David B. Pollock

David PollockAssociate Research Professor / Senior Research Scientist

Electrical & Computer Engineering


OB 444
(256) 824-2514
(256) 824-6618




     Optical Sciences, University of Arizona
     Physics, University of Arizona
     Physics, University of Arizona 


David B. Pollock, born in Louisville, Kentucky, attended the University of Louisville where he received a BS (Physics and Math ) and a MS (Physics) degrees, 1960 & 1962. He continued his studies at the University of Arizona where he completed a MS (Optical Sciences) degree, 1983. He is currently an Associate Research Professor in the Electrical Computer Engineering Department and a Senior Research Scientist in the Center for Applied Optics at the University of Alabama Huntsville. His international recognition is for his efforts in Remote Sensor Calibration and he has played an active role organizing and conducting an annual Calibration Conference, CALCON, in collaboration with the Space Dynamics Laboratory, Utah State University since its inception, 1990. An essential work element is a thorough understanding of Physics and Physics based radiation models, radiant electromagnetic energy propagation and detection, and measurement uncertainty traced to the International System of Units. Professor Pollock has collaborated with the Optical Technology Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Physics Laboratory since 1964 for remote sensor radiometric calibration. These sensors spectral sensitivity span the vacuum ultra-violet, 300 nm, through the long wave length infrared, 30 μm. The national and international Remote Sensing community as a whole recognizes his work to establish data uncertainty relative to the International System of Units. Erroneous thinking had led the community to accept data precision as adequate to quantify global temperature trends. A Co-Investigator for Data Certification and Technology Transfer, Department of Defense, Mid-course Space Experiment satellite, 1989 to 2005, his responsibilities included radiometric and goniometric performance of the 12 sensors on this sun-synchronous, 900 km altitude, satellite. The sensors, imagers as well as spectrographic imagers, span the 300 nm to 30-μm spectral range, and the LWIR sensors’ reconstructed Earth Centered Inertial pointing uncertainty rivaled State-of-the-art radars inside and outside CONUS. His work since 1962 has included cryogenic-optical sensor design, manufacture, assembly and radiometric calibration. His work included technical support to SMDC for the Airborne Surveillance Testbed optics design fabrication and test, radiometric performance and radiometric calibration. For more than a decade this instrument provided the primary radiometric and goniometric signatures used for ballistic missile defense applications. His work with the design, development, construction and cryogenically cooled optics, sensors and their performance test began at North American Aviation, then Rockwell International, which is now Boeing. Most recent responsibility has been the optical design, construction and performance tests of a high altitude, high resolution, giga-pixel surveillance camera. Work continues to enhance the camera size, weight, power and performance required to support multiple UAV applications.
Professor Pollock continues to work with NIST, NASA, DOD, and NOAA to collaborate with the remote sensing community about how to resolve calibration issues. Specific issues are the need to establish Climate Data Records of unprecedented accuracy, 0.01° K / decade, and the need to set an exo-atmospheric reference flux standard such as a Lunar flux scale.

Research Expertise

  • Optical sensing

Honors & Awards

  • Sigma Pi Sigma, Senior Member SPIE

Recent Publications

Pollock, D. B., Marathay, A. S., McCalmont, J. E., Radiant Sensing Calibration, Zero-to-infinity, Space Dynamics Laboratory, Utah State University, Proceedings CALCON 2010, August 23-26, 2010.

Fork, R. L., Pollock D. B., Burgess, L, Bergstue, G., Gaillard, R., Ultrashort Pulses Applied to De-orbit Small Debris Elements, 61st Int’l Astronautical Congress, IAC-10.A6.4.11, 2010

Marathay, A., J. McCalmont, D. B. Pollock, Radiometry, Wave Optics and Spatial Coherence, PIERS Proceedings, 485 - 488, July 5-8, Cambridge USA, 2010.

Pollock, D. B., A. Marathay, J. McCalmont, Radiant Sensing Calibration, Zero-to-infinity, CALCON Technical Conference, August 23-27, 2010

Pollock, D. B. , G. Egnal, ArguSight A Constant 67 micro-r Resolution, Five Frames per Second Camera, Scalable from 4 MP to > 1 GP, 2009 Civil Commercial Imagery Evaluation Workshop, JACIE, March 31 – April 2, 2009

Pollock, D. B., A High Resolution and Frame Rate, Wide FOV Camera, Rocket City Geospatial Conference, November 18-20, 2008

Richard L. Fork, Luke A. Burgess, Mike L. Davenport, Douglas M. Ramey, Patrick J. Reardon, David B. Pollock, Robert G. Lindquist, and Donna M. Fork Cohering of multiple polariton lasers for sensing applications, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 6952 69520I-1, Laser Source Technology for Defense and Security IV, 2008

Datla R., A. Smith, R. Kacker, R. Kessel, NIST, D. B. Pollock, University of Alabama Huntsville, Satellite Sensor Data-Traceability to SI units, AGU, December 2007.

Pollock, D. B., R. O. Klepfer, S. Moultrie, Fixed Pattern Noise Correction, SI, CALCON 2007, September 13, 2007.

Pollock, D. B., Theodore E. Rogers, Robert O. Klepfer, Patrick J. Reardon, Christopher N. Underwood, Stephen K. Pitalo, Aerial video reconnaissance using large sensor arrays, SPIE Proceedings of the Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense VI, Defense & Security Conference, SPIE Volume 6538, April, 2007.

Ohring, G. et al, Achieving Satellite Instrument Calibration for Climate Change (ASIC3), NOAA, 2008

Ohring, G. et al, Summary & Full Meeting Summary of the Workshop on Achieving Satellite Instrument Calibration for Climate Change (ASIC3), AGU EOS Trans, March 13, 2007