David F. Williams
Retired Aerospace Engineer: Trajectory Optimization, Guidance and
Control Analysis, Modeling and Simulation
Engineering (EE), Vanderbilt University, 1960 (Magna Cum-Laude).
Engineering Courses (24 semester hours), University of Alabama,
Senior Principal Engineer and Branch Manager, Dynetics, Inc., Huntsville,
AL. Led development of earth orbital mission analysis computer program for
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Led feasibility study (for Wright Patterson
Air Force Base) of the use of trajectory optimization methods to reduce the cost
of preflight-planning for the ascent of heavy-lift launch vehicles. Led the
development of fire-control and guidance concepts for a hit-to-kill
hypervelocity projectile. Developed high-fidelity autopilot math models and 6DOF
dynamics models for hardware-in-the-loop flight simulations of surface-to-air
and air-to-surface guided missiles. Developed high-fidelity models of the
dynamics and track and stabilization loops of two- and three-gimbaled sensors.
Analyzed boost guidance algorithms and developed a trajectory optimization
computer program for surface-to-surface missiles.
Principal Engineer and Dept. Manager, Computer Sciences Corp., Huntsville, AL.
Led the development of a film-and-video-based simulator for the training of
gunners for the Army's Fiber Optic Guided Missile (FOG-M). Led the development
of a man-in-the-loop simulator for guidance of a Hellfire missile with IR
imaging seeker, including development of the computer-generated target and
1971-1978: Engineer Specialist and Branch Chief,
Northrop Services, Inc., Huntsville, AL. Developed a novel and highly-effective
trajectory optimization method based on Linear Programming's Simplex algorithm,
and used this method to define constrained optimum reentry trajectories for the
Space Shuttle orbiter. Led the development of a method to define the boost-phase
steering profile for the Space Shuttle launch vehicle. Led the development of a
mission-planning methodology for earth orbital missions. Defined modifications
to the Space Shuttle's ascent guidance algorithm whereby return-to-launch-site
constraints are applied to the ascent steering profile.
Research Engineer, The Boeing Company, Huntsville, AL. Applied the calculus
of variations to the optimization of endo- and exo-atmospheric rocket
trajectories. Developed necessary conditions for the optimal steering, coasting,
and staging of a multi-stage launch vehicle. Analyzed the ability of a human
pilot to guide the Saturn V launch vehicle from launch to earth
1961-1963: 1st Lt. at Fort Sill's USAAMS (with time off as Forward
Observer at Fort Benning). Managed a group of officers, enlisted men, and
contractors who instructed officers and enlisted men in the theory and operation
of the Army's Corporal missile system. Served on the Operations Staff of the
Guided Missile Department of the US Army Artillery and Missile
School, and completed the jump training course at the Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, GA.
1961 (summer): Research Engineer, The Boeing Company, Seattle,
WA. Assisted in the development and checkout of a man-in-the-loop analog
computer simulation of a rendezvous between two earth-orbiting spacecraft.