Jason Merritt

Jason G.N. Merritt

1630 E. University Blvd.,
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0094
(203) 731-4399


M.S. Candidate Optical Sciences, University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ   (Aug. 2008 to Present)
B.S. Astronomy & Astrophysics, Villanova University – Villanova, PA   (Aug. 2004 to May 2008)


Graduate Research Assistant, OSC, University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ (Aug. 2008 to Present)
• Developing a new adaptation of a spherometer for use in evaluating the figure of aspheric optical surfaces
• Developed a MatLab algorithm to model the removal of glass during optical fabrication
• Implemented the previously mentioned algorithm along with another in order to determine the removal rates and Preston’s coefficient in a simple grinding experiment

Undergraduate Research Assistant, ECE, Villanova University – Villanova, PA (Aug. 2007 to May 2008)
• Fabricated a device to detect gas through analysis of absorption spectra
• Generated spectra resultant from propagating light through gas-filled hollow optical fiber

Undergraduate Research Assistant, AST, Villanova University – Villanova, PA (May 2005 to Jan. 2008)
• Analysis of IUE/SWP spectra of cataclysmic variable stars to determine properties such as mass and accretion rates.
• Analysis of over 5 years of V-band photometry of the dM5.5 V star Proxima Centauri to detect short and long cycles in luminosity, representative of magneto-hydrodynamic activity where it was not expected to be possible.

Work Experience (Internships)

JWST Team, L3-Tinsley – Richmond, CA (Summer 2008)
• Analysis microscopic fabrication defects in James Webb Space Telescope flight mirrors
• Developed a protective container for a mirror inspection microscope, and a backside cover to prevent contamination of the JWST primary segments

GLAST Burst Monitor Team, NASA/MSFC – Huntsville, AL (Summer 2007)
• Inspection of GLAST Burst Monitor (GBM) timing data to determine any discrepancy between GBM and the main instrument on GLAST, the Large Area Telescope
• Wrote several simple programs using C++, Fortran, and UNIX shell to help analyze various information relative to the GBM mission

Researcher, SETI – Mountain View, CA (Summer 2006)
• Assisted in developing a model for determining a meteor!/s three-dimensional trajectory
• Investigated into possible techniques and technologies for observing meteors

Technical Skills
• Software: Zemax, Matlab, Solidworks, C/C++/ObjC, FORTRAN, Shell Script, Perl Script
• Hardware: Interferometers, CMM, Mirror Polishing Stations, Dark-field Microscopes, Optical Depth Gauges, Stepper Motors

• R. M. Wynne, K. Creedon, B. Barabadi, S. Vedururu, J. Merritt, A. Ortega, Simultaneously sensing multiple gases using a single length of hollow-core photonic bandgap fiber with sub-minute response times. Oral presentation at SPIE conference, August 2008. Paper number 7056-32.
• Merritt, J., Guinan, E., Engle, S., Living With a Red Dwarf: Rotation, Starspots, Activity Cycles, and X-UV Irradiances of Proxima Centauri. Poster presented at the 211th AAS Conference with press release, January 2008.
• Merritt, J., Meegan, C., Testing of the Timing Accuracy for the GLAST Burst Monitor. Poster presented in-house at NASA MSFC, July 2007.
• Merritt, J., Night, C., Sion, E., Hubble Space Telescope Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of the Dwarf Nova VW Hydri in Superoutburst . 2007, PASP, 119, 251.

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