Written by: Angelica Reyes
David S. Eccles is the Associate Principal Director, Space Technology within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and will take on the role of Principal Director after the incumbent, Dr. Lindsay Millard, moves to her next assignment.
Prior to joining OUSD(R&E), Eccles was Deputy Director of the Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS), and General Manager, National Space Systems Engineering Division at The Aerospace Corporation. As deputy director of the Center for Space Policy and Strategy at Aerospace (CSPS). He assisted the executive director by leading a team of space policy scholars and executing day-to-day operations for the center. He also wrote and published as one of the CSPS scholars. Simultaneously, Eccles served as General Manager of the National Space Systems Engineering (NSSE) Division, a role he filled since 2008. In this role, he led Aerospace Corporation operations in the Pentagon and at the Space Development Agency, supporting senior space decisionmakers and fulfilling NSSE’s primary role to provide senior leaders with the highest quality, objective technical support and analysis available.
Eccles joined The Aerospace Corporation in 1983 as a member of the technical staff in the Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) Department, where he wrote geometric modeling software for thermal and structural analysis and computer graphics simulation software for spacecraft and launch vehicles. In 1987, he became the section manager for software tool development, and in 1991 he was named director of the CAE Department. In 1993 Eccles was appointed director of the newly formed Modeling and Simulation Department, where he directed studies for the Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Navy, and other customers. In this position he helped create system-level simulations for multiple mission areas (satellite communications, enterprise networks, EO remote sensing, and classified systems) and military utility analysis capabilities for Aerospace. From 1986 through 1998, Eccles also provided 3D computer graphics simulation and analysis support for launch failure investigations and other anomaly resolution activities, including the 1986 Challenger investigation. In 2000, Eccles joined the Program Executive Officer (PEO) staff in Rosslyn, VA where he provided technical support for DSP, SBIRS High and SBIRS Low. In 2002, he joined the newly formed Missile Defense Division, assigned as the principal director for Element Acquisition, leading Aerospace efforts supporting the Command, Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) program, the integrating ground system element for the Ballistic Missile Defense System. In 2005, he became principal director for Systems Engineering and Integration, leading a federally funded research and development center/university affiliated research center consortium consisting of eight organizations solving complex systems engineering issues at the Missile Defense Agency.