Lt Col Kirk W. Johnson, Ph.D.

Adjunct Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering

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BS, Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2000; MS, Astronautical Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, 2010; PhD, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2016.  Deputy Director of the Center for Space Research and Assurance.  Lt Col Johnson's research interests include orbital mechanics and astrodynamics, focusing on satellite relative motion, formation flying, general perturbation methods, and space navigation.  Lt Col Johnson has led engineering teams performing analysis and modeling and simulation for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center and for the Missile Defense Agency.  He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Gamma Tau, and the American Astronautical Society.


R. B. LaRue and K. W. Johnson, "Algorithms for Small Satellite Formation Flying," Dayton-Cincinnati Aerospace Sciences Symposium, February 2018.

R. B. LaRue and K. W. Johnson, "Reconfiguration of Small-Satellite General Circular Orbit Formations," AIAA Paper 2018-2219, January 2018.

K. W. Johnson, Approaches for Modeling Satellite Relative Motion, Dissertation, Texas A&M University, 2016.

K. W. Johnson, S. R. Vadali, and K. T. Alfriend, "Comparison of Orbit Element Sets for Modeling Perturbed Satellite Relative Motion," American Astronautical Society Paper 16-357, February 2016 (published in Advances in the Astronautical Sciences, Vol. 158, Univelt, pp. 3349-3362).

K. W. Johnson, S. R. Vadali, and K. T. Alfriend, "Simulating Satellite Relative Motion with a Second-order Hoots Theory," 52nd Annual Technical Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science, October 2015.

R. E. Sherrill, A. J. Sinclair, T. A. Lovell, K. W. Johnson, and D. D. Decker, "The Virtual-Chief Method for Modeling Relative Motion of Noncircular Satellites," American Astronautical Society Paper 11-208, February 2011 (published in Advances in the Astronautical Sciences, Vol. 140, Univelt, pp. 1515-1524).

K. W. Johnson, Relative Orbit Elements for Satellites in Elliptical Orbits, Master's Thesis, Air Force Institute of Technology, 2010.

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