Moriba Jah

Visiting Scholar


Associate Professor


Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics


University of Texas Austin

Geographic Location

United States
Moriba Jah

Dr. Moriba Jah joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics in 2017. His research interests are in non-gravitational astrodynamics and advanced/non-linear multi-sensor/object tracking, prediction, and information fusion. His expertise is in space object detection, tracking, identification, and characterization, as well as spacecraft navigation.

He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder specializing in astrodynamics and statistical orbit determination.

Prior to being at UT Austin, Dr. Jah was the Director of the University of Arizona’s Space Object Behavioral Sciences with applications to Space Domain Awareness, Space Protection, Space Traffic Monitoring, and Space Debris research to name a few. Preceding that, Dr. Jah was the lead for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Advanced Sciences and Technology Research Institute for Astronautics (ASTRIA) and a Principal Investigator for Detect/Track/Id/Characterize Program at AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate.

Before joining AFRL in 2007, he was a spacecraft navigator for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, serving on Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express (joint mission with ESA), Mars Exploration Rovers, Hayabusa (joint mission with JAXA), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Dr. Jah is a world-recognized subject matter expert in astrodynamics-based Space Domain Awareness sciences and technologies with 75+ publications in peer-reviewed journals, conferences, and symposia.

Moriba Jah – “The world’s first crowd-sourced space monitoring system” TED Talk (August 2019)

Primary Recipient Awards

Moriba Jah – International Visiting Research Scholars – 2020

One of Dr. Jah’s projects, AstriaGraph ( ) seeks to gather and curate all sources of information about artificial objects in Earth orbit via participatory sensing.  He is developing the analytics to assess satellite operators, and to support the Space Sustainability Rating.

Drs. Jah and Byers plan to research and co-author an article on space debris litigation. He will also work with Dr. Boley to co-author a paper on the ecological footprint of space debris, re-defining metrics to assess how crowded orbits are, including studying the carrying capacity of orbits.  These projects would open the door to using domestic courts to obtain compensation for damage caused by negligent satellite operations, as well as to provide well-defined criteria for assessing the load on the orbital environment. It would provide a powerful incentive for companies to exercise care in the design, construction, launch, placement, and operation of their satellites, and thus help to prevent a tragedy of the commons in Earth orbit.