|Education||University of Southern California|
|Known for||Cold Atom Laboratory  |
Mars Science Laboratory
Deep Space 1
|Awards||Best technical paper by the Electric Propulsion Technical Committee of the AAIAA  |
ASEI Woman Engineer of the Year Recipient
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
University of Southern California
|Thesis||Experimental and Analytical Investigation of a Ring Cusp Ion Thruster Discharge Chamber Physics and Performance (2005)|
Anita Sengupta is an aerospace engineer. She is a graduate in aerospace and mechanical engineering (MS '00, Ph.D. '05) of the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. She was the lead systems engineer of the team that developed the revolutionary supersonic parachute system that was deployed during the landing of Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity. She was subsequently the project manager of the Cold Atom Laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech. She is currently the Senior Vice President of Systems Engineering at Virgin Hyperloop One.
Cold Atom Laboratory
Anita Sengupta was the CAL Project Manager. CAL is a facility for the study of ultra-cold quantum gases in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station (ISS). It will enable research in a temperature regime and force free environment that is inaccessible to terrestrial laboratories. In the microgravity environment, up to 20 second long interaction times and as low as 1 picokelvin temperatures are achievable, unlocking the potential to observe new quantum phenomena. The CAL facility is designed for use by multiple scientific investigators and to be upgradable/maintainable on orbit. CAL will also be a pathfinder experiment for future quantum sensors based on laser cooled atoms.
CAL was scheduled to launch in 2016 on a Pressurized Cargo Vehicle in soft-stowage. After docking with ISS the CAL payload was to be installed by astronauts into an EXPRESS (EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station) Rack inside the space station. The EXPRESS Rack provides a standardized power, data, thermal, and mechanical interface to scientific payloads. CAL was to occupy a quad locker space due to its size and power requirements. Following installation the payload will be operated remotely via sequence control from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The initial mission was planned to have a duration of 12 months with up to five years of extended operation.
Sengupta was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Her father hailed from West Bengal, India, and was a mechanical engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology. Her British mother was an expert in French and German. Her parents met while pursuing a PhD at the University of Liverpool. Sengupta was raised in New York.
- "Cold Atom Laboratory:People". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Caltech. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror". NASA.gov. June 22, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Deep Space 1". NASA.gov. June 22, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Ion Propulsion". jpl.nasa.gov. September 3, 2002. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "AIAA award". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. USC. Retrieved 10 June 2005.
- WYSK (August 27, 2012). "Women Talk: 10+ Questions With Rocket Scientist, Dr. Anita Sengupta". Women You Should Know. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- "Landing a rover was career highlight, says Anita Sengupta". The Hindu. August 21, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- Andy Meek. "What It's Like To Be One Of The Few Female Aerospace Engineers". Fast Company. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- "NASA-JPL Systems Engineer and Viterbi School Alumna on Early Influences and Designing Curiosity's Parachute". USC - Viterbi School of Engineering. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Virgin Hyperloop One team". Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- "At home in space". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 May 2018.