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Ernest Hilsenrath received his BS in Physics at the George Washington University in 1961 and did graduate work at the American University until 1963. He began his career at the National Bureau of Standards (Now the National Institutes of Standards and Technology) in 1958 and joined NASA in 1962 at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He retired from NASA in August 2005 and was appointed to UMBC JCET also in August 2005.
During his career at NASA he developed and conducted several instruments to measure ozone on aircraft, balloons and sounding rockets. He developed and managed a calibration facility at GSFC which was used as a reference standard for calibrating US and international BUV type instruments, including TOMS, SBUV/2, SCIAMACHY, OMI, and GOME-2. He was the Principal Investigator for the Shuttle borne SBUV (SSBUV) which flew eight times to provide in- orbit calibration for the NOAA SBUV/2 instruments. He was Principal Investigator for several analysis tasks for validation ozone data from TOMS, POESS and Envisat. He was the Co-Principal Investigator for the first instrument to measure limb scattering from the Shuttle using a CCD detector which imaged the limb on the detector, the technique selected NPOESS ozone profile monitoring.
He published over 50 papers in the refereed literature dealing instrument calibration and performance and ozone climatology. He chaired and served on several U.S. and international panels for establishing ozone monitoring requirements and establishing cal/val requirements for future stratospheric monitoring instruments. NASA awarded him six Group Achievement Awards and seven individual awards including the NASA Exceptional Medal. He retired from NASA GSFC in 2010, but continues his affiliation with JCET as a JCET Fellow.