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Earth Science Division: Earth Science Directory

SGE: Biospheric Science Branch Staff
Stephen E. Dunagan


MS: 242-4

Education: B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1979
University of Missouri, Columbia

M.S., Mechanical Engineering. 1980
University of Missouri, Columbia
Master's Thesis: Laser Beam Degradation Induced by Density Fluctuations Occurring in Turbulent Flows.

Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, 1986
University of Missouri, Columbia
Dissertation: A Holographic Interferometry Study of an Axisymmetric Shock Wave/Boundary Layer Strong Interaction Flow.

Professional Experience:  

Aerospace Engineer, Biospheric Science Branch, NASA Ames Research Center.

  • Development and implementation of remote sensing instrumentation for use in studies of Earth ecosystems.

Project Manager, National Rotorcraft Technology Center, NASA Ames Research Center.

  • Managed NASA participation in multi-agency research and development collaboration between government, academia, and the domestic rotorcraft industry.
  • Fielded and selected proposals for collaborative research, monitoring project performance, and reporting results to the NASA Aeronautics Enterprise program offices.

Research Scientist, Ecosystem Science and Technology Branch, NASA Ames Research Center.

  • Development and implementation of remote sensing instrumentation for use in studies of Earth ecosystems.
  • Optical and opto-mechanical design, data system integration, aircraft integration.

Aerospace Engineer, Rotorcraft Aeromechanics Branch, NASA Ames Research Center.

  • Development and implementation of new test technologies in large-scale wind tunnel testing programs.
  • Expertise in laser Doppler velocimetry, particle image displacement velocimetry, Doppler global velocimetry.
  • Other responsibilities included test director (operations) and managerial appointments.

Graduate Student Fellowship, NASA Ames Research Center.

  • Development and implementation of holographic interferometry instrumentation applied in the experimental study of supersonic shock wave-boundary layer interactions and the turbulence modeling requirements for these flows.

Teaching Assistant, University of Missouri, Columbia.

  • Instruction of upper level under-grads in the operational theory and usage of common engineering and physical sciences instrumentation, and the instruction of lower level students in engineering graphics.
Summer 1979

Plant Engineer, Kansas City Power and Light Co.

  • Startup engineer on Iatan Steam Electric Station project.
  • Supervised final construction and startup of plant systems.
  • Responsible for circulating water system, intake structure, condensers, auxiliary cooling water system, fuel oil piping, and chemical cleaning of boiler.
Summers 1977, 1978

Plant Engineer, Mobay Chemical Corporation.

  • Entry level plant engineering.
  • Responsible for spare parts and maintenance of process equipment, minor process systems modifications, optimization studies, minor design projects.

Scientific (Engineering) Contributions:
Project Manager and DuncanTech Payload Engineer

UAV Coffee Project . First demonstration of UAV and matched sensor and wireless communications technology for agricultural crop evaluation to provide real time assessment of harvest strategy.

Principal Investigator

Hawaiian Pathfinder Digital Array Scanned Interferometer Project . First application of hyperspectral measurement technology on NASA Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology program UAV aircraft. Demonstration of remote science capability via internet and aircraft to ground telemetry.

Instrumentation Engineer Development and implementation of large aperture catadioptric optical systems for long-range laser Doppler velocimetry in large-scale wind tunnel research.
Test Director and Instrumentation

NASA V-22 Rotor Performance Test. Provided definitive forward flight rotor performance data set for V-22 rotor system.

Scientific Societies/Committe :

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Technical Committee on Aerodynamics Measurement Technology, 1993-1995.

Selected Publications:

Russell, P. B., B. Schmid, C. Flynn, S. E. Dunagan, R. R. Johnson, and J. Redemann. 2007. Spectrometers for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research (4 STAR ): Airborne Concepts and Ground Prototype Measurements. AGU Fall Meeting, Dec. 10-14, San Francisco, CA.

Herwitz, S., S. Dunagan, D. Sullivan, R. Slye, J. Leung, and L. Johnson. 2006. Wireless command-and-control of airborne imaging LANs. NASA Technical Memorandum #2006-213479.

Ambrosia, V. G., S. Ambrose, E. Hinkley, S. Wegener, D. Sullivan, F. Enomoto, S. Dunagan, J. Brass, S. Buechel, and S. Schoenung. 2005. Advanced Decision Support Technologies For Wildfire and Disaster Event Monitoring. Proceedings of the 31st International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment: Global Monitoring for Sustainability and Security, June 20-24, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Dunagan, S., D. V. Sullivan, R. E. Slye, B. M. Lobitz, E. Hinkley, and S. Herwitz. 2005. A Multi-Sensor Imaging Payload for Mission-Adaptive Remote Sensing Applications. AIAA Infotech Conference, Sept. 26-29, Arlington, VA.

Herwitz, S., K. Allmendinger, R. Slye, S. Dunagan, B. Lobitz, L. Johnson, and J. Brass. 2004. Nighttime UAV vineyard mission: Challenges of see-and-avoid in the U.S. National Airspace. AIAA 3rd UAV Technical Conference, Sept. 20-22, Chicago, IL.

Herwitz, S. R., L. Johnson, S. Dunagan, R. Higgins, D. Sullivan, J. Zheng, B. Lobitz, J. Leung, B. Gallmeyer, M. Aoyagi, R. Slye, and J. Brass. 2004. Demonstration of UAV-based imaging for agricultural surveillance and decision support. Computers & Electonics in Agriculture , 44: 49-61.

Johnson, L., S. Herwitz, B. Lobitz, and S. Dunagan. 2004. Feasibility of monitoring coffee field ripeness with airborne multispectral imagery.  Applied Engineering in Agriculture 20: 845-849.

Ambrosia, V., S. Wegener, D. Sullivan, S. Buechel, S. Dunagan, J. Brass, and J. Stoneburner. 2003. Demonstrating UAV-acquired real-time thermal data over fires. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing , 69(4): 391-402.

Herwitz, S. R., S. E. Dunagan, D. V. Sullivan, Johnson, J. Zheng, R.E. Slye, J. A. Brass, J. G. Leung, B. A. Gallmeyer, and M. Aoyagi. 2003. Solar-powered UAV mission for agricultural decision support. Proc., Intl. Geoscience & Remote Sensing Symp., July 21-25, Toulouse , France .

Herwitz, S., L. Johnson, S. Dunagan, J. Brass, and G. Witt. 2003. Orchestrating a near-real-time imaging mission in national airspace using a solar-powered UAV. Proc., 2nd AIAA UAV Conf., Sept. 15-18, San Diego, CA.

Herwitz, S. R., L. Johnson, S. Dunagan, R. Higgins, D. Sullivan, J. Zheng, B. Lobitz, J. Leung, B. Gallmeyer, M. Aoyagi, R. Slye, and J. Brass. 2003. Coffee field ripeness detection using high resolution imaging systems of a solar-powered UAV. Proc., Thirtieth Intl. Symp. Remote Sensing of Environment, Nov. 10-14, Honolulu, HI.

Peterson, D. L., J. A. Brass, W. H. Smith, G. Langford, S. Wegener, S. Dunagan, P. Hammer, and K. Snook. 2003. Platform options of free-flying satellites, UAVs or the International Space Station for remote sensing assessment of the littoral zone. Int. J. Remote Sensing , 24(13): 2785-2804.

Herwitz, S. R., L. F. Johnson, J. C. Arvesen, R. G. Higgins, J. G. Leung, and S. E. Dunagan. 2002. Precision agriculture as a commercial application for solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles. First Unmanned Aerospace Vehicles, Systems, Technologies, and Operations Conference and Workshop, May 20-23, Portsmouth, VA. RP: AIAA Paper 2002-3404

Herwitz, S. R; J. G. Leung, R. G. Higgins, S. E. Dunagan, and J. C. Arvesen. 2002. Command-and-control of imaging payloads using commercial off-the-shelf technology. IGARSS 2002-2002 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, June 24-28, Toronto , Canada .

Hammer, P., L. Johnson, A. Strawa, S. Dunagan, R. Higgins, J. Brass, R. Slye, D. Sullivan, B. Lobitz, W. Smith, and D. Peterson. Surface Reflectance Mapping using Interferometric Spectral Imagery from a Remotely Piloted Aircraft. 2000. IEEE IGARSS 2000: International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, July 24-28, Honolulu HI. Proceedings, 2: 816-818.

Dunagan, S. E. 1996. Long-Range Schmidt-Cassegrain Laser Velocimeter for Large Wind-Tunnel Applications. AIAA Journal , 34(3): 515-520.

Dunagan, S. E., J. L. Brown, and J. B. Miles. 1987. Holographic Interferometry Study of an Axisymmetric Shock-Wave/Boundary Layer Strong Interaction Flow. AIAA Journal , 25(2): 294-299.

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