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S. Sona  Hosseini's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-601
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

S. Sona Hosseini

Dr. Sona Hosseini has led many instrumentation projects, in which she mentored over 50 students in astronomy studies and instrument development. Hosseini’s interest in astronomy was initiated when she was seven years old on a school field trip to NASA Houston Center when she was living with her family in San Antonio, TX. She built her first telescope in Junior High and moved on to building amateur dark room cameras, and grating spectrometers. Her passion led her to actively get involved in amateur astronomy projects and work with university professors and astronomy graduate students on various cosmology and astronomy projects. Her apparatuses and measurements from the central and western sites in Iran during her B.S. and M.S. pioneered sky brightness measurements for Iran National observatory sites in which her report was used and cited in more than 16 countries. During her Ph.D. program in the US, she developed the theoretical architecture of the reflective Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometers (SHS) and lived on Mt. Hamilton, 2010-2014 to construct and investigate the field capability of reflective SHS coupled to Cassegrain telescopes to study comets. Since joining JPL, Hosseini has conducted numerous study reports to develop future mission apparatuses to study extended faint astrophysics and planetary targets such as planetary exospheres, atmospheric tails and Aurora, IPM and ISM. In JPL, she is mentoring three JPL undergrad and graduate students in her lab where she is developing a multi-channel, miniaturized and monolithic NUV-SHS instrument for SmallSats and CubeSats. Her revision on field-widened reflective SHS to increase the sensitivity to more than five times is her latest patent submission to Caltech

  • 2008 – 2015, Ph.D., Engineering Applied Science, College of Engineering, University of California Davis, CA.
  • 2008 – 2010, M.S. in Science, Engineering Applied Science, College of Engineering, University of California Davis, CA.
  • 2005 – 2006, M.S. in Science, Physics, and Astronomy, University of Zanjan, Iran.
  • 2000 – 2004, B.S. in Physics, Physics, and Minor in Atomic Physics, University of Isfahan, Iran.

Research Interests

Science research interest:

  • Role of water in Solar System formation and evolution
  • Cometary science and evolution,
  • Planetary atmospheres, and formation
  • Exoplanetary atmospheres,

Instrumentation and technology research interest:

  • Next generation of miniaturized high resolution spectrometers
  • High spectral resolution Spectrometers and Interferometers, UV-VIS-IR

Professional Experience

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2015 - Present)

  • JPL research and Instrument Scientist,
  • Leadership and management of the next generation JPL miniaturized high-resolution spectrometry lab and team
  • Co-advisor of Aerospace Engineering undergraduate course in the University of Michigan

University of California Davis (2008-2015)

  • Graduate Student Researcher Department of Engineering Applied Science,

University of Zanjan (2005-2006)

  • Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Physics

Community Service
  • Roadmap to Ocean Words (ROW) committee member (2016 - Present)
  • SPIE  Scholarship Committee member (2017 – present)
  • SPIE  Future Leaders Committee member (2012 - 2015)
  • Division of Planetary Science Subcommittee on Professional Climate Committee member (2015 - Present)
  • SPIE Publication Committee member, student representative (2012 - Present)
  • Committee Chair, SPIE  Future Leaders Committee (2014- 2015)
  • Member of the International UNESCO Committee "Optics Under 40" for the International Year of Light 2015 (2014 - 2015)
  • Organizer of the Grad Student and Postdoc Social Event for Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) meetings (2010-2014)
  • AGU (American Geophysical Union) Planetary Sciences Session Student Survey Facilitator (2012-2014)
  • UC Davis Information Technology Committee member (2012-2015)
  • Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) Discoveries in Planetary Science Slide, translator to Farsi (2012-2013)
  • UC Davis OSA/SPIE Chapter Officer,  UC Davis, CA
  • Organizer of the public viewing of the transit of Venus, SPIE/ OSA student chapter, UC Davis Campus, CA (2012)
  • Organizer of the Solar Annular Eclipse Viewing, SPIE/ OSA student chapter, Black Butte Lake, CA (2012)
  • Organizer of the Applied Science Exhibition and Laser Maze event, UC Davis Picnic Day, UC Davis, CA (2011-2013)
  • AGU Planetary Science Education Working Group member (2012- Present)
  • AGU (American Geophysical Union) Planetary section student representative (2012 -2015)
  • UCD Graduate Student Association Representative at UCD Distinguished Teaching Awards Committee, UC Davis, CA (2010 - 2012)
  • UC Davis OSA (Optical Society of America)/SPIE Chapter President,  UC Davis, CA (2011-2012)

Selected Awards
  • NASA Earth And Space Science Fellowship (NESSF), Planetary Sciences Category  (2013-2015)
  • Young Scholar Award, Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage (APSIH), UCLA, CA (2014)
  • Graduate Dissertation Award, Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage, UCLA, CA (2014)
  • John Kiel Scholarship in Optics and Photonics for Potential of Long Term Contribution in Optical Sciences to Optics Society sponsored by SPIE (2012)
  • Golden Key International Honor, University of California Davis, CA (2009)

Selected Publications
  1. Hosseini,  Sona, "Tunable Reflective Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer: A Technique for High Resolving Power, Wide Field Of View Observation Of Diffuse Emission Line Sources", Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California Davis, July (2015).
  2. Hosseini, Sona, Harris, Walter, “Khayyam, a tunable spatial heterodyne spectroscopy (SHS): first calibration and visible-wavelength observations”, Proc. SPIE 9147, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V, 91478L (July 8, 2014); doi:10.1117/12.2055862
  3. Hosseini, Sona, Harris, Walter, Corliss, Jason, " Khayyam: a tunable spatial heterodyne spectrometer for observing diffuse emission line targets ", Proc. SPIE 8446, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 84464K (October 5, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.925513;
  4. K. J. Meech, M. F. A’Hearn,, "EPOXI: Comet 103P/Hartley 2 Observations from a Worldwide Campaign", The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 734: L1 (9pp), June 10 (2011)
  5. Kasting, James; Traub, W., et al. , "Exoplanet Characterization and the Search for Life", Astro2010: The Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey, Science White Papers, no. 151 (2011)
  6. Hosseini, S. Sona, Corliss, Jason, Harris, Walter, "A Second Generation Tunable Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer for Ground-Based Observations of Diffuse Emission Line Targets", Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (FTS) proceeding,  (2011)
  7. Hosseini,  Sona, Harris, Walter, "Khayyam: a second generation tunable spatial heterodyne spectrometer for broadband observation of diffuse emission line targets", Proc. SPIE 8146, 814617 (2011)
  8. Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi, Hosseini, S. Sona, “On the Existence of Energetic Atoms in the Upper Atmosphere of Exoplanet HD209458b”, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 709, Issue 2, pp. 1284-1296 (2010)
  9. Hosseini, S. Sona, "Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Sky Brightness for Site Selection of Large Observatories", Master’s Thesis, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran, July (2006)
  10. Hosseini, S. Sona, “Investigation of Extra solar system planets: existence and formation“, Bachelor's Thesis, Isfahan Univ., Isfahan, Iran, July (2004)
  11. Hosseini, S. S., Gong, A., Ruth, D., Baldis, H., and Harris, W., “Tunable Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy (TSHS): A New Technique for Broadband Visible Interferometry”, Optical and Infrared Interferometry II. Edited by Danchi, William C.; Delplancke, Françoise; Rajagopal, Jayadev K. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 7734, June (2010)

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