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CEHW graduate student Sam Halverson awarded NASA Sagan Fellowship

CEHW graduate student Sam Halverson awarded NASA Sagan Fellowship

Congradulations to CEHW graduate student Sam Halverson who was recently selected for a prestigous NASA Sagan Fellowship.

Sam has worked on a number of spectroscopic technologies for his thesis. These technologies were developed specifically to overcome classical instrumental hurdles associated with high precision radial velocity measurements, including precision wavelength calibration and spectrometer illumination stability. The majority of his instrumentation research was driven by the development of the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF), a near-infrared Doppler velocimeter currently under development at Penn State for the 10 meter HET. He has also worked extensively on the design of Penn State’s Extreme Precision Doppler Spectrometer concept ‘NEID’. NEID is a high resolution, optical spectrometer designed to achieve unprecedented Doppler measurement precision (25 cm/s), enabling the detection of true ‘Earth-twins’ orbiting nearby stars.


As a Sagan Fellow, he will continue to develop new photonic technologies that will be applicable to both NEID and a variety of other next generation Doppler instruments currently under development. These technologies will be essential components of future instruments aiming to achieve precisions sufficient to detect Earth-mass planets orbiting nearby stars. He will also remain heavily involved in both HPF and NEID under his new appointment.

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