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Spencer, David

Professor
Aerospace Engineering
Pennsylvania State University
Phone: 
(814) 865-4537
Fax: 
(814) 865-7092
Email: 

Research Interests: 

Theoretical and Applied Astrodynamics, Space Debris Dynamics, Continuous-Thrust Orbit Transfers, Trajectory Optimization, Spacecraft Mission Design and Engineering, Aerospace Systems Design Optimization

Education: 
  • B.S., University of Kentucky, Mechanical Engineering
  • M.S., Purdue University, Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • M.B.A., Pennsylvania State University, Business Administration
  • Ph.D., University of Colorado, Aerospace Engineering Sciences

 

Teaching: 
  • AERSP 304 - Dynamics and Controls of Aerospace Systems
  • AERSP 309 - Astronautics
  • AERSP 401A/B - Spacecraft Design
  • AERSP 450 - Orbit and Attitude Control of Spacecraft
  • AERSP 550 - Astrodynamics
  • AERSP 597 - Interplanetary Astrodynamics
  • AERSP 597 - Statistical Orbit Determination
Background: 
  • 2012 – present: Professor, Aerospace Engineering, PSU
  • 2008 – 2011: Director of Graduate Programs, College of Engineering, PSU
  • 2005 – 2012: Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering, PSU
  • 2004 – 2008: Director of Graduate Studies, Aerospace Engineering, PSU
  • 2002: NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellow, NASA JPL
  • 1999 – 2005: Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering, PSU
  • 1998 – 1999: Deputy Branch Chief, Space Sensing and Vehicle Control Branch, AFRL
  • 1996 – 1999: Chief, Space Flight Dynamics and Control Group, and Space Debris Research Program Manager, AFRL
  • 1995 – 1996: Space Debris Research Program Manager and Orbital Dynamics Program Manager, AFRL
  • 1994 – 1995: Deputy Space Debris Research Program Manager and Orbital Dynamics Program Manager, AFRL
Professional Memberships: 
  • Vice President, Technical, American Astronautical Society, AAS
  • Fellow, AAS
  • Associate Fellow, AIAA
  • Member, American Society of Engineering Education
  • Member, Tau Beta Pi
  • Member, Pi Tau Sigma
  • Member, ASME
Selected Publications: 
  • Spencer, D.B., and P.S. Williams, “Managing Space Situational Awareness Using the Space Surveillance Network”, AFRL-RV-PSTR-2013-0117 TR-2013-0117, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, 14 Nov 2013.
  • Williams, P.S., D.B. Spencer, and R.S. Erwin, “Coupling of Estimation and Sensor Tasking Applied to Satellite Tracking”, Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 36, No. 4 pp. 993-1007, DOI: 10.2514/1.59361, 2013.
  • Williams, P.S., D.B. Spencer, R.S. Erwin, K.J. DeMars, “The Effects of Uncertainty Estimation on Dynamic Sensor Tasking”, AIAA 2012-4808, AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialists Conference Minneapolis, MN, August 13-16, 2012.
  • Williams, P.S., D.B. Spencer and R.S. Erwin, “Utilizing Stability Metrics to Aid in Sensor Network Management Solutions for Satellite Tracking Problems”, AAS 12–111, AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, Charleston, SC, January 29-February 2, 2012.
  • Williams, P.S., D.B. Spencer and R.S. Erwin “Comparison of Two Single-Step, Myopic Sensor Management Decision Processes Applied to Space Situational Awareness”, AAS 12–112, AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, Charleston, SC, January 29-February 2, 2012.
  • Williams, P.S., D.B. Spencer, and R.S. Erwin, “Coupling of Nonlinear Estimation and Dynamic Sensor Tasking Applied to Space Situational Awareness”, AAS 11-575, AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialists Conference, July 31-August 4, 2011.
  • Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD, Chapter 7 - Orbital Debris, Microcosm Press, 2011
  • "Space Debris” entry in 2007 Edition of the World Book Encyclopedia, World Book Publishing, Chicago, 2007
  • Space Modeling and Simulation: Roles and Applications Throughout the System Lifecycle, Chapter 14 (Orbital Debris), The Aerospace Press, 2004.
  • Faulds, A.L., and D.B. Spencer, “Satellite Collision Analysis Using Genetic Algorithms as a Filter”, AAS 02-117, AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, San Antonio, TX, January 2002.
  • Spencer, D.B., and K.A. Akins, “Uncertainty Assessment for the Breakup of Satellites Due to Hypervelocity Impacts”, 3rd European Conference on Space Debris, Darmstadt Germany, March 2001.
  • Cooke, W.J., D.B. Spencer, B.J. Anderson, and R.M. Suggs, “Tether Survivability and Collision Avoidance: Is LEO the Right Place for Tethered Systems”, Space Technology and Applications International Forum, Albuquerque, NM, February 2001.
  • Spencer, D.B., K.K., Luu, W.S. Campbell, M.E. Sorge, A.B. Jenkin, “Orbital Debris, Hazard Assessment Methodologies for Satellite Constellations”, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 120-125, 2001.
  • Spencer, D.B., C.B. Hogge, W.S. Campbell, M.E. Sorge, and S.R. McWaters, “Some Technical Issues of an Optically-Focused Small Space Debris Tracking and Cataloguing System”, Space Debris 2(3): 137-160, 2000.
  • Spencer, D.B., C.B. Hogge, W.S. Campbell, M.E. Sorge, and S.R. McWaters, “Orbital Debris and the Environmental Restoration of Space: A Report to the Congressional Defense Committees”, presented at the Space Control Conference, M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA, April 2000.
  • Spencer, D.B., K.K. Luu, W.S. Campbell, M.E. Sorge, and A.B. Jenkin, “Orbital Debris Hazard Assessment Methodologies for Satellite Constellations”, AAS 00-138, AAS/AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Conference, Clearwater, FL, January 2000.
  • Spencer, D.B., and Luu, K.K., “Overview of the Second European Conference on Space Debris”, AAS 97-638, AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialists Conference, Sun Valley, ID, August 1997.
  • Spencer, D.B., and W.S. Campbell, “Space Debris Research in the U.S. Department of Defense”, 2nd European Conference on Space Debris, Darmstadt Germany, March 1997.
  • Madler, R.A, Jorgenson, K, Spencer, D.B., and R.D. Culp, “Estimating the Area of Artificial Space Debris”, 2nd European Conference on Space Debris, Darmstadt Germany, March 1997.
  • Spencer, D.B., “Orbital Debris and Space Operations”, Aerospace America, February 1997, pp. 38-42
  • Spencer, D.B., et al, “The Expanding Capabilities of the Debris Analysis Workstation”, SPIE 2813-12, SPIE's International Symposium on Optical Science, Engineering, and Instrumentation, session on Characteristics and Consequences of Orbital Debris and Natural Space Impactors, Denver, CO, August 1996.
  • Campbell, W.S., M.E. Sorge, D.B. Spencer, and S.R. Maethner, “Proposed Development of Department of Defense (DOD) Debris Mitigation Guidelines”, AAS 96-112, AAS/AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Meeting, Austin, TX, February 1996.
  • Spencer, D.B., S.R. Maethner, K.W. Yates, and R.A. Madler, “Program DEEP: A Modeling Approach for Estimating the Space Debris Environment and its Effects”, 46th IAF Congress, Oslo, Norway, October 1995.
  • Spencer, D.B., and K.K. Luu, “Methodology for Predicting the Space Debris Environment into the Next Millennium”, UA12A-08, IUGG Congress, Boulder, CO, July 1995.
  • Maethner, S.R., D.B. Spencer, and A.B. Jenkin, “The Space Debris Research Program at the USAF Phillips Laboratory and The Aerospace Corporation”, AAS/AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Conference, Albuquerque, NM, February 1995.
  • Maethner, S.R., D.B. Spencer, and K.W. Yates, “Space Debris Environment and Effects Modeling”, AIAA 95-0663, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, January 1995.
  • Chobotov, V.A., and D.B. Spencer, “Debris Evolution and Lifetime Following an Orbital Breakup”, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 670-676, 1991.
  • Chobotov, V.A., and D.B. Spencer, “A Review of Orbital Debris Modeling at The Aerospace Corporation”, AIAA-90-1356-CP, AIAA/NASA/DOD Orbital Debris Conference, Baltimore, MD, April 1990.
  • Chobotov, V.A., and D.B. Spencer, “Debris Evolution and Lifetime Following an Orbital Breakup”, AIAA-90-0085-CP, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, January 1990.