Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Space Data Science & Systems

Data collection and processing, information exploitation and delivery


  • Group Leader
  • Stephen Whittemore
  • Email
  • Deputy Group Leader
  • Denine Gasway
  • Email
  • Administrative Specialist
  • Valerie Siewert
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Digital pixel image (left), gradient-based edges (center), and Delaunay tessellation (right).

Expertise in onboard high performance and reconfigurable computing

The Space Data Science & Systems Group (ISR-3) has core capabilities in real-time data acquisition and control, adaptive computing, small-satellite ground stations, scientific and database programming, and system and network administration.

Group members have a variety of backgrounds, including computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering.

ISR-3 employees and students work closely with other groups throughout ISR Division on joint projects.

Focus Areas
  • Critical flight software and flight processing on every major ISR satellite program
  • Satellite operations, data acquisition, ground processing and data management
  • Machine learning and data exploitation
  • Next generation payload architectures and system engineering
  • Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) research for on-board processing and radiation effects mitigation
  • Information technology infrastructure support, system development and integration

Data support

  • Aggregation of data-centric efforts to improve effectiveness by managing resources and methods across the Space Nuclear Detonation Detection (SNDD) program, including design, integration and operation of computing and network resources at multiple classification levels (including delivery to external agencies)
  • Data archival, management, processing
  • Enhance cross-domain file transfer capabilities and integration of data exploitation methods into existing processing pipelines

Processing and communications

  • Development, improvement, and maintenance of SNDD’s Joint Architecture Standard, including the processing and communications architecture, common hardware and software components, and its communications protocols
  • Modular space payload architecture and design
  • Advanced board design, testing, applications
  • Advanced applications of FPGAs for sensor data processing
  • Embedded software, firmware, networking
  • Radiation effects characterization and mitigation for advanced component technologies

Machine learning for analysis of images and signal

ISR-3 is developing a set of software packages and reconfigurable computing hardware to enable rapid exploration and analysis of images and signals.

These machine learning systems build customized, robust algorithms that find and exploit spectral and spatial signatures in multispectral, hyperspectral, panchromatic, and multi-instrument fused imagery.

Organization Chart