Dan Lobb is a very experienced optical systems designer with an exceptionally high reputation, particularly in the space industry.  Skilled in lens design and all aspects of optical and electro-optical performance analysis.

2006 onwards

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

  • Detailed optical design and analyses for the ESA Sentinel 2 mission: a visible to short-wave IR multispectral imager with 10m ground sample distance and 280km swath width.
  • Design and analyses for the short-wave IR spectrometer unit of the ESA TROPOMI (Sentinel 5 precursor) payload.
  • Concept definitions, design and analyses for the thermal IR system of the EarthCare Multi-spectral imager, using micro-bolometer array detectors and featuring novel concepts for radiometric calibration.
  • Detailed designs and analyses for the Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) hyperspectral instrument.
  • Designs and analyses for several commercial Earth imaging systems (for which designs are generally confidential).  These included the highly original design for the DMC3 imager, which provides 1m ground sample distance over a 26km swath at 667km altitude.
  • Detailed optical design and electro-optical analyses for the TRUTHS (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio- Studies).  This instrument combines a UV to short-wave IR hyperspectral imager with an absolute calibration system for Earth surface spectral radiance and solar spectral irradiance.
  • Candidate designs for the SLI multi-spectral imager (NASA’s sustained land imaging), aiming for reduce payload mass.  This included an and original concept for absolute Earth-reflectance and thermal-IR radiance calibration, detailed in a follow-up study.

1985 – 2006

Sira Space Group

Principally involved in optical design and analysis for space programmes, including radiometric analysis, detailed optical design and calibration issues.  Space projects include:

  • Development of the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS, flown on ESA’s ENVISAT platform) up to Phase B.  Inventor of the novel optical design of MERIS, and the two-diffuser approach to absolute on-board radiometric calibration.
  • Design of optics for star trackers, earth sensors, star simulators, etc.  Pre-Phase A studies on Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) Radiometer and Sounder optics
  • Design of detection module optics for GOMOS (global ozone monitor flown on ESA’s Envisat platform).
  • Pre-phase A definition of optics, detection and calibration concepts for the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget instrument (GERB).
  • Design of the Mid-Wave IR telescope flown on the STRV2 platform.
  • Invention and detailed design of CHRIS (compact high-resolution imaging spectrometer) which is still providing hyperspectral data from ESA’s PROBA platform.
  • Concept definition and detailed design of the SSTL’s 4m Earth imager flying on Beijing 1.
  • Analysis of Aeolus-ALADIN Detection Front-end Units.
  • Detailed design and analysis of the Integrated Field Unit for the NIRSpec instrument, which will form part of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Principal optical expert on many ESA and national studies on EO instruments such as: the microgravity Fluid Science Lab., PRISM, AGIRS, SPECTRA, GeoSCIA and the UV/visible spectrometer for METEOSAT 3rd generation.

1981 – 1985

Sira Group Ltd

  • Continued involvement in a wide range of optical design and analysis projects, for example a scanned-laser retinal camera and a new design for traffic-lights to suppress sun-phantom.
  • Design and implementation of laser display systems, including an experimental 5000 line system for flight simulation, and a commercial 525/625-line TV system for very large screen displays.

1980 – 1981

US Naval Training Equipment Centre, Florida

  • Specification and concept design for an “area of interest” flight simulation display providing effectively high resolution over 170⁰ instantaneous and 270⁰ total field of view, using computer-generated input, modulated laser beams, fibre relays and head-mounted scanning optics.

1967 – 1980

Sira Institute Ltd 

  • Design and development of a wide range of optical and electro-optical instruments, including systems for: industrial inspection, sights and displays, flight simulators, ophthalmic surgery and lens inspection.


BSc (Hons) Physics, DIC (Optics), Imperial College, London