Dr. Todd Bradley obtained a B.S. degree in physics at the University of Alabama (UAB) and a Ph.D. in planetary science/aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He is currently an associate research scientist employed by the Florida Space Institute at the University of Central Florida (UCF).
His research covers a broad range of topics in planetary science and instrumentation. He works on the Cassini mission that is currently in orbit around Saturn where he researches the composition and reflectance properties of outer solar system ices with emphasis on Saturn’s rings. He has also worked on the MESSENGER mission where he helped build and calibrate a UV-visible spectrometer (MASCS) that made observations of Mercury’s exosphere while in Mercury orbit for 4 years. He works with analyzing data from this instrument as well as ground-based data to study Mercury’s exosphere. He helped set up a lab at UCF and works with colleagues to make measurements of space weathered materials relevant to airless bodies. He built a dust detector that can be placed on a cube satellite for monitoring the micrometeoroid environment in Earth orbit. He also works with microgravity impact experiments and has made zero-gravity airplane flights to study the collisional properties of low speed impacts into simulated lunar soils and has been leading the effort to extend these investigations to icy regolith at very cold temperatures. He is currently a visiting scientist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he is working in a lab to study the properties of very cold icy grains relevant to outer solar system and interstellar ice grains and aerosols relevant to the atmospheres of other planets and moons. Bradley has served on thesis committees for doctoral candidates at UCF and won an award from the Florida Space Grant Consortium to fund undergraduates for work on a feasibility study to fly dust detectors on a formation of cubesats in low Earth orbit. Bradley was awarded a NASA flight opportunities award to carry undergraduate students on a series of NASA zero-g flights to test a magnetic torque coil attitude control system for a cubesat.
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