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Barnhart, David

Director, Space Engineering Research Center
Department of Astronautical Engineering
University of Southern California
(818) 445-6947
(310) 448-8515

Research Interests: 

Space platform cellularization, Satbotics, Dynamically segmented robotics, Self-aggregation and assembly in space, Space informatics, Morphable hybridized multi-mode propulsion, Multi-modal adaptable sensing systems.

  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Boston University, Boston MA
  • M.E., Aerospace & Ocean Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg VA
  • 2014- Present, Director, Space Engineering Research Center/Space Technology and Systems Division, Department of Astronautical Engineering/ISI, University of Southern CA, Los Angeles
  • 2010-2014, Program Manager, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Arlington VA
  • 2010- Present, Research Professor Appointment Department of Astronautical Engineering, University of Southern CA, Los Angeles
  • 2006-2010, Director, USC Aerospace Technology and Systems Center, Information Sciences Institute, Marina Del Rey CA
  • 2001-2006, Co-founder/Vice President of Engineering & CFO Millennium Space Systems Inc. 
  • 2000-2001 Managing Director Vanguard Space Corporation, Los Angeles CA; London England
  • 2000-2001 Executive Board Member Vanguard Space – AG, Bremen Germany
  • 1996-2000, Program Manager Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Albuquerque NM
  • 1987-1996, Chief, Spacecraft Design Group, Space Experiments Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Albuquerque NM
Honors and Awards: 
  • Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, DARPA, DoD
  • USC Mentoring Award for Astronautics and Space Technology Division
  • AIAA Space Systems Award, Team Member Recipient for Boeing/AFRL XSS 10 Spacecraft Mission
  • Elected Member, National AIAA Space Logistics Technical Committee
  • Elected Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Elected Member, National AIAA Space Systems Technical Committee
  • Air Force Research Laboratory, “Program Manager of the Quarter Award”
  • Acquisition Professional Development Program Certification Level III: Program Management and Systems Engineering
  • ACAT Team Honored at 25th Anniversary Celebration of Apollo XI by Vice President Al Gore,  Los Angeles CA
  • Certificate of Merit, Best Technical Paper @ International Conference, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Air Force Material Command,  “General Bernard P. Randolph Engineering Team Award”, Team Member
  • American Defense Preparedness Association, “SDI National Technical Achievement Award”, Team Member
Selected Publications: 
  • Barnhart, D., L., Hill., Fowler, E., Hunter, R., Hoag, L., Sullivan, B., and Will, P., “A Further Look at Potential Impact of Satlets on Design, Production, and Cost of Satellite Systems”, Small Satellite Conference,  August 2014, Logan, Utah, SSC14-V-6.
  • Barnhart, D., Will, P., Sullivan, B., Hunter, R., Hill, L., “Creating a Sustainable Assembly Architecture for Next-Gen Space: The Phoenix Effect”, National Space Symposium Paper,  May 2014, Colorado Springs CO.
  • “Enabling the 2nd Generation in Space:  Building blocks for large scale space endeavors”, Barnhart, D.,  Garretson, P., and Will, P., Journal of British Interplanetary Society,  Vol. 67, No. 4, April 2014.  (First presented at DARPA/NASA 100 Year Starship Conference, Orlando Florida, Oct 2011.)
  • Barnhart, D., Hill, L., Fowler, E., Hoag, L., Sullivan, B., Will, P., “A Market for Satellite Cellularization? A first look at satlet morphology’s implementation and potential impact on the space industry”, AIAA Space 2013 Conference, AIAA 2013-5486.
  • Barnhart, D., “The Phoenix Project.”, 50th session of the UN COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, February 13, 2013.
  • Barnhart, D., and Sullivan, B., “Economics of Repurposing In Situ Retired Spacecraft Components.” AIAA SPACE 2012 Conference & Exposition: AIAA 2012-5304.
  • Barnhart, D., Hill, L., Turnbull, M., and Will, P.,  “Changing Satellite Morphology through Cellularization.” AIAA SPACE Conference & Exposition, AIAA 2012-5262, Pasadena, CA, 2012.
  • D. Barnhart, T. Barrett, J. Sachs, P. Will, “Development and Operation of a Micro-Satellite Dynamic Test Facility for Distributed Flight Operations”, AIAA Space 2009 Conference, AIAA 2009-6443, Pasadena CA
  • Barnhart, D., Kichkaylo, T., and Hoag, L., “SPIDR: Integrated Systems Engineering Design-to-Simulation Software for Satellite Build”, 7th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Loughborough University, England, April 2009
  • D. Barnhart, M. Gruntman, A. Anderson, O. Faghfoor, J. Cheng, "Hands On Space Flight Risk Reduction Training Through Ground Based Dynamic Flight Testing", 58th International Astronautical Congress, Hyderabad, India , IAC-07-E1.4.10, September 2007
  • D. Barnhart, T. Barrett, O. Rahman, C. Raskin, M. Rudolph, "Lunar descent and landing technique development through real-time earth based flight dynamics operations", 58th International Astronautical Congress, Hyderabad, India , IAC-07-A3.I.A.05, September 2007
  • “Can-Do versus Do it Yourself”, Barnhart, D., Space News Article, March 2003
  • "Space Systems Year in Review", Barnhart, D., Murphy, T., Aerospace America, December 1999.
  • Vol. V, Space Science Series, HAZARDS DUE TO COMETS AND ASTEROIDS, Part V:  "DoD Technologies & Missions of Relevance to Asteroid and Comet Exploration", S. Nozette, L. Pleasance, D. Barnhart, and D. Dunham, Copyright 1994
  • Barnhart, D., Coombs, C., Bryant, K., Knight, C., Hertzberg, D., Christmas, J., and Scott, D., "Lunar Applications For Payload Delivery and Surface Analysis Using Microspacecraft", 46th International Astronautical Federation Congress, Oslo Norway, IAA-95-IAA.11.1.04, October 1995.
  • BT Patel, M. Martinz-Sanchez, G.R. Ricker, D. Tilley, D. Barnhart, H. Alexander, R. Myeres, E. Pencil, G. Horvat and J. Samella, “Electric Propulsion for an Interplanetary Astrophysics Mission”, 24th International Electric Propulsion Conference, “Leningradsky 55”, Congress Center, Moscow, Russia, IEPC-95-239, September 19-23 1995.
  • Barnhart, D., Tilley, D., Wojnar, R., and Spores, R., "The Case for Small Spacecraft:  An Integrated Perspective on Electric Propulsion", 24th International Electric Propulsion Conference, Moscow, Russia, IEPC-95-148, September 1995.
  • Barnhart, D., Feig, J., and Grigsby, E., "MSTI:  Small Space Platform Program", SPIE/OE Optoelectronics Conference In Aerospace and Remote Sensing, Orlando FL, 1940-20, April 1993
  • Brophy, J.R., Barnett, J.W., Sankovic, J.M., and Barnhart, D.A., "Performance of the Stationary Plasma Thruster:  SPT-100"AIAA/SAE/ASME/ASEE 28th Joint Propulsion Conference, Nashville, TN, 92-3155, July 1992.
  • Hall. S., and Barnhart, D., "A Range Safety Flight Testing Technique using an External Camera Tracking System", Society of Flight Test Engineers Conference, Reno, Nevada, September 1989.
  • Barnhart, D., Hall, S., Wojnar, R., Wallace, E., Zaremba, P., Fulk, C., Cronauer, T., and Zarobsky, C., "Facility Interface Considerations in Testing KKV Rocket Propulsion Technology", AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE 25th Joint Propulsion Conference, U.S. Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA, July 1989.
  • Barnhart, D., and Lauffer, S., "Operational Static Strapdown Test of an Integrated Kinetic Kill Vehicle", AIAA Missile Sciences Conference(SECRET), U.S. Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA, November 1988.
  • Barnhart, D., McKee, B., and Webber, T., "Flight Dynamics and Control Facility for Ground Based Flight Testing of Integrated KEW Technology", AIAA 4th Flight Test Conference Proceedings, San Diego, CA, May 1988.
  • "Considerations for Radio Frequency Use in a Multipath Environment and Subsequent Telemetry Clarification's using Specialized Schemes", Barnhart, D., Hewlett, M., Stephens, W., and Taft, D., AFAL TR-88-041, Air Force Astronautics Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base, CA, April 1988.
  • "EPOCH: An Interactive Orbital Mechanics Package for Microcomputer Applications", Barnhart, D.A., Masters Report, Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, VPI & SU, June 1987.