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Remote Sensing and Emerging Space – A Northrop Grumman perspective

Event Type
Department of Aerospace Engineering
CIF 2035
Feb 2, 2023   5:00 - 6:00 pm  
Chris Joseph, Program director of Next Generation GEO Mission Payload and Coleman Younger, Program Manager of Future Concepts for Strategic Force Programs | Northrop Grumman
Courtney McLearin
Originating Calendar
Department of Aerospace Engineering Events

The space industry has seen explosive growth over the past several years with the most significant growth happening in the last 18 months. Forbes reports that the global space industry reached a record $469 billion by the end of 2021, growing 9% year-over-year. Despite economic slowdown in 2022, the Space Foundation projects the space industry to grow to $634 billion by 2026. This record spending is no stranger to Remote Sensing technologies. This is evidenced by the number of distinct remote sensing programs being contracted or in procurement phases by Northrop Grumman's traditional customers (Space Force, NASA, Missile Defense Agency, etc.). Additionally, the emergence of the Space Development Agency (SDA) is proof of a new era in space opportunity. The SDA has led a push to get demonstration technologies on orbit faster, allowing for more rapid insertion of new technology and quicker maturity of those technologies up the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale. This shift has resulted in tighter margins against the mission requirements while also creating pressure to deliver products at lower costs. All of these changes have made it important to push available technologies to their capability limits, vet new technologies including Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) hardware and accurately model system performance.

Our collaboration to date with the University of Illinois has been a critical part of our recent concept development successes and Northrop Grumman is looking forward to an even stronger partnership with the university moving forward to meet the challenges of a rapid changing remote sensing industry.

About the speakers:
Chris Joseph has been with Northrop Grumman for more than 13 years. In that time, he has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility. Starting in Mission Operations out of college, Chris rose to technical lead of the most complicated remote sensing payload within Northrop's Strategic Force Programs (SFP) portfolio. Subsequent to his time as a technical lead, he served as deputy program manager of DOMES (Defense Support Program Operations Maintenance and Engineering Support) and MTA (Mission Threat Analysis). Most recently, he served as program manager of the Next Generation Polar Mission Payload before his current role as program director of Next Generation GEO Mission Payload. Christopher holds a bachelor's degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Coleman Younger has been with Northrop Grumman for over 12 years. Similar to Chris, he began his career in Mission Operations eventually becoming technical lead of a number of remote sensing programs within SFP. He spent a number of years as a Systems Engineering manager, eventually leading Systems Engineering for the SBIRS program. Coleman also served as deputy program manager of a number of programs including DOMES (Defense Support Program Operations Maintenance and Engineering Support) and MTA (Mission Threat Analysis). Coleman is currently the program manager of Future Concepts for Strategic Force Programs, with significant focus on internal research and development and new market capture. Coleman holds a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and a master's degree in aerospace engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His thesis was in xenon ion electric propulsion.

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