WSBR In-Person Program Featuring Dr. Derek Tournear, Director of the Space Development Agency
Please join the Washington Space Business Roundtable for our return to in-person programming on September 14, 2022 as we host Dr. Derek Tournear, Director of the Space Development Agency (SDA). This event will be held at the City Club in Washington, DC, located at 555 13th Street NW. Networking and registration will begin at 11:30 a.m., with lunch to be served at 11:50 a.m. The program will conclude at 1:30 p.m.
Dr. Tournear will be speaking to WSBR at a very exciting time for SDA. The Agency recently celebrated the successful on-orbit optical inter-satellite links of its Mandrake 2 satellites, a major milestone in achieving a successful proliferated architecture in Low Earth Orbit. In addition, SDA is marching towards the launch of its first Tranche 0 satellites in September 2022.
Created in 2019, SDA is leading the way in developing an ever-evolving pLEO architecture by working with industry to take advantage of commercial capabilities that can be deployed quickly and affordably. SDA recently awarded contracts to two companies for its Tranche 1 Tracking Layer, and also began seeking proposals for a demonstration of communications from space-based platforms to an airborne platform.
Dr. Derek Tournear
Dr. Derek Tournear is currently the Director of the Space Development Agency, within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD(R&E)). SDA will unify and integrate space capability development and deployment across the department to achieve the DoD space vision while reducing overlap and inefficiency. He previously served as the Assistant Director for Space, responsible for developing the research and engineering roadmap to address future gaps in the DoD space architecture.
Dr. Tournear previously held leadership roles in industry, most recently the director for the Harris Space & Intelligence (SIS) research & development. SIS was a $2B business focused on providing advanced technical solutions addressing the top National Security threats from underwater to outer space.
Prior to industry, Dr. Derek Tournear was a Senior Program Manager (SNIS-HQE) at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). At IARPA, Dr. Tournear served as a senior scientist for space activities and space technologies in the Office of Smart Collection.
Prior to IARPA, Dr. Tournear was a Program Manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Tactical Technology Office and Strategic Technology Office. At DARPA, he initiated and directed a large portfolio of program, with an emphasis on sensors and space.
He has professional experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) managing intelligence and defense programs. During his time at LANL, he initiated a new field of study in gamma ray optics, and developed sensors for nuclear material detection.
Dr. Tournear has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University and a B.S. from Purdue University. In 2010 he received an “Outstanding Alumnus” award from Purdue University and a 2008 DARPA award for “Outstanding Accomplishments in a Systems Technology Area.” Dr. Tournear is a 2011 recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, and a 2012 recipient of the Office of Director of National Intelligence Award for Exceptional Public Service.
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