July 23, 2019: Jim Lux W6RMK: The NASA/JPL FINDER Project

FINDER is a low power CW FM radar used to detect the heartbeats and breathing of victims buried in earthquake rubble. It was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the Department of Homeland Security to help in the primary search after a large scale mass disaster like the Haiti and Nepal earthquakes. This talk describes the development of FINDER and how it works.

Jim Lux W6RMK was the Task Manager for Finder, and is now the Project manager for SunRISE  — six smallsats forming a radio interferometer that will image the sun at frequencies below 20 MHz. He managed the development and operations of DHFR, which measured HF signals from 5-30 MHz in a 500 km orbit, above the ionosphere. Jim received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal as Principal Investigator for NASA’s ScaN Testbed, which was installed on the International Space Station from 2012 to 2019. He is a licensed professional engineer in California, and has been at JPL for 20 years, following award winning work in physical special effects for film and TV, and other areas of expertise.