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If/When Jun 2, 2020

Digital Imaging: Seeing Things More Clearly

Show Contributors: Paul Reed Smith, Mason Baron, Dr. Lisa Vanderbloemen, Sarah Deitrick, Paul Thies


Today’s technologies are providing scientists and engineers with previously unavailable vantage points into visually daunting environments. From fog-suffocated urban locations, to low-radiation medical X-rays, to perpetually enshadowed lunar landscapes, we’re now able to remove visual obstacles and see more clearly than ever before.

In this episode of If/When, we discuss advancements in digital imaging with Paul Reed Smith, Managing General Partner of Paul Reed Smith Guitars and founder and manager of Digital Harmonic; Mason Baron, chief technology officer at Digital Harmonic; Dr. Lisa Vanderbloemen, former Jacobs Manager of the Exploration Science/Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit; and Sarah Deitrick, Lunar Geoscientist and Simulant Specialist for Jacobs.

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Episode notes

Paul Reed Smith is a guitar maker, musician, founder, and Managing General Partner of Paul Reed Smith Guitars and has held that position for over 30 years. PRS Guitars is the third largest US manufacturer of electric guitars. Additionally, Paul is a founder and manager of a new start-up, Digital Harmonic. The fundamental technology of Digital Harmonic was developed by Paul and his father, Jack W. Smith, an applied mathematician who developed and implemented math models and engineering solutions for the Navy and Air Force. Both companies combined hold over 100 registered trademarks and nearly three dozen patents that Paul developed and/or directed.

As Chief Technology Officer, Mason Baron leads the technology department at Digital Harmonic with 18 years of software development, artificial intelligence, machine learning, surveillance reconnaissance systems design, imagery, signal, and radar processing experience. Most recently, Mason served as Minotaur Chief Naval Architect at Alion Science and Technology. Before Alion, Mason was Chief Engineer of Battle Force Projects at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory where he was a principal designer, lead developer and lead engineer.

During her tenure at Jacobs, Dr. Lisa Vanderbloemen managed the International Space Station’s Earth Science and Remote Sensing (ESRS) group at NASA Johnson Space Center. The ESRS group provides operations and science team functions for handheld camera crew photography of Earth from the ISS, coordinates ISS remote sensing response to natural disasters and other dynamic events, and builds regional remote sensing capability in support of climate change science. Lisa’s technical expertise includes database management, temporal/spatial analysis of oceanographic and hydrographic data, and algorithm development. Her distinguished career involves a variety of academic positions in the fields of oceanography and environmental science, as well as serving for nearly 30 years as a US Navy Reserve Commander.

Sarah Deitrick is a Lunar Exploration Geoscientist in the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She uses remote sensing and lunar sample data to understand lunar surface properties and the resource potential of the Moon. Sarah also studies the development of planetary surface simulants for engineering systems and helps with advanced mission planning such as identifying safe landing sites for the Artemis missions that will return humans to the surface of the Moon by 2024.