Mr. Nelson has 36 years of experience encompassing a wide range of spaceport and range development activities, including development and activation of the Space Shuttle launch Command, Control, and Monitor system; International Space Station Communications and Tracking Checkout System; Ground Support Equipment (GSE) and Range systems design, analysis, and system engineering experience for future vehicle concept development. As the Chief of the Advanced Systems Division, he was responsible for the leadership and management of employees involved in the development of advanced technologies that will enhance and improve the safety and cost-effectiveness of the National Space Launch Ranges.
From 1993-1999, he lead the Integrated Product Team (IPT)- Communications and Avionics sub-team that developed support equipment for the processing of International Space Station experiment racks and elements, at KSC. As the lead, he was responsible for a team of contractor and Civil Service designers that performed the design, development, production, installation, integration, and verification of Communications and Tracking systems and products. His responsibilities also included budget, schedule, and risk development and management.
From 2000-2003, he was a Project Manager for the Spaceport and Range Technologies (S&RT) Directorate, responsible for identifying technologies needed for advanced range systems and establishing development projects for KSC and the Agency. In order to accomplish this, he developed the Advanced Range Technology Working Group (ARTWG) as forum to bring a diverse group of interested parties together to form a national consensus on the technologies necessary for a common vision of future ranges/spaceports. This successfully attracted more than 500 participants from USAF, NASA centers, Federal Agencies, Industry, and Academia and has resulted in national roadmaps for these technologies.
From 2004-2008, he was the Advanced Systems Chief, with responsibility for the management of designers and developers that were involved with the development and demonstration of advanced technologies for Spaceports & Ranges that included weather instrumentation, communications and tracking systems. In addition, several developers were involved with the development and demonstration of exploration technologies for excavation of Lunar or Martian regolith.
2009 to the present he has provided subject matter expert consulting services to companies developing proposals for NASA launch processing operations and engineering support Request For Proposals (RFPs). Currently, he is the Vice President of the NASA Alumni League (NAL) Florida Chapter and the chapters’ representative to the CCTS Space Congress board.