Jeffrey R. Charles. Abstract, CV,
List of Publications,
Abstract and CV
Jeffrey R. Charles is the owner and chief engineer of Versacorp, a small business which offers systems engineering services and optical instrumentation for astronomy, 360 degree panoramic imaging, and "full sphere" omnidirectional imaging. He is also an amateur astronomer, astrophotographer, and avid total solar eclipse chaser who has taken hundreds of astronomical and eclipse photos, performed experiments at four total solar eclipses, and presented dozens of related lectures. He co-founded the Verde Valley Astronomy Club in Arizona and has served on the awards committee at the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference. A prolific inventor and former professional photographer, he holds seven patents, has two patents pending, and has developed and implemented many innovative techniques and instruments for general, astronomical, scientific, and wide angle imaging and photography, including multi-function flip mirrors and guiding systems, multiple focal length optical systems, instrumentation and experiments which relate to predicting the appearance of the lunar umbra at future total solar eclipses, automated eclipse and panoramic imaging systems, indexing rotary panoramic camera platforms, Cassegrain and other axial strut wide angle reflectors for 360 degree panoramic capture and projection, and other ultra wide angle optical technology, some of which covers the entire sphere around itself in 3D. In addition, he was an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the early and mid 1990's, where he conceived, proposed, and/or implemented a variety of projects, techniques, and technologies, including compact laser steering mirrors; large aperture boresight telescopes for antennas; an airborne relay for deep-space optical communication (ARDOC) which is part of an airborne large aperture telescope (ALAT) which in turn resides on a multiple function lighter than air platform; and a detachable auxiliary power system module for aircraft.
Publications include the popular "Eclipse Chaser" (www.eclipsechaser.com) web site, the Versacorp (www.versacorp.com) web site, instruction manuals for Versacorp astrophotography accessories, and various articles in newspapers, national magazines, and conference proceedings. Of these, notable printed works include "The Strutless (Axial Strut) All-Sky Camera" in the April, 1987 issue of Astronomy magazine; "Adventures in Astrophotography with a Small Telescope" in the Proceedings of the 1988 Riverside Telescope Makers conference; and "Airborne Large Aperture Telescope" (ALAT), in the proceedings of the 1995 "Innovative Space Mission Applications for Thin Films and Fabrics" conference at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. An astrophotography book for Springer-Verlag is in progress.
LIST OF PUBLICATIONS (BOOKS, ARTICLES, AND PAPERS):
Several photos and/or articles in newspapers, catalogs, and brochures (including all Versacorp ads, catalogs, and brochures) between 1973 and the current time, all genres, with many relating to astronomy. (Details available by request)
"How to Build and Use An All-sky Camera", co-authored, in April, 1987 issue of Astronomy magazine. Authored "The Strutless All Sky Camera" article in same issue. Article is based on Jeff's now patented axial strut wide angle reflector invention. Picture of invention also published in August, 1986 Sky and Telescope.
"All-sky Reflector with Invisible Camera Support", a relatively detailed technical article about Jeff's now patented axial strut wide angle reflectors, published in the proceedings of 1988 Riverside Telescope Makers Conference (RTMC)"
"Adventures in Astrophotography with Small Telescope", proceedings of the 1988 RTMC.
Instruction and Maintenance Manual for 25 cm Boresight Telescope (with design and fabrication documents) written and drawn at JPL between 1993 and 1995 for DSS-27 and DSS-28 antennas at the Goldstone Antenna range.
Authored a system level specification and several subsystem specifications for microwave-powered aircraft and related ground facilities. Co-authored operation concept document and final report. Performed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1994.
ARDOC, "Airborne Relay for Deep-Space Optical Communication", a brief concept paper submitted in 1995 to the Advanced Concepts Program (ACP) at JPL. Jeff conceived ARDOC in May, 1993, first promulgated it at JPL on Sept. 21, 1993, and first presented ARDOC and ALAT at a JPL meeting on Dec. 8, 1993. ALAT was conceived Sept. 20, 1993, first promulgated Sept. 23.
STRATOCOM, "Stratospheric Observation and Communication", first promulgated at JPL as part of ARDOC on Oct. 21, 1993.
ALAT, "Airborne Large Aperture Telescope", deployed on a multi-function lighter than air platform (MLAP), presented at the "Innovative Space Mission Applications for Thin Films and Fabrics" conference at JPL on May 8, 1995. Executive summary and many drawings published in proceedings. The ALAT platform is envisioned to be developed in partnership with private industries which utilize it for their payloads. In 1993, Jeff promulgated ALAT and related concepts and experiments as HALAT (High Altitude Large Aperture Telescope). A brief ALAT concept paper was also submitted/proposed in 1995 to the Advanced Concepts Program at JPL. The ALAT paper (sans drawings) can also be seen at the versacorp.com and eclipsechaser.com web sites.
HARCSA "High Altitude, High Resolution Corona Research from Supersonic Airborne Platform", particularly during the solar eclipse of 2005, a brief concept paper submitted in 1995 to the Advanced Concepts Program at JPL.
ODRI, "Orbital Debris Removal Initiative" (and related concepts) a brief concept paper submitted in 1995 to the ACP at JPL.
"Optical Air Traffic Detection System", a brief analysis performed in 1996 for JPL staff who were working on a related proposal.
Seven U.S. patents for precision optical instruments. Two additional patents pending. (Details available by request)
Dozens of lectures and presentations at schools, local and national astronomy and engineering conferences, and other functions.
INTERNET AND MULTIMEDIA:
Versacorp (www.versacorp.com) web site, includes product and technical information, originated June, 1996.
Eclipse Chaser (www.eclipsechaser.com) web site, a popular resource for astronomy, eclipse, and wide angle optic enthusiasts. Originated February, 1997, this site contains many articles, expedition journals, editorials, images, and a novel and screenplay. Material is envisioned to be published in printed and multimedia form. The Versacorp and Eclipse Chaser sites are interlined.
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Jeffrey R. Charles
Pasadena, CA 91004
- 1996: Versacorp. Pasadena, CA; * Owner & Chief Engineer
- 1995: Telos Inc. Pasadena, CA; * Engineer; contractor at JPL
- 1992 to 1995: PRC Inc. Pasadena, CA; * Technician; contractor at JPL
- 1984 to 1991: Versacorp. Sun City, AZ; * Owner & Chief Engineer
- 1983 to 1985: Wilson Camera. Phoenix, AZ; * Telescope Sales and Repair
- 1980 to 1983: Self-employed; * Optical Instrument Repair Technician
- 1978 to 1979: ARIX. Greeley, CO; * Photogrammetrist
- Summer 1977: Beaver Point Market. Estes Park, CO; * Manager
- 1975 to 1977: Self-employed; * Photographer, specializing in portraiture
EXPERIENCE AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Systems engineer contractor for Telos Corporation at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Technician contractor (by title) for PRC at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
- Supported conceptual design for a microwave-powered aircraft system and related ground facilities. Wrote segment specification and several subsystem specifications, developed flight paths which optimized system performance, performed and tasked studies to definitively establish relative power required to fly aircraft of various mass properties and L/D, established maximum allowable aircraft mass for specified mission requirements, prepared and presented this and other material at design reviews, co-authored final report. Able to identify, define, and analyze problems, then recommend and implement effective solutions. Required minimal to no supervision.
- Wrote documentation for installation of an optical boresight telescope on a 34 meter antenna.
- Filed several New Technology Reports. Some of my work was published in JPL/NASA publications.
- Proposed the ALAT (Airborne Large Aperture Telescope) concept and sought advocacy for it as a JPL project. Conceived and developed concepts for ALAT and "spin-off" technology such as large inflatable antennas and LTA (Lighter Than Air) airborne communications platforms. (ALAT was not a funded effort).
Owner and chief engineer of Versacorp.
- Performed systems engineering for a microwave-powered aircraft and related ground facilities. Wrote high level system specifications using FrameMaker and MS Word on Macintosh and PC platforms, prepared spreadsheets using MS Excel, co-developed and co-authored system operational scenario, defined problems and participated in problem solving, called attention to, investigated, and quantified impact of jet stream on aircraft mission and availability requirements, prepared and presented this and other material at design reviews.
- Designed and documented two 25 cm optical boresight telescopes for 34 meter beam-waveguide antennas. Supervised and participated in fabrication and installation.
- Developed conceptual design for miniature laser steering mirror with novel features.
- Designed and had a substantial role in the fabrication of a satellite tracking mount for a 25 cm Cassegrain telescope. Specified and procured most related vendor supplied parts.
- Produced drawings by hand and with Autosketch, AutoCAD, and other programs.
- Taped and edited project video for design review meetings.
- Performed some typical technician work such as design, fabrication, and assembly of 19" rack mounted instrumentation, design and fabrication of small optical & electronic devices, trouble shooting, machining, etc.
- Designed and implemented modifications to upgrade two automated photometric telescopes.
- From 1984 to 1991, I specialized in the conception and design of innovative precision optical instruments and accessories for telescopes, film cameras, CCD imagers, and LLTV equipment. I was responsible for all engineering and related activities including conception, specification, product design, fixture design, and procurement of materials and vendor support. Conceived and developed the entire Versacorp product line which includes multiple function optical image switching systems. Also performed optical and mechanical conceptual design, system integration, custom machining, and instrument repair on a consulting basis. Personally filed and prosecuted seven U.S. patents for precision optical instruments.
- Since 1995, my work has emphasized developing 360 degree "full sphere" optics and other new products, filing additional patents, seeking licensees, partners, and new systems engineering consulting customers, performing image processing with Photoshop, and writing HTML documents for the versacorp.com and eclipsechaser.com web sites.
- 1976 graduate of Estes Park High School, Estes Park, CO.
Self-educated in engineering, programming, machining, and precision instrument repair. Have creative insight in mechanical areas.
- Seven U.S. Patents for precision optical instruments. Authored and co-authored astrophotography, airborne astronomy, and all sky imaging articles which are published in nationally recognized astronomical publications and conference proceedings, including JPL/NASA publications. Many additional articles about total solar eclipses, astrophotography, and wide angle imaging are published on the www. Additional material is in progress for books, screenplays, programs, and multimedia products. Click here to see a list. Click here to see abstracts. Click here to see many of these articles and papers at Jeffrey R. Charles' EclipseChaser web site. Click here to see technical papers and promotional material for Versacorp products.
- Birthdate: October 18, 1957. U.S. Citizen. Never married, no dependents.
REFERENCES and/or a postal mailing address can be provided by request.
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Last Modified: 29 July, 1999