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Roger C. Thompson

Senior Engineering Specialist Mission Analysis and Operations Department


Dr. Roger C. Thompson joined The Aerospace Corporation in February 1996 as an engineering specialist and was promoted to senior engineering specialist in 1999. In this role, he provides support for space situational awareness, collision avoidance, on-orbit breakup analysis and risk assessment, space debris issues, deorbit/reentry prediction, and orbital operations for many programs and space missions. He is one of the corporation’s leading analysts in space traffic management and has represented Aerospace at high-level government and industry meetings where future space policy is determined. Thompson has experience in uncertainty modeling, probability analysis, pointing and tracking systems, orbit and attitude dynamics, coverage analyses, optimal control systems, structural dynamics, and control of nonlinear systems during his 25 years at Aerospace. He also continues to support realtime launch and on-orbit collision risk assessment, orbit transfer and maneuver planning, orbital and trajectory modeling, and orbit determination.

Thompson has more than five years of industrial experience with Torrington Bearings Co. as a project engineer (1977–1980) and as a senior project engineer (1980–1982). His responsibilities there included machine design and technology demonstration for large bearing manufacturing.

Thompson left Torrington in 1982 to earn his graduate degrees where his research focused on optimal control of large flexible spacecraft and solving large-order two-point boundary value problems. While continuing his doctoral research, he worked as a research associate at Texas A&M University (1985–1987), and, immediately after completing his Ph.D., he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Astronautics Laboratory at Edwards AFB.

Prior to his current position, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University (1988–1995).


Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering science and mechanics from North Carolina State University and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


Thompson is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, member of the American Astronautical Society, Sigma Xi, and Tau Beta Pi.

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