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Gwyn Fireman

Scientific Programmer/Analyst


  • Over 20 years as a NASA science support contractor
  • Experience in Earth remote sensing and astronomy missions
  • Conversant with data analysis and image display techniques
  • Detail-oriented problem-solver

Extensive experience in scientific software development. Works directly with scientists to establish requirements for scientific applications, resulting in reliable software that meets the needs of end users. Technical experience includes scientific application software development and integration, GUI development, systems applications development, and system administration. Satellite operations experience includes real-time commanding and analysis of spacecraft performance. Instrument experience includes pre-launch derivation of calibration parameters for a hyperspectral imager, and on-orbit performance evaluation.

Proficient in programming C, Fortran, Fortran 90, IDL, Perl, PHP, JavaScript and shell scripting. Experienced in HDF and HDF-EOS data formats; SQL, NetBeans, and Subversion environments, and in IRIX, Linux, MacOS, and VMS operating systems.

Work History

Aug 2009Present

Senior Scientific Programmer/Analyst

Science Applications International Corporation

As a member of NASA's Ocean Biology Processing Group, I

  • Integrate externally-developed science code into our processing system
  • Develop new code to implement science processing algorithm improvements
  • Provide technical assistance to a sizable user community
  • Investigate processing errors and user issues
  • Modify code and/or driver scripts as needed to correct deficiencies and provide new features
Feb 2004Aug 2009

Senior Scientific Programmer

Science Applications International Corporation

Integrated and tested science data processing software as a member of the MODIS Science Data Support Team. Modified delivered code to conform to programming standards and to write required HDF metadata; developed and modified scripts to test for available input and to execute processes in proper order and to archive data; adapted makefiles to build processing software for IRIX and Linux platforms and verified that output is comparable for the two platforms; and tested deliveries within the MODAPS data processing system, staging data and modifying database plans as needed. Debugged and corrected existing C, Fortran, Fortran 90, and/or Perl code, and developed tools to modify or summarize science products.

Aug 1998Jan 2004

Instrument Calibration Programmer/Analyst

Science Applications International Corporation

As a member of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Calibration Support Team, provided programming support for MODIS Level 1B processing software, as well as developing both general-use and specialized analysis software for the algorithm development team. Analyzed pre-launch and on-orbit test data sets to develop radiometric calibration algorithms, published calibration information and trending plots on the web, and provided helpdesk capability.

Nov 1997Aug 1998

Helpdesk Lead

Mentor Technologies, Inc.

Provided technical assistance to users of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) scientific data. Diagnosed and resolved any data access problems. Identified systematic problems and recommended solutions. Provided guidance to programming staff in isolating problem code. Disseminated processing system status information. Verified quality of data geolocation. Maintained data visualization software.

Jul 1992Oct 1997

Systems Administrator/Programmer

Computer Sciences Corporation

Managed UNIX and VMS environments, including system upgrades, performance tuning and problem resolution. Wrote DCL scripts to automate system management tasks. Installed, configured, upgraded and provided user training for third-party software, including TCP/IP and DECnet applications.

Designed and implemented DCL and TCP/IP routines to automate image processing and data transfer among distributed platforms.

Jun 1990Oct 1997

Scientific Applications Programmer

Computer Sciences Corporation

Developed GUI package for analysis of image processing output. Worked closely with scientists to define requirements for the package; designed, coded, tested, and delivered key functions; provided requested enhancements and timely resolution of problems. Integrated image analysis tools with a rational database interface. Re-hosted the software from VMS to UNIX platform. Developed GUI package for real-time satellite operations. As a member of a team, established requirements and wrote documentation for replacement of aging ground system components for real-time satellite operations system. Performed all levels of software design. Sole programmer for application level software, including graphical user interface, interactive image display and analysis software, and communications software interface. Provided timely and accurate fixes to reported problems.

Apr 1987Jun 1990

Satellite Telescope Operator

Computer Sciences Corporation

Performed real-time commanding, verification and telemetry analysis of the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) astronomical satellite and scientific instrument. Coordinated with astronomers to determine best approach to each observation. Carried out observations of a wide variety of astronomical objects telescope guidance, data acquisition, data downlink, quicklook evaluation.


Honors and Awards

  • SAIC Outstanding Performance Award, 2007

  • NASA Group Achievement Award for Support of MODIS Data Systems, 2007

  • NASA Group Achievement Award for Support of Terra MODIS, 2001

  • Sigma Pi Sigma, The National Physics Honor Society, 1995

  • NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award for Excellence in IUE Science Operations, 1988

  • NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award for Excellence in SME Operations, 1983


Eplee, R., K. R. Turpie, G. F. Fireman, G. Meister, T. C. Stone, F. S. Patt, B. A. Franz, S. W. Bailey, and C. R. McClain (2012). VIIRS on-orbit calibration for ocean color data processing Observing Systems, Proc. SPIE 8510, Earth Observing Systems XVII, 85101G (October 15, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.930483.

Turpie, K.R., W.D. Robinson, B.A. Franz, R.E. Eplee, G. Meister, G.F. Fireman, F.S. Patt, R.A. Barnes, C.R. McClain (2012). Suomi NPP VIIRS ocean color data product early mission assessment. Proc. SPIE 8510, Earth Observing Systems XVII, 85101H (October 15, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.931113.

Harris, W. M., et al (incl. Fireman, G.F.)1995, Highlights of Astronomy An early report on IUE observations of the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy with Jupiter

Ballester, G. E., et al (incl. Fireman, G.F.) 1995, Geophysical Research Letters Far-UV emissions from the SL9 impacts with Jupiter

Kesteven, M., et al (incl. Fireman, G.F.) 1994, International Astronomical Union Circular Jupiter and Comet 1993e

Harris, W. M., et al (incl. Fireman, G.F.)1994, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society Observing the Impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy with Jupiter using the IUE Satellite

Budzien, S. A., Livengood, T. A., Fireman, G. F., Harris, W. M., Ballester, G. E., McGrath, M. A., Prange, R. M., & Talavera, A. 1994, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society Early Results from the IUE Shoemaker-Levy Observing Campaign: Temporal and Spatial Variability of the Jovian Ultraviolet Aurora

Harris, W. M., et al (incl. Fireman, G.F.) 1994, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society Early Results from the IUE Shoemaker-Levy Observing Campaign: Temporal Evolution of the FUV/NUV Albedo in the Impact Regions

Marochnik, Leonid, Berman, Vladimir, & Fireman, Gwyn 1994, Mass-Transfer Induced Activity in Galaxies Interstellar Gas Flows in the Gravitational Potential Well of Density Waves (poster paper)

Imhoff, C. L., Dunn, N., Fireman, G. F., Levay, K. L.,Meylan, T., Nichols, J., & Michalitsianos, A. 1993, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society The IUE Final Archive Processing System