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Our leadership team has extensive experience designing and supporting satellite missions.  Our expertise extends from cubesats to full size payloads and mission design to delivering data products.

Vanderlei Martins AirPhoton CTO

Vanderlei Martins

Chief Technical Officer

Dr. Vanderlei Martins has developed and designed cubesat and full sized satellite instruments payloads.  His team at UMBC designed and built the Hyper Angle Rainbow Polarimeter (HARP) cubesat for studying aerosols and clouds.  The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) named HARP the 2020 Small Satellite Mission of the Year.

Lorraine Remer

Chief Science Officer

Dr. Lorraine Remer has extensive experience in creating and implementing satellite data algorithms as well as calibration and validation activities.  She led the NASA Goddard Dark Target Aerosol Group from 2004 – 2012. She was a co-investigator on the HARP cubesat project.

She is an AGU fellow.

Oleg Dubovik

GRASP-SAS Chief Scientist

Dr. Oleg Dubovik is the lead developer of the  Generalized Retrieval of  Atmosphere and Surface Properties  (GRASP) and founder of GRASP – SAS.

GRASP  is the first unified algorithm and a software package developed for retrieving atmospheric properties from wide variety of remote sensing observations including satellite, ground-based and airborne data.

He is an AGU fellow.

Richard Kleidman

Chief Operating Officer

Rich Kleidman has been the COO of AirPhoton since its inception in 2012.  He has been (and continues to) be a support scientist for the MODIS Dark Target Aerosol Group at NASA GSFC as an SSAI employee.

He helped to develop the NASA ARSET training program during the first four years of its inception.

About AirPhoton

AirPhoton is a small Maryland based company. We design and manufacture instruments to measure airborne particulates.  We also offer support and data services for satellite instruments.  We are partnering with GRASP-SAS to offer end to end services and will be launching our own cubesat instruments in conjunction with GRASP.

AirPhoton and GRASP-SAS Projects and Services

Satellite Payloads

Payload Designs

Although our primary focus is on particulate monitoring and air quality we also have payload designs for:

  • Weather and clouds
  • Fire monitoring
  • Land cover
  • Snow & Ice monitoring


In-situ data can provide important information for cal-val activities and or other supporting data for satellite payloads.  AirPhoton produces a line of ground based instruments for particulate monitoring. We use both filter based and optical systems. These instruments can also be modified for aircraft use.

Filter Based Sampling Systems

The AeroExplorer is a filter based system that allows for completely programmable collection of particulates on filters.  Several of these instruments can be modified for aircraft use.

See the web page for a more complete explanation of the AeroExplorer and its capabilities.

The AeroExplorer is being used by NASA JPL to support its MAIA satellite program.

Optical Based Sampling Systems

Nephelometers – AirPhoton has several models of nephelometers from simple to complex.  The more advanced models can provide a full size distribution. Please see our Nephelometer web page for more information


GRASP  is the first unified algorithm and a software package developed for retrieving atmospheric properties from wide variety of remote sensing observations including satellite, ground-based and airborne data.

It infers nearly 50 aerosol and surface parameters including particle size distribution, the spectral index of refraction, the degree of sphericity and absorption. The algorithm is designed for the enhanced characterization of aerosol properties from spectral, multiangular polarimetric remote sensing observations. GRASP works under different conditions, including bright surfaces such as deserts, where the reflectance overwhelms the signal of aerosols. GRASP is highly versatile and allows input from a wide variety of satellite and surface measurements.

GRASP Services

  • Data processing
  • Software customization
  • Production system development from raw data to results, including user interface and all the tools needed to optimize code
  • Consulting

Level 1 Data Processing

We provide level 1 data processing services.

Raw data from a satellite needs a lot of processing before it can be used.  This includes calibration, georeferencing, and translating into engineering units. AirPhoton has extensive experience in this kind of processing including working with polarized data.


Sensor performance will vary over time as various components age and/or flaws are discovered. AirPhoton and GRASP-SAS have extensive experience in using ground and airborne instruments as well as data systems to calibrate and validate sensor performance and level I and Level II products.

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