I have a doctoral degree in Applied Mathematics (1994),
and have done research in such areas as geophysical fluid mechanics and general
relativity. Since 1996 I have been working in observational astronomy, with an
emphasis in minor solar system bodies, and in the development of algorithms and
software for the automation and efficient use of astronomical observatories.
For more information, see my curriculum
I have been observing minor bodies of the solar system
with CCD cameras and various telescopes since 1996. My observations have concentrated
on astrometric follow-up of NEOs and comets, and on searches for new minor bodies.
These searches have led to the discoveries of four comets, seven NEOs, and hundreds of
minor planets. More information about my published observations can be found
Several years ago, the need to automate and increase
the efficiency of my own astronomical observations led me to develop the
TAO (Tools for Automated Observing) software package. TAO includes
a telescope scheduler, an observatory control script (which executes
the scheduled observations and performs various other functions), and tools for
creating and maintaining target databases (with special tools to handle data about
minor solar system bodies). TAO has been used at various sites to obtain hundreds
of thousands of CCD images, which led to science results in different areas
of astronomy, including observations of exoplanet transits, follow-up of optical GRB
counterparts, determination of asteroid lightcurves, discoveries of asteroids, comets,
supernovae, and extragalactic novae. It has also been used by
to simulate 10 years of the project's solar system searches. More information about
TAO may be found here.
I have also developed SkySift, an image processing pipeline, which
automates the detection of moving objects in CCD images resulting from surveys for
new solar system objects or from minor planet/comet follow-up programs. This pipeline
has been used in the discoveries of several
NEOs, comets, and other unusual minor planets, along with hundreds of other recent
asteroid discoveries. It has also been extensively used in tens of NEO recoveries and
thousands of NEO follow-up observations.
I have extensive experience in developing software for the
automation of various tasks involved in the operation of automated observatories and
observational programs, from nightly observation planning to image acquisition and
processing and analysis of image data. I can provide custom programming services to
astronomical projects, and can also provide services in nightly observation planning,
remote observatory operation (through the internet), and data analysis. For more
information, please contact me.