Robert Menzies

Dr. Menzies has 45 years of experience at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, primarily in atmospheric science, laser technology, lidar systems, tunable laser spectrometers, with applications to remote and in situ sensing and chemical analysis. 

  • Appointed Senior Research Scientist at JPL in 1988;
  • Fellow of the Optical Society of America;
  • Fellow of the IEEE;
  • Member, American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society;
  • Chair, 1995 Coherent Laser Radar Conference;
  • Chair of the International Coordination Group for Laser Atmospheric Studies (ICLAS), the body that oversees the organization of the biennial International Laser Radar Conference (ILRC), (2002-2008);
  • Served as Applied Optics Lasers, Photonics, and Environmental Optics Division Editor;
  • Served on Mission Assessment Group for the ESA A-SCOPE Study (2006-2009);
  • Authored or coauthored approximately 150 papers in the scientific/technical literature.

Dr. Menzies has been the PI on numerous NASA tasks/projects and has served on numerous technology and space flight instrument and mission review boards.

  • B.S., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1965)
  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
    • M.S., Physics (1967)
    • Ph.D, Physics (1970)

Research Interests: 
  • Atmospheric science
  • Atmospheric optics and spectroscopy
  • Remote sensing techniques and technologies
  • Laser sensing and instrument development

Professional Experience: 
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
    • Division Staff, Instruments Division (2013-present)
    • Division Technologist, Instruments Division (2007-2013)
    • Manager, Microwave Systems Section (2004-2007)
    • Manager, Microwave Experiment Systems and Technology Section (2001-2004)
    • Manager, Microwave and Lidar Technology Section (1998-2001)
    • Supervisor, Laser Remote Sensing Group (1980-1998)
    • Senior Research Scientist (1988-present)

Selected Awards: 
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2012), “For sustained outstanding achievements and contributions to the field of remote sensing technologies and applications”
  • Fellow, IEEE (2006)
  • OSA Citation for contribution as Editor, Applied Optics, Lasers, Photonics, and Environmental Optics Division ((2005)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE) Team (1995)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Airborne Backscatter Lidar Team (1991)
  • Fellow, OSA (1986)

Selected Publications: 
  1. R.T. Menzies, G.D. Spiers, and J.C. Jacob, “Airborne Laser Absorption Spectrometer measurements of atmospheric CO2 column mole fractions: source and sink detection and environmental impacts on retrievals”, J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol. 31, 404-420 (2014).
  2. G.D. Spiers, R.T. Menzies, J. Jacob, L.E. Christensen, M.W. Phillips, Y. Choi, and E.V. Browell, “Atmospheric CO2 measurements with a 2-µm airborne laser absorption spectrometer employing coherent detection”,  Appl. Opt. 50, 2098-2111 (2011).
  3. R.T. Menzies and D.M. Tratt, "Differential laser absorption spectrometry for global profiling of tropospheric carbon dioxide:  selection of optimum sounding frequencies for high-precision measurements",  Appl. Optics, vol 42, pp. 6569-6577, (2003).
  4. D.M. Tratt, R.T. Menzies, M.P. Chiao, D.R. Cutten, J. Rothermel, R.M. Hardesty, J.N. Howell, and S.L. Durden, "Airborne Doppler lidar investigation of the wind-modulated sea-surface angular retroreflectance signature", Appl. Opt., vol 41, pp. 6941-6949, (2002).
  5. R.T. Menzies, D.M. Tratt, J.D. Spinhirne, and D. L. Hlavka, "Aerosol layers over the Pacific Ocean:  Vertical distributions and optical propoerties as observed by multiwavelength airborne lidars", J. Geophys. Res., vol. 107, 10.1029/2001JD001196, (2002).
  6. D.R. Cutten, J.D. Spinhirne, R.T. Menzies, D.A. Bowdle, V. Srivastava, R.F. Pueschel, A.D. Clarke, and J. Rothermel, “Intercomparison of Pulsed Lidar Data with Flight Level CW Lidar Data and Modeled Backscatter from Measured Aerosol Microphysics near Japan and Hawaii”, J. Geophys. Res., vol 103, pp. 19,649-19,661, (1998).
  7. R.T. Menzies, D.M. Tratt, and W.H. Hunt, “Lidar In-space Technology Experiment Measurements of Sea Surface Directional Reflectance and the Link to Surface Wind Speed”, Appl. Opt., vol 37, pp. 5550-5559, (1998).
  8. J. Rothermel, D.R. Cutten, R.M. Hardesty, R.T. Menzies, J.N. Howell, S.C. Johnson, D.M. Tratt, L.D. Olivier, and R.M. Banta, “The Multi-Center Airborne Coherent Atmospheric Wind Sounder”, Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., vol. 79, pp. 581-599, (1998).
  9. B.T. McGuckin, D.A. Haner, and R.T. Menzies, “Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer; Optical Characterization of the Calibration Panels”, Appl. Opt., vol 36, pp. 7016-7022, (1997).
  10. R. T. Menzies and D. M. Tratt, "Airborne lidar observations of tropospheric aerosols during the Global Backscatter Experiment (GLOBE) Pacific circumnavigation missions of 1989 and 1990", J. Geophys. Res., vol 102, pp. 3701-3714, (1997).
  11. W. E. Baker, G. D. Emmitt, F. Robertson, R. M. Atlas, J. E. Molinari, D. A. Bowdle, J. Paegle, R. M. Hardesty, R. T. Menzies, T. N. Krishnamurti, R. A. Brown, M. J. Post, J. R. Anderson, A. C. Lorenc, and J. McElroy, "Lidar-Measured Winds from Space:  A Key Component for Weather and Climate Prediction", Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., vol 76, pp. 869-888, (1995).
  12. R. T. Menzies and D. M. Tratt, "Evidence of Seasonally Dependent Stratosphere-troposphere Exchange and Purging of Lower Stratospheric Aerosol from a Multiyear Lidar Data Set", J. Geophys. Res., vol 100, pp. 3139-3148, (1995).
  13. R. T. Menzies and D. M. Tratt, "Airborne CO2 Coherent Lidar for Measurements of Atmospheric Aerosol and Cloud Backscatter", Appl. Opt., vol 33, pp. 5698-5711, (1994).
  14. B. T. McGuckin, R. T. Menzies, and C. Esproles, "Tunable Frequency Stabilized Diode Laser Pumped Tm,Ho:YLF Laser at Room Temperature", Appl. Opt., vol. 32, pp. 2082-2084, (1993).
  15. M. P. McCormick, D. M. Winker, E. V. Browell, J. A. Coakley, C. S. Gardner, R. M. Hoff, G. S. Kent, S. H. Melfi, R. T. Menzies, C.M.R. Platt, D. A. Randall, and J. A. Reagan, "Scientific Investigations Planned for the Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE)", Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., vol. 74, pp. 205-214, (1993).
  16. R. T. Menzies and R. M. Hardesty, "Coherent Doppler Lidar for Measurements of Wind Fields", Proc. IEEE, March, 1989.
  17. R.T. Menzies and M.T. Chahine, “Remote sensing with an airborne laser absorption spectrometer’, Appl. Opt. 13, 2840-2849 (1974).
Robert Menzies
4800 Oak Grove Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 818-354-3787