JPL DESCANSO - Deep Space Communications and Navigation Center of Excellence



James S. Border

James S. Border received a B.A. in physics from the University of Iowa in 1974 and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, San Diego in 1979. After teaching one year at Northern Illinois University, he joined the Tracking Systems and Applications Section at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. James began his career working on the development of radio interferometric techniques for use in the navigation of deep-space probes. In the mid-1980s, he developed precise dynamic and measurement models for the tracking of satellites of the Global Positioning System by a network of ground stations for the purpose of geodetic research.

James has continued to work on the design and implementation of measurement systems for use in precise radio tracking of spacecraft. He is an expert in the areas of information content, measurement error modeling, and weak signal detection. As a co-investigator, he was able to apply these skills to the detection on Earth of the signal emitted by the Galileo probe as it descended into the atmosphere of Jupiter. This measurement added a valuable second profile to the wind measurement data obtained by the relay radio link from the probe to the Galileo orbiter, which was a billion times stronger. Recently, James has worked on the development of the ground tracking network that supports space-based radio interferometry, and will be supporting interferometric tracking of the upcoming missions to Mars.

James is a principal engineer in the Tracking Systems and Applications Section and is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.

Co-Author of Volume 1 of the Deep-Space Communications and Navigation Series:

Radiometric Tracking Techniques for Deep-Space Navigation