The Catholic University of America

Dr. Peter C. Chen 

Positions

• Astrophysicist, Heliophysics Division, Code 671, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
• Adjunct Research Professor, Dept. of Physics, The Catholic University of America;
• President, Lightweight Telescopes, Inc.
 

Address

Code 671
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Email: peter.c.chen@nasa.gov, peterchenmd@gmail.com
 

Education

B.S. Math. & Physics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Ph.D. Astronomy, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
 

Professional Experience

2011-2016 PI, NASA Grant NNGPL10A “Large Area Very Low Scattering Surfaces For Heliophysics Missions”
2010-2011 PI, LUNAR (U Colorado) Grant “Material Development and Characterization for Instruments, Support Structures, and Large Aperture Astrophysical Observatories on the Moon”, Co-Is M.E. Van Steenberg, P. Lowman (NASA GSFC)
2010-2011 PI, LUNAR (U Colorado) Grant “Scalable Superconductor Bearing Systems for Lunar Telescopes – Design and Proof of Concept”.  Co-Is P Lowman, D. Rabin  (NASA GSFC)
2008-2010 PI, NASA Grant NNX08AN38G 2008-2010 ‘Long Term Stability of Supersmooth Composite Mirrors in Ambient Environment and in Vacuum’
2003-2005 Co-PI, NSF grant AST-0320784 “Collaborative Research: Development of an Ultra Lightweight-Technology Telescope for Ground-Based Research in Optical Astronomy." PIs R. Romero and P. Chen.  Collaborators B. Twarog, B. Anthony-Twarog, S. Shawl, R. Taghavi,  R. Hale (U Kansas), R. Fesen (Dartmouth), R. Leach, P. Etzel (SDSU).  
2003-5  Consultant, NASA SBIR Topic S1.06 Phase II program “Pixelized Device Control System”,  G. Knowles, QorTek Inc., PI.
2002  PI, NRA-01-OSS-04   Lightweight, Ultra Smooth Mirrors for TPF and Related Missions.
2000–2003 CoI & Technical Lead, NRA-00-OSS-06 Gossamer Spacecraft Exploratory Research and Technology “Fabrication and Testing of Lightweight Large Aperture Mirrors With Smooth Surfaces and High Optical Quality”, R.J. Oliversen, PI.
1999-2001   CoI & Technical Lead, NASA Cross-Cutting Technology Large Lightweight Mirror   Technology for use at Visible and Near-IR Wavelengths (S.G. Neff, PI)
1998-2001 Co-I & Technical Lead, NRA-97-OSS-01 Ultra Lightweight Composite Telescopes (S.G. Neff, PI)
1997-1998 Co-I and Technical Lead, NRA-96-OSS-04 Ultra Lightweight Optics with Silicon & Boron Carbide Coatings For Space UV Astronomy (R. Polidan, PI)
1996-1997 Co-I and Technical Lead, NRA-95-OSS-09 Active Lightweight Optics for Space UV Missions (C. Bowers, PI)
1995-1996 Co-I and Technical Lead, NRA-94-OSS-07 Very Lightweight Mirrors For Space Astronomy (A.M. Smith, PI).
1983-1995 Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope project (T. Stecher, PI) for Astro-1 & 2 Missions flown 12/90 & 12/95, resp. Member of science planning, instrumentation, science operations, and data analysis teams.  Designed, helped built, and programmed the UIT Dedicated Experiment Processor.  Participated in mission control and post-flight analysis of data.
1979-1983 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Astronomy, U. of Texas at Austin


Major Accomplishments

• Invented process for fabrication of active and adaptive optical mirrors using smart materials (patents pending)
• Invented process for fabrication of optical mirrors using nano-composites materials (patents pending)
• Invented processes for making extremely low reflectance carbon nanotube coatings for telescopes and space radiators.
• Invented lunar telescope using ultra lightweight replica optics and high temperature superconductors. (US Patent issued 4/93).
• Developed new processes for the fabrication of ultra lightweight optical telescopes by  replication using fiber reinforced composite materials..
Professional Society Memberships
• American Astronomical Society
• SPIE
• OSA


Publications

• Chen, P.C., Rabin, D.M. (2014) “Smart Materials Space Telescopes” Accepted for presentation at the SPIEConf. on SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation to be held 22 - 27 June 2014 in Montréal, Quebec Canada.  Paper Number: 9143-192. Presentation Date: 22 June 2014 6:00 PM
• Chen, P.C., Rabin, D.M. (2014) “Composite Telescope Technology” Accepted for presentation at the SPIE Conf. on SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation to be held 22 - 27 June 2014 in Montréal, Quebec Canada.  Paper Number: 9151-109. Presentation Date: 25 June 2014 6:00 PM
• Chen, P.C., Rabin, D.M., Chamberlain, P.C. (2012) “Perpetual Power On the Moon” Presented at the Central Pennsylvania Astronomers’ Conference, Carlisle, PA Apr 21.
• Chen, P.C., Lowman, P.D., Rabin, D.M. (2011) “A Telescope on the Moon Using Moon Dust and Superconductors”, presented at the 5th Annual NASA Lunar Science Forum held at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.
• Chen, P.C., Rabin, D.M., Lowman, P.D. (2011) “HTS and Moon Dust – Key Ingredients for Lunar Science, Infrastructure, and Space Exploration”, Proc. 1st Int. Conference on Lunar Superconductor Applications, Texas Ctr. For Superconductivity, U. Houston.
• Chen, P.C., Lowman, P.D., Van Steenberg, M.E. (2010) “Moon Dust Telescopes, Solar Concentrators, and Structures or, Fun with Lunar Regolight Simulants”, presented at the 4th Annual NASA Lunar Science Forum held July 19-21 at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
• Chen, P.C. (2010) “Graphite Fiber Nano-Composite Mirror Technology” in Lightweight Alt-Az Telescope Developments, Ed. R. Genet, J. Johnson & V. Wallen, Collins Foundation Press.
• Chen, P.C., Van Steenberg, M.E. and Rabin, D.M. (2010) “A Scalable Superconductor Bearing System for Lunar Telescopes and Instruments”, AAS Meeting #215, #481-02.
• Chen, P.C., Van Steenberg, M.E. and Oliversen, R.J. “Moondust Telescopes, Solar Concentrators, and Structures”, AAS Meeting #212, #25-07, BAAS 40, p223.
• Chen, P. C., R. G. Lyon, and M. E. Van Steenberg. "Optical design and in situ fabrication of large telescopes on the Moon." Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation: Synergies Between Ground and Space. International Society for Optics and Photonics, 2008.
• Schultz, A. B.; Lyon, R.; Jordan, I.; Bruhweiler, F.; Kochte, M.; Rodrigue, M.; Bennum, D.; Chen, P.; Cheng, K.-P. (2008) “Exploring Alien Solar Systems from the Moon” NLSI Lunar Science Conference, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, LPI Contribution No. 1415, abstract no. 2047.
• Chen, P.C. and Hale, R. (2007) “Large Aperture Nanocomposite Deformable Mirror Technology”, Proc. SPIE 6721, 67210R-1.
• Chen, P.C., Knowles, G.J. and Shea, B.G. (2006) “Adaptive Optics System with Deformable Composite Mirror and Hig Speed, Ultra-Compact Electronics” AAS Meeting #208, #55.03, BAAS 38, p135.
•  Jordan, I. ,Henze, P., Sauter, G., Hart, H., Schultz, A., Kochte, M., Chen, P., Cash, W. (2006) “Optically Scaled Occulter Data Analysis” AAS Meeting #208, #56.03.
• Chen, P.C. & Romero, R. (2003), “Advances In Composite Mirror and Telescope Technology”, Proc. SPIE 5382  2nd Backaskog Workshop on Extremely Large Telescopes, 397-403.
• Bennett, H.E., Shaffer, J., Romeo, R.C., and Chen, P.C. (2003), “Ground-Based Adaptive Optic Transfer Mirrors For Space Applications: I. Design and Materials”, in Beamed Energy Propulsion: First International Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion. AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 664, 582-592.
• Bennett, H.E., Shaffer, J., Romeo, R.C., and Chen, P.C. (2003) “Development of lightweight mirror elements for a very large astronomical adaptive optic primary mirror”, Proc. SPIE 4840, 258-272.
• Bennett, H.E., Shaffer, J., Romeo, R.C., and Chen, P.C. (2003) “Ground-Based Adaptive Optic Transfer Mirrors For Space Applications: II. Composite Prototype Mirror” in  Beamed Energy Propulsion: First International Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion. AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 664, pp. 593-607.
• Chen, P.C., Carpenter, K.G. and Romeo, R.C. (2003) “A novel process to fabricate mirrors with very long radius and ultra smooth surfaces”, Proc. SPIE 4854, 21-28.
• Romeo, R.C. and Chen, P.C. (2002) “CFRP composite thin-shelled mirrors for future space telescopes”, Proc. SPIE 4849, pp. 86-93.
• Romeo, R.C. and Chen, P.C. (2003) “Ultra-lightweight 4-meter segmented composite mirrors for extremely large telescopes”, Proc. SPIE 4840, 332-339.
• Chen, P.C. and Romeo, R.C. (2002) “A Novel Approach to the Fabrication of Non-Circular, Apodized Aperture, Ultra-Smooth Mirrors for Exo-Planet Detection”, Proc. SPIE 4860, 351-360.
• Chen, P.C., Oliversen, R.J. and Romeo, R.C. (2002) “Fabrication and Testing of Ultra Lightweight Gossamer Class Composite Mirrors”, Proc. SPIE 4849, pp. 339-347.
• Chen, P.C., Romeo, R.C. and Neff, S.G. (2001) “Progress in Composite Mirror Technology” Proc. SPIE Opto-SW Jan 2001, #SW01-125.
• Chen, P.C. and Romeo, R.C. (2001) “Graphite fiber strengthens lightweight mirrors”, Laser Focus World May 2001, 193-197.
• Romeo, R.C., Meinel, A.B., Meinel, M.P. & Chen, P.C. (2000) “Ultra-lightweight and Hyper-thin Rollable Primary Mirror For Space Telescopes” in Proc. SPIE 4013, 634-639.
• Kondo, Y., Terzian, Y., Chen, P.C., Mendell, W.W. and Oliversen, R.J. (2000) “You Can See Forever From the Moon”, Artemis Magazine, summer 2000 issue #2, 14-17.
• Chen, P.C. and Romeo, R.C. (2000) “Ultra Lightweight Precision Optics Technology”, Proc. SPIE 4003, 396-405.
• Chen, P.C. and Romeo, R.C. (2000) “Ultra Lightweight Optical Technology For Small Space Missions” in Proc. 4th IAA International Conf. On Low-Cost Planetary Missions, Johns Hopkins U. May 2000, paper IAA-L-1001P.
• Chen, P.C., Bowers, C.W., Content, D.A., Marzouk, M. & Romeo, R.C. (2000) “Advances In Very Lightweight Composite Mirror Technology”, Opt. Eng. 39(9), 2320-2329. 
• Chen, P.C., Oliversen, R.J. & Y. Kondo (2000) “A First Generation Lunar UV Observatory”, SPACE 2000, Proc. Space 2000: The 7th International Conference and Exposition on Engineering, Construction, Operations, and Business in Space, Eds. S.W. Johnson, K.M. Chua, R. Galloway & P. Richter, Am. Soc. Civil Eng. 712-718.
• Hadjimichael, T., Chen, P.C., Chen, A. and Bowers, C.W. (2000) “A New Lightweight Active Optics Technology”, AAS Conf. 195,  #138.04
• **Kondo, Y., Terzian, Y., Chen, P.C. & Mendell, W.M. (1999) “The Moon- A Unique Site For Astronomy”
• Murphy, G.; Buzasi, D.; Brown, T.; Chen, P. (1999) “The Balloon-Launched Asteroseismology Telescope (BLAST)”, BAAS 31, p.836.
• Chen, P.C., Romeo, R.C. & Neff, S.G. (1999) “Composite Mirror Technology” in Proc. Backaskog Workshop on Extremely Large Telescopes, ed. T. Andersen, A. Ardeberg & R. Gilmozzi, 144-151.
• P.C. Chen, R.A.M. Keski-Kuha, C.W. Bowers, and R.C. Romeo. "Development and Status of a New Optical Technology for UV Space Astronomy, in Ultraviolet-Optical Space Astronomy Beyond HST," ASP Conf. Series  v1, Eds. J.A. Morse, J.M. Shull and A.L. Kinney, pp459-4 (1999)
• P.C. Chen, R.J. Oliversen, and Y. Kondo,  "A First Generation Lunar Ultraviolet Observatory, in Ultraviolet-Optical Space Astronomy Beyond HST," ASP Conf. Series  v1, Eds. J.A. Morse, J.M. Shull and A.L. Kinney, pp289-296 (1999)
• Chen, P.C., Bowers, C.W., Content, D.A., Marzouk, M. & Romeo, R.C. (1999) "Advances In Very Lightweight Composite Mirror Technology" submitted to Opt. Eng.
• Chen, P.C. & Romeo, R. (1998) "Fabrication And Testing Of Very Lightweight Composite Mirrors", in Space Telescopes & Instruments V, Proc. SPIE 3356, eds. P-Y. Bely & J.B. Breckinridg, 938-945.
• Chen, P.C., Saha, T.T., Smith, A.M., & Romeo, R. (1998) "Progress In Very Lightweight Optics Using Graphite Fiber Composite Material", Opt. Eng. 37(2), 666-676.
• Chen, P.C., Oliversen, R.J., Hojaji, H., Chu, W.K. & Wislon, T.L. (1994) "An Ultra-Lightweight Advanced Technology Telescope For Space Applications", Space IV: Proc. of Space '94, 2, R.G. Galloway & S. Lokaj, eds., Amer. Soc. Civil Eng., 1422-1430.
• Chen, P.C., Cornett, R.C. et al. (1992) "Ultraviolet Observations of the ScI Galaxy NGC628 (M74)", ApJ. 395, L41.
• Stecher, T.P., Baker,  Chen, P.C., et al. (1992) "The Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope: Design and Performance", ApJ. 395, L1.