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Instruments and Science Data Systems: Contact 
Kenneth  Klaasen's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 306-392
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109


Kenneth Klaasen
Principal Engineer

  • B.S in Physics, 1968; Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
  • M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, 1969; University of Michigan

Research Interests
  • payload system engineering
  • instrument calibration
  • experiment planning
  • science mission operations


The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is currently exploring the ringed planet, Saturn, its mysterious moons, its stunning rings and its complex magnetic environment.

Professional Experience
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
    • Deputy PI, Stardust-NExT Mission. Lead for NAVCAM calibration and operations and science planning and operations for Tempel 1 comet encounter (2007-present)
    • Co-Investigator, EPOXI Mission. Lead for instrument calibration and science operations including detailed observation planning for Hartley 2 comet encounter (2007-present)
    • Europa and Titan Mission Payload System Engineer. Worked with science teams to define planning payloads and their resource and accommodation requirements for several studies including Europa Explorer, Titan Aerobot, Europa Orbiter, Jupiter System Observer, EJSM, TSSM, and EHM. Provided instrument AO input (2005-present)
    • Team X Instrument Chair. Provided instrument expertise for future mission studies; lead from 2005-2007, alternate now. Developed rapid scoping tools for cameras, SARS, spectrometers, and large telescopes plus payload management and SE cost models (2005-present)
    • Mission Proposal Science Support. Provided science and Co-I support to CSSR, Deep Interior, Eclipse, MARVEL, Icebreaker, DIXI, DeepR, Stardust-NExT, VALOR, CORE, and Proteus proposals (2004-2010)
    • Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Science System Engineer. Worked with science team to define measurement requirements traceability matrix, defined Level 2 requirements, developed science operations concepts/scenarios, supported payload accommodation activities, provided budget inputs (2003-2005)
    • Cassini Science Planning Technical Advisor. Developed processes for efficient science planning including support imaging, slew timing margin requirements, science sequence module definition. Served as operations CDR board member (2001-2003)
    • Co-Investigator, Deep Impact Mission. Science operations and instrument calibration lead. Developed observational scenarios and contributed to Project requirements documents. Science Operations Team lead (1998-2005)
    • Science System Engineer, Outer Planets/Solar Probe Project. Developed supporting material and resource allocations for instrument proposal AO for three missions (Europa Orbiter, Pluto-Kuiper Express, Solar Probe), led accommodation assessment of proposed instruments, developed science scenarios and requirements on spacecraft and mission, science operations team lead, developed science contract procurement plan (1998-2001)
    • Supervisor, Imaging Science Group, (Principal Engineer since 1998). Supervised group involved in remote sensing (primarily imaging and image spectroscopy) science planning and flight operations support and management and participation in advanced instrument and mission proposals. Member of the Galileo Imaging Science Team responsible for system engineering, inflight calibration, and leadership of the SSI flight operations team. Consultant to Stardust on NAVCAM contamination problem. Participated in design of CRAF/Cassini imaging system. Task Manager for PIDDP study of a Venus balloon-borne imaging system. Managed successful proposals for the Multi-Angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer for EOS and the Mars Volatiles and Climate Surveyor for Mars'98. Managed VEVA Venus balloon Discovery mission proposal (1984-2001)
    • Science Coordinator, Galileo Imaging Science Investigation, JPL. Primary science liaison between NASA-selected Imaging Science Team and the JPL Project. Active in instrument definition and development, science requirements specification, filter fabrication contract, mission planning, pre-launch instrument calibration, and operational planning. Managed budgets and support staff (1977-1984)
    • Experiment Representative, Viking Orbiter Visual Imaging System. Responsible for observation planning, data records validation, and instrument calibration (1975-1977)
    • Experiment Representative, Mariner 10 Imaging Investigation. Responsible for observation planning, sequence integration, and systematic image processing (1973-1975)
  • Bellcomm, Inc.
    • Member of Technical Staff, Bellcomm, Inc. Performed system engineering studies and served as technical consultant to NASA Headquarters for the Apollo program (1969-1972)

Selected Awards
  • NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals, 1998, 2006, and 2011
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 1994
  • Numerous NASA Group Achievement Awards

Selected Publications
Over 70 articles in refereed journals, including:

  1. "EPOXI at Comet Hartley 2," Science, 332, 6036, 1396-1400, 2011 (with M. A’Hearn, et al.)
  2. "Deep Impact Instrument Calibration," Review of Scientific Instruments, Vol. 79, No. 9, pgs 1-77, Sept. 2008 (with 15 co-authors)
  3. "Deep Impact: Excavating Comet Tempel 1," Science, 310: 258-264, 14 October 2005 (with M. A’Hearn, et al.)
  4. "An Overview of the Instrument Suite for the Deep Impact Mission," Space Science Reviews, 117 (1-2): 43, 2005 (with D. Hampton, et al.)
  5. "Expectations for Infrared Spectroscopy of 9P/Tempel 1 from Deep Impact," Space Science Reviews, 117 (1-2): 269, 2005 (with J. Sunshine, et al.)
  6. "Deep Impact: The Anticipated Flight Data," Space Science Reviews, 117 (1-2): 335, 2005 (with B. Carcich, et al.)
  7. "Operations and Calibration of the Solid-State Imaging System during the Galileo Extended Mission at Jupiter," Optical Engineering, 42(2), pp. 494-509, February 2003 (with H. Breneman, A. Simon-Miller, D. Banfield, and G. Levanas)
  8. "VEVA Discovery Mission to Venus: Exploration of Volcanoes and Atmosphere," Acta Astronautica, 52, pp. 151 – 158, 2003 (with R. Greeley)
  9. "Calibration and Performance of the Galileo Solid-State Imaging System in Jupiter Orbit," Optical Engineering, 38(7), pp. 1178-1199, July 1999 (with 11 others)
  10. "Galileo's First Images of Jupiter and the Galilean Satellites," Science, vol. 274, pp. 377-85, 18 October 1996. (with M. Belton, et al.)
  11. "The Galileo Solid-State Imaging Experiment," Space Science Reviews, Vol. 60, pp. 413-455, 1992. (with M. Belton, et al.)
  12. "Planetary Cameras," International Journal of Imaging Systems Technology, Vol. 3, pp 67-75, 1991. (with J. L. Anderson, S.A Collins, and T. H. Reilly)
  13. "MISR: A Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer for Geophysical and Climatological Research from Eos," IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 27, No. 2, 1989. (with D. J. Diner, et al.)
  14. "CCD Charge Collection Efficiency and the Photon Transfer Technique," SPIE Solid State Imaging Arrays Proceedings, Vol. 570, August 1985. (with J. Janesick and T. Elliott)
  15. "The CCD Television Camera for NASA's Galileo Mission to Jupiter," SPIE Instrumentation in Astronomy IV Proceedings, March 1982. (with M. C. Clary and J. R. Janesick) Also published Optical Engineering, 23, 1984.
  16. "Photometry of Phobos and Deimos from Viking Orbiter Images," JGR, 84, 1979. (with T. C. Duxbury and J. Veverka)
  17. "Inflight Performance of the Viking Visual Imaging Subsystem," Applied Optics, vol. 16, 1977. (with T. E. Thorpe and L. A. Morabito)
  18. "Mercury's Rotation Axis and Period," Icarus, 28, p. 73, 1976."
  19. "Acquisition and Description of Mariner 10 Television Science Data at Mercury," JGR, 80, 1975. (with G. E. Danielson and J. Anderson)

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