Essam Heggy

Research Scientist, USC / NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • United States of America

About Essam Heggy

Dr. Essam Heggy is a Research Scientist at the Microwave Systems, Sensors, and Imaging Lab (MiXIL) at the Viterbi School of Engineering in the University of Southern California and an affiliate of the Radar Science and Engineering Section (3340) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Heggy obtained his MSc. and Ph.D. in 1999 and 2002 with distinguished honors from the Paris VI University in France (UPMC-Sorbonne). His research uses radar surface and subsurface characterization methods to understand water evolution in Earth’s arid environments and planetary surfaces. His research mainly focuses on understanding volatile evolution in the North African Sahara and Arabian Peninsula and Mars, the Moon, Jovian Icy satellites, and Near-Earth Objects. His work involves probing structural, hydrological, and volcanic elements in terrestrial and planetary environments using different types of radar imaging and sounding techniques and measuring the electromagnetic properties of rocks in the radar frequency range. Heggy’s research expertise spans from laboratory electromagnetic characterization of terrestrial samples and planetary analog materials, radar sounding of aquifers in hyper-arid environments, SAR and InSAR image analysis, GPR surveys in desertic, volcanic, and ice-rich environments, FDTD numerical simulations of wave propagation, and data analysis of different terrestrial and planetary radar missions. He is currently a member of the science team of the MARSIS instrument aboard the Mars Express orbiter (2003-present), the Mini-SAR experiment aboard Chandrayaan-1, the Mini-RF experiment on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (2008-present), and the CONSERT radar experiment aboard the Rosetta mission (2004-present). Heggy is the Principal Investigator of the NASA Earth Venture Mission Concept OASIS, currently under formulation, that aims to determine the occurrence and spatial distribution of shallow aquifers in the aridest desertic regions on Earth to understand groundwater dynamic in fossil aquifers and how they respond to climatic and anthropogenic stresses.
Heggy is also a contributing scientist to several proposed planetary and terrestrial radar imaging and soundings experiments and participated in several NASA & ESA mission concept designs at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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