David Atlas Maniac Lecture

Personal Photograph

Emeritus Scientist, NASA GSFC

Dr. David Atlas was Professor of Meteorology at University of Chicago and Director of Atmospheric Technologies Division, NCAR, Boulder, Colo. In 1977, he was the founding director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he led a broad-based R&D program on the development of space-based instruments for monitoring the atmosphere, oceans, and cryosphere and conducted research on the measurement of rainfall from air and space platforms. This work ultimately led to the development and launch, in 1997, of the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM), which made it possible to measure rainfall over tropical regions of the globe. Upon his retirement from NASA in 1984, Dr. Atlas established his own consulting firm but continued his research at the University of Maryland; the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology as Distinguished Visiting Scientist; and the Goddard Space Flight Center, where he is still Distinguished Visiting Scientist. His many patents have led to the development of practical airborne radars for severe weather avoidance on commercial aircraft. He also established world-class research and development (R&D) groups at Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories, the University of Chicago, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Among his many other achievements, he is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Society, the Royal Meteorological Society, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Meteorological Society.