Dr. Arik Posner

Dr. Arik Posner

Program Scientist for the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP), the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), and Voyager

Dr. Arik Posner has published on physical processes present in the solar wind in the inner heliosphere with an emphasis on large-scale magnetic structures, their relationship with the solar corona, and their interaction with charged particles. His work led to the 2013 discovery and naming of the Hohmann-Parker effect, and the development of the advanced-capability radiation sensor “Radiation Assessment Detector” MSL/RAD that since 2012 records solar and cosmic rays from the surface of Mars onboard the Curiosity rover. A version of RAD is also installed as a radiation detector onboard the International Space Station (ISS-RAD). Dr. Posner also conceived of and improved a number of space weather forecasting techniques, including the Relativistic Electron Alert System for Exploration (REleASE) that can protect astronauts from harmful effects of particle radiation.

He received a diploma in physics from Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany, and doctorate degree in natural sciences from the Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Germany.  He conducted research at the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio before joining the NASA/SMD Heliophysics Division in 2006.

As part of the Heliophysics Division team, he led the Research and Analysis Program from 2012 to 2017, and currently serves as Program Scientist for the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission as part of the Solar Terrestrial Probes program. IMAP is a future PI-led mission to investigate processes related to the interaction of the heliosphere with the interstellar medium and the fundamental process of acceleration of particles in space plasmas. He also serves as Program Scientist for the currently operating missions ACE, IBEX, and Voyager and is a Co-Investigator of the Curiosity science team. Moreover, Dr. Posner serves as Program Officer for the Heliophysics Supporting Research program.