Dr. Sara Tucker

Dr. Sara Tucker is a systems-engineering staff consultant in the Active Sensing Initiative at Ball Aerospace, developing advanced laser remote sensing techniques for Earth and Planetary Science applications. She has been the Principal Investigator and technical lead for multiple NASA-ESTO-funded programs to develop and demonstrate Doppler wind Lidar technology for future space-based wind measurements.

Early in her career, Dr. Tucker worked as a research scientist at Coherent Technologies, Inc., developing laser transmitters and laser-based systems and performing heterodyne Doppler lidar data analysis, radiometric modeling, and aerosol scattering retrievals. She then joined the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder) as a NOAA affiliate/research scientist where she further developed heterodyne Doppler lidar systems and managed Doppler lidar participation in several ground, ship, and aircraft-based field campaigns focused on marine boundary layer dynamics, cloud dynamics, and atmospheric pollution. She enjoys collaborating with atmospheric scientists to combine concurrent lidar, in-situ, and passive remote sensing data to reveal new information about weather processes, air quality, cloud processes, aerosol optical properties, and dust/pollution transport and mixing.

At Ball since 2010, Dr. Tucker currently provides lidar systems engineering expertise and mentoring on various programs, performing radiometric modeling, system performance modeling, and data analysis for a range of lidar systems and developing processing algorithms for lidar retrievals including precision ranging, winds, and atmospheric aerosol and ocean properties. She also supports operational weather activities at Ball, working to optimize active and passive atmospheric measurement techniques.

Dr. Tucker has served on multiple committees for the American Meteorological Society, chaired/vice-chaired the AMS committee on laser atmospheric studies and corresponding AMS lidar symposia from 2013-2019, participated in the NOAA/NASA US wind lidar working group since 2005, and is an alumna of the 2017 AMS Summer Policy Colloquium. She received her BS, MS, and PhD in Electrical Engineering, with a focus on optics and signal processing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder.