Jordana Blacksberg

Dr. Jordana Blacksberg is currently the Program Manager for the JPL Strategic University Research Partnership (SURP) program in the Office of the Chief Scientist. She is dedicated to increasing the impact of our research partnerships with universities which is the key to keeping JPL on the cutting edge of research. Prior to her SURP role, she was a senior member of technical staff in the Instruments Division at JPL.  She has an active research program and extensive experience in in situ planetary instrument and detector development.  She has served as PI for numerous research programs supported by NASA, JPL, and KISS. She also serves as the Investigation Scientist for the Europa Clipper Magnetometer.

Research focus Primitive Bodies, Raman, Infrared spectroscopy, magnetometry, in situ science and instrumentation for primitive Solar System bodies

In her early career at JPL and previously at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory she developed expertise in designing, fabricating and testing numerous detectors for imaging and spectroscopy in bands ranging from ultraviolet to far-infrared including delta-doped CCDs, Germanium BIB arrays, and extended wavelength silicon detectors.  

  • Ph. D., Germanium Detectors for Far-infrared Spectroscopy, Materials Science & Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
  • M.S., Ferroelectric Nonvolatile Memory, Materials Science & Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
  • B.S.E., Materials Science & Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests: 

Science and instrument development for understanding solar system origins and evolution as well as habitability in planetary science.

Professional Experience: 


Manager of the JPL Strategic Research Partnership (SURP) Program, fostering research collaborations with our most strategic university partners:



Technical leadership in instrument and detector development from 2001 to present. Focus on science-driven development and infusion of new scientific measurement methods and instrumentation into NASA’s planetary science missions. These techniques include Raman Spectroscopy, Reflectance Spectroscopy, Tunable Laser Spectroscopy, and Magnetometry. Recent research includes spectroscopy from the ultraviolet through infrared for minerology and organic identification on planetary bodies to determine solar system origins and habitability. Most recent focus is on development of miniature infrared spectrometers for small satellites for determination of mineralogy and volatile content in small bodies.



  • Manager, Strategic University Research Partnership (SURP) Program (2018-present)
  • Investigation Scientist for Europa Clipper Magnetometer (2015-present)
  • PI for research programs
    • NASA (PICASSO Program), High-speed Pulsed Raman for Identification of Minerals and Organics (2015-2019)
    • Keck Institute for Space Studies, Origins of Primitive Solar System Bodies (2012-2017)
    • NASA (PIDDP Program), Time Resolved Instrument for Mineral Analysis (2010-2013)
    • NASA (PIDDP Program), Simultaneous Spectral Temporal Adaptive Raman Spectrometer (2007-2010)

Selected Awards: 
  • JPL Voyager Award, SURP and JROC program development, 2018
  • JPL Team Award, Europa Clipper Investigation Scientist, 2017
  • JPL Team Award, Time-Resolved Spectroscopy, 2014
  • JPL Research Poster Conference award (2013)
  • JPL Edward Stone Award for Outstanding Research Publication (2011)

Selected Publications: 
  1. J. Blacksberg, E. Alerstam, C.J. Cochrane, Y. Maruyama, J.D. Farmer, “A miniature high-speed, low-pulse energy picosecond Raman spectrometer for identification of minerals and organics in planetary science” Applied Optics, 59(2), p. 433-444, January 2020
  2. I. Wong, M.E. Brown, J. Blacksberg, B.L. Ehlmann, A. Mahjoub “Hubble Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Jupiter Trojans”, The Astronomical Journal, 157:4, April 2019
  3. M.J. Poston, A. Mahjoub, B.L. Ehlmann, J. Blacksberg, M.E. Brown, R.W. Carlson, J.M. Eiler, K. P. Hand, R. Hodyss, and I. Wong, “Visible Near-infrared Spectral Evolution of Irradiated Mixed Ices and Application to Kuiper Belt Objects and Jupiter Trojans”, The Astrophysical Journal, 856:124 (16pp), March 2018
  4. A. Mahjoub, M. Poston, J. Blacksberg, J. Eiler, M.E. Brown, B.L. Ehlmann, K.P. Hand, R. Carlson, M. Choukroun, “Production of sulfur allotropes in electron irradiated Jupiter Trojan ice analogs”, 846:2, September 2017
  5. C.J. Cochrane, J. Blacksberg, M.A. Anders, P.M. Lenahan, “Vectorized Magnetometer for Space Applications Using Electrical Readout Atomic Scale Defects in Silicon Carbide”, Nature Scientific Reports, 37077, November 2016
  6. J. Blacksberg, E. Alerstam, Y. Maruyama, Corey Cochrane, G.R. Rossman, “A Miniaturized Time-Resolved Raman Spectrometer for Planetary Science Based on a Fast Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) Detector Array”, Applied Optics, 55(4), pp. 739-748, February 2016
  7. A. Mahjoub, M.J. Poston, K. Hand, M. Brown, R. Hodyss, J. Blacksberg, J., Eiler, R. Carlson, B. Ehlman, M. Choukroun, “Electron Irradiation and Thermal Processing of Mixed-ices of Potential Relevance to Jupiter Trojans Asteroids”, The Astrophysical Journal, 820:141, April 2016
  8. C. J. Cochrane, J. Blacksberg, “A fast classification scheme in Raman spectroscopy for the identification mineralogical mixtures using a large database with correlated predictors”, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, VOL. 53, NO. 8, AUGUST 2015 4259
  9. Y. Maruyama, J. Blacksberg, and E. Charbon, “A 1024x8, 0.7 ns time-gated SPAD line sensor for laser Raman spectroscopy and LIBS in space and rover based planetary exploration”, IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits (JSSC), Vol. 49, No. 1, January 2014
  10. J. Blacksberg, Y. Maruyama, E. Charbon, G.R. Rossman “Fast Single-Photon Avalanche Diode Arrays For Laser Raman Spectroscopy”, Optics Letters, 36 (18), pp. 3672-3674, September 15, 2011



  1. “Method for growing a back surface contact on an imaging detector used in conjunction with back illumination”, United States Patent 7800040, September 2010



Jordana Blacksberg
4800 Oak Grove Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 626.390.9121