Planetary Science Directorate


Upcoming SwRI Boulder Colloquia

Colloquia are normally on Tuesdays at 11:00 am in the 4th-floor conference room, except as indicated below in bold text.
Show previous colloquia

For questions or suggestions for speakers, please contact the SwRI colloquium organizers:
Hannah Kaplan, 720-208-7208 or kaplan(at)
Derek Lamb, 720-208-7207 or derek(at)
Katie Primm, 720-240-0124 or kprimm(at)
Raluca Rufu, 303-226-0879 or raluca(at)
Julien Salmon, 720-208-7203 or julien(at)
Kelsi Singer, 303-226-5910 or ksinger(at)

To be added to the SwRI Boulder Colloquia email list, please contact Kelsi Singer, ksinger(at)

Tue Oct 29, 201911:00 am Vishaal Singh Arizona State University (Mis-)Understanding Ocean Worlds: Enabling future exploration through lab work and modeling of all the things we do not know about the ice
Abstract: The potential for mixing between oceanic material and the surface, covered with ices and salts at different stages of alteration, make Ocean Worlds key targets for exploration of habitable worlds. Using a three-pronged (or ‘Trident’) approach, we develop techniques to probe the thermomechanical and compositional properties of a dynamic ice shell, viewed as a remote sensing target, a site for in situ exploration, and through the depth of the ice shell. We combine investigations using remote sensing data, laboratory studies, and modeling to identify the limits of our diagnostic capabilities and new pathways for exploration. In this talk, I will describe the three projects that comprise my dissertation. First, I examine the effects of image resolution, high albedo, and topography in accurately capturing surface geology with Hapke modeling, using lunar data to benchmark the results. Second, I collect optical and spectral lab data of candidate ices, at Europa-relevant conditions, to identify the interrelationships between grain size, chemical composition, radiation processing, and thermal cycling of ices. I designed this dataset to enable better interpretation of existing Galileo NIMS spectra as well as upcoming Clipper mission data, which we validate with spectral modeling in a previously studied region, with a particular emphasis of finding recent exposures of subsurface material for in situ exploration. Third, I use cryogenic laboratory experiments that simulate Europa’s shearing & fault conditions, to explore the limits of currently available tether and communication technologies that could be deployed by a melt probe transiting the ice shell. Together, these studies improve our ability to constrain the composition and properties of ice shells, characterize the environments likely to be encountered by landed missions, and guide future technology development.
Mon Nov 4, 201911:00 am Richard Ghail Royal Holloway, University of London The EnVision mission to Venus, Earth's mysterious twin.
Tue Nov 12, 201911:00 am Sona Hosseini Jet Propulsion Laboratory A Next Generation Miniaturized High Spectral Resolution Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer (SHS)
Tue Nov 19, 201911:00 am Alex Davis University of Colorado Boulder Applications of the Full-Two Body Problem: Constraints on Formation and Parameter Estimation of Binary Asteroids
Tue Feb 25, 202011:00 am Kathryn Steakley NASA Ames TBD Impacts
Tue Mar 3, 202011:00 am Hakeem Oluseyi NASA Headquarters TBD Science Outreach