Lead, Orion Imagery Integration | NASA
Lead, Orion Imagery Integration
David Melendrez is the Imagery Integration lead for the Orion Program and chair of the Orion Imagery Working Group (OIWG), providing direct matrix support to the Systems Engineering and Integration group within the Orion Vehicle Integration Office. He is responsible for logically coordinating all the technical functions of the Orion Imagery System, efficiently planning for effective operations of the Orion spacecraft cameras, and properly integrating Orion imagery with other lunar exploration elements. He is also the lead Orion imagery representative for the cross program Joint Engineering Team for Imagery (JETI).
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 Surveyor 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 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 mission imagery findings to program management. After Shuttle, he did a brief rotation in 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 in 2014 became the cross program Imagery Integration lead for the JETI. In 2020 he established the OIWG to better coordinate the complex efforts of the large, distributed Orion imagery team.
David 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.