Science Team Leadership

Dr. Craig DeForest

Craig DeForestPrincipal Investigator

Southwest Research Institute


Ph.D. in Applied Physics, Stanford University, 1996

B.A. in Physics, Reed College, 1989


Leads the PUNCH team and is responsible for ensuring programmatic, technical, and scientific success in all aspects of the PUNCH mission.

Professional Background and Supporting Experience

Craig DeForest is Southwest Research Institute’s Program Director for solar astrophysics, and the Vice-Chair of the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Physics Division (AAS/SPD). He holds an adjunct professorship at the University of Colorado.

DeForest has studied the Sun, its corona, and the solar wind for over 30 years. His graduate studies at Stanford University (1989-1995) centered on the Multi-Spectral Solar telescope Array, a sounding rocket that helped pioneer EUV imaging of the solar corona. He was Resident Observer (at NASA/GSFC) for the Michelson Doppler Imager experiment on the SOHO mission from 1995-1999; during this time he explored dynamics of the corona and the limits of solar observing in the faint outer corona. Between 2000-2016, he led several ground and suborbital instrument development efforts including SHAZAM (a novel high-speed magnetograph), DASH (a ground-based demonstration heliospheric imaging observatory), and SSIPP (a balloon-borne miniature solar observatory). From 1999-2016, was Press Officer for the AAS/SPD, after which he stepped down to lead PUNCH.

DeForest is well known for his expertise in solar data analysis and reduction. He developed the analysis tools that enabled the current era of photometric heliospheric imaging, and has exploited them with a series of groundbreaking papers. Major milestones include: (1997) first detection of traveling waves in the solar corona; (2001) imaging of faint polar plumes to the limits of the LASCO field of view; (2009) demonstration that the EUV corona is more spatially variable than previously thought; (2011) first background-subtracted heliospheric images useful for feature photometry; (2012) first complete tracking from Sun to Earth of a single CME, and demonstration of the solar origin of CME plasma at Earth; (2014) sensitive detection of inbound features in the outer solar corona using 2-D velocity filtration; (2015) measurement of solar wind turbulence via comet tail tracking; (2016) detection of the breakup of coronal structure and transition to solar wind flow, 0.2 AU from the Sun; (2017) remote measurement of CME chirality, via 3D polarized imaging; (2018) discovery of very highly structured fine detail in the outer solar corona using deep-field campaign data from STEREO/COR2.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2018: The Highly Structured Outer Solar Corona, APJ 862, 18

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2017: 3D Polarized Imaging of CMEs: Chirality of a CME, APJ 850, 130

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2016: Fading coronal structure and the…young solar wind, APJ 828, 66

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2016: The utility of polarized heliospheric imaging for space weather monitoring, Sp. Wx. 14, 1.

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2015: Turbulence…Solar Wind...Comet Tail Test Particles, APJ 812, 108

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2015: Feasibility of Heliospheric Imaging from Near Earth, APJ 804, 126

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2014: Inbound waves … Alfvén surface location, APJ 787, 124

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2013: Tracking Features from the Low Corona to Earth, APJ 769, 43

Howard, T.A., Tappin, S.J., Odstrcil, D., & DeForest, C.E. 2013: The Thomson Surface. III: Tracking Features in 3D, APJ 765, 45

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2012: Disconnecting Solar Magnetic Flux, APJ 745, 36

Howard, T.A., & DeForest, C.E. 2012: The Thomson Surface. I: Reality & Myth, APJ 752, 130.

Howard, T.A. & DeForest, C.E. 2012: Inner Heliospheric Flux Rope Evolution via Imaging of Coronal Mass Ejections, APJ 746, 64

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2011: Detailed Structure in the Solar Wind ..., APJ 738, 103

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2001: Observation of Polar Plumes at High … Altitudes, APJ 546, 569

DeForest, C.E. et al. 2001: Polar Plume Lifetime and Coronal Hole Expansion, APJ 560, 490

Full CV

Dr. Sarah Gibson

Sarah GibsonProject Scientist

NCAR: High Altitude Observatory


Ph.D. in Astrophysics, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1995

M.S. in Astrophysics, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1993

B.S. in Physics, Stanford University, 1989

Professional Background

HAO Interim Director, 2019-2020

Senior Scientist/Section Head, NCAR/HAO, 2010 – present

Scientist, NCAR/HAO, 2001-2010

Research Assistant Professor The Catholic University of America, 1998-1999; 2000-2001

NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge, 1999-2000

NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, NASA GSFC,1996-1998


Karen Harvey Prize, for outstanding early career contributions


Organize and lead the PUNCH Science Team and interface between the Science Team and the PI. Track and maintain observing requirements driven by the Science Objectives.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Sarah Gibson examines solar drivers of the space environment, from short-term space weather drivers such as coronal mass ejections, to long-term solar cycle variation.

Dr. Gibson has extensive experience leading scientific teams. She led the international Whole Sun Month (WSM) and Whole Heliosphere Interval (WHI) coordinated observing and modeling efforts to characterize the 3D interconnected solar-heliospheric-planetary system at solar minimum, and is currently leading a multi-institutional effort to quantify the magnetic field of the Sun’s atmosphere. She has led ISSI International Teams on the subjects of Prominence Cavities and Coronal Magnetism, and is responsible for the oversight and ongoing development of the FORWARD SolarSoft IDL code suite, with input from more than a dozen community authors. Dr. Gibson participated in the Nov. 1997 and Nov. 1998 flights of the Spartan space shuttle payload in support of the white-light coronagraph.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Gibson uses theoretical models to understand the magnetic origins of CMEs and related space weather phenomena. A particular focus is observations and models of coronal prominence cavities, which are long-lived structures in the Sun’s atmosphere that store the magnetic energy liberated in CMEs.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Gibson, S.E., de Toma, G., Emery, B., Riley, P., Zhao, L.,

Elsworth, Y., Leamon, R. J., Lei, J., McIntosh, S., Mewaldt, R. A., Thompson, B. J., and Webb, D. F., (2011), WHI in the context of current solar minimum, Solar Physics, 274, 10.1007/s11207- 011-9921-4.

Gibson, S.E., Kozyra, J. U., De Toma, G., Emery, B. A., Onsager, T., and Thompson, B. J., If the Sun is so quiet, why is the Earth ringing? A comparison of two solar minimum intervals (2009), JGR, 114, A09105.

Gibson, S.E. & Fan, Y., Partially-ejected flux ropes: implications for interplanetary coronal mass ejections (2008), JGR, 113, CiteID A09103.

Full CV

PUNCH Science Team

Dr. Dipankar Banerjee

Dipankar Banerjee

Indian Institute of Astrophysics
PUNCH Science Co-I (Int'l Contrib.): WG 1B; Aditya mission liaison


Ph.D. in Physics, Bangalore University, India, 1996 Physics, Calcutta University, India, 1990

B.Sc. in Physics, Calcutta University, India, 1987

Professional Background

Professor/Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, 2010-present

Reader/Scientist, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, NASA GSFC, 2004-2009

Post Doctoral Fellow, Center for Plasma Astrophysics, Leuven, Belgium 2000-2004

Post Doctoral Fellow, Armagh Observatory, U.K. 1997-2000


Responsible for analyzing the breakup of solar plumes.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Dipankar Banerjee’s area of interest is the solar atmosphere and heliosphere. His work involves theoretical and numerical modeling using data from ground and space based instruments. He has worked with the imaging and spectrographs on board SoHO, Hinode, Trace, SDO and IRIS. He has used the CHINATI database extensively for the spectroscopic diagnostics of the corona.

Dr. Banerjee is the head of the Science working group and Co-PI of the Coronagraph payload to be launched on Indian Satellite “Aditya”, to be placed at Lagrangian L1 point by ISRO. Aditya is the first dedicated Indian mission to study the Sun , and is expected to be launched around 2019-20. He is also the project coordinator for the National Large Scale Telescope Project (NLST). NLST is a proposed 2-meter ground based telescope proposed to be installed at a Himalayan site.

Supporting Experience

Combined mission support for Aditya coronagraphic mission with PUNCH will enhance the scientific capabilities of Heliospheric Science. Aditya will look at very close to the Sun with an internally occulted coronagraph with spectro- polarimetric and imaging capabilities.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Banerjee, D., Gupta, G. R., and Teriaca, L., (2011) Propagating MHD waves in coronal holes, Space Science Review, 158, 267.

Banerjee, D., Teriaca, L., et al., (2009) Propagating waves in polar coronal holes as seen by SUMER and EIS, A&A Letters, 499L, 29.

Banerjee, D., et al., (2009) Signature of Alfven Waves in Polar coronal Holes as seen by EIS/Hinode, A&A Letters, 501, 15.

Doyle, J. G. Teriaca, L. & Banerjee, D., (1999) Coronal Hole Diagnostics out to 8 solar radii, A&A, 349, 956.

Dr. Doug Biesecker

Doug Biesecker

NOAA: Space Weather Pred. Center
PUNCH Science Co-I (U.S. Contrib.): WG 1A, 2A, 2B; Space Weather and DSCOVR liaison


Ph.D. in Physics, University of New Hampshire, 1994

M.S. in Physics, University of New Hampshire, 1991

B.S. in Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, 1987

Professional Background

Physicist, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, 2002-present

Senior Scientist, Emergent Information Technologies, Inc., 1998-2002

Research Fellow, University of Birmingham, U.K., 1995-1998

Associate Scientific Analyst, Science Applications Research, 1987-1988


Responsible for monitoring solar wind diagnosis; CME and CIR tracking; and space weather applications.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

At NOAA, Dr. Doug Biesecker has worked extensively on the issue of propagation of CMEs from Sun to Earth. This includes forecasting event arrival in real-time, utilizing the WSA-Enlil model, and leading validation of the model. He is the responsible scientist for procurement of a coronagraph for space weather forecasting by NOAA. He is also the liaison scientist for the SOHO and STEREO missions, ensuring NOAA’s needs and concerns are addressed by the mission teams and ensuring the data most valuable for space weather are available to forecasters.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Biesecker is the NOAA Project Scientist for the DSCOVR solar wind mission. He is also the Project Scientist for the Space Weather Follow-on mission that will replace DSCOVR, but will also include a coronagraph.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Cash, M.D., Biesecker, D.A., et al. (2015) Ensemble Modeling of the 23 July 2012 Coronal Mass Ejection, Space Weather, 13(10), 611-625; doi: 10.1002/2015SW001232

Steenburgh, R.A., Biesecker, D.A., et al. (2014) From Predicting Solar Activity to Forecasting Space Weather: Practical Examples of Research-to-Operations and Operations-to-Research, Solar Physics, 289(2), 675-690; doi: 10.1007/s11207-013-0308-6

Millward, G., Biesecker, D., et al. (2013) An operational software tool for the analysis of coronagraph images: Determining CME parameters for input into the WSA-Enlil heliospheric model, Space Weather, 11(2), 57-68; doi: 10.1002/swe.20024

Sibley, A., Biesecker, D., et al. (2012) Space weather, impacts and forecasting: an overview, Weather, 67(5), 115- 120; doi: 10.1002/wea.1915

Biesecker, D.A., et al. (2008) STEREO Space Weather and the Space Weather Beacon, Space Science Reviews, 136(1- 4), 45-65; doi: 10.1007/s11214-007-9165-7

Dr. Mario Bisi

Mario Bisi

STFC: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
PUNCH Science Co-I (International Contribution): WG 1A,1B, 2A, 2B


Ph.D. in Solar/Heliospheric Physics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK, 2006

MPhys in Physics with Astronomy, University of Wales, Cardiff, UK, 2002

Professional Background

Senior Space Weather Scientist, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Space Department, 2013-present

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Aberystwyth University, Institute of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (IMAPS), 2010-2013

Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences (CASS), 2011

International Postdoctoral Scholar, UCSD, CASS, 2006-2009

Postgraduate Student Researcher, UWA, 2002-2006


Responsible for 3-D tomographic reconstruction (with UCSD); conduct heliospheric image interpretation and solar wind structure analysis; and science synergy/coordination with ground-based radio observing techniques (IPS and FR).

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Since 2006, Dr Mario Bisi has been involved with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) group in the use, adaption, and implementation of the its 3-D tomography to SMEI data, various interplanetary scintillation data sets, and plans for a demonstration using the STEREO HI data before the PUNCH Mission. He has ~15 years’ experience with IPS and white-light imaging data analyses, interpretation, and incorporation into modeling for science and space-weather applications. Dr Bisi is currently a leader of the Worldwide IPS Stations (WIPSS) Network which, although primarily for space-weather purposes, allows direct interactions with the key IPS groups around the world to support science for PUNCH. He has also been involved with several coronal/heliospheric Faraday rotation projects that could also provide PUNCH science support.

Supporting Experience:

Dr Bisi has been involved with heliospheric imager design and testing and in several NASA-funded projects in the past, particularly those at UCSD.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Jackson, B.V., P.P. Hick, A. Buffington, H.-S. Yu, M.M. Bisi, et al. (2015) A Determination of the North-South Heliospheric Magnetic Field Component from Inner Corona Closed-Loop Propagation, ApJ Letters, 803:L1(5pp), doi:10.1088/2041-8205/803/1/L1.

Howard, T.A., M.M. Bisi, et al. (2013) The Solar Mass Ejection Imager and the Heliospheric Imaging Legacy, Space Science Reviews, 180(1-4), 1-38, doi: 10.1007/s11214-013-9992-7.

Bisi, M.M., et al. (2010) From the Sun to the Earth – The 13 May 2005 Coronal Mass Ejection, Solar Physics, 265(1-2), 49-127, doi: 10.1007/s11207-010-9602-8.

Buffington, A., K.G. Bach, B.W. Bach, E.K. Bach, M.M. Bisi, et al. (2009) Fabrication and Test of a Diamond- turned Mirror Suitable for a Spaceborne Photometric Heliospheric Imager, Proc. SPIE, 7438 74380O-1.

Joan Burkepile

Joan Burkepile

NCAR: High Altitude Observatory
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 2A; MLSO liaison


B.A. in Physics, University of Colorado - Boulder, 1983

Professional Background

Project Scientist III/ Instrument Scientist/ Associate Scientist IV, High Altitude Observatory, 1996-present


Use observations of the low corona to connect PUNCH observations of the corona to near-Sun structures.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Ms. Joan Burkepile has over 35 years’ experience studying ambient and dynamic structures in the low corona and connecting their properties to those observed in the upper corona and solar wind. Specifically, she has studied plasma and magnetic properties of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICME) and surrounding solar wind, and traced them back to the low corona observations of the CME onset and location and polarity of the streamer belt.

Supporting Experience

Ms. Burkepile is the Principal Investigator of the COSMO K- Coronagraph (K-Cor) at Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (MLSO) and will provide assistance in calibration and interpretation of polarization brightness measurements from K-Cor and PUNCH.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

St.Cyr, O.C., A. Posner, J.T. Burkepile, (2017), Solar Energetic Particle Warnings from a Coronagraph, Space Weather Journal, V 15, pp 240-257, DOI: 10.1002/2016SW001545

Thompson, W.T., O.C. St.Cyr, J.T.Burkepile, A. Posner, (2017), Automatic Near-Real-Time Detection of CMEs in Mauna Loa K-Cor Coronagraph Images, Space Weather J., V 15, pp 1288-1299, DOI: 10.1002/2017SW001694

Dikpati, Mausumi, Suresh Akshaya, Joan Burkepile, (2015) Cyclic Evolution of Coronal Fields from a Coupled Dynamo Potential-Field Source-Surface Model, Solar Phys., doi: 10.1007/s11207-015-0831-8

O.C. St.Cyr, Q.A. Flint, H. Xie, D.F. Webb, J.T. Burkepile,

A.R. Lecinski, C. Quirk, and A.L. Stanger, (2015) MLSO Mark III KCoronameter Observations of the CME Rate from 1989-1996, Solar Phys., V 290, 10, pp 2951-2962, doi: 10.1007/s11207- 015-0780-2

A.G. Ling, D.F. Webb, J.T. Burkepile, E.W. Cliver, (2014) Development of a Current Sheet in the Wake of a Fast CME, Astrophys. J., 784, p 91, doi: 10.1088/0004- 637X/784/2/91

Dr. Iver Cairns

Iver Cairns

University of Sydney
PUNCH Collaborator (International Contribution): WG 2C; Radio liaison


Ph.D. in Physics, University of Sydney, 1987

B.Sc. in Physics, University of Sydney, 1983

Professional Background

Director, ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs, and Their Applications, 2018-present

Professor in Space Physics, University of Sydney, 1999-present

ARC Australian Professorial Fellow, University of Sydney, 1989-1999

Associate Research Scientist, University of Iowa, 1985-1989


Combine PUNCH and radio data to study solar wind structures and turbulence.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Iver Cairns developed the first micro- to macro-scale theories for the solar system’s most powerful radio emissions, type II and III solar radio bursts. His recent simulations, combining kinetic theory with the BATS-R- US/SWMF MHD simulation code) with J. Schmidt of particular type II bursts and their associated CME-driven shocks show stunning agreement with observations from Sun to Earth for the radio emission, white-light signatures (CMEs), and CME evolution. In addition, Dr. Cairns is an expert in the theory and modeling of the solar wind from the corona to 1 AU and has experience in small satellites.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Cairns’ primary expertise is in the theory, simulation, and observation of plasma waves, radio emissions, shocks, and associated space weather produced in the solar atmosphere, inner solar wind, planetary magnetospheres, the distant heliosphere, and the local interstellar medium. He is a Co-I on STEREO’s SWAVES instrument and several NASA rocket experiments, and is leader of the QB50 CubeSat INSPIRE-2/AU03 and Australia’s new ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs, and Their Applications.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

I.H. Cairns, V. Lobzin, et al., Low altitude solar magnetic reconnection, type III solar radio bursts, and X-ray emissions, Nature Sci. Reports, online, 26 January 2018.

S. Tasnim, I.H. Cairns, An equatorial solar wind model with angular momentum conservation and non-radial magnetic fields and flow velocities at an inner boundary, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 121, Issue 6, pp. 4966-4984, 2016.

Schmidt, J.M., I.H. Cairns, H. Xie, O. C. St. Cyr, and N. Gopalswamy, CME flux rope and shock identifications and locations: Comparison of white light data, graduated cylindrical shell (GCS) model, and MHD simulations, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 121, Issue 3, pp. 1886-1906, 2016.

Schmidt, J.M., I.H. Cairns, Simulation of the type II burst of 29 November - 1 December 2013, GRL, Vol. 43, 50, 2016.

Dr. Amir Caspi

Amir Caspi

Southwest Research Institute
PUNCH Mentor and Liaison for STEAM


Ph.D. in Physics, M.A. in Physics, Univ. of California, Berkeley, 2010

B.S. in Physics, B.S. in Astronomy, B.S. in Comp. Sci. & Mathematics, Univ. of MD, College Park, 2001 (High Honors, cum laude)

Professional Background

Senior Research Scientist, Southwest Research Institute, 2016–present

Research Scientist, Southwest Research Institute, 2014–2016

Research Associate, LASP, Univ. of CO, Boulder, 2011–2014

Postdoctoral Scholar, SSL, Univ. of CA, Berkeley, 2010–2011


Lead mentor/liason to student-contributed instrument: Student Thermal Energetic Activity Module (STEAM)

Experience Relevant to COHERENT Science

Recognized expertise in observations & analysis of high-energy solar processes, including flares & coronal heating

PI, NASA WB-57 mission to observe 2017 total solar eclipse w/ airborne visible & infrared high-speed imaging

Extensive experience coordinating mission, instrument, & analysis teams, proposals, & programs

Project lead for development of Citizen CATE community-oriented science program for 2024 U.S. total solar eclipse

Experience Relevant to Impact & Engagement

Chief Scientist, Enterprise in Space educational program of not-for-profit National Space Society (2017–present)

Many panels/lectures at annual Denver Pop Culture Con

Extensive TV, radio, print experience for science communication

Mentored multiple graduate & undergraduate students

Supporting Experience

PI, CubIXSS 6U CubeSat mission concept & proposal

PI, SMASH Antarctic balloon instrument, SMASH-X development

PI/Co-I for numerous NASA HGI, HSR, LWS programs

Co-I, soft X-ray Instrument Scientist, major partner for FOXSI Small Explorer (Phase A, 2016–present)

Co-I, Instrument Scientist for NASA MinXSS CubeSats


Chair, Local Org. Committee, RHESSI 16th Workshop

Relevant Publications

Caspi, A., D. B. Seaton, et al. 2019, A new facility for airborne solar astronomy: eclipse observations from NASA's WB-57 aircraft. Astrophys. J., submitted

Caspi, A., et al. 2018, SmallSat Mission Concepts for Space Weather Research & Operations. Space Wx, submitted

Moore, C. S., Caspi, A., et al. 2018, The Instruments & Capabilities of the (MinXSS) CubeSats. Sol. Phys., 293, 21

Aschwanden, M. J., Caspi, A., et al. 2017, Global Energetics of Solar Flares: V. Energy Closure. Astrophys. J., 836, 17

Caspi, A., et al. 2015a, Hard X-ray imaging of individual spectral components in solar flares. ApJL, 811, L1

Caspi, A., et al. 2015b, New observations of the solar 0.5–5 keV soft X-ray spectrum. Astrophys. J. Lett., 802, L2

Caspi, A., et al. 2014b, Constraining solar flare differential emission measures with EVE & RHESSI. ApJL, 788, L31

Caspi, A., Krucker, S., & Lin, R. P. 2014a, Statistical properties of super-hot solar flares. Astrophys. J., 781, 43

Dr. Robin Colaninno

Robin Colaninno

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
PUNCH NFI Instrument Lead, Science Co-I: WG 1C


Ph.D. in Physics, George Mason University, Fairfax,VA, 2012

B.S. in Physics, Guilford College, Greensboro, NC, 2002

Professional Background

Astrophysicist, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, 2009-present

Research Assistant, George Mason University, 2006-2009

Research Assistant, Catholic University of America, 2003-2006


Responsible for development of the NFI instrument, including design, fabrication, integration, and test; and science analysis of coronal structure and CME location.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Robin Colaninno is DPM and Co-I of the SoloHI instrument for ESA Solar Orbiter. She is also a Co-I on the NASA Parker Solar Probe WISPR instrument. She was the Lead Developer of the STEREO/SECCHI calibration software. She also contributed to the STEREO/SECCHI COR2 optical system and the compact coronagraph design.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Colaninno has 11 years experience analyzing CMEs in coronagraphic and heliographic imaging data. She has developed and published multiple techniques for deriving physical parameter of CMEs from observations.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Colaninno, R. C., Howard, R. A. (2015) Update of the Photometric Calibration of the LASCO-C2 Coronagraph Using Stars. Solar Physics, 290, 997-1009.

Colaninno, R. C., Vourlidas, A. (2015) Using Multiple- viewpoint Observations to Determine the Interaction of Three Coronal Mass Ejections Observed on 2012 March 5, Astrophysical Journal, 815, 70-82.

Colaninno, R. C., Vourlidas, A., Wu, C. C. (2013) Quantitative comparison of methods for predicting the arrival of coronal mass ejections at Earth based on multiview imaging, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 118, 6866-6879.

Colaninno, R. C., Vourlidas, A. (2009) First Determination of the True Mass of Coronal Mass Ejections: A Novel Approach to Using the Two STEREO Viewpoints, The Astrophysical Journal, 698, 852-858.

Colaninno, R. C., Vourlidas, A., (2006) Analysis of the Velocity Field of CMEs Using Optical Flow Methods, The Astrophysical Journal, 652, 1747-1754.

Thernisien, A., Colaninno, R. C., Plunkett, S., Socker, D. G., Gong, Q., Landini, F., (2005) Experimental and numerical optimization of a coronagraph external occulter: Application to SECCHI-COR2 and GOES-R SCOR, in Proc. Of SPIE, 366-377.

Dr. Steven Cranmer

Steven Cranmer

University of Colorado: LASP
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1A, 1B, 1C (leader); Student Collaboration Leader


Ph.D. in Physics & Astronomy, University of Delaware, 1996

M.S. in Astronomy, Ohio State University, 1991

B.Sc. in Physics, Drexel University, 1990

Professional Background

Assoc. Professor, University of Colorado-Boulder, 2015-present

Lecturer on Astronomy, Harvard University, 2011-2014

Astrophysicist Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 1996-2014


Karen Harvey Prize, for outstanding early-career contributions


Solar wind theory; interpretation of solar wind and turbulence data to discriminate solar wind models; SEO academic liason.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Prof. Cranmer has over 20 years of experience in both theoretical and observational studies of the Sun and other stars. His areas of expertise include coronal heating, solar/stellar wind acceleration, turbulence, kinetic plasma physics, coronagraphs, and radiative transfer. He has published over 90 papers in the refereed literature, he has given at least 40 invited talks at conferences, and he had edited 3 conference proceedings books. In 2006, he was awarded the Karen Harvey Prize of the Solar Physics Division of the AAS in recognition for a significant contribution to the study of the Sun early in a person’s professional career.

Supporting Experience

Prof. Cranmer was a Co-I on the UVCS investigation for SOHO, and is currently a Co-I on the Parker Solar Probe SWEAP and FIELDS teams. He was also a Co-I on five proposed SMEX and MIDEX programs (1997 to 2013), four of which were selected for Phase A Concept Studies. He is also a member of the Science Working Group for DKIST, and has been PI of eight successful grants for theoretical research from NASA, NSF, and the Smithsonian.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Cranmer, S.R., Asgari-Targhi, M., Miralles, M. P., et al. (2015) The Role of Turbulence in Coronal Heating and Solar Wind Expansion, Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. A, 373, 20140148.

Cranmer, S.R., van Ballegooijen, A. A., and Woolsey, L. N. (2013) Connecting the Sun’s High-Resolution Magnetic Carpet to the Turbulent Heliosphere, Astrophys. J., 767, 125.

Cranmer, S.R., Gardner, L. D., and Kohl, J. L. (2010) A Model for the Stray Light Contamination of the UVCS Instrument on SOHO, Solar Physics, 263, 275.

Cranmer, S.R. (2009) Coronal Holes, Living Reviews in Solar Physics, 6, lrsp-2009-3.

Dr. Jackie A. Davies

Jackie Davies

STFC | Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
PUNCH Science Co-I (Int'l Contrib.): WG 2A, 2C; UK Science Lead


Ph.D. in Ionospheric Physics, University of Leicester, UK, 1996

B.Sc. in Physics/Astrophysics, University of Leicester, UK, 1990

Professional Background

Mission Support Scientist, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, 2002-present

Research Associate, Leicester University, UK, 1996-2002

Research Assistant, Leicester University, UK, 1993-1996


Lead UK science contribution; analyze CME-shock interactions; measure heliospheric CME evolution.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Jackie Davies leads the RAL Space team that operates the Heliospheric Imager (HI) instruments on NASA’s STEREO spacecraft. A member of the team since STEREO’s launch, she is currently HI Project Scientist. In this role, her research focuses on developing/exploiting techniques to track solar wind structures, particularly CMEs and SIRs/CIRs, based on HI observations. She is lead scientist for ESA’s Phase A/B1 SCOPE (Solar Coronagraph for Operations) study; she is also consortium lead for the Phase A/B1 study of the remote-sensing instrumentation for the Lagrange mission, being developed under ESA’s SSA programme.

Supporting Experience

Prior to joining the HI team, Dr. Davies was part of the RAL Space team that co-leads the RAPID instrument on ESA’s Cluster mission. In this role, she undertook operation/ calibration activities, whilst also investigating the response of the suprathermal particles detected by RAPID in the bowshock, dayside magnetosphere and magnetotail, to such processes as reconnection and shock acceleration. Previously, while at Leicester University, she studied the high-latitude ionospheric response to electric fields generated by, e.g., reconnection, through analysis of ground-based radar data.

The aforementioned phenomena result from the solar wind phenomena to be diagnosed by PUNCH.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Harrison, R.A., J.A. Davies, D. Biesecker and M. Gibbs, The application of heliospheric imaging to space weather operations, SW 15, 8, 2017.

DeForest, C.E., T.A. Howard, D.F. Webb and J.A. Davies, The utility of polarized heliospheric imaging for space weather monitoring, SW 14, 1, 2016.

Davies, J.A., et al., Establishing a stereoscopic technique for determining the kinematic properties of solar wind transients based on a generalized self-similarly expanding circular geometry, ApJ 777, 167, 2013.

Davies, J.A., et al., A self-similar expansion model for use in solar transient propagation studies, ApJ 750, 23, 2012.

Dr. Curt de Koning

Curt de Koning

University of Colorado-Boulder
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1B, 2A, 2B (leader)


Ph.D. in Space Physics, University of Delaware, 2003

M.S. in Cosmic Ray Physics, University of Calgary, 1994

B.Sc. in Physics, University of Calgary, 1989

Professional Background

Research Scientist, University of Colorado-Boulder, (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences/ Space Weather Prediction Center), 2005-present

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2003-2005


Use polarimetry for 3D reconstruction of the kinematics, dynamics, morphology, and internal structure of CMEs and small wind features.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

For more than ten years, Dr. Curt de Koning has worked extensively with white-light imagery from SECCHI/COR2 and LASCO, including both total and polarized brightness images. Dr. de Koning developed and is actively exploiting working on the polarimetric 3D imaging technique, which can be used to investigate internal features of a CME, as well as CME kinematics, dynamics, and morphology. He is the co-architect of the polarimetric and geometric localization techniques; in addition, he has contributed to the CME analysis tool used by NOAA/SWPC that characterizes CME speed, direction, size, and mass for space weather purposes.

Supporting Experience

Dr. de Koning is affiliated with NOAA/SWPC and is in regular contact with both the operational and research space weather communities, resulting in a unique focus on applied research that can be used by space weather forecasters. Dr. de Koning has also analyzed in-situ solar wind data from Ulysses, ACE, and WIND, particularly suprathermal electron data.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

DeForest, C.E., de Koning, C.A. and Elliott, H.A. 3D Polarized Imaging of Coronal Mass Ejections: Chirality of a CME, ApJ, (850); doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa94ca.

de Koning, C.A., (2014) Getting Under a CME’s Skin, Outstanding Problems in Heliophysics, ASP Conference Series, (484), 30-35.

de Koning, C.A. and V.J. Pizzo. (2011) Polarimetric Localization: A New Tool for Calculating the CME Speed and Direction of Propagation in Near-Real Time, Space Weather, (9), S03001; doi: 10.1029/2010SW000595.

Temmer, M. … C.A. de Koning, et al., (2012) Characteristics of Kinematics of a Coronal Mass Ejection During the 2010 August 1 CME-CME Interaction Event, ApJ, (749); doi:10.1088/0004- 637X/749/1/57.

Dr. Mihir Desai

Mihir Desai

Southwest Research Institute
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 2C (leader)


Ph.D. in Space Physics, University of Birmingham, UK, 1996

B.Sc. in Mathematics & Physics, University College London, UK, 1991

Professional Background

Director Department of Space Research, Southwest Research institute, 2015-present

Science Section Manager, Space Science Department, Southwest Research Institute, 2013-2015

Staff/Principal Scientist, Southwest Research Institute, 2005-2009

Lead Adjoint/Adjoint Assoc. Prof., Physics and Astronomy, University of Texas-San Antonio 2006-present

Assistant/ Associate Research Scientist, University of Maryland, 2004-2005


Perform analyses for shock and SEP physics; relate shock structure to associated SEP storms.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH:

Dr. Desai is a senior scientist involved in Design, Development, and Calibration of Suprathermal Ion Telescope (SIT) on STEREO; Principal Investigator of the CubeSat Mission to study Solar Particles (CuSP); Co- Investigator (Co-I), Lead of Science Operations Center for Strofio: Exospheric Sampling of Mercury’s Surface Composition-NASA’s contribution to the European Space Agency’s BepiColombo Mission to Mercury; Co-I, Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (IS0IS): Energetic Particle Suite for the Solar Probe Plus (SPP) Mission; Co-I on A Compact Radiation Belt Explorer (CeREs) to study Charged Particle Dynamics in Geospace; Science team member on Ulysses, ACE, Wind, IBEX, and Juno; Principal/Co-I on numerous NASA and NSF-funded Data Analysis and Instrument Development Projects; authored or coauthored over 100 publications in refereed scientific journals.

Supporting Experience:

Co-Investigator on SPP/IS0IS—Energetic Particle Instruments.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH:

Desai, M.I., and J. Giacalone (2016). Large Gradual Solar Energetic Particle Events, in Living Reviews of Solar Physics, doi: 10.1007/s41116-016-0002-5

Desai, M.I., et al. (2016). Spectral Properties of Large Gradual Solar Energetic Particle Events. I -- Fe, O and Seed Material, Astrophysical Journal, 816(2), 68, doi:10.3847/0004-637X/816/2/68

Desai, M.I., et al. (2006). “Heavy Ion Abundances in Large Solar Energetic Particle Events and Their Implications for the Seed Population, Astrophysical Journal, 649, 470-489

Desai, M.I., et al. (2003). Evidence for a suprathermal seed population of heavy ions accelerated by interplanetary shocks near 1 AU, Astrophysical Journal, 558, 1149-1161.

Desai, M.I., et al. (2001). Acceleration of 3He Nuclei at Interplanetary Shocks, Astrophysical Journal (Letters), 553, L89-L91.

Dr. Heather Elliott

Heather Elliott

Southwest Research Institute
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1A, 1B, 2A; In-situ liaison


Ph.D. in Physics, University of Alabama, 2001

M.S. in Atmospheric and Space Science, University of Michigan, 1995

B.S. in Physics, Clemson University, 1993

Professional Background

Principal Scientist/ Senior Research Scientist/ Research Scientist, Southwest Research Institute, 2003-present

Adjoint Faculty Physics Department, University of Texas at San Antonio, 2016-present

Heliophysics Advisory Committee, NASA Headquarters, 2015-present


Compare and combine PUNCH remote results with in-situ wind data.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Heather Elliott is a Co-Investigator and instrument scientist for the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) solar wind instrument on New Horizons performing science planning, operations, and data analysis. She specializes in identifying in situ signatures of Coronal Mass Ejection and large-scale solar wind structures and has examined the radial evolution of the solar wind using, ACE, Ulysses, OMNI, HELIOS, and New Horizons measurements.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Elliott's work with ACE, Ulysses, New Horizons, and Polar data has spanned a wide range of additional topics such as interstellar pickup ions, Jupiter's magnetotail, Earth's magnetosphere, comet tails, ion outflow, and Pluto's interaction the solar wind. Her Master's work dealt with the thermosphere and ionosphere, and her Ph.D. examined how the solar wind affects the cold ion outflow that escapes from the ionosphere into the polar magnetosphere.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Elliott, H. A., McComas, D. J., & DeForest, C. E. (2016). Long-term Trends in the Solar Wind Proton Measurements. The Astrophysical Journal, 832(1), 66.

Elliott, H. A., et al. (2016), The New Horizons Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) Observations of the Solar Wind from 11-33 au, ApJS, 223(2), 19, doi:10.3847/0067- 0049/223/2/19.

Elliott, H. A., McComas, D. J., & DeForest, C. E. (2016). Long-term Trends in the Solar Wind Proton Measurements. The Astrophysical Journal, 832(1), 66, doi10.3847/0004- 637X/832/1/66

Elliott, H. A., Jahn, J.-M., & McComas, D. J. (2013). The Kp index and solar wind speed relationship: Insights for improving space weather forecasts. Space Weather, 11(6), 339–349.

Elliott, H. A., J.-M. Jahn, and D. J. McComas (2013), The Kp index and solar wind speed relationship, Insights for improving space weather forecasts, Space Weather, 11, doi:10.1002/ swe.20053.

Elliott, H. A., et al. (2012), Temporal and radial variation of the solar wind temperature-speed relationship, J. Geophys. Res, 117, A09102, doi:10.1029/2011JA017125.

Elliott, H. A., et al., (2005) An improved expected temperature formula for identifying interplanetary coronal mass ejections, J. Geophys. Res., 110, 10.1029/2004JA010794.

Dr. Richard Harrison

Richard Harrison

STFC: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
PUNCH Science Co-I (International Contribution); WG 1B


Ph.D. in Solar Physics, Birmingham University, UK, 1983

B.Sc. in Physics, Birmingham University, UK, 1979

Professional Background

Chief Scientist, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, 2006-present

Honorary Professor, St. Andrews & Aberystyth Universities and Imperial College, 1990s-present

Head of Space Physics, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, 2003-2015


Analyze solar wind turbulence; facilitate heritage transfer from STEREO/HI.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Professor Richard Harrison, Space scientist, specializes in solar physics research, especially solar mass ejection and impacts on the heliosphere and near-Earth space, and in leadership of space-based EUV and visible light solar instrumentation. He has published over 220 research papers with over 4000 citations. He served as Principal Investigator for the SOHO/CDS (1992 to 2003) and STEREO/HI (2002 to date) instruments.

Supporting Experience

Professor Harrison serves on Space Environment Impacts Expert Group, advising UK Cabinet Office of the hazards of space weather to the UK. He was awarded MBE for services to solar physics in 2004; recipient of the Chapman medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (2004), the European Geophysical Society Gold Badge (1997) and the US National Center for Atmospheric Research outstanding publication award (1986).

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

R.A. Harrison (1986) Solar coronal mass ejections and flares, Astron. Astrophys. 162, 283.

R.A. Harrison, Sawyer, E.C. & 37 co-authors (1995) The Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer for the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, Solar Phys. 162, 233.

R.A. Harrison, Davis, C.J., Eyles, C.J., & 12 co-authors (2008) First imaging of Coronal Mass Ejections in the heliosphere viewed from outside the Sun-Earth line, Solar Phys. 247, 171.

R.A. Harrison, Davies, J.A., & 11 co-authors (2009) Two years of the STEREO Heliospheric Imagers-A review, Solar Phys. 256, 219.

R.A. Harrison, Davies, J.A., & 15 co-authors (2012) An analysis of the onset and propagation of the multiple coronal mass ejections of 2010 August 1, Astrophys. J. 750, 45.

Dr. Donald Hassler

Donald Hassler

Southwest Research Institute
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1A; Science Enhancement Lead (SEL)


Ph.D. in Physics, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1990

M.S. in Physics, University of Colorado-Boulder, 1988

B.A. in Physics, Kenyon College-Gambler, OH, 1984

Professional Background

Program Director, Southwest Research Institute, 1997-present

Director, Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, 2014-2016

Adjunct Professor, Department of Astronomy & Planetary Science, University of Colorado, 2003-present

Scientist, NCAR High Altitude Observatory, 1993-1997

Physicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 1992-1993


Science Enhancement Lead responsible for coordination with Parker Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter & the Space Weather community.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Hassler is a leader in the field of Solar Physics and Heliophysics. He was the selected PI of the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter SPICE instrument and current US Co-PI for SPICE Operations; PI of NASA’s MSL RAD instrument currently operating on Mars; and PI of the NASA RAISE sounding rocket program. He is actively involved in facilitating and coordinating current and future collaborations and scientific missions between the U.S. and Europe.

Supporting Experience

Principal Investigator & Operations Co-PI, “Solar Orbiter SPICE Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph” (2009-2011, 2016 – present)

Principal Investigator, “Radiation Assessment Detector Instrument on Mars Science Laboratory” (2004-present)

Principal Investigator, NASA Sounding Rocket Program “Rapid Acquisition Imaging Spectrograph” (2003-present)

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F., D.M. Hassler (2016). Tracing Heliospheric Structures to their Solar Origin, Conf. Proc. Solar Wind 14.

Hassler, D.M., et al. (2014). Mars’ Surface Radiation Environment Measured with MSL’s Curiosity Rover, Science, 343, 6169.

Hassler, D. M., et al. (2014). Space Environment Monitoring Suite (SEMS) for Near-Earth Environment Characterization During SEP Ops, IEEE, p. 1.

Hassler, D.M., et al. (2012). The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), Sp. Sci. Rev., 170, Issue 1-4, pp. 503-558.

McComas, D.J., D.M. Hassler, et al. (2007), Understanding Coronal Heating and Solar Wind Acceleration: Case for In- Situ Near-Sun Measurements, Rev. Geophys., 45, RG1004.

DeForest, C.E., D.M. Hassler, N.A. Schwadron (2005). On the Magnetic Correspondence Between the Photosphere and the Heliosphere, Solar Phys., 229, 161.

Hassler, D. M., et al. (1999). Solar Wind Outflow and the Chromospheric Magnetic Network, Science, 283, 810.

Dr. Russel Howard

Russell Howard

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (ret.)
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 2A, 2B


Ph.D. in Chemical Physics, University of Maryland, 1969

B.S. in Mathematics, University of Maryland, 1964

Professional Background

Astrophysicist, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, 1971-present

National Research Council Resident Research Associate, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, 1969-1971


Responsible for CIR and CME image interpretation.

Experience Relative to PUNCH

Dr. Russell Howard has performed instrument design and development and operations and analysis of coronal instruments since 1971 (OSO-7). He was a project scientist for the Solwind instrument on the USAF P78-1 spacecraft, which launched in 1979; a PI of SOHO/LASCO, which launched in 1995; and PI of STEREO/SECCHI, which launched in 2006. Dr. Howard is currently PI for Solar Probe Plus/WISPR, to be launched in 2018, and PI for Solar Orbiter/SoloHI to be launched in 2020.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Howard has led the development of the CCDs for LASCO, participated in the development of the concept for heliospheric imagers, and provided extensive analysis of coronal imagery.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

R.A. Howard, Recent white-light coronagraphs at the Naval Research Laboratory. Applied Optics. 2015; 54:F298.

A. Vourlidas, Howard, R.A., Plunkett, S.P, Korendyke, C.M., Thernisien, A.F.R., Wang, D., et al. The Wide-Field Imager for Solar Probe Plus (WISPR). Space Science Reviews. 2015; 1-48.

R.C. Colaninno, Howard, R.A. Update of the Photometric Calibration of the LASCO-C2 Coronagraph Using Stars. Solar Physics. 2015; 290:997-1009.

A. Thernisien, Vourlidas, A., Howard, R.A. Forward Modeling of Coronal Mass Ejections Using STEREO/SECCHI Data. Solar Physics. 2009; 256:111-30.

R.A. Howard, Moses, J.D., Vourlidas, A., Newmark, J.S., Socker, D.G., Plunkett, S.P., et al. Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation (SECCHI). Space Science Reviews. 2008; 136:67-115.

A. Vourlidas, Howard, R.A., The Proper Treatment of Coronal Mass Ejection Brightness: A New Methodology and Implications for Observations. Astrophysical Journal. 2006; 642:1216-21.

Dr. Bernard Jackson

Bernard Jackson

University of California-San Diego
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1A, 2B


Ph.D. in Astrophysics, Indiana University, 1970

B.Sc. in Engineering Physics, University of Illinios, 1967

Professional Background

Research Scientist, Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 1979-present

Research Associate, Colorado University, 1978-1979

NCAR/HAO Colorado Skylab Postdoc, 1977-1978


Help develop tomographic analysis and 3-D heliospheric reconstructions for PUNCH. Coordinate ground-based radio observing with PUNCH imaging.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Jackson is a senior scientist who helped design, develop, build, and calibrate the Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI), the first heliospheric imager, with the express purpose to provide photometric images and 3-D tomographic reconstructions of the global heliosphere. He has provided 3-D reconstruction analyses of the heliosphere using Thomson-scattering SMEI data, and made these 3-D analyses available at a UCSD website from the 8-year duration of the SMEI mission, and at the Goddard Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) where these data sets are used to explore the 3-D structure of heliosphere. He and his UCSD colleagues have used similar 3-D reconstruction analyses techniques for interplanetary scintillation (IPS) data, and have ported these analyses for use in real-time heliosphere prediction modeling at world host institutions that include UCSD, the CCMC, and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK. He is author on 300 journal articles about coronagraphs, SMEI, STEREO, IPS, and 3-D tomographic analyses using these instruments and data sets.

Supporting Experience

Principal Investigator, Solar Mass Ejection Imager

Co-Investigator, NASA/ESA LASCO Mission

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Jackson, B.V.,, 2013, ‘Inclusion of Real-Time in-situ Measurements into the UCSD Time-Dependent Tomography and Its Use as a Forecast Algorithm’, to TI: Heliosphere - Observation & Modeling, Solar Phys., 285, 151-165.

Jackson, B.V., et al., 2011, ‘Three-dimensional reconstruction of heliospheric structure using iterative tomography: A review’, J. Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Phys., 73, 1214-1227,

Jackson, B.V., et al., 2010, ‘A Heliospheric Imager for Deep Space: Lessons Learned from Helios, SMEI, and STEREO’, Solar Phys., 265, 257–275.

Jackson, B.V., et al, 2004, ‘The Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI) Mission’, Solar Phys., 225, 177-207.

Dr. Glenn Laurent

Glenn Laurent

Southwest Research Institute
PUNCH WFI Instrument Manager; Science Co-I: WG 2C


Ph.D. in Astrophysics, University of Colorado-Boulder, 2006

M.A. in Astrophysics, University of Colorado-Boulder, 2001

B.S. in Physics, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, 1999

B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, 1999

Professional Background

Research Scientist/Sr. Research Analyst, Southwest Research Institute, 2016-present

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Colorado-Boulder, 2006-2008


Responsible for development of the WFI instruments, including design, fabrication, integration, and test; quantitative image analysis of shock structure.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Glenn Laurent is a senior research scientist specializing in spaceflight instrumentation for heliophysics. He is lead instrument developer for the Rapid Acquisition Imaging Spectrograph (RAISE) sounding rocket program, focusing on systems I&T, optical and imaging system design, flight software development, data steam handling, signal and image processing and analysis. He is also Co-I and/or instrumentation lead on several solar missions, including SwRI Solar Instrument Pointing Platform (SSIPP); Laboratory Calibration and Environmental Testing of New Hard X-ray Spectrometer for Future Cubesat Missions (IR); SwRI Miniature Assembly for Solar HXRs (SMASH); and Demonstration of Airglow-subtracted Heliospheric Imaging (DASH). Laurent led the SwRI prototyping and test effort for the WFI baffle and optics.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Laurent’s supporting research includes PI ofPOLOCAM, a cryogenic polarimeter instrument designed to map magnetic fields in galactic star-forming regions; space- based hardware and software (SPIRE instrument/Herschel Space Telescope); IR and mm-wave (bolometer) detector arrays; detector signal noise minimization (PCA); bolometer characterization; optical simulation and analysis software development; IR filter stacks/beam mapping/cryogenic refrigeration; and polarimetry design and integration. He is also PI of a SwRI Leadership and Capability Development award.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Laurent, G.T., et al (2016) The Rapid Acquisition Imaging Spectrograph Experiment (RAISE) Investigation, JAI, 5, 1640006-34.

Diller, J., C. DeForest, C., G. Laurent, et al. (2015) Solar Science from Manned Suborbital Vehicles 7 The SwRI Solar Instrument Pointing Platform, IEEE, 10.1109.

Dr. Anna Malanushenko.jpg

Anna Malanushenko

PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 2A (co-leader)


Ph.D. in Physics, Montana State University, 2010

B.S. in Physics, St. Petersburg State University, 2005

Professional Background

Project Scientist, HAO/NCAR, 2017-present

Postdoctoral Researcher, HAO/NCAR, 2016

Advanced Science Program Fellow, NCAR, 2014-2014

Postdoctoral Researcher, Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory & Montana State University, 2010-2014


Contribute to dynamic solar wind analysis; lead analysis of CME structure and chirality and its evolution through the solar wind.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Malanushenko is an expert in the analysis of 3D optically-thin structures, which is what CMEs are. She has extensive experience developing new theoretical and image processing tools. She has developed tools for 3D disambiguation of plasma emission in the solar corona. She is experienced in both the analysis of observational data, and in synthesizing data from simulations. In particular, she has experience in synthesis of spectropolarimetric and white-light data from analytical CME models.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Malanushenko has expertise in the physics of the solar corona, in structure of active regions and in solar eruptive activity. She has also worked on application of machine learning techniques in predicting ICME impacts on Earth. She is HAO's deputy PI of the project in which MHD simulations of ICMEs are carried out and statistically compared to observational data.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

"Convolutional Neural Networks for Predicting the strength of the Near-Earth Magnetic Field Caused by Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections", Malanushenko, Flyer, Gibson, FrAs, in press (2020)

"Localized Reconnection Heating Inferred From the Three-Dimensional Locations of Bright Active Region Coronal Loops", Longcope, McCarthy, Malanushenko, ApJ, in press (2020)

"Global Solar Magnetic Field Evolution Over 4 Solar Cycles: Use of the McIntosh Archive", Webb, Gibson, Hewins, McFadden, Emery, Malanushenko, Kuchar, FrASS, 5, 23 (2018)

"Blind Stereoscopy of the Coronal Magnetic Field", Aschwanden, Schrijver, Malanushenko, SoPh, 290, 2765 (2015)

"On the Anisotropy in Expansion of Magnetic Flux Tubes in the Solar Corona", Malanushenko, Schrijver, ApJ, 775, 120 (2013)

"Guiding Nonlinear Force-free Modeling Using Coronal Observations: First Results Using a Quasi-Grad-Rubin Scheme", Malanushenko, Schrijver, DeRosa, Wheatland, Gilchrist, ApJ, 756, 153 (2012)

Dr. William Matthaeus

William Matthaeus

University of Delaware: Dept. of Phys. and Astron., Bartol Research Inst.
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1B, 2C


Ph.D. in Physics,College of William and Mary, 1979

M.A. in Physics, Old Dominion University, 1975

M.S. in Physics, College of William and Mary, 1977

B.A. in Physics, Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania, 1973

Professional Background

Unidel Professor of Physics and Astronomy/Professor/ Associate Professor/ Assistant Professor, University of Delaware, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1983-present

Research Associate, University of Maryland, 1982-1983

Research Associate, National Research Council, 1980-1982


Analyze and understand PUNCH data on turbulence and instabilities through theory and simulation.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. William Matthaeus has extensive experience in theoretical solar wind research, space plasma physics, magnetohydrodynamics and turbulence theory; more than 400 peer previewed papers, Hirsch (H) factor 72, and more than 16,000 citations.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Matthaeus has been in a variety of professorial roles at the University of Delaware-Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the Bartol Research Institute, since 1983. He has served as Co-Investigator PEACE instrument (Cluster); Co-Investigator MMS missions, Co-Investigator EPI-Hi & EPI-Lo (Parker Solar Probe); and PI for several NASA Heliospheric Grand Challenge Theory program projects.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Y. Yang, W. H. Matthaeus, et al., Energy transfer, pressure tensor and heating of kinetic plasma, Physics of Plasmas, 24, 072306 (2017).

M. Wan, W.H. Matthaeus, et al. Intermittent Dissipation and Heating in 3D Kinetic Plasma Turbulence. Physical Review Letters, 114(17):175002, May 2015.

W. H. Matthaeus, et al. Intermittency, nonlinear dynamics and dissipation in the solar wind and astrophysical plasmas. Phil Trans. Roy. Soc., 373, 2015.

C. E. DeForest, W.H. Matthaeus, T. A. Howard, and D. R. Rice. Turbulence in the Solar Wind Measured with Comet Tail Test Particles. Astrophys. J., 812:108, October 2015.

M. Miesch, W. Matthaeus, et al. Large-Eddy Simulations of Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence in Heliophysics and Astrophysics. Space Science Rev., 2015.

W. H. Matthaeus, et al. Nonlinear and Linear Timescales near Kinetic Scales in Solar Wind Turbulence. Astrophys. J., 790:155, August 2014.

Dr. David J. McComas

David McComas

Princeton University
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1C; PSP/IS0IS Coordination


Ph.D. Geophysics & Space Physics, University of California-Los Angeles, 1986

M.S. Geophysics & Space Physics, University of California-Los Angeles, 1985

B.S. in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1980

Professional Background

Vice President for the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory/ Professor of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, 2016-present

Assistant Vice President for the Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, 2000-2016

Founding Director for the Center for Space, Science and Exploration/ NASA Program Manager and Group Leader for Space and Atmospheric Sciences/ Section Leader for Space Plasma and Planetary Physics, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1980-2000


Analyze Alfven surface location and effects; perform in situ comparisons; analyze solar wind structure.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Prof. David Mccomas is an expert in the three-dimensional structure and physics of the solar wind; Principal Investigator, leader, and developer of numerous space missions and instruments. As Principal Investigator, Prof. Mccomas has led missions including IBEX and TWINS and instruments including PSP/ IS0IS and ULYSSES/SWOOPS.

Supporting Experience

Prof. Mccomas' awards span areas including exceptional public service, space research, and team achievement. He has authored over 600 scientific papers in refereed literature in heliospheric, magnetospheric, solar, and planetary science, and space instrument and mission development.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

McComas, D.J., et al., Pluto's interaction with the Solar Wind, J. Geophys. Res. Space Phys., 121, 4232-4246, doi: 10.1002/2016JA022599, 2016.

McComas, D.J., et al., Local interstellar medium: Six years of direct sampling by the IBEX, Astrophys. J., Supplement Series, 220:22, doi:10.1088/0067-0049/220/2/22, 2015.

McComas, D.J. and N.A. Schwadron, Plasma flows at Voyager 2 away from the measured suprathermal pressure, Astrophys J. Letters, 795:L17, doi:10.1088/2014- 8205/795./1/L17, 2014.

McComas, D.J., et al., Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (ISIS): Design of the energetic particle investigation, Space Sci. Rev., doi:10.1007/s11214-014- 0059-1, 2014.

McComas, D.J., et al., IBEX: The First Five Years (2009- 2013), Astrophys. J. Supp., 213:20, doi:10.1088/0067-0049/213/2/20, 2014.

McComas, D.J., et al., The Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE) on the Juno mission to Jupiter, Space Sci. Rev., doi:10.1007/s11214-013-9990-9, 2013.

McComas, D.J., et al., The heliosphere's interstellar interaction: No bow shock, Science, 336, 1291, doi: 10.1126/science. 1221054, 2012.

McComas, D.J., et al., IBEX observations of heliospheric energetic neutral atoms: current understanding and future directions, Geophys. Res. Letters, 38, L18101, doi:10.1029/2011GL048763, 2011.

Dr. Huw Morgan

Huw Morgan

Aberystwyth University
PUNCH Science Co-I (International Contribution): WG 1A, 2B, 2C


Ph.D. in Solar Physics, Aberystwyth University, UK, Institute of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (IMAPS), 2005

B.Sc. in Physics, Open University, UK, 2001

Professional Background

Reader, Aberystwyth University (UK), 2015-present

Lecturer, Aberystwyth University (UK), 2011-2015

Post-doctoral Research Assistant, University of Hawaii, 2005-2011


Science analysis of coronal structure (tomography); analyze small-scale dynamics; Coordinate with ground-based radio observing techniques (IPS and FR).

Experience Relative to PUNCH

Dr. Morgan is a leading expert on calibration & analysis of coronagraph data, plus application of tomography to estimate coronal large-scale structure, solar image processing that enables improved analysis of small-scale dynamics.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Morgan has received the Eilir Hedd Morgan memorial prize for Contribution to Welsh Science, 2014; published 40+ refereed journal papers in astronomy’s highest-impact journals; has lead or major roles in several international collaborations. He leads the Solar System Physics group at Aberystwyth University and is Chair of the Solar System Advisory Panel for the UK Research Council (STFC). He manages several research grants; has gained extensive observing time on space instruments and ground-based facilities and supervises several PhD students and PDRAs.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Morgan, H.& Taroyan, Y, Global conditions in the solar corona from 2010 to 2017, Science Advances, 3, 7, e1602056 (07/2017)

Hutton, J. & Morgan, H., Erupting Filaments with Large Enclosing Flux Tubes as Sources of High-Mass Three-part CMEs, and Erupting Filaments in the Absence of Enclosing Flux tubes as Sources of Low-mass Unstructured CMEs, Astrophys. J., 813, article id. 35, (11/2015)

Morgan, H., An atlas of coronal electron density at 5Rs I: Data processing and calibration, The Astrophys. J. Supplement, 219, 2, article id. 23, 21 pp. (08/2015)

Druckmuller, M., Rifai Habbal, S., Morgan, H., Discovery of a new class of coronal structures in white light eclipse images, Astrophys. J., 785, 1, article i.d. 14, 2015

Morgan, H., & Druckmuller, M., Multiscale Gaussian Normalization for solar image processing, Solar Physics, 289, 8, p.2945- 2955 (08/2014)

Morgan, H., et al., The Expansion of Active Regions into the Extended Solar Corona, The Astrophys. Supplement, 206, 2, article id. 19, 10 pp., 2013

Dr. Dusan Odstrcil

Dusan Odstrcil

George Mason University & NASA/GSFC
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1A, 1C, 2B, 2C


Ph.D. in Plasma Physics, Comenius University, Bratislava, 1984

M.A. in Experimental Physics, Comenius University, Bratislava, 1979

B.S. in Experimental Physics, Comenius University, Bratislava, 1978

Professional Background

Senior Research Scientist, George Mason University & NASA/GSFC, 2010 - present

Senior Research Scientist, University of Colorado & NOAA/SWPC, 1998 - 2010

Research Scientist, Astronomical Institute, Ondrejov, Czech Republic, 1993 - 1998

Research Scientists, Geophysical Institute, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, 1989 - 1993

Research Assistant, Water Research Institute, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, 1984 - 1989


Provide numerical modeling support to increase understanding and improve predictability of CMEs propagating in solar wind.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Dusan Odstrcil developed the numerical code ENLIL for 3-D MHD simulations of co-rotating and transient structures in the inner heliosphere; its simplified and robust version is used at NASA/CCMC and NOAA/SWPC. This tools and experience will enable to simulate both ambient and transient phenomena in the inner heliosphere.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Odstrcil has been interested for nearly 30 years in predicting heliospheric space weather. He has used outputs form various coronal models, empirical source-surface models, and/or other numerical models, and developed various post-processing and visualization procedures.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Jackson, B. V., D. Odstrcil, H.-S. Yu, P. P. Hick, A. Buffington, J. C. Mejia-Ambriz, J. Kim, S. Hong, Y. Kim,

J. Han, and M. Tokumaru (2015), The UCSD kinematic IPS solar wind boundary and its use in the ENLIL 3-D MHD prediction model, Space Weather 13, 104-115.

Odstrcil, D., and V.J. Pizzo, (1999), Distortion of the interplanetary magnetic field by three-dimensional propagation of coronal mass ejections in a structured solar wind, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 28225, 1999.

Odstrcil, D., Pizzo, V. J., Arge, C. N., Propagation of the 12 May 1997 interplanetary coronal mass ejection in evolving solar wind structures, J. Geophys. Res., 110, doi:10.1029/2004JA010745, 2005.

Odstrcil, D., Pizzo, V.J., Numerical heliospheric simulations as assisting toll for integration of observations by STEREO heliospheric imagers, Solar Phys., doi:10.1007/s11207- 009-0449-z, 2009.

Vandas, M., D. Odstrcil, and S. Watari, Three-dimensional MHD simulation of a loop-like magnetic cloud in the solar wind, J. Geophys. Res., 107, 1236, doi:10.1029/2001JA005068, 2002.

Dr. Vic Pizzo

Vic Pizzo

NOAA: Space Weather Prediction Center
PUNCH Science Co-I (U.S. Contribution): WG 2A, 2B, 2C


Ph.D. in Astro Geophysics, University of Colorado, 1977

B.S. in Physics, University of Santa Clara, 1969

Professional Background

Senior Physicist, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center, 1995 - present

Research Scientist, San Juan Capistrano Research Institute, 1992 - 1995

Scientist I-III, NCAR/High Altitude Observatory, 1979 – 1991

NRC Post-doctoral Research Fellow, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 1977 – 1979

Graduate Research Assistant, NCAR/High Altitude Observatory, 1969 – 1977


Perform Space Weather applications and CIR physics, including numerical modeling, solar wind flows, and spacecraft data analysis.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Victor Pizzo has a long history of numerical modeling in the area of large scale MHD phenomena, with an interest in three-dimensional solar wind flows dating back to his doctoral thesis. He has actively engaged in the analysis of spacecraft data, using simulations to interpret solar wind observations from the STEREO, Ulysses, Yohkoh, Pioneer, and Voyager, and other spacecraft. He was the first chairman and a founding father of SHINE (Solar, Heliospheric, and Interplanetary Environment), the NSF-sponsored affiliation of research scientists and forecasters engaged in space weather activities. His NOAA/ SWPC duties have included participation in the planning, development, and analysis of operational data from the Solar X-ray Imager instruments on the GOES weather satellites, and he is the project lead for the WSA-Enlil Sun-to-Earth CME prediction system, which is the Nation’s first fully operational space weather model within the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Howard, T.A., and V.J. Pizzo, Challenging some contemporary views of coronal mass ejections. I. The case for blast waves, Astrophys. J., 824, 92, 2016.

D. Odstrcil, and V. J. Pizzo, Numerical heliospheric simulations as assisting tool for interpretation of observations by STEREO heliospheric imagers, Solar Phys., 259, 297, 2009.

C.A. deKoning, V. J. Pizzo, and D. A. Biesecker, Geometric localization of CMEs in 3D space using STEREO beacon data, Solar Phys., 256, 167, 2009.

D. Odstrcil, V. J. Pizzo, and C. N. Arge, Propagation of the 12 May 1997 interplanetary CME in evolving solar wind structures, J. Geophys. Res., 110, A02106, 2005.

V. J. Pizzo, and D. A. Biesecker, The geometric localization of STEREO CMEs, Geophys. Res Lett., 31, L21802, doi: 10.1029/2004GL021141, 2004.

Dr. Nour Raouafi

Nour Raouafi

Johns Hopkins University: APL
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1A, 1C


Ph.D. in Astrophysics, University Paris XI, Orsay, France, 2000

M.A. in Astrophysics, University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France, 1997

B.S. in Fundamental Physics, University Tunis II, Tunisia, 1996

Professional Background

Senior Professional Staff, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 2008 - present

Research Associate, National Solar Observatory, 2004 - 2008

Post-doctoral Researcher, Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research, 2001 - 2004


Analyze small-scale structures, plumes, jets, and microstreams in the solar wind; conduct image analysis and create solar wind flow maps.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Raouafi's main area of interest is the study of the dynamic solar corona via the analysis of spectral and imaging observations and theoretical interpretation of coronal emissions. His primary contributions have been in the area of solar magnetic fields, coronal polarimetry, coronal plumes, jets, CMEs, solar energetic particles, and cometary physics. He has developed theoretical models for the heating and acceleration of different species in the fast solar wind, forward modeling of coronal polarization in the UV and IR wavelength ranges. His analysis of coronal observations led to in-depth insight into the physics underlying the formation and evolution of different coronal structures.

Supporting Experience

He is also a deputy project scientist for the Parker Solar Probe mission, which allows him to have insight into the development, design and construction of space instruments.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Raouafi, N.-E; el al., Diagnostics of Coronal Magnetic Fields through the Hanle Effect in UV and IR Lines, Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, Accepted May 2016. Doi: 10.3389/fspas.2016.00020.

Raouafi, N.-E.; el al., Solar Coronal Jets: Observations, Theory, and Modeling, Space Science Reviews, Accepted June 2016. Doi: 10.1007/s11214-016-0260-5.

Raouafi, N.-E; Lisse, C. M., et al., Dynamics of HVECs emitted from comet C/2011 L4 as observed by STEREO, JGR, 120, 5329, 2015.

Raouafi, N.-E; Stenborg, G., Role of Transients in the Sustainability of Solar Coronal Plumes, ApJ, 787, 118, 2014.

 Dr. Alexis Rouillard

Alexis Rouillard

Research Institute in Astrophysics & Planetology
PUNCH Science Co-I (International Contribution): WG 2A, 2C


Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, UK, 2007

M.S. in Physics and Mathematics, University of Southampton, UK, 2002

Professional Background

CNRS Researcher, L’Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP), Toulouse, France, 2012 - present

Associate Research Professor, George Mason University, 2009 - 2012

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Southampton, 2007 – 2009


Karen Harvey Prize, for outstanding early- career contributions


Analyze solar wind variability and shocks in coronal and heliospheric imagery; provide comparison with in-situ measurements and with Solar Orbiter/Parker Solar Probe.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Alexis Rouillard exploited heliospheric images from the STEREO mission to demonstrate that CIRs can be imaged and tracked in heliospheric images. Combining heliospheric imagery and in-situ data he characterized the variability of the slow solar wind and showed that flux ropes are continually released in the slow wind. He has also developed new techniques to derive 3-D properties of shocks by combining coronal images and simulations. These techniques are now used in studies investigating the origin of energetic particles and gamma rays. Dr. Rouillard is currently developing novel kinetic and fluid models of the solar wind that can be directly compared to white-light imagery.He also developed the web-based Propagation Tool to analyze heliospheric imagery in combination with in-situ data. He is a recipient of the Karen Harvey Prize for early-career achievement.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Rouillard contributed to the proposal of the Parker Solar Probe WISPR instrument and is a Co-I on the Solo-HI and Solar Wind Analyser on Solar Orbiter. He will apply his techniques to track small-scale transients/CIRs and derive coronal shock properties on PUNCH white-light images. He also intends to integrate PUNCH data in the Propagation Tool to ease synergies between PUNCH and Solar Orbiter/Parker Solar Probe missions.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Rouillard, A.P., Davies, J.A., et al., First imaging of corotating interaction regions using the STEREO spacecraft, Geophysical Research Letters, 35, 10, CiteID L10110, 2008.

Rouillard, A.P., Sheeley, N.R., et al., The Longitudinal Properties of a Solar Energetic Particle Event Investigated Using Modern Solar Imaging, The Astrophysical Journal, 752, 1, 44, 20, 2012.

PUNCH team member

Arnaud Thernisien

Naval Research Laboratory
Coronagraphic image analysis; data product integration; WG 1B, 2A


PhD in Physics, Specialty in Image Processing and Optics, Université P. Cézanne, Marseille, 2008

Engineer of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Physique de Marseille, 1999

Master's Degree in Physics, Université of Lille I, 1997

DUT (Technician degree) in Electronics and Computer Science, Université of Lille I, 1992

Professional Background

Research Physicist, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC, 2013 – Present

Research Physicist Contractor, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC, 2003 – 2013

Research Engineer, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France, 1999 – 2003


Coronagraphic image analysis; data product integration

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Optical design, optimization, and test of sensors for the observation of the solar corona:

  • Optics lead for CCOR-GOES and CCOR-2 (compact coronagraphs, NOAA)
  • Optics lead for PUNCH-NFI (compact coronagraph, NASA)
  • Optics analyst up to Nov 2013, then optics lead for WISPR on Solar Probe Plus (NASA)
  • Optics analyst up to Nov 2013, then optics lead for SoloHI on Solar Orbiter (ESA/NASA)
  • Fields of expertise:
    • Optical design using Zemax software
    • Optimization of the stray-light performances using Fred software
    • Integration and testing: BRDF, stray-light, diffraction, alignment, resolution, photometry
    • Simulations of observations

Develop a ray-tracing software for the simulation of the solar corona:

  • Forward modeling of structures of the solar corona such as CMEs (GCS model)
  • Implemented in C++, IDL, and Python. Unit testing. Multi-threaded

Optimization of the external occulter for the STEREO SECCHI-COR2 coronagraph.

  • Numerical simulation and experimental testing of different occulter designs

In-flight calibration of the spatial coronagraph SOHO LASCO-C3.

  • Radiometric calibration and aging using stars

Develop a correction and calibration pipeline for the SOHO-LASCO coronagraph

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Thernisien, A.; Vourlidas, A.; Howard, R. A., “Forward Modeling of Coronal Mass Ejections Using STEREO/SECCHI Data”, Solar Physics, Volume 256, Issue 1-2, pp. 111-130 (2009).

Thernisien, A. F. R.; Howard, R. A. and al, “Stray light analysis and testing of the SoloHI (solar orbiter heliospheric imager) and WISPR (wide field imager for solar probe) heliospheric imagers”, Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 10698, id. 106980E 19 pp. (2018).

Dr. Barbara Thompson

Barbara Thompson

NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1A (leader), 2A, 2C; Data Scientist


Ph.D. in Physics, University of Minnesota, 1996

B.A. in Mathematics and Physics, University of Pennsylvania, 1991

Professional Background

Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 1998 – 2016

SOHO Support Scientist, Applied Research Corporation, NASA GSFC, 1996 – 1998


Lead analysis of solar wind flow and acceleration; characterize the Alfén zone; analyze shock images. Responsible for PUNCH data interoperability, and science data analysis.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Thompson served as Project Scientist for the Solar Dynamics Observatory from 1999-2004, and as Deputy Project Scientist from 2004-2016. She is also a Co- investigator on two STEREO investigations (SECCHI and PLASTIC), the Solar EUV Rocket Telescope Spectrograph (SERTS) rocket program from 1998-2000 and the Spartan- 201 Coronagraph space shuttle payload team in 1998.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Thompson has devoted the majority of her solar research to the study of coronal mass ejections and the dynamics of coronal structures. She has a great deal of experience in analyzing data from multiple sources, and has authored or co- authored more than 50 papers using data from more than one instrument, as well as dozens of papers combining observations with model interpretations. Her current research efforts focus on understanding the dynamics of the solar corona and understanding the coupling between small-scale and large-scale structures. Her scientific leadership has emphasized cross-disciplinary development and innovation.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Thompson, B.J., C.A. Young (2016) Persistence Mapping of Using EUV Solar Imager Data, ApJ, 825(1), 27; doi: 10.3847/0004- 637X/825/1/27

Mays, M.L., B.J. Thompson (2015) Propagation of the 7 January 2014 CME and Resulting Geomagnetic Non-event, ApJ, 812(2), 145; doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/812/2/145

Mason, J.P., T.N. Woods, A. Caspi, B.J. Thompson, R.A. Hock (2014) Mechanisms and Observations of Coronal Dimming for the 2010 August 7 Event, ApJ, 789(1), 61; doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/789/1/61

Pesnell, W.D., B.J. Thompson, P.C. Chamberlin (2012) The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), Solar Physics, Vol. 275(1), 3-15; doi: 10.1007/s11207-011-9841-3

Thompson B. J., et al. (2011) A Snapshot of the Sun Near Solar Minimum: The Whole Heliosphere Interval, Solar Phys. Vol. 274(1), 29-56, doi:10.1007/s11207-011-9891-6

Dr. Nicholeen Viall-Kepko

Nicholeen Viall-Kepko

NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 1B (leader), 2C


Ph.D. in Astronomy, Boston University, 2010

M.A. in Astronomy, Boston University, 2007

B.S. in Astronomy and Physics, University of Washington, 2004

Professional Background

Research Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 2012 - present

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 2010 - 2012

Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Astronomy, Boston University, 2005 - 2010


Karen Harvey Prize, for outstanding early- career contributions


Lead analysis and interpretation of PUNCH data on solar wind variability, turbulence, and microstructure; analyze shock images.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Dr. Viall-Kepko is an expert in time series analysis, image processing, and connecting remote observations to those made in situ in order to understand Sun-Earth interactions. Beginning with the research for her dissertation, “Periodic Solar Wind Density Structures”, she has examined Sun-Earth connections, analyzing in situ magnetospheric and solar wind data and connecting those observations with solar wind structures observed in white light imaging data taken with inner Heliospheric Imager and Outer Coronagraph on STEREO/SECCHI (abbreviation). This research shows how high resolution white light imaging data can help to pin down the origin of the slow solar wind and predict the ‘quiescent’ space weather impacting the Earth even on quiet days.

Supporting Experience

Dr. Viall-Kepko uses her time series and image processing expertise to investigate the properties of coronal heating with imaging data and hydrodynamic simulations. Her community service is extensive, having served on Eduardo Sanchez- Diaz’s dissertation committee, gave 80 interviews for the 2017 total solar eclipse, was a SHINE student representative and a representative for the Outstanding Student Paper Awards given by the American Geophysical Union.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Viall, N.M., & A. Vourlidas, (2015) Periodic Density Structures and the Origin of the Slow Solar Wind, ApJ, 807, 176.

Viall, N.M., Spence, H., Vourlidas, A., & Howard, R., (2010) Examining Periodic Solar-Wind Density Structures Observed in the SECCHI Heliospheric Imagers, Solar Physics, 261, 175.

Viall, N.M., & Klimchuk, J. A., (2012) Evidence for Widespread Cooling in an Active Region Observed with the SDO Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, ApJ, 753, 35.

Viall, N.M., et al., (2009) Are periodic solar wind number density structures formed in the solar corona?, GRL, 36, L23102.

David Webb

David Webb

Boston College
PUNCH Science Co-I: WG 2A (co-leader), 2B


B.Sc., Physics and Astrophysics, Mount Union College, Alliance, OH, 1966

Professional Background

Senior Research Physicist, Institute for Scientific Research, Boston College, 1990 – present

Research Physicist, Emmanuel College; Boston, MA, 1988 - 1990

Senior Scientist, Solar Physics Group, American Science & Engineering, Cambridge, MA, 1968 - 1987


Contribute to dynamic solar wind analysis; lead analysis of CME structure and its propagation through the heliosphere and imprint on the solar wind.

Experience Relevant to PUNCH

Mr. David Webb has 45 years of experience in solar physics research, is an expert in analyzing CMEs using data from white light coronagraphs and the heliospheric imagers on the Coriolis/SMEI and STEREO/SECCHI missions. For PUNCH he will study the structural and kinematic data on CMEs from their origins near the surface into the heliosphere. He will assist in analyzing data from both the Narrow- and Wide- Field Imagers to understand the transition of CME structure and its imprint on the dynamic solar wind.

Supporting Experience

Mr. Webb is an expert in coronal physics, especially in coronal activity and CMEs. He has studied CMEs, especially from imagers on Skylab, P-78/Solwind, Helios, SOHO/ LASCO, SMEI and SECCHI, with considerable experience in associating CMEs and ICMEs and studies of space weather. Webb has been a team leader or key contributor at many workshops where CMEs and coronal physics were major topics, and published many reviews of CMEs.

Selected Publications Relevant to PUNCH

Webb, D. F. and A. Vourlidas, LASCO Results on Eruptive Current Sheets Trailing CMEs (2016) Solar Physics, 291, 3725, 2016.

Webb, D.F. et al., An Ensemble Study of a January 2010 Coronal Mass Ejection (CME): Connecting a Non-obvious Solar Source with Its ICME/Magnetic Cloud (2014) Solar Phys, 289, 4173.

Webb, D.F. et al., Heliospheric Imaging of 3-D Density Structures During the Multiple Coronal Mass Ejections of Late July to Early August 2010 (2012) Solar Phys, 285, 317.

Webb, D. F. and Timothy A. Howard, Coronal Mass Ejections: Observations (2012) in Living Reviews in Solar Physics (http://, 9, 3.

Webb, D.F. et al., Studying Geoeffective ICMEs between the Sun and Earth: Space Weather Implications of SMEI Observations (2009) Space Weather, 7, S05002.