While working on his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the Technion, Dr. Aviad Levis did an internship at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at Caltech, where his work helped pave the way for two new space missions. Inspired by medical CT (x-ray Computed Tomography) technology, which uses volumetric imaging to recover a 3D map of an object, Dr. Levis set out to use tomography to examine clouds. Before his work on Cloud Tomography, the working assumption was that the sky was made of layers—moving to 3D was felt to be risky and complicated. Dr. Levis’ 3D approach – tomography based on radiative transfer – was first tested on data collected from a NASA aircraft carrying instruments from JPL.
Returning to Caltech for a postdoc in the Computing & Mathematical Sciences Department, Dr. Levis continues his work with NASA, and with the two space missions investigating clouds. In addition, he joins the EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) collaboration, which recently produced a static image of a black hole, using data collected over an entire night from radio-telescopes spanning the globe. Dr. Levis hopes to develop new computational approaches to image black holes in a dynamic environment. His work has implications for biological and environmental sciences, geoscience, and medical imaging.
Dr. Levis recently participated in the prestigious Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Physics, which brings together Nobel laureates and leading young scientists from around the world.