Dr. Stephen Horan | Electronics Engineer, NASA's Langley Research Center


Dr. Stephen Horan, Ph.D., has over 30 years of engineering experience in the disciplines of communications and telemetry systems, small spacecraft design, and software within academic and government facilities. Presently, he is an electronics engineer with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Langley Research Center (LaRC). Dr. Horan joined LaRC in 2009 as a spacecraft communications engineer developing satellite and hosted payload concepts and their associated ground systems. He has also served as the branch head for the Remote Sensing Flight Systems Branch. Starting in August 2013, he became the Principal Technologist for Avionics in NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate with developments concentrating in flight computing, communications, and electronics. There he supports projects in the Game Changing, Tipping Point, Small Spacecraft Technology, and Small Business Innovative Research portfolios. He also supports Agency capability teams in Sensors & Instrumentation, Avionics, and Communications and Navigation. In 2017, he also assumed the duties of the LaRC Spectrum Manager.

Dr. Horan continues as a professor emeritus at New Mexico State University (NMSU) where he held the endowed chair in Telemetering and Telecommunications from 1996 to 2009 when he retired as a professor and department head in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. At NMSU, he developed the graduate telemetering systems course and taught other courses in communications systems. He was the principal investigator on several telemetry and telecommunications projects at NMSU. He was also the founding director of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium and was active in national leadership for the program.

Dr. Horan earned his A.B. in physics from Franklin and Marshall College, and his M.S. in astronomy, M.S.E.E., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University.

Dr. Horan's research focus was in the area of space communications under the support of NASA and the Air Force including leading the development of the communications system for the 3 Corner Satellite and the NMSUSat small satellite projects, performing research in applying data networking to satellite systems, and radio propagation for satellite communications. Prior to joining the NMSU faculty, Dr. Horan was with the Space Communications Company working in the areas of satellite telemetry and telecommand systems, operator interfaces, and systems engineering at NASA's White Sands Ground Terminal.

Dr. Horan is a senior member of the IEEE and AIAA. He holds amateur radio license NM4SH. He also represents IEEE as an ABET program evaluator and serves on the IEEE Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities. He has been a NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellow at Johnson Space Center and Goddard Space Flight Center.

1Sara Knudsen