Dr. Jafolla received his Ph.D. from the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. His research interests there involved light scattering in planetary atmospheres and remote sensing of the earth from satellites. His dissertation was titled “An Investigation of the Non-Linear Radiative Response of the Climate System”. In 1981, Dr. Jafolla worked on the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Program (I.S.C.C.P.) during a Post-Doctoral appointment of NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies.
In 1982, Dr. Jafolla went to Global Analytics in San Diego, CA, and began applying light scattering techniques to materials and surfaces for engineering problems concerning controlled emissivity surfaces. Dr. Jafolla also led the development of the initial multiple bounce RCS model using the Facet Beam Projection technique and the physical optics approximation. Subsequently, Dr. Jafolla was the Director of Target Technologies at Photon Research Associates, where he developed the Coatings Reflectance Engineering Evaluation Program (CREEP) for performing light scattering analysis of pigmented paint coatings and composite surfaces, and the Director of IR/EO Materials Technology at McDonnell Douglas Technologies, Inc.
In 1990, Dr. Jafolla joined Surface Optics Corporation as Chief Scientist, where he continued his research into the light scattering properties of materials, including the analysis of Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF), Directional Hemispherical Reflectance (DHR), and the effects of enhanced retro-reflectance. He developed techniques for optical constant determination from bulk, layered, and powdered materials in connection with SOC’s product line of Bi-directional and Hemispherical Directional Reflectometers. Dr. Jafolla is also actively involved in developing algorithms and software for hyperspectral image analysis including the HS Analysis Toolkit and ATR Testbed software tools in support of SOC’s line of hyperspectral imaging systems.