sofia_nz_2015flitecamLogo IR Lab

In June, 2015, FLITECAM took a
trip to the southern Hemisphere.

It was part of the New Zealand deployment of SOFIA, and used with two other instruments to image the Pluto Occultation on
June 30, 2015.

Through hard work and determination of so many, the mission was a resounding success.

These web pages document the mission photographically. But they are far from all-inclusive.

Except where noted,
All content & images
Copyright © 2015
Chris Johnson
UCLA Infrared Lab


This project took many years to complete, and numerous people to do it. I would be remiss if I did not recognize some of those who I have worked with that are most important to its accomplishments.

Professor Ian McLean

Ian, along with Professor James Larkin, hired me into the lab in 2004. I had a difficult choice to make when I joined, and I don't regret it one bit. Ian sends a warm and sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to FLITECAM. It was a wonderful team effort.

Professor Eric Becklin

Eric started the IR Lab with Ian way back in 1989. Now working for SOFIA, he's been instrumental (ha!) in getting FLITECAM into the air. A true pioneer, I'm really glad for the opportunity to work with him.

Engineer George Brims

Until retiring last year, George was integral to FLITECAM. Even after he left, his laptop was critical in dotting i's and crossing t's for the end of the project.

Engineer Eric Wang

Though he joined the lab after me, Eric has been working on SOFIA and FLITECAM for longer than almost anyone else. Ever smiling and upbeat! No more need to get underneath and measure FLITECAM again!

Software Engineer Jennifer Milburn

Jennifer (now working at Caltech) spent many hours developing the software for FLITECAM. She had to work tirelessly with SOFIA staff over months and years to synchronize with the MCCS systems.

Machinist Theodore Aliado

Ted makes things; and he's as good at it as anyone I've seen. He identifies problems before they actually cause issues, but can fix them quickly if they do.

Electronics Tech Ken Magnone

Ken's title seems as underrepresented as my own. Ken gets things done, whatever needs to be done. We all know and appreciate how essential he is.

Graduate Student Sarah Logsdon

Always smiling, even in the most arduous of circumstances, Sarah became the heart of FLITECAM. All grad students work hard, but this instrument took her the extra mile (or two, or three).

FLITECAM PhD Recipient Erin Smith

Erin loved FLITECAM so much she went to work for SOFIA. She's currently on detail at NASA Headquarters, but I think she still has a special feeling for our big blue instrument.

Astronomer, Instrument Scientist, and HIPO Principal Investigator Ted Dunham

Ted knows a lot about everything. He's happy to answer questions in terms even I can understand. Ted and the entire HIPO team were a joy to work with throughout commissioning and the occultation. Cheers also to Tom Bida, Peter Collins, and Mike Person.

IT Specialist Shawn Granen

No, you can't get out. Shawn is my kin at SOFIA. He helped me get FLITECAM systems working on the ground and in the air. Always patient working with our aging systems, I hope he will enjoy them now!

The entire UCLA Infrared Laboratory

Hands down, the best, brightest people and top place to work in academia, if not anywhere.
Some lab alums not pictured but heavily involved in FLITECAM: John Goulter, Evan Kress, Nick Magnone, Gunnar Skulason, and Mike Spencer.

The tireless SOFIA team including the Clipper Lindberg!

Photo Copyright © 2013 NASA/Tom Tschida

There are far too many people (current and former) to thank from SOFIA, USRA, and NASA: Mike Agnew, Paul Alvarez, Zaheer Ali, Eric Burgh, Cathy Davis, Mark Garrity, Ryan Hamilton, Kevin Hanna, Ed Harmon, Charlie Kaminski, Murali Kandlagunta, Chris Koerber, Tim Krall, Karina Leppik, Nancy McKown, Riccardo Melchiorri, John Miles, Greg Perryman, Eric Sandberg, Karen Savage, Maureen Savage, Sachin Shenoy, Erik Starman, Amy Stevens, Lisette Tanaka, Carla Thomas, John Tucker, Bill Vacca, Jeff Van Cleve, Nick Veronico, Bernie Walp, Jonathon Wong, et. al.

I apologize if I've forgotten anyone. Thanks to all!

Chris Johnson