James A. Vedda, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Space Policy and Strategy, has been performing research and analyses on national security, civil, and commercial space issues at Aerospace since 2004. Previously, he spent several years assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense working on space policy and homeland defense issues. He was also an associate professor in the Department of Space Studies at the University of North Dakota, where he taught graduate courses on civil, commercial, and military space policy. He has an M.S. in science and technology policy from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Florida. He is the author of Choice, Not Fate: Shaping a Sustainable Future in the Space Age (Xlibris, Bloomington, IN, 2009).
John D. DeSain, Research Scientist, Chemical Propulsion and Environmental Sciences Division, has more than 16 years of experience working in the field of infrared kinetic spectroscopy. His research focuses on the kinetics, thermochemistry, and reaction mechanisms of species involved in propulsion systems related to the space environment. His work includes environmental assessments of the use of common propulsion systems that include ground impacts, potential for space debris, ozone destruction, and global warming impact. DeSain joined Aerospace in 2003. He has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Rice University.
Michael J. Baxter, Director, Modeling and Simulation Department, is responsible for the development of simulations and analyses covering military utility, system-of-systems, and large-scale system effectiveness and performance. Prior to joining Aerospace in 1986, Baxter was a naval reserve officer, having served with the Naval Air Weapons Center and Strike Force Squadron. He has an M.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Southern California.
Patrick L. Smith, (not pictured), joined Aerospace in 1968. His early technical work focused on missile guidance and tracking systems and phase-conjugation beam-forming techniques. Later, he supported efforts to integrate space systems into tactical air operations in Europe and Korea. Since retiring in 2007, he has coauthored two AIAA papers on the effects of climate change on national security space programs. He has a Ph.D. in engineering from UCLA.
Steven M. Beck (left), Distinguished Scientist, Electronics and Photonics Laboratory, has worked at Aerospace for more than 30 years. For much of that time, he directed the Photonics Technology department, where he led the effort to establish laser remote sensing. He has participated in the development and deployment of many lidar systems. He has a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Rice University.
Leslie A. Wickman (center), Senior Engineering Specialist, Space Architecture Department, is also director of the Center for Research in Science at Azusa Pacific University. Her current projects include research on global climate change and national security issues, assessment of current and future space mission technologies and their applications, and sustainable water reclamation systems. Before joining Aerospace, she supported NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station programs. She has a B.A. in political science from Willamette University, an M.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, and a Ph.D. in human factors and biomechanics, both from Stanford University.
Inki A. Min (right), Principal Engineering Specialist, Architecture and Design Subdivision, leads and performs system-level analyses of various Air Force, NASA, and NRO projects. He joined Aerospace in 1987. He has a Ph.D. in aeronautics from Caltech.
Martin Ross, Senior Project Engineer, Commercial Launch Projects, leads research concerning the effects of space systems emissions on the stratosphere. Ross has provided technical leadership and management for many large programs associated with the NASA WB-57F aircraft, including successfully developing and managing four large multiyear WB-57F-based science campaigns for NASA. He is developing new interagency strategies to better understand the scientific, economic, and political implications of the impact of space systems on stratospheric ozone and climate change. He has authored more than 50 papers on space and atmospheric science, engineering, and policy. Ross has a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in planetary and space physics from UCLA.
Karen L. Jones, Senior Project Engineer, Civil and Commercial Operations, develops and manages projects involving natural resource assessments, remote sensing, and renewable energy. Her current focus is on technology strategy and commercialization, renewable energy, and natural resource policy and economics. She has a B.S. in geology from Louisiana State University and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management. She joined Aerospace in 2004.
David M. Tratt (left), Senior Project Engineer, Imaging Spectroscopy Department, joined Aerospace in 2006. He currently works developing Earth observation applications using imaging spectrometry and laser remote sensing techniques. He supported NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office, overseeing the laser technology R&D program targeted toward future space-based Earth science measurement needs.He is the founding chair of the Space Technology Alliance’s Laser/Optical Technologies Working Group and is a fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Meteorological Society. He is a member of IEEE, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the European Geo- sciences Union. He has a Ph.D. in physics from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.
George J. Scherer (right), Director, Imaging Spectroscopy Department, develops passive infrared remote sensing instruments and techniques, with a particular focus on infrared laser spectroscopy for detecting ultralow levels of gases. He has also led the development of operating and analysis software for Fourier transform spectrometers deployed from vehicles, helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft. Scherer joined Aerospace in 1985. He has a B.S. from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Harvard University.
Chia-Chun (George) Chao (left), joined Aerospace in 1978. He has more than 40 years of experience in the areas of orbit perturbation, stationkeeping, satellite navigation, formation flying, and troposphere refraction calibration methods. Chao designed and tested the PC-based software tool LIFETIME, which has supported a wide range of DOD and civil and commercial programs. He is the author of Applied Orbit Perturbation and Maintenance (The Aerospace Press/AIAA, El Segundo, CA, 2005) and also teaches orbital mechanics at the UCLA Extension and USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He has a Ph.D. in astrodynamics from UCLA and is an associate fellow of AIAA.
Bernard Yoo (center), Engineering Specialist, Astrodynamics Department, joined Aerospace in 1997. His expertise includes space mission analysis, crosslink network design, communications resource scheduling, and future launch modeling for space debris analysis. He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Rice University and an M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.
Richard Walterscheid (right), Distinguished Scientist, Space Sciences Application Laboratory, joined Aerospace in 1979. He works in the areas of atmospheric dynamics and physics, with a focus on the upper atmosphere. He received the Aerospace President’s Achievement Award in 1992 for contributions in atmospheric science with applications to space systems. Walterscheid has served as a visiting professor at UCLA. He has published more than 130 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from UCLA.