Summary: My professional objective is to continue building upon 3 decades of experience leading spacecraft engineering and operations teams, performing strategic mission analysis, and implementing continual operational process improvements in order to extend the longevity and improve the efficacy of spacecraft capabilities. Since 1989, I have been a Honeywell contractor, serving primarily as engineering lead for a wide variety of satellite missions operated by half a dozen different U.S. government agencies. I have received numerous achievement awards through the years for these efforts, was intimately involved in a number of “space firsts” and have published and presented a number of technical papers on related topics. Prior to Honeywell, I was an Air Force officer with a Top Secret clearance assigned to the Space Shuttle operations branch at Onizuka AFB (AFSCN) in Sunnyvale CA, supervising both contractor and enlisted military personnel.
December 2006 – Present: Landsat-5 (USGS) Spacecraft Lead Engineer: Lead a team of 5 engineers maintaining the precarious health and orbital position of Landsat-5; a 29 year old, sun synchronous, imaging spacecraft. Continually identify, implement and assess both tactical and strategic operational process improvements for this mission of which there have been many since Honeywell assumed control in 2007. Respond to all spacecraft perturbations and anomalies of which there have also been many during this same time (including tumbles, gyro failures, battery cell shorts, etc). Conceptualize, implement and analyze a wide range of “workarounds”, to continue the operability of the remaining subsystem capabilities of which there are few. Landsat-5 is the longest continuously operational LEO space mission in history. Highly automated and state of the art when launched in 1984, today, this spacecraft is very much a "stick and rudder" operation which provides minimal on-board autonomy and demands maximal engineering scrutiny to survive thus providing my team with many "opportunities to excel". And excel we have, bringing long "dead components" back to life and squeezing every last bit of capability from subsystems whose design life was 3 years (and making it into the Guiness Book Of World Records for longest earth sensing mission in history) . Cited as a contributor to the Mission Operations Chapter (29) of the 2011 edition of "Space Mission Analysis and Design" Textbook.
September 2000 – December 2006: POES Constellation (NOAA) Spacecraft Lead Engineer: Led a team of 5 subsystem engineers supporting the Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) constellation consisting of six low earth orbit spacecraft of varied age conducting climate and weather related imaging operations. Responsibilities required that I maintain the day-to-day state of health of all on-orbit spacecraft, respond to all spacecraft perturbations and anomalies, devise, implement and assess special spacecraft tests, plan and perform launch readiness, assent, and early orbit checkout operations, and implement end-of-life decommissions, sometimes all at approximately the same time. Conceived and implemented a "revolutionary" method for performing strategic spacecraft health assessment called SHAEP and another system for permanently capturing and selectively disseminating any and all spacecraft re-configuration and status information called SITARS. Published and presented (at The Space Ops 2004 symposium in Montreal, Canada) a technical paper on SITARS. Published SHAEP paper for International Space Ops 2007 seminar in Rome Italy where it was judged as a finalist for best paper. Received several recognition awards from the NOAA customer as a result of my efforts. Authored approximately 50% of the technical approach for the winning proposal bid on this contract (EMOSS 2).
March 2000 – September 2000EO-1 (NASA) Mission Planning Developer: Performed pre-launch development, integration and test for the EO-1 Mission Planning Software System (MOPSS). Departed program prior to launch to pursue NOAA-POES Lead Engineer opportunity.
January 1999 – March 2000 DataLynx Development & Integration Engineer: Among the team of engineers who conceived and built the Honeywell DataLynx spacecraft operations complex in Columbia MD. Specifically, I designed the operational complex that was ultimately constructed and authored the Operations Concept Document used as a reference with all potential customers. I also authored approx 50% of the technical approach of a winning NASA proposal bid for DataLynx services in late 1999.
June 1996 – January 1999: MSTI-3 (USAF) Spacecraft Lead Engineer & Facility Manager: Led both the engineering and operations teams for this low earth orbit scientific imaging mission. Responsible for all tactical spacecraft health maintenance activities and many strategic operational methodology enhancements. Supported pre-launch, launch, on-orbit and final decommission (into the Pacific Ocean) operations and every other operation in between including several major anomaly recovery's. Devised a method by which operators actually used a "joystick" in real-time to point the spacecraft imager at a specific point on the ground. This process thus enabled the first ever test for determining a ground based LASER's ability to disable an on-orbit space based imager in support of military space objectives (documented on the front page of the 21 Oct 1997 Washington Post). Co-authored and presented (at the 11th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, Ogden, Utah, Sept 1997) a technical paper on the innovative uses of MS Office developed (in house) to support these operations. Simultaneously served as the BATCAVE facility and on-site Honeywell personnel manager (with 15 direct reports) until that facility was decommissioned and dismantled in Jan, 1999.
June 1994 – June 1996: SMEX (NASA) Program Lead Engineer: Performed integration activities for the 3 spacecraft (SWAS, FAST, SAMPEX) constellation of NASA's Small Explorer program. Organized pre-launch activities for the FAST mission which was delayed for several years because problems with the Pegasus launch vehicle.
June 1993 – June 1994: CLEMENTINE (NRL/USAF/BMDO) Spacecraft Engineer: Lead Honeywell spacecraft engineer during the development and short lived ( 4 month) on orbit mission of this unique moon mapping program which provided the first application of the "better, faster, cheaper" concept of spacecraft operations (documented by many major newspapers, magazines and several television news shows). Performed operational and engineering functions in real-time alongside government design engineers which was one of the unique aspects of this mission. Provided telemetry management support to the PI investigating the possibility that ice existed on the lunar landscape, which was eventually confirmed. Wrote 100% of the management volume and 30% of the technical approach of the winning proposal bid for this contract (SSR&D) in 1992.
November 1989 – June 1993:LACE (Naval Research Lab) Spacecraft Lead Engineer & Ground System Manager: Started as lead operator supporting launch and within one year was both the lead spacecraft engineer and the ground systems manager for this low earth orbit, multi-payload, scientific imaging mission. Developed comprehensive training documents and plans for all operations personnel on all spacecraft subsystems which included certification exams consisting of hundreds of questions and a wide variety of practical demonstrations using the spacecraft simulator. Responsible for all spacecraft and ground systems (Micro Vax) health maintenance issues, special operations, configurations and anomaly responses. One operation of note resulted in a LACE image making the cover of the 6 April 1991 Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. Also, developed a method for performing real-time, remote access, spacecraft command, control, and analysis years before the concept of "telework" became mainstream or widespread internet connectivity even existed. Published and presented (at the 1st International Symposium for Reducing the Cost of Spacecraft Operations at Rutherford Lab, Oxford UK in 1995) a technical paper on this methodology. At mission end, planned and implemented a decommission configuration purposely designed to potentially allow a recommission at a much later time. Three years later (while no longer assigned to the contract) I supported the successful recommission of LACE while also providing a variety of health and safety support for approximately one month after which LACE was permanently decommissioned.
December 1983 – November 198: USAF Space Shuttle Operations Chief of Ops Planning & Integration: As an Air Force officer (reaching the rank of Captain), performed a wide variety of functions both technical and managerial. Provided planning and operations support during military space shuttle launches for both primary (IUS) and secondary payloads. Missions supported during this time included two TDRS launches and three Deep Space Network probes: Magellan to the planet Venus, Galileo to the planet Jupiter and Ulysses to the Sun. Received an award from the commander of STS 27 (Brewster Shaw) for services developing and supporting a classified secondary payload on that mission. Received a military decoration for recovery activities performed the night before Galileo launched in response to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Designed the base operations control center and other operational facilities which were constructed during the DSM period of the mid-1980's. Directly supervised 26 Non-commission officers operating the base command center. Reviewed proposal bids and graded contractor performance for several contract cycles.
Golden Gate University, San Francisco, Ca. 1986: MBA Degree (Mngt.) 3.72 GPA
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. 1983: BS Degree with Honors (Env. Eng.) 3.74 GPA
Many additional technical and managerial courses, seminars, programs and conferences over 30 years
(Contact info available on request)
Robert White: Current direct supervisor
Steve Covington: Current customer representative for USGS (Landsat-5 owner)
Dr. Trevor Sorenson: Previous supervisor, winner of NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement
Underwater Photography, Private Pilot, Snow sking
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