During Phase 3, subject matter experts from academia, industry, and government will provide expertise in sensors, platform engineering, mission operations and program management, the World Magnetic Model, and geomagnetism to participating teams.


Jacob Bortnik

Professor of Space Physics, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UCLA

Dr. Jacob Bortnik is a Professor of Space Physics in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA, researching the high-energy particles and waves in the Earth’s near-Earth space environment. He uses a variety of tools including numerical modeling, data analysis from satellite and ground-based measurements, laboratory plasma devices, and applications of machine learning to predicting the space environment (and more broadly geophysical systems).

Jacob earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in basic electromagnetic theory and space physics. He regularly acts as a consultant, and has interests in various topics ranging from Earthquake forecasting to quantitative finance.


Arnaud Chulliat

Senior Research Scientist, University of Colorado, Boulder; NOAA NCEI

Dr. Arnaud Chulliat is a Senior Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado Boulder. He leads the World Magnetic Model team at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Dr. Chulliat’s research interests include geomagnetic field modeling, data analysis and observation techniques. Prior to joining CIRES in 2014, Dr. Chulliat was the Director of Magnetic Observatories at Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, where he led the installation of new observatories in Asia and the Pacific Ocean. He has authored and co-authored over 75 publications.


James Cutler

Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan

Dr. James Cutler’s research interests center on space systems — a multidisciplinary approach to enabling future space capability with particular emphasis on novel nanosatellite missions. He also has expertise in sensor systems. He is developing next-generation communication capability and robust space computing infrastructure. He is Co-PI on the first NSF space mission, the Radio Aurora Explorer (RAX). Prof. Cutler’s teaching interests are in all things space related.


Jesper Gjerloev

Principal Professional Staff, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Dr. Jesper Gjerloev is Principal Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, author of some 100 scientific papers of which most are focused on some aspect of magnetosphere-ionosphere physics, and has led a list of projects including NASA mission proposals, science centers and steering committees. His doctoral thesis at the Technical University of Denmark focused on auroral electrodynamics from work performed at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Centre. He is also principal investigator for the SuperMAG collaboration, project scientist for the EZIE mission, PI for the Valkyries mission and project scientist ACES sounding rockets.


Mark Moldwin

Professor, University of Michigan

Dr. Mark Moldwin is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering and Applied Physics within the University of Michigan’s Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering within the College of Engineering and affiliated with the Space Physics Research Laboratory, the Engineering Education Research program, the African Studies Center, the Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering, and the Robotics Institute. He is the Faculty Director of the M- Engin program within the university’s M-STEM Academies and Executive Director of NASA’s Michigan Space Grant Consortium. His areas of research include magnetospheric, ionospheric, and heliospheric plasma physics, and pre-college space science education and outreach.