About NASA's Earth Science Technology Office

As the lead technology office for NASA’s Earth Science Division, we fund new technologies that can improve Earth science research. We aim to help solve technological challenges inherent in space-based investigations to better understand our planet’s dynamic, interrelated systems.

Through an open, competitive solicitation process, we provide grants to universities and institutions to explore new instrument designs and information systems. If you’re an investigator in need of funding, stay connected for updates on upcoming solicitations. If you’re an Earth science researcher in need of an enabling technology, explore our portfolio or contact us here.

ESTO Annual Reports

Earth Science Technology Forum

Every year, we host the Earth Science Technology Forum. We invite principal investigators, scientists, engineers and innovators to share current advances for Earth science technologies. Held in the summer and alternating annually between east and west coasts, ESTF is an open conference and a great way to network with the leading minds in this field.

ESTF 2020

Click the images below to see proceedings and work presented from previous ESTFs.

Our Team

Meet the people who drive ESTO’s vision, manage its programs and guide its projects, and download our Org Chart here.

The Earth Science Technology Office is led by Director Pam Millar. Pam guides our team as it promotes innovative technology to help scientists better understand our planet. She took the helm in October 2017 and has been with ESTO since 2013 as the head of the Flight Validation program, which ensures technology can work in real-world scenarios. Before joining ESTO, Pam was the head of Goddard’s Laser Remote Sensing Laboratory. She led a group of scientists and engineers charged with developing laser instruments for both Earth and planetary applications, like the Mercury Laser Altimeter, which orbited and observed Mercury. Pam graduated from Rice University with a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering. She earned her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University.

Pam is supported by Deputy Director Bob Bauer. Bob stepped into his role in January 2010 and has been with ESTO since 2002 as a technology development manager. He sees ESTO as a vital program that provides technologists with funding and flexibility to push the limits on new ways to measure and study the earth. Prior to his current role, Bob was the Project Manager on a communications satellite project and moonlighted as the ESTO associate based at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Bob graduated from Cleveland State University with an M.B.A. in Marketing and B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

Each of ESTO’s technology thrusts has a designated Program Manager. Jacqueline Le Moigne oversees the Advanced Information Systems Technology program. She assumed the role in January 2020, having been the Deputy Program Manager just prior to that. She was previously an ESTO Associate from 2009 to 2012. Jacqueline aims to drive the design of NASA’s future Earth science observation systems, missions and information systems by discovering, identifying and maturing breakthrough computer science, software and information science technologies. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science, with a speciality in Computer Vision, Artificial Intelligence and Pattern Recognition, as well as an M.S. and B.S. in Mathematics, from the University Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC), Paris, France, now known as Sorbonne Université.

At the helm of the Instrument Incubator Program and Advanced Component Technologies program is Parminder Ghuman. Parminder joined the ESTO team in 2004. He aims to help nurture groundbreaking new ideas and turn them in to validated demonstrations that could operate in space. Parminder graduated from Johns Hopkins University with an M.S. in Applied Physics, George Washing University with an M.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and North Carolina A&T State University with a B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Sachidananda Babu manages the Sustainable Land Imaging – Technology program and In-Space Validation of Earth Science Technologies Program. He joined ESTO in 2016. He strives to ensure that future Landsats, jointly run by the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA, incorporate the latest technology to monitor changes on Earth. He also ensures that tiny, new technology can be tested on small satellites, like CubeSats, to reduce the overall risk of expanding these new technologies into full fledged Earth observing missions. He has an M.S. in Physics from the University of Mumbai and an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from George Mason University.

Amber Emory manages the Advanced Component Technologies program, as well as the Airborne Instrument Technology Transition program, which is funded by the NASA Earth Science Research and Analysis Program. She supports the Instrument Incubation Program and InVEST program, and helps run solicitations for new project proposals. Amber has a Ph.D.  in wind science and engineering from Texas Tech University and M.S. in atmospheric science from Texas A&M University.

Bob Connerton is ESTO’s liaison to NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. He joined ESTO in 2015. He manages projects in the Instrument Incubation Program. Bob helps connect ESTO to NASA’s overall effort to develop space-borne technology.

To share ESTO’s investments both within and beyond NASA, Philip Larkin manages ESTO’s Advanced Planning efforts. Philip joined the ESTO team in 2003 and helps coordinate ESTO’s participation in NASA’s outreach activities. He is currently working towards an M.S. in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs. He has a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Maryland College Park.

Eastwood Im is an ESTO Associate based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He manages projects in the IIP, ACT, InVEST, AITT and SLI-T programs. His expertise is on spaceborne meteorological radar science remote sensing and radar design. He was the first instrument architect of the multifunctional radar for the Cassini Mission to Saturn during the pre-project phase (1987 – 1991), and went on to become the system engineer of that instrument until its launch in 1997. He was the Instrument Manger of the CloudSat Mission between 1999 and 2006 developing the first spaceborne W-band radar which has just completed its 14th year of operation in June 2020. Eastwood has a Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is an IEEE Fellow.

Keith Murray is an ESTO Associate based at NASA’s Langley Research Center. He manages projects in the Instrument Incubation Program, Advanced Component Technologies program and InVEST program. His expertise is in active optical systems where he spent his early career developing novel solid-state lasers for remote sensing applications receiving multiple patents. He has worked on many NASA airborne and space instruments for Earth Science in both technical and managerial roles. Keith has a B.S in Applied Physics from Christopher Newport University and a M.S. in engineering Management from The George Washington University.

Nikunj Oza is an ESTO Associate based at NASA’s Ames Research Center. He manages projects in the Advanced Information System Technology program. His expertise is machine learning, data mining, anomaly detection, ensemble learning and applications of machine learning to aeronautics and Earth science. Nikunj has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Mathematics with Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ian Brosnan is an ESTO Associate based at NASA’s Ames Research Center. He manages projects in the Advanced Information System Technology program. His expertise is in marine science and statistics. He has a Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University, a M.M.A in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Marine & Environmental Science (High Honors) from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Laura Rogers is an ESTO Associate based at NASA’s Langley Research Center. She manages projects in the Advanced Information System Technology program. Her expertise is in systems engineering and complex system design. Prior to joining NASA, Laura served as a UH-60 Blackhawk maintenance test pilot and operational test manager in the U.S. Army. She has a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a M.S. in Coastal Dynamics from the University of North Carolina..

Ben Smith is an ESTO Associate based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He manages projects in the Advanced Information System Technology program.