Richard G. Madonna, Ph.D.


Dr. Madonna has over 35 years of combined military and industrial experience in the development of small to large national security systems, and has held several adjunct faculty appointments over the same span of time.  Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Richard served as a Captain in the USAF and was Branch Chief for Special Projects in AFTAC’s Electro-optical Division.  Richard recently retired as a Northrop Grumman Fellow at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems and served as the System Architect for several space programs there.  Richard focused mainly on space based remote sensing systems, primarily using electro-optical and infrared sensors.  He has also served as Principle Investigator and Program Manager on several national security programs. Richard also developed, ran and taught in an in-house 20 week Electro-optical/Infrared Systems Engineering program.  His most recent program was a co-development effort with the California Institute of Technology to develop and mature a set of technologies that would enable an affordable approach to space-based solar power.

Richard has served as an adjunct professor at Florida Institute of Technology (Space Technology Program), Rollins College (Mathematics Dept.), Hofstra University (Physics Dept.), Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering (Systems Engineering Program), and is currently an adjunct professor at U. of Maryland Baltimore County’s Systems Engineering Program.  Richard has authored over 45 papers, presented 8 invited talks at IEEE and SPIE conferences, and authored one text book, “Orbital Mechanics."



  •  “What is the “Right” Detector Size?”, R. Madonna, A. Singh, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Technical Journal, Winter 2018
  • “Overview of the Caltech/Northrop Grumman Space Solar Power Initiative” – Invited Talk, R. Madonna, Beyond the Panel Workshop, NREL, Nov. 2016
  • “A Note on The Use of Contingency and Margin in Systems Engineering”, R. Madonna, Northrop Grumman Electronics Sector Technical Journal, Spring 2016
  • “Imaging Spectral Techniques With Applications to Biomedical Science” – Invited Paper, R. Madonna, A. Paylor, SPIE Defense Sensing Symposium, June 2013
  • “Limitations on Sensors Exploiting Airglow for "No Light" Imaging”, R. Madonna, SPIE Optics and Photonics, August 2008, paper # 7094-9
  • “A LEO Missile Warning Sensor Using Staring FPAS”; R. Madonna, R. McKee, S. Niles, S. Gottesman, D. Durst, presented at MSS Passive Sensors, Tuscon, Az, March 2004
  • “Characterization of an LWIR Fabry-Perot Interferometer Operating at Low Orders”; R. Ryan, S. Milkhe, R. Madonna, T. Hilgeman, L. Lesyna, N. Fonnelan, ,Journal of Applied Optics, December 1997
  • “Material Classification in HSI Using Database Supported Algorithms”; R. Haberstroh and R. Madonna, presented at the MASINT Spectroradiometric Symposium, December 1997, San Diego, CA