Dr. Hassler is Science Program Director at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. He joined the Department of Space Studies at SwRI in March 1997, and has over 25 years experience in the development, management and characterization of space instrumentation. His current scientific interests include understanding and characterizing the drivers of Space Weather, the dynamics of the solar atmosphere and its interaction with the heliosphere, and the radiation environment in the heliosphere, from the Sun to the surface of Mars.
Dr. Hassler is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) investigation to characterize the radiation environment on the surface of Mars as part of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. He is also PI of a 2nd generation Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) for the International Space Station (ISS), as well as the Scientific Lead of the SPICE (Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment) UV Imaging Spectrograph on the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter Mission. He is also currently Principle Investigator of a NASA sounding rocket program to build a next generation ultraviolet spectrograph, called RAISE (Rapid Acquisition Imaging Spectrograph), to study the dynamics of the solar atmosphere and the trigger mechanisms responsible for eruptive solar activity.
He has been either PI or Co-I on seven previous sounding rocket flights and Instrument/Science Team member at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) for the Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) experiment on the Spartan 201-1 Space Shuttle Experiment (STS-56). Dr. Hassler also served as Instrument Scientist at the NCAR High Altitude Observatory (HAO) for the development and installation of the Advance Coronal Observing System (ACOS) at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory on the Big Island of Hawaii. He has been a funded Co-Investigator on several NASA instruments and missions (SOHO/SUMER, SOHO/CDS, STEREO/SECCHI), and has served on numerous NASA Advisory Committees, Working Groups and Mission Definition Teams. Dr. Hassler also speaks fluent French, and has served on several PhD Thesis Committees and External Review Committees in France.