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James Wertz

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Adjunct Professor of Astronautical Engineering

Education

  • 1966, Bachelors, Physics, Mass. Institute of Technology
  • 1970, PhD, Physics, University of Texas at Austin
  • 1978, Masters, Admin. of Sci. & Tech, George Washington University

Biography


President, Microcosm

As President of Microcosm, Dr. Wertz has technical and management responsibility for work in Microcosm’s main business areas: space mission engineering, low cost space launch systems, autonomous navigation and orbit control, satellite orbit and attitude systems, space sensor design, and space software development. Under the direction of Dr. Wertz, Microcosm has become a principal creator of practical solutions to reduce both space mission cost and launch cost.

In addition to his management functions, Dr. Wertz continues a technical leadership role and remains an internationally recognized authority in orbit and attitude determination and control systems, satellite autonomy and sensor measurement theory, and space mission cost reduction. His experience includes virtually all mission phases: concept exploration, hardware design and development (both at the system and component levels), integration and test, launch support, and mission operations. He is the editor and principal author of:

1. Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control (D. Reidel, 1978, 858 pg.), the standard reference work in this field now in its 13th printing.

2. Space Mission Analysis and Design (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1st edition, 1990; 2nd edition, 1992; 3rd edition, 1999, 969 pg.), the most widely used astronautics text and reference in print.

3. Reducing Space Mission Cost (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996, 617 pg.), volume aimed at changing the way business is done in space.

4. Mission Geometry; Orbit and Constellation Design and Management (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001, 934 pg.), first of a 3-volume series intended as the new standard reference in Spacecraft Orbit and Attitude Systems.

Dr. Wertz holds multiple patents in orbit and attitude systems. He has taught courses worldwide in “Space Mission Analysis and Design,” “Orbit and Attitude Systems,” “Design of Low-Cost Space Missions,” and “Constellation Design, Management and Economics.” He has provided professional systems and mission engineering training at JPL, JSC, GSFC, LaRC, ESA, ESTEC, CNES, CSA, AFRL, SMC, and numerous corporate venues in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Dr. Wertz is an Adjunct Professor of Astronautics at USC, a Fellow of both the British Interplanetary Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Appointments
  • Astronautical Engineering

Office
  • Biegler Hall of Engineering
  • 920 Downey Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 1191

Contact Information
  • jwertz@smad.com

Websites

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