JPL DESCANSO - Deep Space Communications and Navigation Center of Excellence



Mr. Albert Whittlesey

Mr. Albert Whittlesey received a BS degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena) in 1962.

Mr. Whittlesey has spent his entire working career since graduation in the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Electromagnetic Compatibility organization, which is one group in the Reliability Engineering Office. In recent years he has been the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) Reliability Technical Lead for the EMC group. During this time, the EMC testing functions have changed from qualification-only test activities, to an additional pro-active early involvement with hardware designers; test instrumentation has been upgraded in terms of both test capability (e.g., greater frequency range, higher power amplifiers, added small radio frequency (RF) and microwave hardware, etc.) and computer test control, data acquisition, and data analysis for quicker and better test reports. A major milestone was the addition of a larger EMC test facility that now supplements that original smaller EMC test facility. There has been a corresponding greater early interaction with hardware and spacecraft designers to have both a better spacecraft architecture that supports better EMC (compatibility) as well as better subsystem design (making qualification testing results more likely to meet requirements). The other facet of that job is to determine programmatic EMC environments and convert them to environmental requirements documents.

Mr. Whittlesey's participation in the field of spacecraft charging includes electrostatic discharge (ESD) immunization programs for JPL's Voyager (1975), Galileo, Cassini, and Juno spacecraft (2011 launch). He has also consulted on spacecraft charging for several NASA and commercial organizations to help with ESD immunization of their satellites, and was involved in two major ESD upset analyses for other organizations. He was a co-author of the two heritage documents for this book: NASA TP-2361, Design Guidelines for Assessing and Controlling Spacecraft Charging Effects (for surface charging) and NASA-HDBK-4002, Avoiding Problems Caused by Spacecraft On-Orbit Internal Charging Effects (for internal charging).

Mr. Whittlesey has published numerous technical papers in the field of EMC and in spacecraft charging/ESD effects. He is a member of the IEEE and its Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Society Subgroup (Life Member), is a National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers (NARTE)-certified EMC Engineer, and a member of Sigma Xi. He is a co-author of a NASA Technical Brief on Control of ESD on Paint Surfaces. Finally, Mr. Whittlesey has received several NASA Honor Awards including a NASA Exceptional Service Medal for ESD support to the Voyager, Magellan, and Galileo programs; and a NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal for his leadership in EMC and ESD.

Co-Author of Volume 3 of the JPL Space Science and Technology Series:

Guide to Mitigating Spacecraft Charging Effects