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Missile Defense

  • Thread starter SMG75
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Hi all,

I am interested in working in industry after I graduate, ideally having to do with ballistic missile defense. Does anyone know what are the best paths to get into this field? Are there many opportunities? What is the ideal major? Any info would be helpful.

Thanks.
 
Take a trip to Afghanistan. :-)
 

Cod

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There are a good number of opportunities within the defense industry. Companies such as Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grummon are constantly searching and hiring talented people to fill positions. With that said, there are a few avenues you could take to get into the defense industry, and more specifically, missile defense.

First, you need to figure out you're interested in? If its the avionics software of the missile or algorithmic methods of the radar, then go with computer science. If you're interested in researching and developing the electronics of the systems, then go with electrical engineering. If you're interested in the design and materials of the systems, then mechanical engineering is the answer. Last, if you're interest lies in propulsion of the missiles, then go with aerospace engineering, physics, or chemistry. Of course, AE and mathematics could land you a spot in any one of the areas I mentioned, depending on your degree's specific focus.
 
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A mathematician who adjuncts at my university works with missiles for Lockheed. He specifically works on imaging systems. You can get into missile defense with just a Master's in math; in fact, since all aspects of missile defense rely on some sort of engineering, they all need mathematicians. So, Math is an excellent "path" to take as well.
 
23
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Thank you very much guys! Your replies were quite helpful.
 
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You can get into missile defense with just a Master's in math; in fact, since all aspects of missile defense rely on some sort of engineering, they all need mathematicians.
Wouldn't a reliance on engineering imply a need for engineers rather than mathematicians (aka magicians)?
 
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Wouldn't a reliance on engineering imply a need for engineers rather than mathematicians (aka magicians)?
The way he said it, mathematicians were valuable because their math foundation allowed them to take a crash course in the "language" of engineering relevant to the project, at which point they were able to rely on their problem-solving and mathematical skill.

He also mentioned that if you do want to go at this sort of research to take all the Linear Algebra classes you can.
 

D H

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Wouldn't a reliance on engineering imply a need for engineers rather than mathematicians (aka magicians)?
Exactly. The people who make the vehicle know where it supposed to go (guidance), where it is (navigation), and how to go to where it is supposed to go (control) are predominantly aerospace engineers who specialized in guidance, navigation, and control. The people who put together the computer systems on which those GN&C algorithms run are predominantly computer and electrical engineers. The people who design the vehicle structure that holds the sensors, effectors, and avionics equipment are predominantly mechanical engineers. The people who work with the companies that manufacture the vehicle's engines are predominantly chemical and mechanical engineers. The people who worry whether the system as a whole will work as planned are predominantly systems engineers.
 

Astronuc

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Hi all,

I am interested in working in industry after I graduate, ideally having to do with ballistic missile defense. Does anyone know what are the best paths to get into this field? Are there many opportunities? What is the ideal major? Any info would be helpful.

Thanks.
See here - http://www.mda.mil/careers/

Possible majors include aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, mathematics, . . . . , and a combination thereof.

The military purchases ballistic missles from various organizations, e.g., Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon and others. One should become familiar with the systems and organizations which provided the technology.

http://www.mda.mil/system/system.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegis_Ballistic_Missile_Defense_System
 
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D H

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Possible majors include aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, mathematics, . . . . , and a combination thereof.
In addition, there are managers of all ilk, personnel specialists, contract specialists, accountants, etc: The business side of running an aerospace company.

That said, this is first and foremost an aerospace engineering problem. Aerospace engineering is the most natural fit to this career goal.
 
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In addition, there are managers of all ilk, personnel specialists, contract specialists, accountants, etc: The business side of running an aerospace company.

That said, this is first and foremost an aerospace engineering problem. Aerospace engineering is the most natural fit to this career goal.
In addition, if you are not 100% sure that this is your career path, an undergrad in Mech Eng is certainly a great alternative. I know plenty of people who work in defense with a B.S. in ME. This is a little more general than an Aerospace degree and certainly allows you to pursue a MS in Aerospace if you decide its what you want later down the road.
 
apparently its possible to go into missile defense with an astrophysics phD. But I'd imagine it helps alot if your work consisted of simulations, especially CFD related
 

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