Draper Engineer Bill Robertson

William Robertson

Software Engineer

William “Bill” Robertson began working at the Instrumentation Lab in 1966. He worked in computer science and was a part of the analysis group. His specialty was within gravity and geodesy, or studying the shape of the earth’s gravity field. Both the Earth and the Moon’s gravity would affect the flight’s trajectory, and velocity was incredibly important in overcoming it. Robertson was responsible for keeping track of the constants in the algorithms, which would then help determine the ideal places to land, the trajectory, and the velocity needed at the launch pad and for the burn. The routines and code he wrote and maintained were broad enough and had been tested enough that he knew how he would correct any problems that occurred during apollo missions.

Robertson continued to work with Draper on a variety of projects that include Space Shuttle reentry and the Navy’s Trident II Project. He’s well versed in gravity, geophysics, and is a part of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics.