role of Hydrated Minerals and Space Weathering Products in the Bluing of Carbonaceous Asteroids." The Planetary Science Journal 2 (2): 68 [10.3847/psj/abe76f] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "In search of Bennu analogs: Hapke modeling of meteorite mixtures." Astronomy & Astrophysics 648 A88 [10.1051/0004-6361/202140343] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Hydrogen abundance estimation and distribution on (101955) Bennu." Icarus 114427 [10.1016/j.icarus.2021.114427] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Spectral analysis of craters on (101955) Bennu." Icarus 357 114252 [10.1016/j.icarus.2020.114252] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Weak spectral features on (101995) Bennu from the OSIRIS-REx Visible and InfraRed Spectrometer." Astronomy & Astrophysics 644 A148 [10.1051/0004-6361/202039688] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Photometry of asteroid (101955) Bennu with OVIRS on OSIRIS-REx." Icarus 114183 [10.1016/j.icarus.2020.114183] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Widespread carbon-bearing materials on near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu." Science 370 eabc3522 [10.1126/science.abc3522] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Bright carbonate veins on asteroid (101955) Bennu: Implications for aqueous alteration history." Science 370 eabc3557 [Full Text] [10.1126/science.abc3557] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Asteroid (101955) Bennu’s weak boulders and thermally anomalous equator." Science Advances 6 (41): eabc3699 [10.1126/sciadv.abc3699] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Exogenic basalt on asteroid (101955) Bennu." Nature Astronomy 5 31 [10.1038/s41550-020-1195-z] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Prelaunch Radiometric Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Landsat Thermal Infrared Sensor 2." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 1-12 [10.1109/tgrs.2020.3008655] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "OSIRIS-REx spectral analysis of (101955) Bennu by multivariate statistics." Astronomy & Astrophysics 637 L4 [10.1051/0004-6361/202038144] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Visible–near infrared spectral indices for mapping mineralogy and chemistry with OSIRIS ‐ RE x." Meteoritics & Planetary Science maps.13461 [10.1111/maps.13461] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "OSIRIS‐REx visible and near‐infrared observations of the Moon." Geophysical Research Letters 46 2019GL083341 [10.1029/2019gl083341] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Evidence for widespread hydrated minerals on asteroid (101955) Bennu." Nature Astronomy 3 (4): 332-340 [10.1038/s41550-019-0722-2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Properties of rubble-pile asteroid (101955) Bennu from OSIRIS-REx imaging and thermal analysis." Nature Astronomy 3 (4): 341-351 [10.1038/s41550-019-0731-1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "In-Flight Calibration and Performance of the OSIRIS-REx Visible and IR Spectrometer (OVIRS)." Remote Sensing 10 (9): 1486 [10.3390/rs10091486] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "The OSIRIS-REx Visible and InfraRed Spectrometer (OVIRS): Spectral Maps of the Asteroid Bennu." Space Science Reviews 214 (2): 54 [10.1007/s11214-018-0482-9] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "OSIRIS-REx: Sample Return from Asteroid (101955) Bennu." Space Science Reviews 212 925-984 [Full Text] [10.1007/s11214-017-0405-1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Physical state and distribution of materials at the surface of Pluto from New Horizons LEISA imaging spectrometer." Icarus 287 229-260 [10.1016/j.icarus.2016.12.025] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "The Pluto system: Initial results from its exploration by New Horizons." Science 350 (6258): aad1815-aad1815 [10.1126/science.aad1815] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on Landsat 8: Design Overview and Pre-Launch Characterization." Remote Sens 7 (1): 1135-1153 [10.3390/rs70101135] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Pre- and Post-Launch Spatial Quality of the Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor." Remote Sens. 7 (2): 1962-1980 [10.3390/rs70201962] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Small-scale waves on Jupiter: A reanalysis of New Horizons, Voyager and Galileo data." Geophysical Research Letters 42 2612-2618 [10.1002/2015GL063433] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Stray Light Artifacts in Imagery from the Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor." Remote Sens. 6 (11): 10435-10456 [10.3390/rs61110435] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Radiometric Calibration Methodology of the Landsat 8 Thermal Infrared Sensor." Remote Sens. 6 (9): 8803-8821 [10.3390/rs6098803] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Landsat and Thermal Infrared Imaging (Chapter 9)." Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing: Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing 17 177-198 [10.1007/978-94-007-6639-6] [Article in Book]

2007. "Jupiter Cloud Composition, Stratification, Convection and Wave Motion: A View from New Horizons." Science 318 223-225. [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "New Horizons at Jupiter: Discovery of Polar Lightning and Decadal-Scale Cloud Variability." Science 318 226-228. [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "Detection of Formaldehyde Emission in Comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) at Infrared Wavelengths: Line-by-Line Validation of Modeled Fluorescent Intensities." The Astrophysical Journal 650 470 [Full Text] [10.1086/507118] [Journal Article/Letter]

2001. "A Survey of Organic Volatile Species in Comet C/1999 H1 (Lee) Using NIRSPEC at the Keck Observatory." The Astrophysical Journal 546 1183 [Full Text] [10.1086/318314] [Journal Article/Letter]

2001. "Organic Composition of C/1999 S4 (LINEAR): A Comet Formed Near Jupiter?." Science 292 1334 [Full Text] [10.1126/science.1058929] [Journal Article/Letter]

1988. "First Guess Dependence of a Physically Based Set of Temperature-Humidity Retrievals from HIRS2/MSU Data." J. Atm. Ocean. Tech. 5 70-83 [Journal Article/Letter]

1988. "The Effect of Line Mixing on Atmospheric Brightness Temperatures Near 15 µm." Appl. Optics 27 872-878 [Journal Article/Letter]

1987. "Cloud Fields Retrieved from Analysis of HIRS2/MSU Sounding Data." J. Geophys. Res. 92D 4035-4050 [Journal Article/Letter]

1987. "Satellite Observation of Atmospheric and Surface Interaction Parameters." Adv. Space Res. 7 111-119 [Journal Article/Letter]

1987. "Tunable Diode Laser Measurements of Formaldehyde Line Strengths and Foreign-Gas Broadening Parameters in the 9-11 µm Region." Appl. Optics 26 1641-1646 [Journal Article/Letter]

1986. "The v = 1 ← 0 Quadrupole Spectrum of N2." J. Mol . Spectrosc. 115 294-304 [Journal Article/Letter]

1985. "Retrieval of Sea-Surface Temperatures from HIRS2/MSU." J. Geophys. Res. 90C 11602-11608 [Journal Article/Letter]

1984. "Remote Sensing of Weather and Climate Parameters from HIRS2/MSU on TIROS-N." J. Geophys. Res. 89D 4657-4676 [Journal Article/Letter]

1983. "The 12 µm Band of Ethane: High Resolution Laboratory Analysis with Candidate Lines for Infrared Heterodyne Searches." Ap. J. 280 921-936 [Journal Article/Letter]

1983. "The 12 µm Band of Ethane: High Resolution Laboratory Analysis with Candidate Lines for Infrared Heterodyne Searches." Ap. J. 280 921-936 [Journal Article/Letter]

1983. "An Accurate Radiative Transfer Model for Use in the Direct Physical Inversion of HIRS2 and MSU Temperature Sounding Data." J. Geophys. Res. 88C 8550-8568 [Journal Article/Letter]

1982. "Diode laser spectra of the torsional splittings in the ν9 band of ethane: Torsion-vibration-rotation interactions and the barrier to internal rotation." J. Chem. Phys. 77 2728-2744 [Journal Article/Letter]

1982. "Diode Laser Spectrum of the Torsional Splittings in the v9 Band of Ethane: Torsion-Vibration-Rotation Interactions and the Barrier to Internal Rotation." J. Chem. Phys. 77 2728-2744 [Journal Article/Letter]

1982. "Infrared and Raman Spectra and Normal Coordinate Analysis of Boranediamine BH(NH2)2." J. Phys. Chem. 86 4737-4745 [Journal Article/Letter]


2023. "Thermal band observations of the May 2022 total lunar eclipse by the Landsat thermal infrared sensors." Infrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XXXI [10.1117/12.2682931] [Proceedings]

2019. "Landsat 9 Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 Spectral Response Test: Updates And Perspective." IGARSS 2019 - 2019 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium [10.1109/igarss.2019.8899118] [Proceedings]

2019. "Main-Belt Infrared Spectral Analogues for (101955) Bennu: AKARI and Spitzer IRS Asteroid Spectra." EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019 2019 EPSC-DPS2019-312 [Proceedings]

2018. "Landsat 9 Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 pre-launch characterization: initial imaging and spectral performance results." Earth Observing Systems XXIII [10.1117/12.2321084] [Proceedings]

2018. "Landsat 9 Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 Architecture and Design." IGARSS 2018 - 2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 8841-8844 [10.1109/igarss.2018.8518269] [Proceedings]

2018. "Landsat 9 Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 Subsystem-Level Spectral Test Results." IGARSS 2018 - 2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 8849-8852 [10.1109/igarss.2018.8518669] [Proceedings]

2018. "Landsat 9 Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 Preliminary Stray Light Assessment." IGARSS 2018 - 2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 8853-8856 [10.1109/igarss.2018.8519394] [Proceedings]

2018. "Landsat 9 Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 Characterization Plan Overview." IGARSS 2018 - 2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 8845-8848 [10.1109/igarss.2018.8518798] [Proceedings]

2015. "DARe: Dark Asteroid Rendezvous." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 46 2835 [Proceedings]

2013. "Preliminary on-orbit performance of the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on board Landsat 8." Proceedings of SPIE 8866 14 pp. [10.1117/12.2025650] [Proceedings]

2011. "Calibration Plan for the Thermal Infrared Sensor on the Landsat Data Continuity Mission." Proceedings of SPIE 8048 804813-804813-9 [10.1117/12.886473] [Proceedings]

2011. "The Operational Land Imager (OLI) the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM)." Proceedings of SPIE 8048 804812-804812-7 [10.1117/12.885963] [Proceedings]