Dr. Mark Skinner joined The Aerospace Corporation in 2017 as a Senior Project Leader for Space Traffic Management, in Crystal City, VA, in support of the FAA in the development of civil and commercial space traffic management. Prior to joining The Aerospace Corporation, Skinner was with the Boeing Company, heading up the commercial space situational awareness group, conducting research into observational and analysis techniques to advance the state of the art in space surveillance, and in developing infrared sensing techniques of resident space objects.
Skinner specializes in the techniques of non-resolved object characterization (NROC) and non-imaging space object identification (NISOI), and has extended this research into both the infrared and time domain arenas. His current research focus is on the detection and characterization of orbital debris, with an emphasis on debris in the geosynchronous orbital regime (GEO).
Skinner began his career in aerospace in 1991 at Pennsylvania State University as a research faculty member, were he delivered the CUBIC X-ray CCD camera to Argentina, to fly on the SAC-B mission. He also worked on NASA’s Chandra great observatory mission. Afterwards, he continued involvement with Chandra, Kepler, and additional civil space new business work as a Senior Systems Engineer after moving to Ball Aerospace in Boulder, CO. There he also served on the NASA Structure and Evolution of the Universe technology government advisory committee, where he provided input to the NASA Strategic Plan for cryogenics and detector technology for future (next 25 years) NASA Space Science missions. For the last seven years, he has served as a private sector delegate for the US State Department to the UN COPUOS Expert Group on space debris and space situational awareness.
Skinner has published and presented scores of technical papers for various journals and conferences, including the International Astronautical Congress, Acta Astronomica, SPIE, Nuclear Instruments and Methods, the Astrophysical Journal, and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
Skinner received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics, and a Bachelor of Science in the Humanities and Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a Doctor of Philosophy in experimental astrophysics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters of Business Administration from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France.