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Cal Poly Pomona Experts Guide


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Donald Edberg, Ph.D., Professor of Aerospace Engineering

An expert in aerospace engineering, Donald Edberg has more 30 years of aerospace engineering experience coupled with more than 20 years of teaching a range of topics including: launch vehicle design, spacecraft design, and aircraft design; astronautics, advanced dynamics, vibrations & flutter, space environment, and systems engineering; and introductory aeronautics, propulsion, gas dynamics, machine design, statics and dynamics.

Edberg’s industrial experience includes 20 years as a Boeing Technical Fellow in the Boeing Company’s Phantom Works, the advanced research, development and prototyping for the firm’s space and defense business. His work there includes 10 U.S. patents on launch vehicle payload isolation, microgravity vibration isolation and related engineering technologies. He is the inventor of and chief engineer for patented McDonnell Douglas STABLE (Suppression of Transient Acceleration by Levitation Evaluation) vibration isolation system IRAD. In 2016, as a faculty fellow at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, he assisted with design reviews, verification and validation efforts for iSAT and NEOScout spacecraft; and assisted with analysis of space launch system launch vehicles, including in-flight control-structure interaction.


At Cal Poly Pomona, Edberg developed three one-year undergraduate senior flight vehicle capstone projects in launch vehicle design, spacecraft design and aircraft design leading to students winning a significant number of competitions sponsored by NASA and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is also the founder and director of the university’s Astronautics Laboratory, founder of the Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Laboratory (UAV Lab) and the campus representative to the California Space Grant Consortium.


His work was been recognized with the 2020 California State University Wang Family Excellence in Teaching Award, the Northrop Grumman Faculty Teaching Award and the 2021 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Summerfield Award for the best textbook published in the last five years for his textbook, Design of Rockets and Space Launch Vehicles, with his co-author Willie Costa.


Selected Publications:

  • With W. Costa, Design of Space Launch Vehicles, Second Edition (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2022)
  • With W. Costa, Design of Rockets and Space Launch Vehicles (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2020)
  • With D. Bullock, A. Heaton, B. Stiltner, C. Becker, B. Diedrich, and J. Orphee, “Performance Characterization of Sun Sensor and Inertial Measurement Unit,” NASA TM-2017-218234, March 2017
  • With D. Bullock, A. Heaton, J. Bush, and D. Sanders, “Consultation for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center: Performance Characterization of NEA Scout Inertial Measuring Unit, iSAT Mission Planning, and SLS Structural Uncertainty Studies,” NASA TM-2017-218234, March 2017
  • With K. Anderson, S. Sandhu, and S. Dobbs, “Vibration Analysis of an Embedded Actuator Based UAV,” Journal of Vibration Analysis, Measurement, and Vol. 3 No. 3 pp. 174-193, 2015
  • With S. Singh, K. Anderson and S. Dobbs, “Flutter Study of a Solar-Powered High-Altitude Long Endurance UAV,” International Journal Structural Mechanics and Finite Elements, Vol. 1 Issue 2 pp. 25-33, 2015
  • With K.R. Matthews, S.A. Motiwala and E. García-Llama, “Flight Mechanics Experiment Onboard NASA’s Zero Gravity Aircraft,” Journal of Technology and Science Education, pp. 4-11, March 2012
  • With B.W. Wilson, “Design and Testing of Low-Stiffness Umbilicals For An Active Vibration Isolation System,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, pp. 563-568, July-August 2001
  • With R. Boucher, D. Schenck, G. Nurre, M. Whorton, Y. Kim and D. Alhorn, “Results from the STABLE Microgravity Vibration Isolation Flight Experiment,” Advances in the Astronautical Sciences, Guidance and Control, Vol. 92, pp. 567-581, 1996
  • “Control of Flexible Structures by Applied Thermal Gradients,” AIAA Journal, pp. 877-883, June, 1987
  • With A.S. Bicos, M. Fuller, J.J. Tracy and J.S. Fechter, “Theoretical and Experimental Studies of a Truss Incorporating Active Members,” Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Vol. 3, pp. 333-347, April 1992
  • “Material Damping of Simple Structures in a Simulated Space Environment,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, pp. 288-296, May-June 1986
  • Editor and publisher of six model airplane reference books: Guide to Computer Radio Control Systems (1996), Programming the Futaba Super 7 for Aircraft and Sailplanes (1995), F.Y.I.—Model Flight™ (two editions, 1995 & 1993), F.Y.I.—Quiet Flight™ (1991), and Get The Most Out Of Futaba’s 8-Channel RC Systems (1998).



B.A., Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences, University of California, San Diego

M.S., Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering; Ph.D., Aeronautical and Astronautical Sciences; Stanford University

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