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Chris is an applied physicist with expertise in the physics fundamentals of X-ray spectroscopy and its application to geo-chemical in situ planetary exploration. As a Scientist employed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Chris serves as an X-ray spectroscopy subject matter expert and Science Operations Manager for the Planetary Instrument of X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL) team.
Chris has contributed to two NASA missions that have sent rovers to Mars. On the first, Chris provided analytical expertise for analyzing data returned from the Curiosity Rover’s alpha-particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS). For the latter, Chris lent support to the integration and testing phase of the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL) as a subject matter expert. Chris is also a co-developer of the PIQUANT XRF Quantification software used by the PIXL team to analyze data returned from Mars and the Earth-bound flight equivalent instruments.
Chris’ scientific research focuses on developing analytical techniques and methods that improve the accuracy of using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy to analyze the composition materials. Chris also conducts research toward developing XRF instrumentation that might be utilized on future in situ planetary exploration missions. On a recent project Chris assessed the feasibility of using pyroelectric X-ray sources as an alternative to radioactive and electrically-driven tube X-ray sources.
Chris serves as an academic reviewer for articles written within the field of X-ray spectroscopy from journals: Icarus, the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, Advances in X-ray Analysis, Nuclear Instruments and Methods A and B and X-ray Spectrometry.
In the wake of the Perseverance Rover landing, Chris has participated in multiple interviews and has delivered several public talks to share his experience on the Mars 2020 mission.
Chris also lends his expertise in radiation and radiation detection as a reviewer for NASA proposals for technology and instrument development.