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Mike Chalfant

Satellite Meteorology and Climatology Division

Operational Products Development Branch
Research Scientist


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photo: Mike ChalfantMike Chalfant was born in Los Angeles, California September 15, 1942 and attended school there through the 6th grade. Junior High School and High School matriculation was in Anaheim, California. Undergraduate education was started at Fullerton State College (current name), Los Angeles State College (current name) and the University of California at Los Angeles, prior to transferring to the University of California at Berkley. During the summers I either worked for the Department of Agriculture or Department of Defense. In 1965 I received a Bachelors of Science degree in Civil Engineering, from UC Berkeley and went to work for the State of California Division of Bay Toll Crossings as a Civil Engineer.

I joined the National Ocean Survey (predecessor of ESSA and later NOAA), in the fall of 1965, where I worked as a hydrographer making nautical charts of Hawaii, Alaska and California. I was then stationed at NESS (predecessor of NESDIS), at Suitland in 1967. My first efforts at NESS were to assist Dr. Donald Hillary, Dr. David Wark, Henry Fleming and Fredric Van Cleef with the programming of a product processing system for SIRS-A (first atmospheric temperature and moisture sounding system).  Work continued on the NIMBUS follow-on spacecraft sounding systems for SIRS-B, ITPR, NEMS and SCR followed by HIRS/1 and SCAMS on NIMBUS-6.

I was sponsored by NESDIS for a year of graduate study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where I worked toward my Masters in Business Administration (Operations Research – design of large software and hardware computer processing systems, modeling, decision analysis and statistics).  When I returned to NESDIS, at Suitland in 1977, I started working as part of a team for the design and development of the TOVS sounding system, using instrumentation onboard the TIROS-N spacecraft. This work has continued and expanded so as to include the generation of HIRS Spectral Response Functions; validation of spacecraft instrument performance; troubleshooting of NESDIS' front-end instrument calibration and earth location processing; and design, development and checkout of the ATOVS sounding system supporting the new instrumentation onboard NOAA-15 (launched in May 1998). After successfully supporting the launch and operational processing of 17 consecutive spacecraft, current work on ATOVS is in support of the NOAA-N (18) spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in March 2005. Science algorithm development, in support of improved and/or new products, includes three new algorithms for the retrieval of stratus Cloud Amount and an algorithm for removal of Cloud Liquid Water contamination from AMSU-A ch #4.

Degrees earned:

  • Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering, UC Berkeley 1965

Awards received:

  • NASA / GSFC - Group Award, in 1995
  • NOAA / NESDIS - Silver Medal, in 1999
  • NOAA / NESDIS - Bronze Medal, in 2001