Doug Olsen is the Associate Director (Acting) for the Center for People and the Environment (CP&E) at the University of North Dakota. As Associate Director, he oversees activities of the Geospatial Laboratory, manages airborne sensor operations, and helps direct website development and various other elements of the Center.
Doug is also Project Manager for several sensor and technology development activities within the Center. For these, primary efforts currently are directed towards development of the Agricultural Camera (AgCam) , a multi-spectral imaging system designed for installation and operation onboard the International Space Station. Along with program direction responsibilities (schedule, budget, NASA deliverables) areas of expertise include sensor characterization and calibration, mechanical and electrical systems engineering, space operations within a crewed environment, and semi-autonomous ground control systems development and operation. Since 2001 Doug has led development of the AgCam project, coordinating contributions of over 40 graduate and undergraduate students from Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and Space Studies as well as faculty from each of these departments.
As Adjunct Faculty for the Space Studies Department, Doug serves as external advisor for Space Studies graduate students participating in AgCam. Research topics to date have included NASA flight safety onboard the International Space Station, orbital prediction and ground mission planning using Satellite Toolkit, and applying human factors to improve ground systems reliability. Additional involvement by Space Studies students is expected as AgCam and its ground control Science Operations Center move towards launch and operational capability.
Doug has over 25 years experience in aerospace, ranging from civilian and military aircraft development to spacecraft and science instrument design, development, and test. He holds an M.S. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from North Dakota State University. He also has an Adjunct Faculty appointment in UND's Electrical Engineering Department. In addition to spacecraft and space ground systems, his research areas of interest include science instrument calibration and characterization, sensor networks, and agricultural applications of remote sensing.
Doug and his wife Patty live in Grand Forks with their two children.