FMI Supporting Letter Jan 2002 by Pellinen

Supporting letter for Prof. James E. Tillman

To Whom It May Concern:

I have known Professor Tillman since late 1980's when we started to collaborate with Soviet Union on small meteorological stations called Meteggs. We needed assistance and advice in qualifying small meteorological sensors together with French space authorities. Jim Tillman offered us his experience from the Viking lander missions which turned to be of crucial importance for our efforts. Prof. Tillman joined our team as an external advicer and participant of the mission. The two small stations were destroyed in the failure of the Proton launcher in 1996.

Same type of collaboration took place in connection with the NASA's Mars Polar Lander which as well failed to reach its goal on Mars. Now Prof. Tillman is participating in the ATMIS instrument of the French-led NetLander mission of four 60 kg landers to be launched in 2007 towards Mars. His contributions in the review panels and design activities are outstanding. His advice has also been appreciated by our funding agencies.

Jim Tillmann has participated actively in the work of the International Mars Exploration Working Group (IMEWG) activities. The chairmanship is presently under my responsibility. His contributions to the discussions dealing with changing climate and dynamic weather systems on Mars have been welcomed and appreciated among the working group members. Recently, Tillman played a key role in finalizing the IMEWG-related 400 pages book Towards Mars!

We owe a lot to Tillman's advice related to outreach activities among school children and the public. This area is fairly new here in Finland but Tillman's personal efforts also with the Finnish organisations has been well met and visible.

I am sorry that our possibilities to provide adequate financial support for Jim Tillman for all his valuable work very limited. We are very thankful to the University of Washington for the support he has received and would be extremely happy if he is able to continue his activities for a few years more on the present level.


Risto Pellinen, Professor, Director

Finnish Meteorological Institute

Geophysical Research Division