Dr. Felix R. Hoots is a Technical Fellow at The Aerospace Corporation. With more than 45 years of experience in space surveillance, Hoots is widely recognized for his contributions to both the theoretical as well as the operational side of the Space Surveillance Network and associated processing centers.
Prior to joining Aerospace, Hoots worked as an astrodynamicist for the Fourteenth Air Force (14th AF) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD/ADCOM) and then as a chief scientist for GRC International. As a civil servant he was instrumental in developing satellite orbital prediction models and close approach algorithms used to maintain the catalog of satellites. A highlight was his work performed jointly with the Navy to develop algorithms to remove incompatibility between data products from Air Force Space Command and those from Naval Space Command. His work as a contractor supported the Air Force and Navy as well as the intelligence community in their space and surveillance activities. During this time, he worked with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to do the first proof of concept demonstration of an all Special Perturbations satellite catalog.
Hoots’ stature in the community has been recognized worldwide with 20 publications in international professional journals, including two commissioned encyclopedia articles and seven proceedings. He has been an invited speaker at conferences for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the International Astronomical Union and was technical organizer and speaker at a series of U.S./Russian Space Surveillance Workshops from 1994 to 2012.
Hoots earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in mathematics from Tennessee Technological University. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics with an emphasis in astrodynamics from Auburn University.
Awards and Honors
In 2006, Hoots received the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for International Scientific Cooperation. In 2016, he received the Brouwer Award from the American Astronautical Society and the Corporate Innovation Award from The Aerospace Corporation.
Hoots is a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has previously served as an associate editor of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics.