Lockheed Martin Scientist Awarded Hale Prize for Solar Research
SUNNYVALE, CA, 06-JUL-01 -- Dr. Alan M. Title, Principal Scientist at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto has received the Hale Prize from the American Astronomical Society. The award, an Honorary Prize in memory of George Ellery Hale, is conferred once every two years to a scientist for outstanding contributions, over an extended period of time, to the field of solar astronomy. The Hale Prize is an endowed prize that comes with a certificate, a medal, and an honorarium. Dr. Title is the first recipient of the prize to be associated with a private company. The citation, issued on June 7, 2001 at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Pasadena, reads: For exceptional leadership in developing multiple high resolution telescopes and interpreting their data to advance our understanding of the Sun, and for his generous public service on behalf of the solar and solar terrestrial communities.
In August 2000, Alan Title was presented a NASA Public Service Award for outstanding science achievement and vital contributions to NASA's scientific research programs. Dr. Title has been with the company since 1971. He currently is the US Principal Investigator responsible for development of the Focal Plane Instrument Package on the Japanese Solar-B mission. The primary goal of the Solar-B mission, scheduled for launch in 2005, is to understand the physical processes responsible for dynamics and heating of the outer solar atmosphere. The Focal Plane Instrument Package for the Solar-B optical telescope will provide precise measurements of the vector magnetic field, vertical and horizontal flow dynamics, and thermal conditions upwards from the solar photosphere into the chromosphere.
The Solar-B mission is a Japanese project with significant instrument development and scientific support from NASA and the United Kingdom. It is a successor to the Yohkoh (Solar-A) mission for which LM developed the SXT instrument that continues to provide excellent data on the evolution of the solar cycle.
He is also the Principal Investigator for NASA's solar telescope on the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) mission. The TRACE telescope was developed under Title's direction at the ATC. Since its launch on April 1, 1998, TRACE has provided millions of images that reveal activity in the solar atmosphere in stunning detail and include the first detailed observations of a magnetic energy release, called a magnetic reconnection.
TRACE also enables study of the evolution of events, such as massive flarings and huge eruptions, in the Sun's atmosphere. These events originate at the Sun's visible surface, the photosphere, and travel upward through its atmosphere (chromosphere and transition region) and then into its super-hot corona before speeding out into space, sometimes towards Earth.
Additionally, Title serves as a Co-Investigator responsible for the Michelson-Doppler Imager (MDI) science instrument on the NASA-European Space Agency Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). MDI, also designed and built at the ATC, uses optical techniques to measure shaking at the visible surface of the Sun that yields insight into activity and structure deep in the solar interior. Dr. Title's research has centered on Solar magnetic and velocity fields, on optical interferometers in particular ultra narrow optical filters, on high-resolution observations using active and adaptive optical systems, and on data analysis systems for image analysis. Additionally, he has led the development of ground and space based instruments for solar physics research. Prior to coming to Lockheed, Alan Title was a Research Associate at Harvard University from 1967-71 and a National Academy of Sciences Research Fellow at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from 1966-67.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures, and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.