Jim McCarthy received simultaneous B.S. degrees in Astronomy and in Physics from Penn State University, and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). During his academic career as a post-doc at the University of Texas at Austin and as an Assistant Professor in the Astronomy Department at Caltech, he led the development of five separate ground-based CCD-based spectrometers and CCD-imaging instruments for McDonald Observatory, Palomar Observatory, and the Keck Observatory. Subsequently, over an 11-year tenure with Northrop Grumman Space Technology (originally, TRW Space & Electronics), he supported the development of the NPOESS payload sensors, with particular emphasis on the first VIIRS instrument designed and built by Raytheon for the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) earth remote sensing mission.
Jim is currently a Sr. Electro-Optical Instrument Scientist with Stellar Solutions, Inc., leveraging his optical astronomy-instrumentation and NPOESS-VIIRS experience to support NASA/GSFC on-site at Raytheon in El Segundo, CA, as part of the NASA team overseeing the development of the second VIIRS flight unit for the first Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) mission. Since August, 2000, he has also been an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he teaches a Physics Lab course with emphasis on electro-optical instruments to junior and senior physics-majors annually.
In addition to SPIE, Dr. McCarthy is a member of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), and the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He has authored over 30 research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and additionally has contributed over 45 papers to scientific and technical conference proceedings. He holds one U.S. Patent.