- Destination Mars (2015-2016)
Engineering Camera Payload Uplink Lead
Born in Chester, England and raised first in the Wirral then further south as a kid, most of my formative years were spent in rural Gloucestershire at home or at Rendcomb College. I set out to University to study Electronic Engineering at the University of Birmingham, but rapidly discovered that it wasn’t for me. I went hunting for a course involving multimedia content at Birmingham, but came up empty and ended up moving to Demontfort University in Leicester.
After graduating, I started working for a Medical ELearning company initially as an animator. This progressed into Multimedia Production, filming, editing, media management, DVD production and so on. Meanwhile in 2004, I founded what became UMSF as a place to share results, ideas and techniques for processing raw images from the Mars Exploration Rovers
I had no idea that these amateur efforts could ever turn into a career. When it did - colleagues convinced me to tell the story.
I worked in the VTAD group for 5 years as the middle man between a group of programmers and 3D artists, and the engineers and scientists on flight projects. Much of my time went into the MSL Landing Animation and the NASA's Eyes series of projects. I will never forget being interviewed live on NASA TV explaining what the public could do with our apps on the night Curiosity landed.
In 2015 I moved to the Ops Lab to work as a producer for a spinoff of the Microsoft Hololens project OnSight that became Destination Mars.
In 2016 after being recommended for the post by a colleague I began training as an Engineering Camera Payload Uplink Lead for the Curiosity Rover. I fully certified for the role in December 2016, Sol 1555 of the mission. The 'ECAM' role is responsible for preparing sequences for using the Navigation Cameras and Hazard Cameras onboard the rover. As of May 2018, I have planned 137 sols of ECAM activities that commanded the acquisition of 4,376 images on Mars.
In 2017, I also certified as an ECAM PUL on the Opportunity rover. The circle is now complete - the very spacecraft that inspired my efforts in processing data from spacecraft, I now use to take the images I was processing 14 years ago.