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Kristopher Bedka (NASA)

Title: Research Physical Scientist
Technical Focus Areas: Climate Science, Lidar Science, Applied Science, Air Quality & Weather, Airborne Science
Mission/Project/GroupDAWN, Aerosol Wind Profiler (AWP), SATCORPS
Study Topics: Atmospheric Winds, Doppler Wind Lidar, Severe Convection, Geostationary Imagers, Atmospheric Process Studies, Upper Troposphere – Lower Stratosphere Exchange, Short-Term Prediction, Aviation Weather Hazards, Disasters, Applied Science


Mr. Bedka has spent most of his professional career analyzing atmospheric processes and prediction using satellite-, airborne-, and ground-based observations and models. Throughout his career, he has focused on: 1) development, validation, and application of automated satellite-based convective initiation nowcasting, atmospheric motion vector retrieval, ice crystal aircraft icing, overshooting convective cloud top detection, and above anvil plume / enhanced-V signature detection algorithms, 2) development of satellite-based climatologies of hazardous convective storms, 3) cloud microphysical property retrievals using visible light and passive infrared observations, 4) use of airborne lidar wind, aerosol, and water vapor profiling instruments for atmospheric research and satellite instrument calibration and validation, and 5) convectively-induced tropospheric/stratospheric exchange studies. He has authored or co-authored 50+ peer-reviewed publications on these and other topics, and has a Google Scholar h-index of 29 with over 2500 citations of his papers. He has been or is currently the PI for several NASA ROSES projects within the 2015 Severe Weather Research, 2016 NASA Data for Operations and Assessment, 2018 Applied Sciences Disasters, and the 2019 Earth Science Research From Operational Geostationary Satellite Systems programs. He is a Co-I for the NASA Earth Venture-Suborbital Dynamics and Chemistry of the Summer Stratosphere (DCOTSS) mission. He is currently the instrument scientist for the NASA Doppler Aerosol Wind Lidar (DAWN) and was a PI for the April 2019 NASA Aeolus Cal/Val Test Flight Campaign with the DC-8 aircraft. His work has incorporated cloud-resolving numerical weather prediction model output, passive satellite observations from the global constellation of geosynchronous and polar-orbiting passive satellite imagers, CloudSat, CALIPSO, airborne observations from DAWN, High Altitude Lidar Observatory (HALO), dropsondes, and in-situ probes, NOAA National Weather Service WSR-88D Doppler radar data, and 4-dimensional total lightning detection data.

Publication Bibliography:

Select Publications:


  • NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (2018) for satellite-based analysis and detection of hazardous convection
  • H.J.E. Reid Award (2019) for the most outstanding publication of the year from NASA LaRC.
  • NASA Group Achievement Awards:

    • Advanced Satellite Aviation Weather Products (ASAP) Initiative (2006)

    • MACPEX Field Campaign (2012)

    • Aviation Climate Change Research Initiative (2014)

    • The CERES Cloud Property Retrieval Subsystem (2014)

    • The Mount Kelud Volcanic Ash Measurement Mission (2017)

    • NASA HIWC (2019)

    • BATAL project (2019)

    • NAAMES (2019) 

Professional Memberships:

  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Meteorological Society

Education/Professional Experience:

  • B.S. in Meteorology (Magna Cum Laude), Northern Illinois University (08/1996-05/2000)
  • M.S. in Atmospheric Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison (09/2000-08/2002)
  • Associate Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (9/2002 to 07/2009)
  • Senior Research Scientist, Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI) at the NASA Langley Research Center (08/2009 to 05/2014)
  • Research Physical Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center (05/2014-Present)


Gardening, Cooking, and Fishing

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