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Faculty Members

Dr. Bong Wie

Department of Aerospace Engineering

2271 Howe Hall, Room 2355
Ames, Iowa 50011-2271

Office Phone: (515) 294-3124
FAX: (515) 294-3262

Dr. Bong Wie is a Vance Coffman Endowed Chair Professor of Aerospace Engineering here at Iowa State University, and is the Director of both the Asteroid Research Deflection Center (ADRC) and the Space Systems & Controls Laboratory (SSCL). Dr. Wie received his B.S. of Aeronautical Engineering from Seoul National University in 1975. He then received his M.S. and Ph.D in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University in 1978 and 1981, respectively.

Dr. Wie has published almost 150 papers and journals and holds three U.S. Patents. His textbook, Space Vehicle Dynamics and Control was published in 1998, and a second edition was also published in 2008. His principal areas of research include Space Vehicle Dynamics and Control, Analysis and Design of Flight Control Systems for Advanced Launch Vehicles, Solar Sail Flight Control Systems Development, Singularity Escape/Avoidance Steering Logic Development for Control Moment Gyros, Mission Analysis and Design for Intercepting, Impacting, and Deflecting Near-Earth Asteroids, and Asteroid Deflection Using High-Energy and Low-Energy (Gravity-Tractor) Approaches.

Professor Bong Wie worked at Ford Aerospace Corporation in Palo Alto, CA upon receiving his Ph.D for four years, until becoming an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He remained there until 1989 when he accepted an Associate Professor position at Arizona State University and then was promoted to Professor in 1992. In 2007, Wie left ASU and came to Iowa State University, where he now holds the title of Vance Coffman Endowed Chair Professor.


Dr. John Basart

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering
2271 Howe Hall, Room 3261
Ames, Iowa 50011-2271

Office Phone: (515) 294-8487

Dr. John Basart joined the ADRC in 2008, when it was created. Dr. Basart received his BS, MS, and Ph.D degrees all at Iowa State University in Electrical Engineering. He is now a Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering here at Iowa State and his area of expertise is in Electromagnetics and Signal/Image Processing, although he likes to consider himself a “generalist,” with a little bit of knowledge in everything.

Dr. Basart worked in the Air Force repairing electrical systems on KC-97 and B-47 medium-range bombers after high school. Then, after graduating from Iowa State, he accepted a post-doctoral position at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, VA. After two years there, he was invited to return to Iowa State and create a radio astronomy program. After 10 years at ISU, he left for Socorro, NM to work for the NRAO’s VLA radio telescope for several years, before coming back to Iowa State in 1981. In 1985, Dr. Basart joined the newly formed Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE) with a split appointment between the Electrical Engineering Department and the CNDE. In 1990 he became the ISU Campus Coordinator for the Iowa Space Grant Consortium. He continued these activities until his retirement in 2000. During his tenure in the Electrical Engineering Department, he created many courses with the final course being AerE/EE 264, a sophomore-level course designed to attract technically oriented, by non-aerospace students to encourage them to become involved in space-related activities. He has been volunteering at Iowa State since retirement, teaching a few courses, and mentoring Senior Design projects in addition to his work at the ADRC. He retains his interest in NDE as an associate editor with the journal NDT & E International.

At the ADRC, Dr. Basart is currently involved in researching the Yarkovsky Effect. This is a phenomenon caused by the sun heating one side of a rotating body in space. As the object rotates, the warmest location on the body is not directly “beneath” the sun, but off to one side due to thermal inertia. Due to its warmth, the body radiates electromagnetic radiation in the infrared portion of the spectrum. The infrared photons carry momentum causing a recoil force on the body with the tangential component either along, or opposite to, the orbital direction. This force component can either increase or decrease the size of the orbit. This effect could potentially be used in deflecting an asteroid if it were predicted to impact Earth; however, the asteroid would need to be detected far in advance as to allow time for this effect to have a significant impact. Predicting the amount of deflection is extremely complex, as asteroids are not perfect spheres or simple geometric shapes. Currently, Dr. Basart is working on simplifying the problem by analyzing simple objects such as rectangular boxes and cylinders in space, but this too involves differential equations with complex boundary conditions.