Principal Technologist: Steve Horan

Steve Horan
Principal Technologist, Game Changing Development Program
NASA Langley Research Center


B.A., Physics, Franklin and Marshall College (1976)
M.S., Astronomy, New Mexico State University (1979)
M.S.E.E., Electrical Engineering, New Mexico State University (1981)
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, New Mexico State University (1984)

Dr. Horan joined NASA Langley Research Center in 2009 as the CLARREO spacecraft communications lead. He also worked on the communications architecture for the hosted payload concept used in the CHRONOS proposal for the Earth Venture solicitation. In January 2012, Dr. Horan became the Assistant Branch Head for the Remote Sensing Flight Systems Branch and from June 2012 through August 2013, he was Acting Branch Head. During this time, he supported the communications design in the avionics system for the HEART project. He also initiated the concept and the team for the Langley RaD-X Hands-On Project Experience proposal submission.

Prior to joining NASA, Dr. Horan was on the faculty of New Mexico State University (NMSU) and left as Professor and Department Head of the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. At NMSU, he developed and taught classes in digital communications, satellite communications, and telemetry systems. He was the sponsor for several senior design projects dealing with small satellite design and data systems. He had numerous grants in space communications, radio propagation measurements, and microsatellite development funded by NASA and the Air Force. He was also the founding director of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium. Dr. Horan participated in the NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship program at Johnson Space Center and Goddard Space Flight Center.

Prior to joining NMSU’s faculty, Dr. Horan was a software engineer and systems engineer at NASA’s White Sands Ground Terminal operating the TDRS satellites.
Dr. Horan has authored or co-authored 57 conference papers, 20 journal articles, 1 patent, and the textbook Introduction to PCM Telemetering Systems. He has taught short courses on telemetering systems, radio propagation, and digital modulation in conjunction with the International Telemetering Conference. He is a senior member of both the IEEE and the AIAA.

Current Interests:
Dr. Horan’s primary technical interest/focus is on spacecraft avionic systems, communication systems, and technologies to advance the capabilities for small satellite systems. He is also interested in amateur astronomy, digital photography, and amateur radio (NM4SH).