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France, Kevin Assistant Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • Dr. France studies the formation and evolution of exoplanetary systems, from their birth as protoplanetary disks to the physical characteristic of exoplanetary atmospheres. He also develops astronomical instrumentation, flight-testing these instruments on NASA-supported rocket payloads. This work provides the opportunity to carry out unique science investigations while training the next generation of space scientists and raising the technology readiness level of critical path technologies, essential to the large ultraviolet/optical astronomy missions of the next three decades.

keywords

  • astrophysics of interstellar and circumstellar gases, ultraviolet spectroscopy, astronomical instrumentation, exoplanetary atmospheres

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • ASEN 5440 - Mission Design and Development for Space Sciences
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Brings science and engineering students together to develop the multidisciplinary skills required to create a successful proposal to develop a NASA-funded small space mission. Goals: 1) develop the proposal science objectives based on scientific community priorities and NASA Announcement of Opportunity. 2) Understand how science requirements lead to the design of instrumentation. 3) Understand practical aspects of mission development. Same as ASTR 5780.
  • ASTR 1020 - Introductory Astronomy 2
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Non-science majors learn the nature and workings of the Sun, stars, neutron stars, black holes, galaxies, quasars, structure and origins of the universe. Some lectures may be held at Fiske Planetarium. Offers opportunities for nighttime observations at Sommers-Bausch Observatory. Includes recitation. Sequence link ASTR 1010. Credit granted for only one of ASTR 1020 or ASTR 1200.
  • ASTR 2020 - Space Astronomy and Exploration
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Covers physical principles of performing astronomy from space for science and exploration. The basic design of launch vehicles and spacecraft, orbital dynamics, and instruments will be described in the context of specific space missions (e.g. Hubble Telescope, Mars rovers) as well as prospects for future space observatories in orbit and on the Moon.
  • ASTR 3520 - Observations and Instrumentation 2
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Lab course in observation and instrumentation. Hands-on exercises include obtaining and analyzing multi-wavelength data, optical design and instrumentation, and statistical analysis, with emphasis on spectroscopy. A significant number of night time observation sessions are required. Elective for APS majors. Elective for APS minors on space available basis.
  • ASTR 5780 - Mission Design and Development for Space Sciences
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Brings science and engineering students together to develop the multidisciplinary skills required to create a successful proposal to develop a NASA-funded small space mission. Goals: 1) develop the proposal science objectives based on scientific community priorities and NASA Announcement of Opportunity. 2) Understand how science requirements lead to the design of instrumentation. 3) Understand practical aspects of mission development. Same as ASEN 5440.

Background

International Activities

global connections related to teaching and scholarly work (in recent years)

Other Profiles