Angel otárola

Adaptive OPTICS scientist
thirty meter telescope

contact information
Email:         aotarola at
Skype IDs: angel.otarola 
Twitter:      melipalSC

Curriculum Vitae

Publications List

Links to databases
of my interest

    TMT Site Testing
    ALMA site-testing data
    rohp-PAZ Mission
    ECMWF ERA Interim  Data
    NCEP Re-analysis database
    UWYO atmospheric soundings
    SPARC Data Centre
    NCAR Earth Observing Lab.
    ISCCP Data Sets (all products)
    CALIPSO Data Products
    NSIDC ICESat/GLAS data
    Atm. Sciences Data  Center
    GOES: Interactive Image Maps
    NVAP: NASA Water Vapor  
    AIRS Data Products    
    OZONE Data (NOAA)
    Magnetic field (NOAA)
    Atmospheric Science Data Ctr
    NASA Planetary Data System

    The Earth Observing System

    H3+ Resource Center
    JPL Molecular Spectroscopy
    HITRAN Spectroscopic data
    GEISA: Spectroscopic data

Funding Opportunities

    NASA: GNSS Remote Sensing
    NSF Funding Opportunities
    NSF FastLane
    NSF FY2011 Bud. Req.
    CHILE: Fondecyt
    CHILE: Astronomy Funds


    HyperPhysics (©C.R. Nave)
    Data formats in Wikipedia

I have a  bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH), a master’s degree in atmospheric sciences from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences with a minor in planetary sciences awarded by the University of Arizona. All my graduate education I did under supervision of Dr. E. R. Kursinski.

Since 1990 until 2001 I worked in site testing studies, in collaboration with several radio astronomy institutes in the United States, Europe, and Japan. These studies helped identify the Llano de Chajnantor, at 5050 m altitude -on the west slope of the Andes in northern Chile- as the best place for the deployment of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). I have also participated in the technical evaluation of prototype radio antennas for the ALMA project.

In the period from 2007 until 2008 I had the opportunity to participate in the last stage of the Site Testing effort conducted to identify the best site for the location of the Thirty Meter Telescope Project.

I  hold a research associate position with the University of Arizona as a member of the Active Temperature, Ozone, Moisture Microwave Spectrometer (ATOMMS) project. ATOMMS is an instrument for the active probing of the Earth’s atmosphere by means of the Radio Occultation technique. 

I am a member of the Science Team of the RHO_PAZ Mission. This is a proof of concept mission that uses a Dual Polarization GPS receiver (IGOR+ GNSS) onboard the Spanish Earth Observation PAZ satellite, and that intends to exploit the dual polarization observations (in Radio Occultation geometry) for detection and monitoring of heavy precipitation events. PAZ is planned to be launched in 2013.

Currently I hold a scientist position with the Adaptive Optics team at the Thirty Meter Telescope project.

Research Interests


My main interests are:

    The study of the distribution and variability of water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere. Water vapor radiometry, modeling of the mm, sub-mm, and infrared (NIR to FIR) spectral emission of planetary atmospheres. I have written radiative transfer code, mainly in Matlab©, for modeling emission of gases such as H2O, CO2, O3, N2O, CO, CH4, etc... and for environments such as the atmospheres of Earth, Mars and Titan (the largest moon of Saturn).

    Atmospheric turbulence, specifically  propagation of electromagnetic waves through a turbulent and absorbing medium.

    Active remote sensing of the Earth’s atmosphere by means of the Radio Occultation technique using the Active Temperature, Ozone, Moisture Microwave Spectrometer (ATOMMS). More on this here...

   Adaptive Optics: A technique by which it is possible to correct the wavefront of electromagnetic signals that have been distorted by atmospheric turbulence in its path through the atmosphere. I am participating in several studies intended to study the generation of artificial beacons in the mesosphere (Laser Guide Stars) to be used as a reference to monitor the atmospheric turbulence phase aberrations to be corrected by means of AO systems.The laser light, at 589 nm wavelength, propagates from the telescopes to the mesosphere where interacts (through absorption) with the Na atoms layer that exists between 85-km and 120-km above mean sea level. The source of Na atoms is the ablation of meteoritic material that penetrates in the Earth atmosphere.

I am regular member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS Soc) American Geophysical Union  (AGU), the Optical Society of America (OSA). the American Astronomical Society (AAS)/Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS), La Sociedad Chilena de Astronomía (SOCHIAS), SPIE (Society for Optics and Photonics).


Professional Background


Version 1/26/2018