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The OAR ORTA UxSRTO is no longer operating.
For further information, please contact ORTA at

Kenneth Vierra

Oceanographer / Remote Sensing Scientist

Ken recently transitioned from a NOAA Affiliate in the Uncrewed Systems Research Transition Office (UxSRTO) to the Office of Research, Transition, and Application (ORTA) as a Program and Management Analyst, Transition Support Specialist. Ken will continue in a limited capacity to assist UxSRTO.

For over three decades, Ken has functioned both as a Program Manager and Task Leader facilitating field collections for various sponsors and projects. Acting in these roles, his responsibilities have included planning, coordination, direction, and participation in airborne, marine, and land field experiments. Ken’s experience includes designing and executing data collections in support of signal detection problems, environmental measurements, and other program objectives. He participated in and conducted over 400 complex data-gathering exercises in real-world environments including at-sea, land, and air fielding instrumentation on various platforms, which also included analysis of the resulting data. Core competencies include field collections, engineering, hardware integration, logistics, and analysis activities.

He has provided experiment leadership through understanding real world problems in national security and environmental areas providing decisive solutions via technology and innovative sensor systems. He has worked with program scientists and sensor engineers to list fundamental system issues, create “testable” hypotheses, design practical field experiments, and provide analysis that tested hypotheses and helped Program Teams resolve issues and achieve objectives. Ken designed collections, which led to developing guidance to optimize success of objectives under a range of operational environments and fielded various airborne, oceanographic, meteorological, and geophysical ground-truth sensors. As needed and requested; Ken also has arranged collaborative agreements with other organizations (Academics, Vendors, Government Agencies, etc.) to enhance and leverage opportunities for data collects, approvals, and databases.

Ken is a Physical Oceanographer with an extensive Oceanographic and Remote Sensing background. Ken obtained his undergraduate degree (B.S. Earth Science) from the University of Millersville, which is a small school near Lancaster Pennsylvania. Directly from there, Ken went on to obtain his M.S. (Marine Studies / Physical Oceanography) degree from the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment campus, located in Lewes, Delaware.