NEWS | Sept. 20, 2012

Dr. Paul Bernhardt Honored with NRL's E.O. Hulburt Award

By Donna McKinney

Dr. Paul Bernhardt, a supervisory research physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been honored with the 2011 E.O. Hulburt Award, the highest award the NRL Commanding Officer can confer on an NRL civilian employee. The award was presented at a ceremony held on August 23th.

By participating as principal investigator or co-investigator in over 20 rocket programs, over 25 space shuttle flights, and over 30 satellite missions, Dr. Bernhardt has demonstrated that active remote sensing provides unique data on the structure and physics of the upper atmosphere.

The Hulburt Award is given to Dr. Bernhardt:

In recognition of outstanding experimental, theoretical, and computational research at NRL in the areas of ionospheric modification with high-power radio waves and chemical releases, satellite-based radio beacon sensing of space plasmas, and analysis and numerical modeling of plasma instabilities. Dr. Bernhardt has performed pioneering work in (1) the creative use of chemical releases and high power radio waves to modify the ionosphere, (2) fundamental and comprehensive contributions to ionospheric and space physics in the areas of plasma instabilities, and (3) radio beacon diagnostics and tomographic imaging of the ionosphere.

Dr. Bernhardt is regularly asked to participate in space- and ground-based aeronomy programs with both national and international sponsorship, working with countries such as Canada, Japan, England, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Peru, and Brazil. Dr. Bernhardt has received sponsorship for research on ionospheric modification experiments and radio beacon sensors from NASA for the Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) mission, from Taiwan National Space Organization of the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere & Climate (COSMIC) mission, from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for the Sporadic-E Experiment over Kyushu (SEEK2 and SEEK3), rocket programs, from the Air Force for the Communication/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite mission, from the Air Force Research Laboratory for the Metal Oxide Space Cloud (MOSC) rocket flights, from DARPA for the Charged Aerosol Release Experiment (CARE) rocket program, and from DARPA, the Office of Naval Research, and the Air Force Research Laboratory for the high power radio wave experiments at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) HF facility in Alaska.

Dr. Bernhardt briefs the Department of Defense Space Test Program (STP) yearly for satellite instrument and active experiment research support. He regularly receives STP rankings in the top 25% of the total list and has always received accommodation for his experiments on satellites or rockets. In addition, Dr. Bernhardt has supervised four post doctorial researchers that have received Category A ratings and full National Research Council sponsorship for their research.

Dr. Bernhardt came to NRL in 1988. He now serves as the Head of the Space Use and Plasma Environment Research Section of the Charged Particle Physics Branch in NRL's Plasma Physics Division. The section conducts basic experimental and theoretical research in the areas of upper atmospheric remote sensing, ionospheric modification physics, and radiation belt physics.

Dr. Bernhardt has over 130 refereed publications and is the first author on 60% of them. His published work has over 1500 citations and his average number of citations per year is 41.

Dr. Bernhardt received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from University of California at Santa Barbara in 1971, his master's from Stanford University in 1972, and his doctorate from Stanford University in 1976.

Dr. Bernhardt is a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Physical Society. Dr. Bernhardt has been honored with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Award for Public Service (1986); Alan Berman Publication Award at NRL (1990, 2007, 2010); Navy Award of Merit for Group Achievement (1991); NRL Technology Transfer Award for achievements in the development of computerized tomography for ionospheric specification (2001); Sigma Xi Applied Science Award at NRL (2006); Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Award (2006); and the National Science Foundation Coupling, Energetics, and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions (CEDAR) Prize Lecture (2010).