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Darren O'Connor

Electrical Engineer


  • 303-492-7613
  • Office: LSTB-A230


Mr. O'Connor came to LASP as a graduate student to work on the SNOE satellite design. This was his first exposure to instrument design and he found a passion for applying his professional skills to building great scientific instruments. Between that time and his later return to LASP, he worked at several Boulder companies designing and deploying cloud physics instrumentation. This work took him to the Netherlands, Germany, Antigua, the South Pole, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica, all in pursuit of the best cloud physics data measurements such instruments can gather. Both in that job, and now in his position back at LASP, he has been grateful to learn from the best engineers and scientists in the world, and enjoys continuing to expand his capabilities. His job description is learning and applying the best techniques to create measurement capabilities that push forward our knowledge of the universe.


University of Colorado — Boulder, CO

Oregon Institute of Technology — Klamath Falls, OR


Mr. O'Connor specializes in designing instruments end to end, from amplifying low level signals, filtering the spectral content, and digitizing the data; to implementing real time digital signal processing in embedded software or high speed logic to minimize the data and extract the content of interest; to implementing communication protocols for streaming the data to a collection computer. He has built many laser based scattering and imaging instruments, such as the 2D-S, the Cloud Particle Imager, the In-Situ LIDAR, and the Tethered Balloon CPI, all seen here: If he had to choose a specialty to apply to himself, it would be front end diode amplifiers optimizing for bandwidth and low noise.


Mr. O'Connor is currently working on the GOES-R EXIS instrument that measures solar spectra from x-rays to extreme ultra violet wavelengths. This is a national asset program with great oversight, and the LASP team has consistently achieved stellar reviews from the NASA project office.

Mr. O'Connor has mostly moved from GOES-R to working on a fast turn satellite design and build project, CICERO, which is a commercial venture to put low cost GPS occultation instruments in space to increase weather forecasting accuracy by 10%. He is the lead communications engineer for this project.

Mr. O'Connor is also supporting the Active Temperature Ozone and Moisture Microwave Spectrometer (ATOMMS) by supporting field projects and power supply redesign. This is also an occultation measurement and promises to provide far greater accuracy and information than the GPS measurements of the same type.


Baumgardner, D., H. Jonsson, W. Dawson, D. O’Connor and R. Newton,
2001: The cloud, aerosol and precipitation spectrometer: a new instrument
for cloud investigations. Atmos. Res., 59-60, 251-264.

Evans, K. F., R. P. Lawson, P. Zmarzly, D. O'Connor, and W. J.
Wiscombe, 2003: In situ cloud sensing with multiple scattering lidar:
simulations and demonstration. J. of Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 20, 15051522.

Lawson, R. P., B. A. Baker, P. Zmarzly, D. O’Connor, Q. Mo, J.-F. Gayet,
and V. Shcherbakov, 2005: Microphysical and optical properties of ice
crystals at South Pole Station. Submitted to J. Appl. Meteor., March 2005.

Lawson, R. P., D. O’Connor, P. Zmarzly, K. Weaver, B. A. Baker, Q. Mo,
and H. Jonsson, 2005: The 2D-S(Stereo)Probe: Design and Preliminary
Tests of a New Airborne, High Speed, High-Resolution Particle Imaging
Probe. Submitted to J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., May 2005.

O’Connor, D. C., 2005: Servo Circuit Controls Sine-Wave Amplitude: [...]

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