Dr. Lawrence M. Robertson, III, is a member of the scientific and technical cadre of senior executives, and the Lead Space Experimentalist, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Materiel Command, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. Dr. Robertson serves as the principal scientific authority and independent researcher in the field of space satellite systems, integrates state-of-the-art scientific advances with military technology requirements and guides space experimentation research and development efforts across the AFRL enterprise.
Dr. Robertson began his career as a consultant to Teledesic Corporation and worked as a Member of Technical Staff at SVS Inc and Nichols Research – both small high-tech companies – before joining the AFRL.
He joined the AFRL in 1998 and has contributed to a wide range of technologies in space and directed energy. His first position was the Beam Control Lead for the highly successful Airborne Laser Advanced Concept Testbed highlighted in the September 5, 2000, front-page article in the Wall Street Journal. He has been a leader in science and technology transition supporting Space Control, Space Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and Space Command and Control.
Dr. Robertson has published over 40 papers in national and international journals or conferences and has one U.S. patent. He has also served as an advisor to several national committees including one Air Force Scientific Advisory Board position.
1990 Bachelor of Science, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder
1991 Master of Science, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder
1992 International Space University, Summer Program, Kitakyushu, Japan
1994 Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder
2007 Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
1. December 1993–February 1995, Consultant, Teledesic Corporation, Seattle, Washington
2. March 1995–December 1996, Member of Technical Staff, SVS Inc., Albuquerque, N.M.
3. January 1996–July 1998, Member of Technical Staff, Nichols Research, Albuquerque, N.M.
4. August 1998–June 2001, Beam Control Lead, Airborne Laser Technologies Branch, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
5. July 2001–January 2002, Program Manager, Advanced Mirror Technologies, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory Kirtland AFB, N.M.
6. February 2002–September 2004, Branch Chief, Space Laser Communications, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
7. October 2004–September 2005, Technical Area Lead, Space Command, Control and Communications, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
8. October 2005–March 2010, Program Manager, Guidance, Navigation and Control, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
9. April 2010–December 2013, Mission Area Lead, Space Situational Awareness, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
10. January 2014–January 2015, Principal Investigator, EAGLE Program, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
11. February 2015–June 2019, Program Manager, Quantum Sensing and Timing, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
12. July 2019–present, Lead Space Experimentalist, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
2005 Air Force Science and Engineering Award
2006 AIAA Associate Fellow
2014 Aerospace Sciences Chair, AIAA 2014 SciTech Conference
2016 Deputy Director, Aerospace Sciences Group, AIAA Professional Society
2018 AFRL Fellow
2018 Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Stellar Award, Mid-Career
2019 Director, Space and Missile Systems Technical Group, AIAA Professional Society
“Cable Effects Study: Tangents, Rabbit Holes, Dead Ends, and Valuable Results,” J of Spacecraft & Rockets, Aug 2013
“Dynamic Modeling & Experimental Validation of a Cable Loaded Panel, J of Spacecraft & Rockets,” Vol 48, No 6, Nov-Dec 2011, Pages 958-974
“Method and Device for Tensile Testing of Cable Bundles”, US Patent Number 8,286,498 B1, Oct 16, 2012.
“Experimental Techniques and Structural Parameter Estimation Studies of Spacecraft Cables,” Vol 48, No 6, Nov-Dec 2011, Pages 942-957.
“Modeling and Experimental Validation of Space Structures and Wiring Harnesses, J of Spacecraft & Rockets,” Vol 47, No 6, Nov-Dec 2010, Pages 1038-1052
“Autonomous Distant Visual Silhouetting of Satellites,” IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Vol. 44, No. 2, April 2008, pp. 801-808
“Precision Tracking Control Against Dynamic Targets for High Energy Laser Systems,” J. of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, Vol 28, No 1, Jan-Feb 2005
“Stability Analysis of Controlled, Partially Connected Distributed Parameter Systems Through Perturbation Methods,” Journal of Optimization Theory and App, Vol 116, No. 2, Feb 2003
Stability of Flexible, Actively Controlled Structure Using Perturbation Methods, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Colorado, 1994
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Member, Institute of Navigation
(Current as of June 2022)