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Dan Lobb wins RAeS Society Bronze Medal

Dan Lobb, Chief Optical Designer for SSTL’s Optical Payload Group, has been awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society’s (RAeS) ‘Society Bronze Medal’.
The medal, which is awarded for ‘work leading to advances or contributions in aerospace’ was presented at the society’s annual Brabazon lecture which took place at 4 Hamilton Place on the 7th November.
Dan Lobb receives his award Dan started his career at SIRA Institute Limited in the early 1960s where he worked on industrial and defence related programmes until, in the 1980s, he specialised in space-related optics. The space group of SIRA was acquired by SSTL in 2006 and Dan has acted as chief designer in the development of many innovative and successful optical instruments for SSTL missions since.

Dan invented the optical design of the CHRIS hyperspectral imager which is now in its 11th year of operation on the European Space Agency’s PROBA-1. CHRIS is one of the world’s leading space-borne hyperspectral instruments and provides simultaneous views of the Earth in many different wavebands, enabling a variety of features that would usually pass unnoticed to be identified and analysed.

It’s fair to say that Dan has played an absolutely pivotal role in the development of SSTL’s high resolution imaging instruments. Dan and his team were responsible for NigeriaSat-2’s imager, which provides very high resolution (2.5m) imagery from an orbit height of 700km for a fraction of the cost for which this capability was previously available.

Dan is currently working on the European Space Agency’s CarbonSat and Sentinel 5. Dan is also designing the imagers for the DMC3 satellites, currently under construction at SSTL, which will provide 1m resolution imagery at unparalleled cost per square kilometre, an ambitious task for small satellites because of the physical design constraints.  Dan’s skills as an optical designer are being fully used on this programme to ensure that a relatively small instrument will produce excellent quality imagery.

Dan always mixes innovation with sound technical development and consideration for affordability and robustness. His developments range from X-ray to infrared optics, from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to outer space satellite mission payloads and include advances in spectral resolution, spatial resolution and radiometric performance but the thing that all his missions have in common is that they provide exceptionally high quality scientific data.

Dan has become a widely respected reference among designers of optical instrumentation but has always been recognised as a great colleague- someone who always explains things in plain English and supports those less experienced.

All in all, a recognition well deserved- congratulations Dan!





27 November 20120 Comments1 Comment

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