NOTE: This page has not been updated significantly since 2004.

Leif Jon Harcke

Doctor of Philosophy (Electrical Engineering), Stanford University, 2005
Master of Engineering (Electrical), Cornell University, 1993
Bachelor of Science (Electrical Engineering), Cornell University, 1992

I am a graduate of the Space, Telecommunications, and Radioscience Laboratory (STARLab) within the Department of Electrical Engineering. After finishing doctoral studies, I was a visiting scholar in the Radar Remote Sensing Group through 2008. In January 2009, I re-joined the staff of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Radar Science and Engineering Section. My interests in the field of electrical engineering include remote sensing, radio propagation, communication systems, adaptive space-time signal processing, cryptology, and scientific computing.

My thesis research focused on radar astronomy, the study of which provides a stimulating mixture of electromagnetics, radio systems engineering, signal processing, and image processing. My dissertation topic involved imaging the surfaces of planetary bodies in the solar system which are thought to be composed of ices, such as the Jovian moons of Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, and the polar regions of Mercury and Mars. The facilities used in this research included the Goldstone Solar System Radar near Fort Irwin, California, the Very Large Array near Socorro, New Mexico, and the Arecibo Observatory near Arecibo, Puerto Rico. I also designed parallel computer clusters and implemented radar signal processing algorithms on these machines using Parallel Virtual Machine. You can query the NASA Astrophysics Data System Abstract Service for a list of conference abstracts related to this research.

After graduating from Cornell University with the B.S. and M.Eng. in electrical engineering, I worked in the Telecommunications Systems Section and the Communications Architectures and Research Section of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located in Pasadena, California. One of my last tasks before leaving for Stanford was radio telecommunications analysis for the Mars Pathfinder project, which landed a camera, weather station and a small robot on the surface of Mars on July 4, 1997. My previous tasks at JPL have included microwave systems analysis for the Technology Office of the Deep Space Network, and telecommunications analysis for the Galileo mission to Jupiter.

While pursuing undergraduate studies, I was a co-op intern at General Electric's Global Research Center near Schenectady, New York, where I worked in the Communication Systems Program of the Electronic Systems Laboratory. My tasks included developing computer simulations of adjacent channel interference in land-mobile radio systems, and assembling a hardware testbed for evaluating digital trunked radio systems, such as the public safety radio systems of Project 25.

I am a member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

When not working, I enjoy reading, ham radio, and programming.


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