NASA Logo Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology View the NASA Portal
NASA Banner
NASA Banner
NASA Banner
NASA Banner
JPL Science
JPL Science Division Home
Planetary Science Planetary Science
Earth and Planetary Atmospheres
Geophysics & Planetary Geosciences
Asteroids, Comets & Satellites
Planetary Chemistry and Astrobiology
Planetary Ices
Astrophysics & Space Sciences Astrophysics & Space Sciences
Earth Science Earth Science
Directorate Science Affiliates Directorate Science Affiliates
Open Postdoc Positions Open Postdoc Positions
Brochures Brochures
 Planetary Chemistry and Astrobiology: People
Alberto Behar's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 321-220
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Curriculum Vitae:

Alberto Behar

Alberto Behar has over 20 years of experience in planetary flight projects and research and development of extreme environment robotics and instruments for planetary (including Earth) science and engineering applications.

  • PhD, Electrical Engineering, Astronautics Minor, USC (1998)
  • MS, Computer Science with a Specialization in Robotics, USC (1994)
  • MS, Electrical Computer & Systems Engineering, RPI (1992)
  • BS, Computer and Information Engineering Sciences, University of Florida (1990)
  • Airline Transport Helicopter Pilot and Instructor, Turbine & Instrument Rated
  • Commercial Airplane Pilot, Multi-Engine & Instrument Rated
  • Aircraft and Powerplant Certified Mechanic
  • Rescue/Scientific/Nitrox/Cavern SCUBA Diver
  • Emergency Medical Technician I, LA County (1996), Wilderness Medicine Cert. (1997)

Research Interests

Developing, testing and deploying architectures for future planetary surface spacecraft in remote extreme environments on Earth.


Mars Odyssey Icon Mars Odyssey
In its extended mission, Mars Odyssey continues to map chemical elements and minerals on the surface of Mars and to monitor changes at the surface for another Mars year.

MSL - Mars Science Laboratory Icon MSL - Mars Science Laboratory

The Curiosity rover landed at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. It is designed to search for and assess past or present habitable environments, i.e., those capable of supporting microbial life.

Professional Experience
  • NASA , Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1991-Present)
  • Institute for Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS), Tokyo, Japan (1998-1999)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (1990)
  • Bell Communications Research, Red Bank, NJ (1989)

Selected Awards
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL DAN Instrument Development and Science Team (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award. MSL Mission System Development Team (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Payload System Management Team (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Project Operations Team (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Science Office Development and Operations Team (2013)
  • One NASA Award (2005)
  • Mission Architect Development Program (2002)
  • JPL Award for Exceptional Technical Excellence (2001)
  • NOVA Award MUSES-C Electronics Team (2000)
  • NASA Graduate Student Researchers Fellowship at JPL (1992 - 1996)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Mars Science Microrover Demo (1992)

Selected Publications
  1. Stam CN, M Cooper, AE Behar, A Neal. Characterization of the Microbial Community Structures Associated with Ocean Polymers. 5th International Marine Debris Conference. (2011).
  2. Cooper M, CN Stam, AE Behar, K Venkateswaran. Evaluation of the Molecular Diversity of samples collected using a Hydrothermal Vent Biosampler (HVB). 2010 Ridge 2000 Community Meeting. October 29-31, 2010. Portland, OR, USA.
  3. Behar AE, CN Stam, G Scalzi, S Behncke, F Gomez, K Venkateswaran. Characterization of the Molecular Diversity of Rio Tinto using a novel Hydrothermal Vent Biosampler. AbSciCon, League City, TX. (2010).
  4. Davies AG, DQ Tran, L Mandrake, K Boudreau, J Cecava, AM Vargas, A Behar, S Chien, R Castaño, S Frye, D Mandl, L Ong, P Kyle, R Wright. The Model-Based Volcano Sensor Web: Progress in 2007. Paper A7P3. NASA Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO) Conference, College Park, MD. (2008).
  5. Litvak ML, IG Mitrofanov, YI Barmakov, A Behar, A Bitulev, Y Bobrovnitsky, EP Bogolubov, WV Boynton, SI Bragin, S Churin, AS Grebennikov, A Konovalov, AS Kozyrev, A Krylov, Kurdumov, Y P Kuznetsov, AV Malakhov, MI Mokrousov, VI Ryzhkov, AB Sanin, VN Shvetsov, GA Smirnov, S Sholeninov, GN Timoshenko, TM Tomilina, DV Tuvakin, VI Tretyakov, VS Troshin, VN Uvarov, A Varenikov, A Vostrukhin. 2008. The Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) Experiment for NASA 2009 Mars Science Laboratory. Astrobiol. 8: 605 - 612 (2009).
  6. Aððalgeirsdðóttir G, T Murray, A Smith, M King, K Makinson, K Nicholls, A Behar. Tidal influence on Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica: observations of surface flow and basal processes from closely-spaced GPS and passive seismic stations. J. Glaciol. 54: 715 - 724 (2008).
  7. Boudreau K, JR Cecava, A Behar, AG Davies, DQ Tran, AA Abtahi, DC Pieri. Autonomous triggering of in situ sensors on Kilauea Volcano, HI, from eruption detection by the EO-1Spacecraft: Design and operational Scenario. Eos Trans. AGU, 88(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract V11C-0753 (2007).
  8. Christoffersen P, S Tulaczyk, FD Carsey, AE Behar. A quantitative framework for interpretation of basal ice facies formed by ice accretion over Subglacial sediment. J. Geophys. Res. 111: F01017 (2007).
  9. Smith A, T Murray, KW Nicholls, K Makinson, G Adalgeirsdottir, A Behar, D Vaughan. Rapid erosion, drumlin formation and changing hydrology beneath an Antarctic ice stream. Geology. 35: 127 - 130 (2007).
  10. Siegert MJ, A Behar, M Bentley, D Blake, S Bowden, P Christoffersen, C Cockell, H Corr, DC Cullen, H Edwards, A Ellery, C Ellis-Evans, G Griffiths, R Hindmarsh, DA Hodgson, E King, H Lamb, L Lane, K Makinson, M Mowlem, J Parnell, DA Pearce, J Priscu, A Rivera, MA Sephton, MR Sims, AM Smith, M Tranter, JL Wadham, G Wilson, J Woodward. 2007. Exploration of Ellsworth Subglacial Lake: a concept paper on the development, organization and execution of an experiment to explore, measure and sample the environment of a West Antarctic subglacial lake. Rev. Environ. Sci. Biotechnol. 6: 161 - 179.
  11. Steffen K, R Huff, A Behar. Arctic Warming, Greenland Meltand Moulins. Eos Trans. AGU, 88 (52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract G33B-1242 (2007).
  12. Smart MC, BV Ratnakumar, A Behar, LD Whitcanack, J-S Yu, M Alamgir. 2007. Gel polymer electrolyte lithium-ion cells with improved low temperature performance. J. Power Sources. 165: 535 - 543 (2007).
  13. Behar A, J Matthews, K Venkateswaran, J Bruckner, J Jonsson. A deep sea hydrothermal vent bio-sampler for large volume in-situ filtration of hydrothermal vent fluids. Cahiers Biol. Marine J. 47: 443 - 447 (2006).
  14. Behar A, F Carsey, A Lane, H Engelhardt. The Ice-Borehole Probe: The art of borehole imaging has been extended to cold, wet, high-pressure environments. NASA Tech. Briefs (2006).
  15. Steffen K, JH Zwally, JA Rial, A Behar, R Huff. Climate variability, melt-flow acceleration, and ice quakes at the western slope of the Greenland ice sheet. Eos Trans. AGU, 87(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract U22A-01 (2006).
  16. Behar A, C Raymond, J Matthews, E Means. The JPL PAUSE Aerobot. International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Waikoloa, HI. (2005).
  17. Behar A, F Bruhn, J Matthews, E Means. Using JPL Micro-imagers for the Johnson Space Center International space station cell growth experiment. IEEE Int. Conference on Information Reuse and Integration, Waikoloa Village, HI. (2006).
  18. Behar A, J Bruckner, K Venkateswaran, J Matthews. The Hydrothermal Vent Biosampler (HVB) Developed to Collect 'Pristine' Samples (<6.5km depth, 400C, 0.2u pore) for Microbial Analyses. It's use in Eyjafjordur Fjord, Iceland & Myojin Knoll & Planned deployment on the Myojin Knoll & Suiyo Seamount. Eos Trans. AGU, 87(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS31B-1645 (2006).
  19. Bruhn FC, FD Carsey, J Köhler, M Mowlem, CR German, A Behar. MEMS enablement and analysis of the miniature autonomous submersible explorer. IEEE J. Oceanic Eng. 30: 165 - 178 (2005).
  20. Vogel SW, S Tulaczyk, B Kamb, H Engelhardt, F Carsey, A Behar, A Lane, I Joughin. Sub-glacial Conditions During and After Stoppage of an Antarctic Ice Stream: Is Reactivation Imminent? Geophys. Res. Lett. 32: L14503 (2005).

Group Home Page
People in this Group
Group Projects

JPL Privacy Statement Sitemap Email Contact Form