Dr. Pat Patterson



Space Dynamics Laboratory/Utah State University


With nearly 30 years of experience in the space industry, Dr. Patterson has a distinctive and broad history in space systems engineering for upper atmospheric research as well as small satellites, and mission operations planning and directing.  Dr. Patterson is currently the Director of Advanced Concepts at Utah State University’s (USU) Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL). He is also the Chairman of the annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites. Other roles include membership on the AIAA Small Satellite Technical Committee, the Technical Committee for the European Space Agency 4S Symposium, and the Scientific Program Committee for the IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation.  Dr. Patterson also serves as an Industrial Advisory Committee member for USU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department.  

His doctoral research was based on the rocket flights of the Coupling of Dynamics and Aurora (CODA) I and II science missions launched from Poker Flat Alaska, where he investigated the effects of disturbances caused by sounding rockets on the measurement of atomic oxygen using the resonant fluorescence technique in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. 

Dr. Patterson has supported multiple space sensor, sounding rocket and spacecraft programs through systems engineering and program management. Dr. Patterson has also supported development of test plans and training documentation, trained on-site operators, and operations lead for spacecraft, laser, and radar systems for multiple Air Force programs.


2005: PhD Electrical Engineering (Space Systems Engineering): Utah State University, Logan, Utah

1990: M.S. Electrical Engineering (Spacecraft Controls Systems): Utah State University, Logan, Utah

1989: B.S. Electrical Engineering: Utah State University, Logan, Utah



2015 – Present            Director, Advanced Concepts, Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah.

2010 – 2015    Director, Military Space Division, Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah.

2009 – 2010    Deputy Director, Military Space Division, Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah.

2007 – 2009    Technology Innovation Branch Manager, Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah.

2005 – 2007    SDL Program Manager, Autonomous Nanosatellite Guardian Evaluating Local Space (ANGELS) satellite program, phases 1-3, Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah

2003 – 2005    Technology Development Branch Manager, Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah.

2002 – 2003    Business Development Director, Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah.

1998 – 2002    Director of Innovative Science and Engineering, Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah.

1993 – 1997    Experiment Planner, TAOS Program Office, U.S.A.F. Phillips Laboratory; Data Center Administrator, Space Experiments Directorate, U.S.A.F. Phillips Laboratory, Albuquerque, New Mexico

1992 – 1993   Chief of Staff, Rocky Mountain NASA Space Grant Consortium, North Logan, Utah.

1990 – 1992    Systems Engineer, Flight Systems, Honeywell Inc., Phoenix, AZ

1987 – 1990    Electrical Engineering Masters Student, Space Dynamics Laboratory



Hauser, T., Allen, J.B., Perl, M., and Patterson, P.DSMC Simulation of Flow in the Sensor Volume of a Sounding Rocket Experiment. Computational Fluid Dynamics Journal, 15(2), April 2006.

Patterson, P.L., Swenson, C.M., Baker, D.M., Allen, J.B. & Hauser, T. Atomic Oxygen Observations during the CODA II Mission. Geophysical Research Letters. 0094-8276/05, 2005

Fullmer, Rees; Patterson, Pat; and Pack, Robert, The Conceptual Design of the Guidance, Navigation and Control System for a Maintenance and Repair Spacecraft, AAS 03-616

Patterson, P. L., Time Off Element Set Investigation: Effects on the Space Surveillance Network, USAF, 1996

Patterson, P. L., Controlling Interferometric Fiber Optic Gyroscopes, Honeywell Inc., 1991

Broadcast 1393 (Special Edition)

Guests: Dr. Pat Patterson, Niel Holt. Topics: SmallSat Conference, small satellites, cubesats, student scholarships, Space Dynamics Lab (SDL). We welcomed Dr. Pat Patterson and the new director of SDL, Niel Holt, to the program to discuss the upcoming Small Sat Conference, August 9-12 in Logan, Utah, the home of Utah State University. Please visit www.smallsat.org for details. In our first segment, Dr. Patterson told us about the conference, we went through the agenda and learned how this year's program differed from previous years.

Broadcast 1192 (Special Edition)

Guests: Dr. Pat Patterson and Dr. Douglas Lemon. Topics: SmallSat Conference, Space Dynamics Lab, academic outreach for satellites, commercial satellite programs. Dr. Pat Patterson returned to The Space Show with the new Director of the Space Dynamics Lab (SDL) at Utah State University, Dr. Douglas Lemon, to discuss the upcoming SmallSat Conference in Logan, Utah from August 10-13, 2009.

Broadcast 999 (Special Edition)

Guests: Dr. Pat Patterson, Jim Marshall, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Billie Reed, Chris McCormick, Christian Lenz. This program consists of three sets of interviews from the August 2008 SmallSat Conference located on the campus of Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Our first discussion includes Dr. Pat Patterson of Utah State University and Jim Marshall, the Director of Business Development for the Space Dynamics Lab (SDL), plus others from the SDL who explain their projects as well as talk about being a student, intern, or PI in the program.

Broadcast 983 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. Pat Patterson returned to The Space Show to discuss this year's SmallSat conference from August 11-14 in Logan, Utah (www.smallsat.org). Dr. Patterson started out with a general description of the conference and provided us with an update with what is new from last year's conference. We then addressed the programming, specifically the keynote speak from ATK Systems, plus the panels, the audience participation programs, the award opportunities for students and much more.

Broadcast 790 (Special Edition)

Dr. Pat Patterson and Robert Meurer were the guests for this Space Show program to discuss the upcoming SmallSat conference in Logan, UT (www.smallsat.org) and the small satellite industry. We started the discussion with Dr. Patterson by having him provide us with general schedule, agenda, and theme information for the upcoming SmallSat conference. This is an outstanding conference and if you can be in Logan or are near there at the time of the conference, August 13-16, I urge you to attend.

Broadcast 526 (Special Edition)

Dr. Pat Patterson and Dr. Charles Swenson joined The Space Show to discuss the upcoming SmallSat Conference in Logan, Utah. We began the interview Dr. Patterson giving us the history of the SmallSat conference. We then began talking about education in the U.S., engineers, funding for science and space related programs in schools and universities and much more. Listeners can learn more about the SmallSat conference by visiting www.smallsat.org. Registration for the conference is still available.


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