Photo of David Spencer

David Spencer

Professor

Affiliation(s):

  • Aerospace Engineering

229A Hammond Building

dbs9@psu.edu

814-865-4537

Personal or Departmental Website

Research Areas:

Astrodynamics, Vehicle Dynamics and Controls

Interest Areas:

Spacecraft dynamics and control, theoretical and applied astrodynamics, trajectory optimization, and spacecraft systems engineering.

 
 

 

Education

  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky, 1983
  • MS, Aerospace Engineering, Purdue University, 1985
  • Ph D, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, 1994
  • MBA, Penn State University, 2010

Publications

Book, Chapters

  • David B Spencer, 2011, Orbital Debris, Microcosm Press and Springer, pp. Ch. 7
  • David B Spencer, 2004, Space Modeling and Simulation: Roles and Applications Throughout the System Lifecycle, pp. Ch. 12
  • David B Spencer, 2004, Space Modeling and Simulation: Roles and Applications Throughout the System Lifecycle, pp. Ch. 14

Journal Articles

  • Philip L Myers and David B Spencer, 2016, "Application of a Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm to the Spacecraft Stationkeeping Problem", Acta Astronautica, 127
  • Jason A Reiter and David B Spencer, 2016, "Technique to Optimize for Engine Shutoff Constraints in Electric Propulsion Trajectories", 53, (4)
  • David B Spencer and Brian S Shank, 2016, "Trade Space Visualization Applied to Lambert’s Problem for Elliptical Insertion Orbits", Acta Astronautica
  • Andrew J Abraham, David B Spencer and Terry J Hart, 2016, "Early Mission Design of Transfers to Halo Orbits via Particle Swarm Optimization", Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, 63, (2), pp. 82-102
  • M V Paul, D B Spencer, S E Lego and J P Muncks, 2014, "The Penn State Lunar Lion: A University Mission to Explore the Moon", Acta Astronautica, 96, pp. 65-77
  • P. S. Williams, David B Spencer and R. S. Erwin, 2013, "Coupling of Estimation and Sensor Tasking Applied to Satellite Tracking", Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 36, (4), pp. 993-1007
  • J.-S. Kim, J. V. Urbina, T. J. Kane and David B Spencer, 2011, "Improvement of TIE-GCM thermospheric density predictions via incorporation of helium data from NRLMSISE-00"
  • D. D. Jordan, D. B. Spencer, David B Spencer, M. A. Yukish and G. M. Stump, 2010, "Optimal Continuous-Thrust Trajectories via Visual Trade Space Exploration", Journal of the Astronautical Sciences
  • B.-N. Kang, David B Spencer, S. Tang and D. Jordan, 2010, "Optimal Periodic Cruise Trajectories via a Two-Level Optimization Method", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 47, (4), pp. 597-613
  • C. Binz, David B Spencer, D. A. Levin and T. W. Simpson, 2010, "Designing for the Space Environment via Trade Space Exploration", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 47, (6), pp. 1070-1073
  • C. J. Scott and David B Spencer, 2010, "Transfers to Sticky Distant Retrograde Orbits", Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 33, (6), pp. 1940-1946
  • C. J. Scott and David B Spencer, 2010, "Calculating Transfer Families to Periodic Distant Retrograde Orbits Using Differential Correction", Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 33, (5), pp. 1592-1605
  • J. C. Benavides and David B Spencer, 2010, "The four-body linear equations of planar relative motion", Acta Astronautica, 66, (1-2), pp. 285-300
  • J. S. Kim, David B Spencer, T. J. Kane and J. Urbina, 2009, "Thermospheric density model blending techniques: Bridging the gap between satellites and sounding rockets", Radio Sci., 44, pp. RS0A22
  • P.-S. Hur, R. G. Melton and David B Spencer, 2008, "Meeting Science Requirements for Attitude Determination and Control in a Low-Power, Spinning Nanosatellite", Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Sciences and Applications, 1, (1), pp. 25-33
  • A. Mathew and David B Spencer, 2008, "Incorporating Cooperative Learning Activities into Traditional Aerospace Engineering Curricula", The Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education and Research, 17, (3), pp. 25-38
  • C. R. Scott and David B Spencer, 2007, "Optimal Reconfiguration of Satellites in Formation", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 44, (1), pp. 230-239
  • C. R. Bessette and David B Spencer, 2007, "A Performance Comparison of Stochastic Search Algorithms on the Interplanetary Gravity Assist Trajectory Problem", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 44, (3), pp. 722-724
  • R. L. Kobrick and David B Spencer, 2007, "Optimizing Trajectories for Suborbital Human Spaceflight", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 44, (2), pp. 460-463
  • M. A. Wissler, David B Spencer and R. G. Melton, 2007, "Coast-Arc Orbit Stability During Spiral-Down Trajectories about Irregularly Shaped Body", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 44, (1), pp. 254-263
  • M. A. Wissler, David B Spencer and R. G. Melton, 2007, "Orbit Stability for Unexpected Coast-Arcs During Spiral Down trajectories about an Irregularly Shaped Body", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 44, (1), pp. 254-263
  • M. P. Ferringer and David B Spencer, 2006, "Satellite Constellation Design Trade-offs Using Multiple-Objective Evolutionary Computing", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 43, (6), pp. 1404-1411
  • W. J. Chadwick, David B Spencer and R. G. Melton, 2006, "Visibility of Ground SItes for Beacon/Relays on the Martian Moons", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 43, (1), pp. 228-230
  • David B Spencer, R. G. Melton and S. G. Chianese, 2006, "Selecting Projects for a Capstone Spacecraft Design Course from Real World Solicitations", Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education and Research, 16, (1), pp. 27-40
  • S. G. Bilen, C. R. Philbrick, T. F. Wheeler, J. D. Mathews, R. G. Melton and David B Spencer, 2006, "An Overview of Space Science and Engineering Education at Penn State", IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, 21, (7), pp. S23-S27
  • J. Igarashi and David B Spencer, 2005, "Optimal Continuous Thrust Orbit Transfer Using Evolutionary Algorithms", Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 28, (3), pp. 547-549
  • H. Yamato and David B Spencer, 2004, "Orbit Transfer via Tube Jumping in Planar Restricted Problems of Four Bodies", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 42, (2), pp. 321-328
  • H. Yamato and David B Spencer, 2004, "Trajectory Design for Planar Circular and Elliptical Restricted Three-Body Problems with Perturbation", Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 27, (6), pp. 1035-1045
  • P.-S. Hur, R. G. Melton and David B Spencer, 2004, "Attitude Determination and Control of a Nanosatellite Using the Geomagnetic Field Data and Sun Sensors", Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
  • C. J. Scott and David B Spencer, 2004, "Coupled Effects of Initial Orbit Plane on Orbit Lifetime in the Three Body Problem", Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
  • W. J. Chadwick III, David B Spencer and R. G. Melton, 2004, "Geometric Analysis of Visibility of Mission Support Infrastructure for Phobos and Deimos", Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
  • A. L. Faulds and David B Spencer, 2003, "Satellite Close Approach Filtering Using Genetic Algorithms", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 40, (2), pp. 248-252
  • Y. H. Kim and David B Spencer, 2002, "Optimal Orbital Rendezvous Using Genetic Algorithms", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 39, (6), pp. 859-865
  • A. E. Herman and David B Spencer, 2002, "Optimal, Low-Thrust Earth-Orbit Transfers Using Higher-Order Collocation Methods", Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 25, (1), pp. 40-47
  • T. Cichan, R. G. Melton and David B Spencer, 2001, "Control Laws for Minimum Orbital Changes - The Satellite Retrieval Problem", Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 24, (5), pp. 1231-1233
  • David B Spencer, K. K. Luu, W. S. Campbell, M. E. Sorge and A. B. Jenkin, 2001, "Orbital Debris Hazard Assessment Methodologies for Satellite Constellations", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 38, (1), pp. 120-125
  • David B Spencer, C. B. Hogge, W. S. Campbell, M. E. Sorge and S. R. McWaters, 2000, "Some Technical Issues of an Optically-Focused Small Space Debris Tracking and Cataloguing System", Space Debris, 2, (3), pp. 137-160
  • David B Spencer and R. D. Culp, 1995, "Designing Continuous-Thrust Low-Earth-Orbit to Geosynchronous-Earth-Orbit Transfers", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 32, (6), pp. 1033-1038
  • V. A. Chobotov and David B Spencer, 1991, "Debris Evolution and Lifetime Following an Orbital Breakup", Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 28, (6), pp. 670-676
  • K. C. Howell and David B Spencer, 1986, "Periodic Orbits in the Restricted Four-Body Problem", Acta Astronautica, 13, (8), pp. 473-479

Conference Proceedings

  • Koundrya Kuppa and David B Spencer, 2016, "Long-Term Orbit Propagation Using Symplectic Integration Algorithms"
  • Jason A Reiter and David B Spencer, 2016, "Trading Spacecraft Fuel Use and Mission Performance to Determine the Optimal Collision Probability in Emergency Collision Avoidance Scenarios"
  • Davide Conte and David B Spencer, 2016, "Preliminary Study on Relative Motion and Rendezvous Between Spacecraft in the Restricted Three-Body Problem", Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
  • Jason A Reiter and David B Spencer, 2016, "An Analytical Solution to Quick-Response Collision Avoidance Maneuvers in Low Earth Orbit", Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
  • Davide Conte, David B Spen ander, , 2015, "Targeting the Martian Moons via Direct Insertion into Mars’ Orbit", Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
  • Davide Conte, Marilena Di Carlo, Koki Ho, David B Spencer and Massimiliano Vasile, 2015, ""Earth-Mars Transfers through Moon Distant Retrograde Orbits""
  • Andrew M.S. Goodyear and David B Spencer, 2015, "Optimal Low-Thrust Geostationary Transfer Orbit Using Legendre-Gauss-Radau Collocation", Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
  • Michael J Policelli and David B Spencer, 2015, "Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing Spacecraft Trajectory Optimization Via Direct Collocation and Nonlinear Programming", Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
  • Jason A Reiter and David B Spencer, 2015, "Optimization of Many-Revolution, Electric-Propulsion Trajectories with Engine Shutoff Constraints", Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
  • P L Myers and David B Spencer, 2014, "Application of a Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm to the Spacecraft Stationkeeping Problem"
  • L J DiGirolamo, A H Hoskins, K A Hacker and David B Spencer, 2014, "A Hybrid Motion Planning Algorithm for Safe and Efficient Close Proximity, Autonomous Spacecraft Missions"
  • A J Abraham, David B Spencer and T J Hart, 2014, "Particle Swarm Optimization of 2-Manuver, Impulsive Transfers from LEO to Lagrange Point Orbits", 24th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics, Laurel, MD
  • A J Abraham, David B Spencer and T J Hart, 2014, "Preliminary 2-D Optimization of Low-Thrust, Geocentric-to-Halo-Orbit Transfers via Particle Swarm Optimization"
  • C L Hassa, David B Spencer and S G Bilén, 2014, "Drag Coefficient Estimation Using Satellite Attitude and Orbit Data"
  • P. S. Williams, David B Spencer and R. S. Erwin, 2012, "Comparison of Two Single-Step, Myopic Sensor Management Decision Processes Applied to Space Situational Awareness", AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, AAS 12-112
  • P. S. Williams, David B Spencer and R. S. Erwin, 2012, "Utilizing Stability Metrics to Aid in Sensor Network Management Solutions for Satellite Tracking Problems", AAS 12-111, AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
  • M. P. Ferringer, David B Spencer and P. S. Reed, 2009, "Many-objective reconfiguration of operational satellite constellations with the Large-Cluster Epsilon Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm-II", IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, CEC '09, pp. 340-349
  • David B Spencer and F. A. Acon-Chen, 2004, "An Analytical Approach for Continuous-Thrust, LEO-Molniya Transfers", AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialists Conference, AIAA 2004-5090
  • J. Igarashi and David B Spencer, 2004, "Optimal Continuous Thrust Orbit Transfer Using Evolutionary Algorithms", AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialists Conference, AIAA 2004-5085
  • D. W. Haeberle, David B Spencer and T. A. Ely, 2004, "Interplanetary Navigation Using a Distributed Deep Space Network Architecture", AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialists Conference, AIAA 2004-4744
  • M. A. Wissler, David B Spencer and R. G. Melton, 2004, "Low Altitude Orbit Stability of the Dawn Spacecraft Around the Asteroid Vesta", AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialists Conference, AIAA 2004-4861

Other

  • K. Liang, J. Yuan and David B Spencer, 2013, "The Use of Invariant Manifolds for Low-Energy Earth-Moon Transfers of Lunar Landing Missions"
  • A. J. Abraham, David B Spencer and T. J. Hart, 2013, "Optimization of Preliminary Low-Thrust Trajectories from Geo-Energy Orbits to Earth-Moon, L1, Lagrange Point Orbits Using Particle Swarm Optimization"
  • David B Spencer and B. S. Shank, 2013, "Preliminary Development of an Optimized Lambert Problem Solver for Targets in Elliptical Orbits"
  • R. E. Kelly-McKennon, P. S. Reed, David B Spencer and M. P. Ferringer, 2013, "Model Diagnostics and Dynamic Emulation: Enhancing the Understanding and Impact of Complex Models in Satellite Constellation Design"
  • M. V. Paul and David B Spencer, 2012, "The Penn State Lunar Lion: A University Mission to Explore the Moon"
  • P. S. Williams, David B Spencer, R. S. Erwin and K. J. DeMars, 2012, "The Effects of Uncertainty Estimation on Dynamic Sensor Tasking"
  • K. Liang, David B Spencer and J. Yuan, 2012, "Optimizing the Perilune of Lunar Landing Trajectories Using Dynamical Systems Theory"
  • P. S. Williams, David B Spencer and R. S. Erwin, 2012, "Comparison of Two Single-Step, Myopic Sensor Management Decision Processes Applied to Space Situational Awareness"
  • P. S. Williams, David B Spencer and R. S. Erwin, 2011, "Coupling of Nonlinear Estimation and Dynamic Sensor Tasking Applied to Space Situational Awareness", pp. AAS 11-575
  • C. J. Polito and David B Spencer, 2011, "The Probability of Asteroid-Earth Collisions by way of the Positional Uncertainty Ellipsoid", pp. AAS 11-409
  • J. C. Benavides and David B Spencer, 2010, "Analytic Solutions of the N-Body Problem", pp. AAS 10-186
  • J. C. Benavides and David B Spencer, 2010, "Analytic Solutions of the Two-Body Problem", pp. AAS 10-182
  • C. J. Scott and David B Spencer, 2009, "Transfers to Periodic Distant Retrograde Orbits"
  • C. J. Scott and David B Spencer, 2009, "Transfers to Sticky Distant Retrograde Orbits"
  • J. C. Benavides and David B Spencer, 2009, "The Two-Dimensional Linearized Equations of Perturbed Relative Motion"
  • P. S. Williams and David B Spencer, 2009, "Applications of Non-Linear Constrained Optimization Methods and an Evolutionary Strategy on Low-Thrust LEO to Molniya and LEO to GEO Orbit Transfers"
  • D. D. Jordan, David B Spencer, T. W. Simpson, M. A. Yukish and G. M. Stump, 2009, "Optimal Continuous-Thrust Orbit Transfers via Trade Space Exploration"
  • Y.-T. Ahn and David B Spencer, 2009, "Preliminary Result of Attitude Control System of a Spacecraft Using Shifting Mass Distribution"
  • B. Kang, David B Spencer, S. Tang and D. D. Jordan, 2009, "Study of Optimal Periodic Cruise Trajectories via Tradespace Visualization"
  • T. W. Simpson, David B Spencer, M. A. Yukish and G. M. Stump, 2008, "Visual Steering Commands and Test Problems to Support Research in Trade Space Exploration"
  • J. C. Benavides and David B Spencer, 2008, "Orbit Phasing Analysis for Elliptical Orbits"
  • David B Spencer, D. D. Jordan, T. W. Simpson, M. A. Yukish and G. M. Stump, 2008, "Optimal Spacecraft Trajectories via Trade Space Exploration"
  • J. C. Benavides and David B Spencer, 2008, "Preliminary Assessment of the Next Generation Equations of Relative Motion"
  • C. J. Scott and David B Spencer, 2008, "Stability Mapping of Distant Retrograde Orbits and Transports in the Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem"
  • J.-S. Kim, David B Spencer, T. J. Kane and J. V. Urbina, 2008, "A Blending Technique in Thermospheric Density Modeling"
  • M. P. Ferringer, David B Spencer, P. M. Reed, R. S. Clifton and T. G. Thompson, 2008, "Pareto-Hypervolumes for the Reconfiguration of Satellite Constellations"
  • P. S. Williams and David B Spencer, 2008, "Preliminary Findings Concerning Applications of Non-Linear Constrained Optimization Methods on Low-Thrust Orbit Transfers"
  • T. R. Stodgell and David B Spencer, 2007, "Satellite Rendezvous Tours Using Multiobjective Evolutionary Optimization"
  • J. C. Benavides and David B Spencer, 2007, "Sun-Earth Triangular Lagrange Point Orbit Insertion and Satellite Station Keeping"
  • J. R. O'Malley and David B Spencer, 2006, "Formation Flight Control for Modeling Interferometric Aperture Planes"
  • C. R. Bessette and David B Spencer, 2006, "Identifying Optimal Interplanetary Trajectories through a Genetic Approach"
  • R. L. Kobrick and David B Spencer, 2006, "Optimizing Trajectories for Suborbital Human Spaceflight", pp. Paper AAS 06-199
  • C. R. Bessette and David B Spencer, 2006, "Optimal Space Trajectory Design: A Heuristic-Based Approach", pp. Paper AAS 06-197
  • M. P. Ferringer and David B Spencer, 2005, "Satellite Constellation Design Optimization via Multiple-Objective Evolutionary Computation"
  • C. J. Scott and David B Spencer, 2005, "Optimal Bounded Low-Thrust Reconfiguration for Close Proximity Earth Orbiting Satellites"
  • David B Spencer, R. G. Melton and S. G. Chianese, 2003, "Selecting Projects for a Capstone Spacecraft Design Course", pp. Paper AAS 03-503
  • K. A. Akins, L. M. Healy and David B Spencer, 2003, "Localized Atmospheric Density Model Validation Using High Eccentricity Satellite Observations", pp. Paper AAS 03-628
  • H. Yamato and David B Spencer, 2003, "Numerical Investigation of Perturbation Effects on Orbital Classifications in the Restricted Three-Body Problem", pp. Paper AAS 03-235
  • Y. T. Ahn and David B Spencer, 2002, "Optimal Reconfiguration of a Formation Flying Constellation"

Research Projects

  • February 2010 - November 2013, "Naval Engineering Education Center," (Sponsor: Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division).

Honors and Awards

  • Sustained Service Award, AIAA, July 2008
  • Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, SAE, July 2006
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Penn State Engineering Society, October 2004
  • Associate Fellow, AIAA, January 1998
  • Fellow, American Astronautical Society, December 2011
  • Corresponding Member, International Academy of Astronautics, July 2015

Service

Service to Penn State:

  • Chairperson, Chair, Academic Integrity Committee, COE Academic Integrity, August 2012 - May 2016
  • Chairperson, Interim Chair, Undergraduate Program, Undergraduate Program, January 2016 - August 2016
  • Chairperson, Graduate Council, August 2011 - May 2015
  • Member, Faculty Marshall, August 2008
  • Committee Member, Penn State University, Promotion and Tenure Committee, August 2016

Service to External Organizations:

  • Board Member, Vice President, Technical, American Astronautical Society, January 2010 - December 2013
  • Board Member, Vice President, Publications, American Astronautical Society, January 2006 - December 2009
  • Board Member, Vice President, Publications, American Astronautical Society, January 2014
 


 

About

The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

Department of Aerospace Engineering

229 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2569