Space Systems Engineering Consulting

to help you do great things

Mission Design

We craft your mission's Concept of Operations to reveal key system needs, risks, and problem areas

Resource Analysis

We calculate which resources (mass, power, link, data, pointing, deltaV, etc.) are low, and suggest exchange methods as need be

Requirements Development

We work with you and your customer to create a valid requirements set that is clear, feasible, and complete

ADCS & Trajectory Simulation

We implement that Kalman Filter, baseline your n-body Enceladus flybys, or just explain what a quaternion is

Tailored Process

We establish the right level of systematic rigor that is useful for your project scope & team dynamics

Project Review

We provide an external perspective to identify critical weaknesses that are invisible to internal team members


CSSWE Science Mission

CSSWE Science Mission

An NSF-funded 3U CubeSat for space weather investigation which achieved all mission goals and remained operational for over 5X its design life. David was intimately involved throughout the mission, which resulted in over 20 scientific publications, including a recent article in Nature.

GOMX-3 Tech Demo

GOMX-3 Tech Demo

This ESA-funded CubeSat was a a flagship mission which provided flight heritage to a new generation of nanosatellite subsystems and 3-axis ADCS. It was a complete mission success, despite a 1-year kickoff-to-delivery timeline. David was the Lead Systems Engineer for the mission from start to finish.

Arkyd-301 Resource Mission

Arkyd-301 Resource Mission

A commercial small satellite designed to visit and characterize Near Earth Asteroids. It is a significant challenge due to the dual constraints of commercial financing and the deep space environment. David served as the Lead Systems Engineer and Mission Designer on the way to PDR.


David Gerhardt, PhD

David Gerhardt, PhD

Founder / Consultant

    I founded Orbital Wisdom LLC in March 2018 to hone my skills on a wide variety of missions while helping others navigate the complexities of designing, building, testing, and operating a spacecraft. You can learn more about me on my LinkedIn page or my personal website.


    If you're considering working with Orbital Wisdom, you deserve to know what's important to us. These tenets are core to who we are and our approach to systems engineering.

    Define the Need First

    The first step is admitting you have a problem: clearly describe the issue and establish success criteria. This is especially helpful for teams, as they establish a shared understanding of what needs to happen while defining when the job is done.

    Adopt (useful) Process

    Early adoption of either too little or too much process can lead to overwork, errors, or schedule slip when deadlines loom. The key is applying experience to establish processes useful for a given project & team, while abandoning the bloat.

    Trust Makes it Better

    Systems Engineering relies on experts working together to accomplish a project too big and/or diverse for one person. Mutual trust keeps members honest & open with problems, issues, and needs. This avoids optimizing a component at the cost of the system.

    Keep it simple, stupid

    Simple is easy to understand and easy to test. Simple is low risk. When a simple solution meets the requirements, simple is best.


    Our best work is done together. Reach out to let us know how we can help.

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