The core of the Nautilus team is based at The University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences and Departments of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences. Additional expertise is provided by team members at Northrop-Grumman and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.  Our team combines experts in astrophysics and observational astronomy, planetary sciences, innovative optical design, optical fabrication, and optical surface metrology, and spacecraft design and engineering, human spaceflight and space servicing, among many other areas.


Prof. Daniel Apai
Nautilus Array Principal Investigator
University of Arizona Associate Professor for Astronomy and Planetary Sciences

Daniel Apai is an expert on extrasolar planet studies and leads major atmospheric characterization programs on the Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes. He is also principal investigator of the NASA Nexus for Exoplanet System Science program Earths in Other Solar Systems, a large, multi-disciplinary project aimed at understanding the formation of earth-sized habitable zone planets.

Prof. Thomas Milster
Lead, Optical Design
University of Arizona Professor for Optical Sciences

Tom D. Milster is a Professor in the College of Optical Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona.  Since 1989, his research interests include physical optics of high-performance optical systems and diffractive optics, with applications in microscopy, optical data storage, lithography and astronomy.

Prof. Rongguang Liang
Lead, MOD-EnMat Fabrication
University of Arizona Professor for Optical Sciences 

Rongguang Liang is a Professor at College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona.  His current research focuses on optical design, fabrication, testing, and optical imaging technologies. His group designed three cameras in NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission.  Dr. Liang is a SPIE fellow and an Associate Editor of Optica.

Prof. Dae Wook Kim
Lead, Optical Surface Metrology, Large Optics Fabrication and Testing
University of Arizona Assistant Professor for Optical Sciences

Dae Wook Kim has been working in the optical engineering field for more than 10 years, focusing on very large astronomical optics such as 25m diameter Giant Magellan Telescope primary mirror and 4.2m Advanced Technology Solar Telescope primary mirror. His main research area has been the precision optical fabrication field. He is also working on various optical metrology topics such as interferometric testing using computer generated holograms, direct curvature measurement and dynamic deflectometry systems.  He is an Associate Editor for Optics Express journal.

Dr. Jonathan Arenberg
Lead, Spacecraft Architecture and Performance Assessment
Chief Engineer, Northrop Grumman Advanced Systems

Jonathan Arenberg is Chief Engineer for Space Science Missions at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach CA, and  has worked on the Chandra X-ray Observatory, James Webb Space Telescope and the starshade. His research interests development of future missions of traditional and novel technologies.

Dr. John Grunsfeld
In-orbit Assembly, Launch, and Serviceability
Astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Former NASA Associate Administrator for Science
Astronaut, Mission Specialist and EVA Astronaut to Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Missions

Chuck Fellows, MSc, E. E. 
Project Manager
University of Arizona

Lee Johnson
Optical design and testing
Optical Sciences Graduate Student, University of Arizona

Alex Bixel, BSc
Science Requirements
Astronomy Graduate Student, University of Arizona
NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow