Dr. Bruce A. Campbell

Chair, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies
Bruce Campbell

Bruce A. Campbell received his BS in Geophysics from Texas A&M University in 1986, and his PhD in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Hawaii in 1991. He joined the staff of the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies in 1992. From 1996 to 1998, he was the Discipline Scientist for NASA's Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program (PIDDP). He served as CEPS Chairman from 1998 until 2002.

Dr. Campbell's research interests focus on applications of radar remote sensing to the understanding of volcanism, impact cratering, weathering, and other surface processes on the terrestrial planets. This research includes theoretical studies of radar scattering, radar and field studies of locations on Earth that may be good analogs for other planets, and collection and analysis of planetary remote sensing data. He has been involved in Discovery and New Frontiers mission proposals, and is leading a team to develop an orbital imaging radar system for Mars.

Much of his work emphasizes the relationship of surface properties to the radar scattering behavior of volcanic regions, which remains a key element in interpreting data for Venus, the Moon, and Mars. Fieldwork in support of this includes the collection of a large database of high-resolution topographic profiles for lava flows in Hawaii. Recent projects have expanded this effort to better understand radar subsurface probing and polarization signatures in Mars-like sand, dust, and ash deposits.

Since 2004, Dr. Campbell has used radar transmitters at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and receivers on the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to produce high-resolution maps of the Moon. These images show details of roughness related to geologic features, and the radar signals can probe several meters beneath the surface to reveal impact melt deposits and ancient lava flows. In 2012, Arecibo and the Green Bank Telescope were used to collect a radar map of Venus to search for evidence of volcanic surface change through comparisons to images obtained in 1988.

Dr. Campbell is a team member for the SHARAD radar-sounding instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which probes the upper kilometer of the crust to identify geologic layering. Recent results from SHARAD work include mapping of surface roughness across Mars, characterization of the ionosphere and how it changes over time, and the discovery of water-carved channels buried by lava flows. In 2013, he was part of the U.S team selected for the RIME radar sounder on the European Space Agency Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter mission.

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