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Geoffrey Landis

Geoffrey A. Landis is a scientist with the Ohio Aerospace Institute on permanent assignment to the Photovoltaics Branch of the N.A.S.A. Lewis Research Center. He has published over a hundred scientific papers in the fields of photovoltaics, power systems for space, and astronautics (see list), holds four patents on photovoltaic device designs, and organized and served as the technical chairman of the Vision-21 symposium on advanced concepts. His work on the Pathfinder project involves understanding the effect of Martian dust on the solar energy reaching the surface of Mars (see the Solar Energy on Mars web page, and learning how much dust deposits on the solar arrays. Geoffrey Landis received bachelors degrees in physics and in electrical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in physics from Brown University. He spent five years in the photovoltaic research group at Spire Corporation, where he participated in development of technology that lead to record efficiency silicon solar cells, and two years as a NRC Research Fellow at NASA Lewis. He is the author of 180 scientific papers, 4 patents, dozens of articles about model rocket technology, is a regular participant in Science Fiction Age magazine's "Science Forum", and has written 12 popular science articles, including "The Demon Under Hawaii," Analog, July 1992, winner of the AnLab reader's award for best science article. "After spending ten years doing research on solar-cell development, I now work at NASA, where I get to think about more interesting things. Some of the projects I've been involved with have been use of lasers to beam power to spacecraft, new designs for solar power satellites, ways to mine the resources of the moon and Mars, solar power systems for Pluto probes, and meteor protection for interstellar probes. At the moment, I'm the principal investigator of a project to fly a dust experiment to Mars on the 2001 Surveyor Lander, and also the principal investigator for a project to fly a photovoltaic testbed on the International Space Station.". In addition to his work at NASA, Landis has published over fifty science fiction short stories, including "Ripples in the Dirac Sea" which won the Nebula award for best short story in 1990, and "A Walk in the Sun" which won the Hugo award in 1992. His work has been translated into fourteen languages. He was also a member of the flight teams for the MIT Chrysalis and Monarch human-powered airplanes, and on planning team for the MIT Daedalus project.

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