Rob Russell

Rob Russell
Remote Sensing Engineer, Software Developer, Hardware Integrator
+491799479168 +14102028701
Elisabethenstr. 3
88212 Ravensburg
Programming Languages
Written many data acquisition programs in C++ for our instruments
C is a fundamental language that I have used in our custom software
A high level language that I’ve used for data processing and visualization for our LIDAR data
Used often in the scientific field
Bash Scripting
A necessary tool
Javascript / PHP / HTML / CSS / mySQL
Experience with making database driven websites for years
Visual Basic
Used a lot years ago, it’s out of style
Not used often due to rare use cases
If you are impressed with this, then we might have some negotiating to do
ASM (Assembly, x86)
I’ve used this mostly embedded in C code for speed in low level hardware functions
VHDL / Verilog
Some FPGA programming for constructing a custom board necessitated becoming familiar with both
Software Proficiency
Linux administration and authoring low level drivers
Linux user since the 1990’s, most software development at NASA I did was Linux based, which included writing and troubleshooting drivers as well as our data acquisition software
All standard office suite applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, etc)
Including years of using MS Access for database development
SciPy / Python Numpy and associated suite
Used on a daily basis for LIDAR data analysis and processing
GNU GCC and Associated Tools and IDE's
On Linux, it is essential to know how to use GCC along with IDE’s such as Eclipse, Netbeans, KDevelop, or QTCreator
Occasional use, particularly with an ice penetrating RADAR from NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and data analysis
Used in a product manufacturing setting, 3D modeling
Visual Studio
Used for C++ / Visual Basic
Endurance in Remote Locations
Spent – in total – years in remote, sometimes harsh locations (Greenland, Antarctica, remote Alaska, etc)
Troubleshooting and repairing under pressure
With limited resources, working in non-ideal conditions, and repairing instruments under pressure
Quickly evaluating options and decision making
Often it is necessary to make decisions quickly based on current information (or lack thereof) when in a situation under pressure.
Learning new things quickly, and adapting to changes
Either you are good at this, are you aren’t
Stong Work Ethic
Working in the field is tough. 16 hour work days, one after another, is a challenge that not everyone can handle
English (Speaking, Writing, Reading)
Native English speaker from the USA
German (Speaking)
I’m not perfect, but have a lot of experience in conversational settings
German (Reading)
I can understand the majority of German text, depending on the context. And there is always Google.
German (Writing)
Speaking is easier than writing, as writing has to be completely proper.
Reading, yes. I am not fluent.
Understandable, but would be helpful if Thor was nearby.

I’m a remote sensing engineer with almost 18 years collaborating with NASA – building, testing, and flying with remote sensors all around the world in various aircraft.  I was part of a team that has done continuous measurements of ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic since 2001 – as well as other LIDAR mapping projects around the world.  I’ve done many other programming / engineering jobs simultaneously, just have a read!

I consider myself a person that has a wide field of experience in different areas, and I am constantly adapting to new challenges and ideas.

Hochschule Ravensburg-Weingarten, Weingarten, Germany2003-2006

Completed a Masters degree in Mechatronics

Credits Earned: 90 Semester hours 

Relevant Coursework, Licenses and Certifications:

Advanced Control Theory, Robotics, Automation, Engineering Mechanics, Process Interface Equipment, Electric Drives, Microsystems, Modern Materials, and Space Systems Technology. Master’s thesis entitled “Synthetic Scenario Generation for the Military Obstacle Warning System”, which was performed at EADS Deutschland, now owned by AirBus.

Salisbury University, Salisbury MD, USA1997-2001

Completed a Bachelors Degree

Credits Earned: 141 Semester hours

Major: (Triple Majors) : Physics (Microelectronics track), Computer Science, Mathematics

Relevant Coursework, Licenses and Certifications:

Microcomputer Organization, Mathematical Physics, Electric Circuits and Electronics, Astrophysics and Stellar Astronomy, Differential Equations, Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Digital Electronics, Software Engineering, Quantum Mechanics, Analog Electronics, Microprocessor Architecture, Operating Systems, Linear Algebra, Data Base Management Systems, Semiconductor Physics, Advanced Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis, Systems Software, Microcomputer Interfacing, Dynamics and Chaos Theory, Object Oriented Software, Discrete Math, Math Foundations of Computer Science, Geometric Structures.

Graduated with triple Majors, two officially recognized by the university due to policy.


Student Pre-Bachelors
Worwic Community College1997-1998

Worwic Community College, Salisbury, MD United States

Credits Earned: 34 Semester hours

Work Experience
Remote Sensing Engineer / Consultant
Consultant for SSAI / Sigma Space / NASA2009- December 2018

Responsible for developing, testing, and deploying of aircraft integrated scientific instruments

  • Served on many missions in remote locations for various earth science and environmental research projects
  • Continued development, design and implementation of an airborne LIDAR data acquisition system (ATM-4,5,6) at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Wallops Island, VA
  • Traveled to and measured glaciers and ice sheets annually in various Arctic and Antarctica locations for NASA recently under “Operation Ice Bridge” from the NASA DC8, NASA P3B, and NASA Falcon aerial platforms
  • Acted as team leader during various deployments
  • Continued the development of processing software for the waveform based ATM LIDAR data
  • Responsible for in-field data processing and processed product presentation for NASA scientists and NASA media officials during deployments
  • Responsible for the development and implementation of a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) version of the existing ATM-4 transceiver and datasystem (uATM), which supersedes original ATM
  • Flew several hundreds of hours during missions consisting primarily of collecting data for environmental science in extremely remote locations
  • Was involved in mission logistics, flight planning, and instrument installation and de-installation both on base and in the field
  • Responsible for instrument and Laser repair and maintenance during deployments
CEO & Developer
MusicLynx UG2009-2011

Founded an Online Music Distribution Company

  • Met with and arranged contracts with most music labels in a Caribbean country for distribution in an array of online media
  • Designed and implemented a commercial website for direct sale and distribution of thousands of music tracks to individual customers worldwide in four languages (English, German, Spanish, and French)
  • Responsible for marketing in Europe and North America
  • Responsible for all website design, implementation, maintenance, and catalog updates
  • Coded all back-end for converting thousands of music tracks to different formats for download
  • Obtained rights to hundreds of artists for public access, many of them never published online before
Executive Director
RUDEC Germany2009-2015

Founded the non-profit organization RUDEC (Rural Development Centre) Germany

  • Organized the creation of the administrative panel of the nonprofit organization
  • Registered the organization as a legal entity within Germany
  • Created a financial support network to pay for education, medical costs, daily necessities, and renewable farming for orphan children in the Belo region of Cameroon
  • Cooperated with the head of RUDEC Cameroon to organize future projects, attract volunteers, locate financial sponsors, and raise awareness of the organization’s activities
  • Successfully made a real impact on the lives of very impoverished children in Belo, Cameroon
Software Developer
EADS Deutschland GmbH2005-2006

Responsible for developing and implementing a simulator of an advanced flight instrument developed by EADS for military helicopter installations using previous LIDAR experience from working at NASA

  • Developed a software simulator of the ‘Military Obstacle Warning System’ (MilOWS) LADAR for system testing preceding production. This simulator provided a modeled output of the hardware system to be used for algorithm testing and instrument qualification prior to production
  •  Modeled low level sensor operation and statistical behavior when interacting with synthetic models of objects such as hanging wires and poles
  • Utilized existing recorded navigation data to simulate aircraft flight and sensor operation in user defined scenarios
  • Wrote Masters Thesis based on the theory and implementation of the simulator, which resulted in a new set of qualifications for the instrument before manufacturing
Remote Sensing Engineer
Employee / Consultant for NASA / EG&G Technical Services / URS2001-2009

Responsible for developing, testing, and deploying of aircraft integrated scientific instruments

  • Served on many missions in remote locations for various earth science and environmental research projects
  • Continued development, design and implementation of an airborne LIDAR data acquisition system (ATM-4) at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Wallops Island, VA
  • Traveled to and measured glaciers and ice sheets annually in various Arctic locations as well as Antarctica and the Americas for NASA, USGS, Army Corps of Engineers, and other domestic and foreign government agencies
  • Continued the development of extendable large-scale data processing software which combined GPS, aircraft attitude, and ATM-4 instrument sensor data for the creation of scientific topographic maps
  • Wrote software for steering an entire aircraft via pseudo ILS signals coupled to an autopilot, which is used extensively in the NASA P3B N426NA and NASA DC8 N817NA during scientific missions
  • Developed instrument software for detecting submerged oil slicks using an ultraviolet LIDAR system for the US Coast Guard
  • Developed GPS and spectrometer data acquisition software for a UAV platform using miniaturized hardware
  • Flew many hundreds of hours during missions consisting primarily of collecting data for environmental science in often extremely remote locations
  • Was involved in mission logistics, flight planning, and instrument installation and de-installation both on base and in the field
  • Responsible for instrument repair and maintenance during deployments
Network Administration and Technical Specialist
Alutech United1994-2001

Administrated the company network, developed manufacturing and inventory database software, CAD drafting of products, creation of marketing materials, and general software development

  • Promoted from product manufacturing and field installation of products to final position of network administrator, draftsman, and hardware trouble-shooter during the course of employment
  • Developed company-wide database software encompassing product sales, product fabrication, raw materials inventory, order flow control, job planning and costing, web integration, and customer information
  • CAD modelling, created 2D and 3D models of manufactured parts and assemblies for product specification and marketing materials
  • Designed all marketing publications
  • Served as a company representative across the USA and in Germany at a very young age
Airborne Lidar Topographic Mapping of the Dry Valleys

W.B. Krabill, E. Frederick, S. Manizade, C. Martin, R. Mitchell, R. Russell, J. Sonntag, R. Swift and J. Yungel; page 93; REVEAL: Remote Views and Exploration of Antarctic Lithosphere Workshop: The future of Antarctic Airborne Geophysical Capabilities Workshop Report; 2003

Exploracion Aerea de los Glaciares del Mar de Amundsen y la Peninsula Antartica
Boletin Antartico Chileno2003

Acuna, C., G. Casassa, H. Couyoumdjian, A. Rivera, R. Sinclair, C. Teitelboim, W. Abdalati, W. Krabill,

E. Frederick, S. Manizade, R. Russell, J. Sonntag, R. Swift, R. Thomas, J. Yungel, T. Akins, S. Gogineni, P. Kanagaratnam and E. Rignot. 2003.Boletin Antartico Chileno, V. 22, N. 1, p. 33-35.

Improved Estimation of the Mass Balance of Glaciers Draining into the Amundsen Sea Sector of West Antarctica from the CECS/NASA 2002 Campaign
Annals of Glaciology2004

E. Rignot, R. Thomas, P. Kanagaratnam, G. Casassa, E. Frederick, S. Gogineni, W. Krabill, A. Rivera, R. Russell, J. Sonntag, R. Swift and J. Yungel; Annals of Glaciology; 2004.

Accelerated Sea-Level Rise from West Antarctica,
Science Magazine2004

R. Thomas, E. Rignot, G. Casassa, P. Kanagaratnam, C. Acuna, T. Akins, H. Brecher, E. Frederick, P. Gogineni, W. Krabill, S. Manizade, H. Ramamoorthy, A. Rivera, R. Russell, J. Sonntag, R. Swift, J. Yungel, and J. Zwally; Science; 8 October 2004; 206: 255-258

Airborne Topographic Mapper Calibration Procedures and Accuracy Assessment
NASA Technical Memorandum2012

Chreston F. Martin, WIlliam B. Krabill, Serdar S. Manizade, Rob L. Russell, John G. Sonntag, Robert N. Swift, and James K. Yungel; NASA Technical Memorandum; 28 February 2012


Group Achievement Award” for “12 Years of Outstanding Polar Ice Sheet Mapping”

National Science Foundation2005

Antarctic Service Medal of the United States of America


Wallops Flight Facility 2010 Peer Award for Science (ATM Team)


NASA Wallops Robert L. Krieger Award


“Group Achievement Award” for “Exceptional achievement in support of NASA’s Icebridge Campaign”


NASA Wallops Robert L. Krieger Award


NASA Wallops Robert L. Krieger Award


If you’ve made it this far, then you must be interested!  Here are some of my hobbies.

I enjoy retro games, and old hardware that runs them.  I have always been a computer enthusiast, and generally video games as well.

I love fixing hard problems (not the easy ones), so my natural tendency is to gravitate to the more difficult things to fix instead.  Like fixing a broken laser, or a Commodore 64 that won’t boot, or finding that one line of code that will make everything work.

I am an avid reader – I enjoy anything ranging from fantasy to historical non-fiction.  I have built two telescopes from scratch (including the primary mirror) – needless to say I am a fan of astronomy.  I enjoy the outdoors – camping, hiking, kayaking, and crabbing.

I enjoy taking on projects just for fun – some examples include SDR (software defined radio), 3D printing, beer making, Tesla coils, potato guns, Beowulf clusters, FPGA’s, AI training for currency trading, designing and implementing websites, building radiation counters, building computers, and programming for personal enjoyment.

I’ve also enjoyed going on motorcycle tours, wine tours, skiing and snowboarding, diving (I’m a certified diver), photography, acting (in an amateur theater group and TV commercials), blogging, and traveling as often as possible.