Engineer, Exploration (imagery integ) | NASA
Engineer, Exploration (imagery integ)
David Melendrez is the lead for the Joint Engineering Team for Imagery (JETI), responsible for the cross-program plans, concepts of operations, objectives, requirements, and realtime mission support activities for the analytical imagery systems on Orion, the Space Launch System (SLS), and Exploration Ground Systems (EGS). JETI is also involved in imagery system requirement development for the Deep Space Gateway and Lunar Lander programs. David began his planetary career doing image processing and geomorphological mapping of Martian landslide features as an undergraduate intern at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in 1986. His graduate work at the University of Arizona from 1988-1992 included multispectral telescopic remote sensing of the nearside lunar maria to identify locations of high-TiO2 basalts for potential future resource development. He then joined the staff of the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) team at Arizona State University in 1992 as the lead TES mission planner for the Mars Observer mission. While at ASU, he was also involved with Mars Global Survey TES II mission concept development and with the City of Scottsdale applying aerial and satellite remote sensing techniques for city planning. David's career at JSC began in 1995 as a Shuttle and Space Station flight controller in the Flight Planning and, later, Robotics groups where he played a central role in the STS-114 Return to Flight effort following the Columbia accident. He moved to the Shuttle Program Office in 2005 and began working in Imagery Integration, which involves the synthesis and coordination of engineering imagery resources to communicate ascent imagery findings to mission management. After Shuttle, he did a brief rotation to the JSC Engineering Directorate, working on advanced mission concepts and spacecraft architectures, one of which ultimately evolved into what is today known as the Deep Space Gateway. David joined ARES in 2012 as the manager for the Planetary Exploration Business Unit and later assumed the lead for JETI in 2014, where he currently operates, coordinating the activities of a large and very talented team across three NASA centers (JSC, KSC, MSFC). He has accumulated over 4,000 hours of real-time mission support in the Mission Control Center, earning four console position certifications during seven International Space Station increments and 31 Shuttle missions. David's professional interests include systems engineering, spacecraft mission development, remote sensing and spacecraft imagery systems, and planetary geomorphology.