2015 Tycho Brahe Award

Presented to: Dr. James L. Garrison

Citation: For contributions to developing and applying GNSS, and other signals-of-opportunity, reflectometry methods for space-based and airborne remote sensing, in oceanography, agriculture, and hydrology.


Dr. James L. Garrison has made groundbreaking contributions demonstrating that reflections of GNSS signals contain valuable information on surface scattering. His seminal research sparked the subsequent development of the first entirely new Earth remote sensing instrument concept in decades. Research by multiple institutions around the world advanced and matured this technology, culminating in the selection of CYGNSS, an 8-satellite constellation to observe tropical storm development. Dr. Garrison is on the CYGNSS science team.

Dr. Garrison made significant contributions to the application of reflectometry remote sensing using the general class of “Signals of Opportunity” (SoOp). He is the principal investigator on a NASA Instrument Incubator Program project, partnering with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Harris, to develop an airborne instrument prototype for soil moisture measurements. Dr. Garrison developed methods for airborne GNSS radiooccultation (ARO) and detecting traveling waves in the ionosphere. Working with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, he improved signal-processing methods for retrieving humidity profiles from ARO measurements within developing hurricanes. Dr. Garrison developed new wavelet-based array-processing methods to extract coherent wave structure in the total electron content (TEC) time-series measured from large arrays of dualfrequency GNSS receivers. These methods showed multiple ionospheric structures induced from atmospheric waves following seismic events, such as the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and the 2006 and 2009 North Korean underground nuclear weapons tests, potentially enabling new capabilities in the early warning of natural hazards or independent verification of weapons test treaty compliance.

Dr. Garrison is currently an associate professor at the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. He has published extensively. He has received several awards including NASA’s Exceptional Space Act Award and the ION’s Early Achievement Award (2001). He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an M.S. from Stanford University and a B.S. from RPI.