Dr. Richard L. Rairden,
Last updated: October 2002
E-mail: rick.rairden [at] lmco.com
Brief Biographical Information:
Rick Rairden joined Lockheed Martin in 1986 after receiving his PhD in Physics
at the University of Iowa, where he interpreted data from the Pioneer Saturn
and Dynamics Explorer missions. He works at the Space Physics Laboratory in Palo Alto.
Dr Rairden's research at Lockheed Martin centers around the detection
and analysis of low-light optical phenomena. He participates in the
development of innovative instrumentation for photometry, spectroscopy,
and imaging -- ground-based, airborne, and orbital. His field work
during the past decade includes campaigns to view passive natural phenomena
(aurora borealis, atmospheric airglow, lightning and red sprites), and
active experiments (barium release in magnetosphere, spacecraft glow effects
in low earth orbit, additional defense programs).
Current development work is on advanced technology infrared spectroscopy
for remote sensing of atmospheric pollutants and greenhouse gases.
Research on Leonid MAC:
Fabry Perot spectroscopy of meteors and high-resolution UV spectrocopy of meteors, in collaboration with Steve Mende.
The 1999 Leonid MAC mission has provided the most significant lower
limit to CN emission from Leonid meteors: less than half what would have been
expected if all oganic nitrogen is lost in the form of CN radicals.
Results were published in a paper in the
special issue Vol 82-83 of the journal Earth, Moon and Planets: "Leonid Storm Research".
I also contributed high spatial resolution imaging of the "Y2K" train, which helped determine
the trajectory of the fireball and the pattern of upper atmosphere winds. A second
paper in Vol 82-83 of Earth, Moon and Planets describes