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Dr. Sona Hosseini is a planetary scientist and a technologist who studies low-density gas environments in our solar system and beyond; she conceptualizes innovative technology to enable novel fundamental measurements in future NASA missions.
Hosseini’s interest in astronomy was initiated on a school field trip to NASA Houston Center when she was seven. She ground the mirrors, built her first telescope in junior high, and moved on to building darkroom cameras and grating spectrometers later in high school and college; she used all for her projects and observing the night sky and solar eclipse. Her ground-based sky brightness measurements from the central and western sites in Iran during her B.S. and M.S. pioneered sky brightness measurements for Iran’s national observatory sites - her report was used and cited in more than 20 countries.
Hosseini has over a decade of hands-on experience developing Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometry (SHS) technology. During her graduate program at the University of California Davis, she developed a visible-SHS for detecting Sodium D-lines (5889.95Å and 5895.92Å doublet) at Mt. Hamilton over four years, 2011-2015 and pioneered the mathematical and analytical analysis for the cyclical SHS technique. Hosseini has led numerous studies to simulate and study low-density gas environments in our solar system, such as exospheres, cometary tail and coma, space weathering, and planetary atmospheres. She enjoys working with students and has mentored over 60 students in astronomy science modeling studies and instrument hardware development and is active in outreach events by giving presentations to students in schools and her local community clubs.
Hosseini is the recipient of the 2022 NASA Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship (RTF) award for her research on reforming Astrophysics Far-UV science investigation and developing new technologies to fill the current measurement and science gaps. Her recent publication, “Implications of surface roughness in models of water desorption on the Moon,” was featured in NASA and JPL press releases. Before that, Hosseini received the 2020 SPIE Early Career Achievement Award; her publication, “Characterization of Cyclical Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometers for Astrophysical and planetary studies,” was selected for the Applied Optics March 2019 Issue cover.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2015 - Present)
University of California Davis (2008-2015)
Developing next generation of miniaturized high-resolution spectrometers in UV & Visible wavelength ranges for space missions to study: