Megan E. Eckart

Portrait of  Megan E. Eckart

  • Title
    Director, Space Science Institute
  • Email
  • Phone
    (925) 422-7889
  • Organization
    Not Available

Professional Background

Megan joined LLNL’s Physics Division in 2018 and works on research and space-flight projects within LLNL’s Astrophysics and Advanced Diagnostics group. She is a member of the microcalorimeter instrument teams for the joint JAXA-NASA XRISM mission and the ESA-led Athena X-ray observatory and leads research projects aimed at adapting microcalorimeter spectrometers for use with magnetic fusion energy devices. Megan also contributes to laboratory astrophysics experiments at LLNL’s Electron Beam Ion Trap facility as the lead for the facility microcalorimeter spectrometers. Prior to working at LLNL, Megan worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from 2007 to 2018, first as a postdoctoral fellow, focusing on development of transition-edge sensor microcalorimeters, and later as a research astrophysicist and chief technologist of the Astrophysics Science Division. Her thesis work at Caltech involved the development of microwave kinetic inductance detectors for x-ray astrophysics and measurements of x-ray selected active galactic nuclei. 

Megan serves as Director of the LLNL Space Science Institute and as an Associate Program Leader in the LLNL Space Science and Security Program.

Research Interests

  • Low-temperature detector and read-out development 
  • Instrumentation, with an emphasis on non-dispersive X-ray imaging spectroscopy, instrument testing and calibration 
  • Observational extragalactic astronomy, including studies of active galaxies, primarily through multi-wavelength surveys and high-resolution spectroscopy 

Professional Activities

Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (JATIS) (2023–present); Interim Editor-in-Chief (2022); Deputy Editor (2020–2022); Associate Editor for JATIS (2018–2020)

Instructor, Dunlap Institute Instrumentation Summer School, University of Toronto (2017–2018, 2021)

Instrument Working Group Co-Chair for the Lynx X-ray Observatory (2018–2020)

SPIE Program Committee, Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation (2014–2022)

Applied Superconductivity Conference Program Committee and TES Workshop Co-lead (2020, 2022)

PhD, Physics, California Institute of Technology, 2007

BA, Physics, Astrophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

M. E. Eckart, P. Beiersdorfer, G. V. Brown, D. J. Den Hartog, N. Hell, R. L. Kelley, C. A. Kilbourne, E. W. Magee, A.-E. Y. Mangoba, M. D. Nornberg, F. S. Porter, L. M. Reusch, and J. P. Wallace. “Microcalorimeter measurement of x-ray spectra from a high-temperature magnetically confined plasma (invited),” Rev. Sci. Instrum. 92, 063520 (2021).

D. Wulf, F. Jaeckel, D. McCammon, J.A. Chervenak, and M.E. Eckart. “Optimal filtering of overlapped pulses in microcalorimeter data,” J. Appl. Phys., 128, 174503 (2020). 

M.A. Leutenegger, M.E. Eckart, S.J. Moseley, S.O. Rohrbach, J.K. Black, M.P. Chiao, R.L. Kelley, C.A. Kilbourne, and F.S. Porter. “Simple, compact, high-resolution monochromatic x-ray source for characterization of x-ray calorimeter arrays,” Rev. Sci. Instrum., 91, 083110 (2020). 

M.E. Eckart, W. Yoon, B. Zeiger, S.R. Bandler, D. McCammon. “Design of optical/IR blocking filters for the Lynx X-ray Microcalorimeter,” J. Astron. Telesc., Instrum., Syst., 5(2), 021020 (2019). 

M.E. Eckart, J.S. Adams, S.R. Bandler, S. Beaumont, J.A. Chervenak, A.M. Datesman,
F.M. Finkbeiner, R. Hummatov, R.L. Kelley, C.A. Kilbourne, M.A. Leutenegger, A.R. Miniussi, S.J. Moseley, F.S. Porter, J.E. Sadleir, K. Sakai, S.J. Smith, N. Wakeham, and E.J. Wassell. “Extended Line Spread Function of TES Microcalorimeters with Au/Bi Absorbers,” IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 29(5), 2101205 (2019). 

M.E. Eckart, J.S. Adams, K.R. Boyce, G.V. Brown, M.P. Chiao, R. Fujimoto, D. Haas, J.W. den Herder, A. Hoshino, Y. Ishisaki, R.L. Kelley, C.A. Kilbourne, S. Kitamoto, M.A. Leutenegger, D. McCammon, K. Mitsuda, F.S. Porter, K. Sato, M. Sawada, H. Seta, G.A. Sneiderman, A.E. Szymkowiak, Y. Takei, M.S. Tashiro, M. Tsujimoto, C.P. de Vries, T. Watanabe, S. Yamada, and N.Y. Yamasaki. “Ground calibration of the Astro-H (Hitomi) soft x-ray spectrometer,” J. Astron. Telesc., Instrum., Syst., 4(2), 021406 (2018). 

Hitomi Collaboration. “Hitomi constraints on the 3.5 keV line in Perseus,” ApJL, 837 (1), L15 (2017)

Hitomi Collaboration. “Solar Abundance Ratios of the Iron-Peak Elements in the Perseus Cluster,” Nature, 4(1), 011205 (2017). 

See Google Scholar for a more complete list.