Charles Hibbitts

Photo of Charles Hibbitts
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Johns Hopkins University


2001 PhD Geology & Geophysics, University of Hawaii
1998 MSc Geology & Geophysics, University of Hawaii
1998 BS Geology, University of New Mexico
1989 BA Physics, Cornell University


2015 - NASA Group Achievement Award for the BOPPS mission
2007 - NASA Early Career Fellowship
1998 - Outstanding Student Paper Award, AGU


As a planetary scientist, I conduct research to understand the compositions of the surfaces of airless bodies in our Solar System, especially the links between surface composition, geology, and exogenic influences. I use a combination of laboratory research and theoretical modeling to interpret the results from spacecraft data. I develop infrared optical instruments for spaceflight. I also apply my expertise to terrestrial investigations relevant to national security interests. I am deputy-PI of the Europa Clipper MISE infrared mapping spectrometer, and was deputy-PI and mid-IR camera lead on the NASA BRRISON and BOPPS stratospheric balloon missions that demonstrated the scientific and cost effectiveness of spectral imaging of solar system objects from NASA balloon platforms in the upper stratosphere. The laboratory work is conducted at a facility I developed at APL that couples the VUV –LWIR spectral capabilities with a UHV system capable of mimicking the vacuum, temperature, and radiation environments of airless surfaces from Mercury to the moons of Saturn.