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Jim Lux - Work Experience
November 1999 - Present
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Telecommunications Science and Engineering Division
Spacecraft Telecommunications Section
Senior Member of Engineering Staff
Participation in design team which is developing system and instrument architectures
for the Radar Electronics Assembly for AlphaScat, a next generation Ku-band
scatterometer. Creating a functional decomposition of the instrument tied to
requirements using tools such as Statemate and DOORS. Leading development of
DSP algorithms for radar signal processing with Avionics Flight Software section.
Site visits and reviews for flight hardware vendors. Maintaining project web
page(s). Creating and reviewing procedures,schedules, and budgets for development,
design and test of breadboard and prototype digital radar processors.
Development of novel concepts for Mars communications networks using components
designed for commercial wireless products, such as wideband CDMA cellular phones.
Participation in review boards and committees.
May 1998 - November 1999
Swales Aerospace, Inc.
Senior RF Engineer
Support of several projects at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, including the
development of an Seawinds/QuikSCAT Calibration Ground Station, assisting with
the RF final assembly and testing of the Free-Flying Magnetometers for the Enstrophy
Project, and the conceptual design of a next generation Ku band scatterometer.
- QuikSCAT Seawinds Calibration Ground Station - An unattended automated system
to monitor the performance of the Seawinds Scatterometer which is on a polar
orbiting platform. It is essentially a highly accurate Ku-band receiver which
estimates the transmitted power of the spacecraft to 0.1 dB and makes accurate
time and frequency measurements of the pulses from the radar. Novel features
include direct IF conversion to digital, DSP processing of the pulses for
parameter estimation, and extensive internal calibration.
- Free-Flying Magnetometers - The 4 hockey puck sized (10 cm diam x 5 cm)
units contained a 3 axis magnetometer, some digital logic, and an S-band telemetry
transmitter. They were ejected from a sounding rocket which was fired into
the aurora over Fairbanks, AK. The magnetic field data recovered was used
to measure the current flowing in the aurora. The FFM represents the first
of a new type of spacecraft which is much smaller than previous instruments,
and is designed to fly in echelon to collect data over a larger volume or
- Alpha Scatterometer - A next generation scatterometer is being developed
which will be significantly smaller and lighter than the Seawinds instrument.
The new instrument will advance the technology, both in packaging and in performance.
February 1990 - Present
Innovation Consulting & Design
Innovation Consulting & Design (ICAD) is a small consulting firm which does short term contract hardware and software development, as well as project management services. Projects included:
Hardware/software design & control
- Developed hardware and software for a timing and real time control for a
system of 100 cameras to track and photograph a tennis ball being served and
returned. Included interface and tuning of hydraulic cylinder closed loop
- Engineering analysis and design of machinery, aerodynamic simulation to
create large (40 foot) artificial tornadoes. (See http://www.reelefx.com/)
Project manager of $300K project to build 15 foot permanent display tornado
at Knotts Berry Farm. Design of electrical system for Knott's tornado, including
programming of SLC500 series PLC and ABB variable speed drives. Preparation
of patent applications.
- Development of a explosive ring vortex generator for producing concussion
sound effects for live performances. An industrial PLC controls the flow of
fuel and oxidizer into a combustion chamber and then triggers a spark to ignite
the mixture. The amounts and timing of the gases and triggers are controlled
by external show control interfaces (MIDI or DMX-512).
- Designed and constructed high voltage systems for exploding wires. A high
voltage pulser vaporizes a several meter wire with a 10,000 amp pulse lasting
about 10 microseconds. The discharge triggering can be synchronized to an
external video signal or other source, to insure that the discharge occurs
when the camera shutter is open. (See http://home.earthlink.net/~jimlux/artlight.htm
- Developed microwave video and data link for control and feedback between
a "telepresence pod" and a "electric golf cart" camera platform. The system
sends stereoscopic video and dynamics information back over a 5GHz band link
to a virtual reality pod (essentially a 2 DOF motion base). Commands from
the pod are transmitted back to the mobile platform.
- Implemented a system to numerically integrate matrix differential equations
running as a screen saver on multiple network workstations, with the basic
grid data maintained on a central network server. This was used to integrate
the Navier-Stokes equations for simulation of man-made tornado airflow, and
to integrate Laplace's equation to calculate electrostatic fields.
- Designed, wrote software and managed construction of a computer controlled
motion base fan. Implemented closed loop control of stepper motors with analog
position feedback to provide tilt and pan motions.
- Built and operated a computer controlled stepper drive for a 4 foot diameter
stopwatch to be used in a television commercial. Computer control allowed
flexible control of sweep second hand "ticks" including speed, direction,
and distance to compensate for camera over or undercranking, as well as director's
wishes for artistic effect.
- Designed and constructed proof of concept model for collision avoidance
and optimal routing algorithms for an autonomous vehicle. Developed PWM motor
controller using VMOSFET bridges controlled by a Z80 for traction motor drive
using wheel position feedback and control loop algorithms in software.
- Implementation of World Wide Web page for a special effects company including
negotiations with Internet Service Providers, creation of HTML and graphics
files, and mail forwarding utilities. Creation of organizational procedures
and documentation to allow client to maintain web site.
- Designed system architecture and developed hardware and software requirements
for a pen based computer to be used in crime scene investigation. This work
was presented at the 1993 Silicon Valley Personal Computer Design Conference.
- Development of an information management system which keeps track of scanned
images and paper documents for the South American Explorer's Club. It allows
club staff to select documents by keyword, title, or other attributes, and
then can produce printed copies of the documents (where scanned) or a duplication
list (where hardcopy). Uses combination of MS Access, Visual Basic, and custom
DLL's for image compression/decompression.
- Development of points tracking system for TriValley Horse Shows Association
to track memberships and horse show results with periodic reports of accumulated
- Software running under Windows for displaying graphic images on laptop in
frame sync with other video sources for TV commercial. Software duplicated
appearance of software from "Single White Female" with changes by art director.
Extensive on-set modifications.
- Developed custom display software for computers on set of TV commercial.
Interfaces between on-set computers, monitors, and film cameras, including
resolving sync problems. Rapid response to modification requests from art
director and other production staff.
March 1992 - December 1993
Trailblazer Software Systems
Development of 3-D visualization software to render sections of a geographic database. Development of compressed geographic database, including processing of original USGS source materials such as Digital Elevation Models (DEM), Digital Line Graphs (DLG), and the Digital Chart of the World (stored in MIL-STD Vector Product Format (VPF)). Development of Windows "look-alike/work-alike" user interface running under MS-DOS, including support for bitmap fonts, standard dialog controls. Porting of above system to Visual Basic.
April 1987-December 1989
Amerasia Technology, Inc.
Program Manager, Advanced Signal Processing
Responsible for management of projects, proposal writing, customer presentations, hardware and software system design, and supervision of development team. Primary projects included:
- Development of real time 200MHz BW spectrum analyzer using chirp transforms
- High resolution spacecraft based laser altimeter; 1 GHz 8 bit A/D subsystem.
- Designed and supervised construction of high speed (250 MHz) arbitrary waveform generator.
- Designed and implemented control and user interface software in Ada.
- Numerous simulation projects for establishing concept feasibility
- Development of algorithms on Intel iPSC Hypercube processor for optimal vehicle routing and sensor data reduction and processing.
January 1987 - July 1993
American Industrial Real Estate Assoc.
Developed the REsearch System, which maintains a distributed database (>50 sites) of available industrial properties with a flexible and powerful user interface. The system uses scheduled off-hours communications over dial-up modems to maintain subsets of a master database at remote sites. Developed enhancements for LAN support and image data. Provided technical support for the organization for LAN and equipment procurement, as well as general operational issues such as disaster recovery. Assisted in hiring of on-staff person to handle ongoing support.
July 1985 - December 1986
Gould Navcom Systems Division
Electronic Warfare Department
Developed specialized algorithms with multiple processor architectures for processing of intercepted spread spectrum radio signals. Performed reverse engineering analyses of various tactical VHF Frequency Hopping radios including identification of "sanded" IC's, and disassembly of microcode. Hardware design & construction of 300 MHz fast frequency counter. Designed and constructed high speed A/D interface for Bragg Cell Optical Transform processor. Responsible for integration of high speed custom digital signal processor with MC68020 software interface.
April 1985-July 1985
Natasha's Models, Barcelona Spain
Installed and configured accounting and database software. Developed database for tracking of clients, models, and scheduling. Trained staff in use of computer and software. Assisted in translation of English software documentation into Spanish, as well as interpreting Spanish documentation that had been badly translated from original English.
September 1984 - June 1985
Siemens, Munich Germany
Programmer / Analyst
Developed low level device drivers for disk drives and video displays under UNIX on 68000 and 8086 PC platforms.
April 1983 - Sept 1983
Advanced Technical Consultants
Developed block oriented system simulator which compiled a textual block diagram description of an spread spectrum RF system into a FORTRAN program, which was then run to do high speed simulations. The compiler was written in FORTRAN 77, and ran under MPX-32 on a SEL computer. A unique feature was that various sections of the simulation could run at different sample rates, with the decimation and interpolation at boundaries handled automatically. The program did also simple filter synthesis for Butterworth and Chebysheff filters.
October 1982 - January 1984
CPRES Communications, Inc.
Developed system for maintaining a database of available real estate properties. Developed auto/truck lease tracking and estimation system.
August 1981 - December 1982
Systems Software Engineer
Developed system software (device drivers, debugging tools) for the OFISfile,
a text retrieval/format conversion system. The OFISfile was based on multiple
iSBC 86/12 (8086) processors and custom string manipulation hardware. Developed
remote debugger to allow field support over dial up lines.
June 1979 - July 1981
System Development Corp.
Developed system software for the ECCCS system, a C3 system for the LAPD consisting of 4 interconnected PDP-11/70's running under a modified version of RSX-11M-PLUS. Developed multi-processor file system to replace FILES-11, supporting shadow disks and hot standby processors for reliability. Implemented numerous OS modifications for performance improvement and multi-processor support. Developed a replacement run time system for FORTRAN to take advantage of 11/70's memory management hardware.
September 1978-August 1979
Telos Computing, Inc.
Developed software for Optimum Path Aircraft Routing System (OPARS) under Navy contract. OPARS uses Navy environmental data bases and sophisticated aircraft performance models to determine optimum routing and to prepare flight plans.
Work prior to 1978
- Designed system and created specifications for OPARS (see above), including development of aircraft performance models and path optimization algorithms.
- Research with Visually Evoked Responses (brain waves) as a diagnostic tool for detecting learning disabilities. Included design of opto-isolated high-gain, low noise amplifiers, a custom digitizer interface for PDP-11/20 and automated feature extraction software.
- Developed software to optimize design of 1000 MW solar power plant. The program utilized climatological data and variable component costing, along with algorithms derived from traditional second order Fletcher-Powell methods, to arrive at optimum design parameters.
- Implemented signal processing software for inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) image formation and feature extraction. Fourier-Mellin transforms were used for shift and scale invariant processing of the images for target identification.
- Research in visual pattern recognition using a trainable linear threshold classifier (TLTC). A TLTC is a primitive neural net with one decision level.
- Implementation of a computer model to simulate and predict school enrollment, using demographic and other data. The model assisted county and district administrators in decision making for new school construction, staffing, and transportation planning.
- Developed compiler for symbolic representation of automatic test sequences.
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