Joshua L. Bandfield, 1974–2019

Joshua L. BandfieldJosh Bandfield, a senior research scientist at the Space Science Institute, passed away unexpectedly in mid-June 2019 as the result of complications following a heart attack.

Bandfield’s research focused on asteroids, Earth analogs, and the processes that formed the terrestrial planets. He used infrared and visible spectral and imaging data returned from orbiting spacecraft and landers to determine the mineralogical, thermophysical, and morphological properties of planetary surfaces, and had been involved with spacecraft planning, operations, and science activities for martian, lunar, and asteroid missions since 1995.

Bandfield received a B.S. degree in Geological Sciences (Earth Systems) in 1996 from the University of California Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. in Geology in 2000 from Arizona State University. He had worked for the Space Science Institute since 2013. Previous positions included Research Associate Professor/Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington, Research Specialist Principal in the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, and Adjunct Faculty at Mesa Community College/Chandler Gilbert Community College.

Bandfield authored/co-authored over 90 peer-reviewed and 240 non-refereed articles on planetary geology, spectroscopic remote sensing, radiative transfer, and thermal modeling. He developed observation and data analysis strategies for the collection and derivation of surface properties from thermal infrared observations. His spacecraft operational experience included OSIRIS-REx, 2001 Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Global Surveyor, and Mars Exploration Rovers. He designed, implemented, and validated calibration and data processing strategies for the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), Thermal Emission Imaging System (TES), Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (mini-TES), MCS, Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment (DLRE), and Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) investigations. He served as a co-investigator on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment and the 2001 Mars Odyssey THEMIS instruments. Bandfield was also active in public outreach, and helped many students and early career scientists.

— Portions of text courtesy of the Space Science Institute