JPL DESCANSO - Deep Space Communications and Navigation Center of Excellence



Scott Shaffer

Scott Shaffer received a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering in solid state, microwaves, and quantum electronics in 1984, and he received an M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1986. Since joining the Radar Science & Engineering section at JPL in 1986, Scott Shaffer has worked on several airborne and spaceborne missions in a variety of roles.

On Phoenix, Mars Exploration Rover (MER), and Pathfinder, Mr. Shaffer served as the cognizant engineer for the landing radar altimeters, working closely with venders to design, test, and deliver the flight sensors to assembly, test, and launch operations (ATLO). He also worked closely with the Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) team to insure proper utilization of the radars during landing.

When not landing radars on Mars, Mr. Shaffer has been a member of the system engineering team for several projects including Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR), Cassini, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), Spaceborne Imaging Radar C (SIR-C), Magellan, and NASA Scatterometer (NSCAT). As a system engineer, he has established requirements, performed design trades, and verified radar system performance throughout instrument development and checkout. He has also written software to optimize radar configuration for data collection and analyze flight radar data to assess instrument health and performance during the mission.

When not working on flight projects, Mr. Shaffer also served as a principal investigator for a JPL research and technology development task for high power spaceborne radar transmitters. He co-authored the Multimosaic software suite, which automatically matches and mosaics large overlapping radar data sets, and he wrote the MDX image display software that displays data in a variety of formats to aid in data analysis.

Currently, Mr. Shaffer is a member of the Integration and Test team for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Terminal Descent Sensor (TDS). His responsibilities include maintaining the overall Test verification matrix for the sensor, as well as being the radar representative to the project Field and ATLO test teams.

Author or co-author of the following article(s) of the DESCANSO Design & Performance Summary Series - Telecommunications: