James Webb Telescope to be discussed at Penn State Behrend

March 18, 2015

ERIE, Pa. -- When it launches in October 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope will allow us to observe some of the most distant objects in the Universe.

Before then though, the telescope must undergo a rigorous testing and assembly process, much of it conducted by Exelis Inc. Ronald Broccolo, an aerospace engineer, integration manufacturing engineer and product integration manager for Exelis Inc., will discuss that process when Open House Night in Astronomy returns to Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, on Thursday, March 26.

The presentation, titled “Integration of the James Webb Space Telescope” will be held at 7:30 p.m. in room 101 of the campus's School of Science Complex. It is free and open to the public.

During the presentation, Broccolo will discuss the installation and alignment of the optical assemblies on the telescope’s backplane structure, and how Exelis Inc. is assisting NASA with the integration of the instrument package and final optical performance testing of the integrated telescope system.

Broccolo graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1984. He has worked on highly-specialized aerospace systems at Exelis Inc. for 30 years, beginning as an integration manufacturing engineer and progressing to a product integration manager.

A planetarium show will be played in the Yahn Planetarium before and after Broccolo’s presentation, with the first show being held from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and the second airing from 8:30 to 9 p.m. To see one of the shows that evening, there will be a special discounted rate of $3.50 per adult and $2.50 for children 12 and under. Anyone who presents a valid Penn State ID will receive free admission.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 20, 2015