Ed Thompson

Electrical Engineer

Ed Thompson joined the Anderson group in August 1981 after 20 years as a part of the Solar & Stellar Physics project at Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics on Garden St. 

His duties began with work on science payloads being carried aloft on high altitude balloons launched from the National Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine Texas.   One platform  under development at the time was the Reel Down system which permitted small science experiments to be lowered down through the stratosphere providing more precise measurements of atmospheric chemistry over a wide range of altitudes.

He has assisted with the development and testing of newer and more technically advanced payloads which have been flown from the hot and humid climate of east Texas to the sub zero ice sheets of Greenland where ozone depletion in the Arctic was being surveyed.

Ed has also been involved in ongoing efforts during the design and development of experiments to be flown on NASA’s ER-2 research aircraft.  This field work took Ed from Moffett Field in California to Barber’s Point in Hawaii and finally to the distant destination of Christchurch New Zealand where the ER-2 flew to the Antarctic region to study the effects of Ozone depletion in that part of the world.

Finally, in 1997 Ed retired from Harvard but on several occasions, has returned to assist during periods of peak work load. In November 2009 he was again pressed into service during a particularly intense period involving the preparation of multiple experiments for flight.   His involvement with the project has been ongoing as he continues to come into the lab at least twice weekly as well as performing some work at home.