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My name is Paul Schroeder and I was born and raised in east county San Diego, California specifically La Mesa and Santee. I am currently a post doctoral research scientist at NOAA Boulder researching lidar instrumentation and wildfire dynamics. Prior to my current position, I earned my Ph.D. in mechanical engineering studying high-temperature dual frequency comb spectroscopy as applied to combustion style field measurements under Dr. Gregory Rieker at CU Boulder. My master’s degree was working on micro-scale cryogenic refrigeration under Dr. YC Lee.
Before graduate school, I received my undergraduate degree in physics from San Diego State University while being advised by Dr. Fletcher Miller. My research with him was carbon particle generation via pyrolysis of natural gas for concentration solar power towers. I was also fortunate to have a multi-year internship at General Atomics during my undergraduate work in the Electron Cyclotron Heating (ECH) group led by Dr. John Lohr.
Below is a listing of field campaigns and research related updates. Please browse the other pages on this website for further details relating to my professional career and a brief summary of some of my personal hobbies. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any inquiries.
Updates and field campaigns:
January 19, 2018
I just returned from a deployment to Lakeland, Florida at the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) to test part of my postdoc proposal: to build a miniaturized lidar instrument capable of withstanding aircraft flight. The instrument is a micro pulsed Doppler lidar, named MD2, and is closely based on a previous instrument built by the group, MD1.
With help from the amazing AOC mechanic staff, Peter (shown above), Rob, and the sheet metal shop, we installed MD2 into the aft camera bay of the N46 Twin Otter next to Richard (Rich) Marchbanks and Jim Churnside’s Fish lidar. MD2 performed well and was robust against significant altitude, temperature, and humidity swings. These flights were test flights to examine the functionality of the instrument prior to the May 2018 deployment in the same aircraft to investigate controlled burn wildfires in Tallahassee, Florida. Alan and Ann, scientists in the NOAA Boulder group, also flew to Lakeland to help teach me the data acquisition system and relay their vast experience with previous field lidar deployments.
Lots of credit goes to Rick and Shanae, NOAA Twin Otter pilots, for being able maneuver the plane to explore banked turn maneuvers, scanning modalities, and wide variety of altitudes important for the May deployment.
We deployed the mobile dual frequency comb spectrometer to Colorado School of Mines to measure the temperature of an argon-water mixture in the core of their experiential gasifier. Dr. Porter’s student, Madison Kelley, ran the gasifier and was the primary researcher investigating the gasification process.
The measurements will hopefully one day help understand how coal and biomass undergo gasification. The gasification process utilizes coal or biomass to synthesize chemicals and can be used to generate synthetic natural gas while better sequestering waste CO2.
The group from Dr. Greg Rieker’s group in conjunction with the group from NIST Boulder led by Nathan Newbury and Ian Coddington successfully deployed the first mobile dual frequency comb spectrometer in a non-optical laboratory environment.
We measured gas temperature, water mole fraction, and CO2 mole fraction through the exhaust of the turbine during operation. We were excited to be able to measure transients in these parameters while turbine change fuel loading.
Thanks to the team pictured above and to the CU Facilities staff who allowed us to deploy our system on their floor and told us everything we needed to know to successfully operate in a harsh, industrial environment.