Peter H. Siegel
Over a 26 year period, Dr. Siegel and his Submillimeter Wave Advanced Technology team at JPL and Caltech developed and delivered critical sensor hardware for four space flight missions: NASA’s Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite Microwave Limb Sounder, the first instrument to directly measure the anti-correlation between chlorine monoxide build up and ozone depletion on a global scale; NASA’s Earth Observing System Aura Microwave Limb Sounder measuring a wide range of stratospheric molecular species involved in ozone depletion, global water distribution, climate change and pollution monitoring across the Earth and carrying the first THz heterodyne radiometer in space - 2.5 THz OH and water line receiver; the European Space Agency’s Microwave Instrument on the Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO), that rendezvoused with comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and that measured nuclear temperature and out gassing rates of carbon monoxide, water, ammonia and methanol; and most recently the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) on the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Telescope, an extremely successful astrophysics mission recording thousands of molecular signatures between 300 and 1900 GHz in and around star forming regions and in external galaxies, to better understand the composition and evolution of the universe.
In addition to Earth, planetary and space science, Dr. Siegel is interested in terrestrial applications of terahertz imaging and spectroscopy and has been actively pursuing several related initiatives in the health and biological sciences at Caltech as well as defense and security applications at both Caltech and JPL. The very first National Institute of Health program in the terahertz field, granted to Dr. Siegel in 2002, had the goal of developing high signal-to-noise imaging and spectroscopy instruments for disease diagnostics. A second THz NIH program to develop low loss terahertz waveguide for endoscopy applications has also been completed. Additional work on the thermal and non- thermal effects of millimeter and submillimeter-wave radiation on cellular systems was started in 2008. This work was undertaken in conjunction with the Caltech biology division and a neurophysiologist, Dr. Victor Pikov, then at the Huntington Medical Research Institute in Pasadena, California. Significant expansion of the biological science work at Caltech included work on rats, leeches, zebra fish and oocytes to look at low power millimeter-wave stimulation and control of neuronal responses, which included a collaboration with Francisco Bezanilla and Michael Priest at Univ. of Chicago and Mikhail Shapiro, now at Caltech. Most recently work has focused on the use of millimeter waves for direct medical applications. Three ongoing tasks include non-invasive glucose monitoring using millimeter-wave transmission; non-invasive determination of blood bag spoilage (a collaboration with Yuri Feldman and colleagues at Hebrew University); a program to incorporate and utilize millimeter-wave hyperthermia in a commercial MRI system (a past collaboration with HMRI), and a new program to look at effects of 5G frequencies on tissue heating, with Dr. David Gultekin at Columbia University. FACILITIES: Dr. Siegel is now working out of a small laboratory in La Canada, CA - THz Global - where he has a well-equipped bio-RF facility with epi-fluorescence inverted and upright microscopes, incubators and cell cultivation and measurement systems, and a wide range of RF electronic and mechanical design, assembly and applications components and instruments. Dr. Siegel regularly accesses and frequently consults with former colleagues and friends from the JPL Submillimeter-Wave Advanced Technology team, which he founded in 1992, and which is currently managed by Dr. Imran Mehdi.
Featured in:ChemMatters, “Peter Siegel: Studying the Energy of the Universe,” an interview article for the American Chemical Society, Sept. 2002, pp. 6-7NIH e-Advances, “Retooling a Research Career - From Engineering to Biology and Back,” an e-interview for the National Institute of Health, June 2006.BioOptics World, "Can Neurons Sense Millimeter Waves, a feature article by Barbara Goode, February 2010Institution of Engineering and Technology, interview and feature supplement article, Electronics Letters, Interview with Dr. Peter Siegel, Dec. 2010Co-author of Best Paper of the Decade award, Indium Phosphide and Related Materials Conference, 1998Keynote Lecture and Highlighted Article for an opening exhibit of the National Electronics Museum: “Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose: Traversing the Interdisciplinary Gap Between Physics and Biology,” November 2008. Extras: Founder and author of IEEE Trans. on Terahertz Science and Technology THz Pioneer series: 26 articles - one in every issue from Sept. 2011-Jan. 2015.Founder and author of IEEE Journal of Microwaves Pioneer Series: 4 articles in first year of publication (2021) - quarterly releases. Founder and author of IEEE J. of Microwaves: Microwaves are Everywhere Tutorial Series: 4 articles in first year of publication (2021) - quarterly releases 125 professional staff and student hiresSupervisor of 1 Doctoral, 1 Masters, 2 Senior thesesPI or co-I on 65+ research programs totaling more than $60M spanning 25 years1000+ pages of technical reports!