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Robert Nelson Personal/Professional Page



Research Interests

  • Spectrophotometric and angular scattering properties of planetary regoliths
  • Spectral reflectance and luminescence of suspected planetary surface materials

Professional Experience

  • NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1978-2012)
    • Lead Scientist NASA’s New Millennium Program (2002-2006)
    • JPL Senior Research Scientist (2000-2012)
    • Research Scientist (1980-2000)
    • Project Scientist, Deep Space One Mission (1995-2004)
    • Team member, Cassini Project, Visual and Infrared Spectrometer (1990-Present)
    • Member, Development Team for roadmap for solar system exploration (1996-1998)
    • Member, NASA Space Physics Division, Mercury Orbiter Definition Team (1996-1998)
    • NASA Neptune Data Analysis program (1989-1993) o NASA Uranus Data Analysis program (1986-1989)
    • Voyager Project, Photopolarimeter Experiment Representative (1982-1990)
    • Guest Observer, NASA International Ultraviolet Explorer Spacecraft (1980-1988)
    • National Research Council Resident Research Associate (1978-1980)

Selected Awards

  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal
  • Eight Group Achievement Awards
  • JPL NOVA Award

Selected Publications

  1. Nelson, R. M. , B. W. Hapke, W. D. Smythe, L. J. Spilker, 2000. The opposition effect in simulated planetary regoliths. Reflectance and circular polarization ratio change at small phase angle. Icarus, 147, 545-558.
  2. Nelson, R. M. 2002. Mercury: The innermost planetary frontier, vol 2, 60-76. in the Encyclopedia of Space Science and Technology, Hans Mark ed. John Wiley.
  3. Soderblom, L.A., T. L. Becker, G. Bennett, D. C. Boice, D. T. Britt, R. H. Brown, B. J. Buratti, C. Isbell, B. Giese, T. Hare, M. D. Hicks, E. Howington-Kraus, R. L. Kirk, M. Lee, R. M. Nelson, J. Oberst, T. C. Owen, M. D. Rayman, B. R. Sandel, S. A. Stern, N. Thomas, R. V. Yelle, 2002. Observations of Comet 19P/Borrelly by the Miniature Integrated Camera and Spectrometer aboard Deep Space 1. Science, 296, 1087-1091.
  4. Nelson, R. M. , W. D. Smythe B. W. Hapke and A. S. Hale, 2002. Low phase angle studies of the opposition effect: Search for wavelength dependence. Planetary and Space Science, 50, 849-856.
  5. Brown, R. H., K. H. Baines, g. Bellucci, J. P. Bibring, B. J. Buratti, F. Capaccioni, P. Cerroni, R. N. Clark, A. Coradini, D. P. Cruikshank, P. Drossart, V. Formisano, R. Jaumann, Y Langevin, D. L. Matson, T. B. McCord, V. Mennella, R. M. Nelson, P. D. Nicholson, B. Sicardy, C. Sotin, A. Amici, M. A. Chamberlain, G. Filacchione, G. Hansen, K. Hibbits, and M. Showalter. Observations with the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) during Cassini's flyby of Jupiter, Icarus, 164, 461-470.
  6. Formisano, V., E. D'Aversa, G. Bellucci, H, H, Baines, J. P. Bibring, R. H. Brown, B. J. Buratti, F. Capaccioni, P. Cerrini, R. N. Clark, A. Coradini, D. P. Cruikshank, P. Drossard, R. Jaumann, Y. Langevin, D. L. Matson, T. B. McCord, V. Mennella, R. M. Nelson, P. D. Nicholson, B. Sicardy, C. Sotin, M. C. Chamberlain, G. Hansen, K. Hibbits, M. Showalter and G. Filacchione, 2003, Cassini-VIMS at Jupiter: Solar occultation measurements using Io. Icarus, 166, 75-84.
  7. Nelson, R. M., L. A. Soderblom and B. W. Hapke, 2004. Are the Circular, Dark Features on Comet Borrelly s Surface Albedo variations or Pits?, Icarus, 167, 37-44.
  8. Britt, D. T. , D. C. Boice, S. A. Stern, B. J. Buratti, R. M. Nelson, H. Campins, J. Oberst, B. R. Sandel, L. A. Soderblom, and N. Thomas, 2004. The morphology and surface processes of comet 19/P Borrelly. Icarus, 167, 45-55.
  9. Soderblom, L. A., D. C. Boice, D. T. Britt, R. H. Brown, B. J. Buratti, R. L. Kirk, M.Lee, R. M. Nelson, J. Oberst, B. R. Sandel, S. A. Stern, N. Thomas, and R. V. Yelle, 2004. Imaging Borrelly. Icarus, 167, 4-16.
  10. Nelson, R. M., M. D. Rayman, H. A. Weaver, 2004, The Deep Space 1 Encounter with comet 19P/Borrelly, Icarus, 167, 1-4. 11. Nelson, R.M., Brown, R.H., Hapke, B.W., Smythe, W.D., Kamp, L., and 22 other authors, 2006. Photometric Properties of Titan's Surface from Cassini VIMS: Relevance to Titan's Hemispherical Albedo Dichotomy and Surface Stability. Pl. Space Science 54, 1540-1551.

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