Space Environmentalism with Moriba Jah and Danielle Wood
Professor Moriba Jah is a Space Environmentalist who is advancing our ability to understand how human objects in space create both services and risks of collisions. Prof. Jah also works to build a connection to show how work to mitigate climate change on earth is related to mitigating the challenges of space debris. Prof. Jah is collaborating with Prof. Danielle Wood of the Media Lab on a project called the Space Sustainability Rating, which will be an operational incentive system that will encourage operators of satellites to take actions that reduce space debris risk.
Dr. Moriba Jah joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics in 2017. His research interests are in non-gravitational astrodynamics and advanced/non-linear multi-sensor/object tracking, prediction, and information fusion. His expertise is in space object detection, tracking, identification, and characterization, as well as spacecraft navigation.
He received his BS in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona, and his MS and PhD in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder specializing in astrodynamics and statistical orbit determination.
Prior to being at UT Austin, Dr. Jah was the Director of the University of Arizona’s Space Object Behavioral Sciences with applications to Space Domain Awareness, Space Protection, Space Traffic Monitoring, and Space Debris research to name a few. Preceding that, Dr. Jah was the lead for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Advanced Sciences and Technology Research Institute for Astronautics (ASTRIA) and a Principal Investigator for Detect/Track/Id/Characterize Program at AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate.
Before joining AFRL in 2007, he was a spacecraft navigator for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, serving on Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express (joint mission with ESA), Mars Exploration Rovers, Hayabusa (joint mission with JAXA), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Dr. Jah is a member of the Astrodynamics Technical Committee of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and a permanent member of the Space Debris Technical Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). He is a Fellow of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), the AFRL, the AAS and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), as well as an AIAA Associate Fellow, IEEE Senior Member, Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronics Systems, IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, and Elsevier Information Fusion Journal.
Dr. Jah is a world-recognized subject matter expert in astrodynamics-based Space Domain Awareness sciences and technologies with 75+ publications in peer-reviewed journals, conferences, and symposia. He’s been an invited lecturer and keynote speaker at 20+ national and international space events, workshops and fora.