Author Topic: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference  (Read 12403 times)

Offline mikelepage

Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« on: 09/17/2017 06:19 AM »
Hi all! :) I'm Mike from Perth, Australia and I'm booked to go to the International Astronautical Conference (IAC2017) next week in Adelaide, Australia.  I am super excited for the conference, with the icing on the cake being that Elon Musk will present the SpaceX Mars/ITS plan revision on the Friday ;D ;D  I've booked myself a place to stay just a couple blocks away from the convention centre, and I'll be aiming to attend as much of the conference as possible.

Obviously I'm going to go to all the plenary sessions unless I get hit by an asteroid, but I'm now looking through the full Monday-Friday technical program, and it's huge!

https://iafastro.directory/iac/browse/IAC-17/
(you can use the index at the bottom to sort the topics by various criteria)

Having been to big conferences before, I think that in order to get the most out of the conference, I should plan where I'm going to be in advance, and then feel free deviate if something else comes up.  The aim here is to generate a list containing times, locations & session topics.

So I'm just putting this out there, if anyone wants to suggest what sessions they think will be good, I'll aim to go there, take some notes and report back to this thread (especially so if its a topic I'm interested in).

Some guidance as to what I'm interested in:
I have a PhD in Immunology/Immunogenetics, so I'll be looking at space biology/medicine especially as pertaining to zero/spin-gravity and radiation in a human space flight context.  I design 3D printed objects as a hobby, so I'll try to get to any sessions about how people are using this/planning to use this in space.  I also think that asteroid mining is going to drive further exploration of the inner solar system to an equal or greater extent than Lunar/Mars exploration.

I tend to think SpaceX and other launch companies are going to serve as a platform for a multitude of smaller companies and their projects, the same way Apple/Google app stores serve as platforms for a large number of smaller companies.  So I'm really interested in the commercialisation of space, and also the interface between space agencies like NASA and the bigger commercial players.  Lastly, I have an interest in how we might cooperate to solve "tragedy of the commons" type problems like space debris.

What I'm not so interested in:
I'm not so knowledgable about hard rocket science, quantum physics or electronics, so space-based solar power, technicalities of propulsion (EM or otherwise), and small sat stuff, etc are not going to be the best use of time for me.  I'm also not particularly interested in pure astronomy or the SETI angle (although astrobiology and news about extra-solar planets/"planet nine" are interesting), and the Earth observation/educational outreach/student stuff, while important, are not what I'm going to see.

Thanks for reading this far, thanks in advance for your time delving through the huge number of session descriptions, and thanks for any guidance you might have! :) It should be a good week! :)

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #1 on: 09/17/2017 06:38 AM »
Well, I don't have any suggestions, but I'll also be at the conference. I'm giving a paper called "Fly me to the Moon on an SLS Block II" on Friday morning. Anyone else from NSF going? Perhaps we should meet up.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #2 on: 09/17/2017 06:55 AM »
Well, I don't have any suggestions, but I'll also be at the conference. I'm giving a paper called "Fly me to the Moon on an SLS Block II" on Friday morning. Anyone else from NSF going? Perhaps we should meet up.

Great.  I'll see you there on Friday if not before (Hall O if I'm reading this correctly).

Found a floorplan of the convention centre here:
https://www.adelaidecc.com.au/content/uploads/2015/06/ACC-Site-Plan-2017.pdf

Looks like it shouldn't be too much walking around.

Offline Azular

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #3 on: 09/21/2017 08:52 AM »
Hi guys,

I am Bernard (from the UK). I will be going to the IAC as well so Steven should have at least two in the audience  :).

Got me a room just a couple of blocks away from the venue but have to agree with Mike, this event is a monster.

So many things that look well worth attending, sadly only one of me

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #4 on: 09/24/2017 10:55 PM »
Now waiting to go in for the opening ceremony on day 1. I'm going to be taking notes for those sessions I attend, and I'll put those up here. Not promising anything too special, but hopefully it will be interesting to some of you.

Opening impressions: the new Adelaide convention centre is really nice/well laid out, and the registration queues are moving quickly. Off to a good start Adelaide!

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5155
  • Liked: 982
  • Likes Given: 343
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #5 on: 09/25/2017 07:45 AM »
For everyone watching at home:

https://twitter.com/IAC2017
and

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23IAC2017&src=tyah

As an opener, Charlie Bolden got recognized by receiving a IAF's World Space Award

https://twitter.com/exploreplanets/status/912115830434836485

Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #6 on: 09/25/2017 01:19 PM »
My Day 1 Notes

Opening Ceremony:
South Australia will host Space Centre: to be keystone of new Australian Space Agency.  Charles Bolden receives IAF World Space Award.  Memorandum of understanding between IAF and two other organisations. 4200+ delegates = biggest ever (was expecting 3000+).  Adelaide Youth Orchestra played Jupiter :D

First Plenary (topic: Science or Business?) Heads of Agencies: are Robert Lightfoot (NASA), Jan Worner (ESA) Silivia Laporte (Canada space agency), plus heads of China, Roscosmos, ISRO, JAXA.

Universal answer: Science AND business, the intersection the two is what drives things forward.  Lots of buzzwords along these lines.

Interesting tidbits from Q&A:
Bill Nye appeared on stage challenged the heads to state their “perfect news headline”: All Space agencies stated as their goal the fostering of innovation in space. But also Robert Lightfoot: “Boots on Mars”, “Confirmation of life not on Earth.”
Roscosmos on planetary defence/asteroid threat – much more pressing issues we need to deal with, but open to signing memorandum. 
NASA on sharing IP with business: three different approaches depending on acquisition strategy 1) Can buy and share IP from companies. 2) Collaborate to negotiate use of IP gained from companies, or 3) Leverage when industry holds onto IP for a standard task (but assess risk).

Session 3.1 Space Exploration Symposium

1)   ISECG released Global Exploration Roadmap in 2013 www.globalspaceexploration.org Talk was summary of scientific perspectives in response to that global roadmap. Specifically, science that can be achieved at Deep Space Gateway, Lunar Surface and Near Earth Asteroid.  White paper of findings to be published shortly.
2)   Moon Village talk by Piero Massina (ESA) – about a movement towards a beyond LEO economy.  “Moon Village” means different things to different people, but the concept is meant to complement, not exclude other endeavours, and serve as a test bed for Lunar ISRU (by 2025?).  Also working towards a lunar analog habitat “LUNA”.

Then moved to Session 7.1 Future Space Astronomy and Solar System Science missions
3)    Talk on the mirror technology behind the ATHENA X-ray telescope (Launch 2030?) A 14m spacecraft with spectroscopy and imager.  Mirrors are seriously complex due to X-rays only being reflected at low incidence…  1000 segments of <1 Angstrom precision mirrors made of super polished silicon wafers.  But still challenged to get alignment from uncertainty of 13 arc seconds currently down to required 5 arc seconds.  Multiple contractors competing to produce best alignment method.
4)   Malone from nationalacadamies.org/spacereports discussing review of benefits from NASAs prime/flagship missions versus mission extensions.  15 prime missions and 45 mission extensions, compares with budgets of 88% (prime missions) and 12% (mission extensions).  Benefits of mission extensions unequivocal, and strongly recommend a robust portfolio of mission extensions, and also that reviews of extended missions only happen every 3 years (instead of every 2 - reducing admin work for scientists).  In a separate review, large missions have benefits beyond what is possible with small missions, and cost control of developing missions has become much better in last decade.
5)   Ocean worlds Program Options talk discussed multiple options possible for a formal “ocean worlds” program comparable to a “Mars” program.  Looking at relative benefits of studying Europa, Enceladus and Titan.
6)   2nd Ocean worlds talk looked specifically at how RTGs might be used in future missions.  By 2028, modular RTG architecture should be possible where missions can use large or small RTGs with less development costs.  Highlighted design of Europa lander, using self righting “tetrahedral petal” lander with separate 50W RTG in lander and 500W RTG in sniper-bullet-shaped melt probe.  Designs show it to be steerable by differential heating of the RTG of different surfaces of the probe to avoid obstacles detected by radar.  Transmit data back to lander probe in bursts.  Estimate melt through ice in 3-6 years.

Second Plenary (topic: Economic and Social impact of space sector): Honestly didn’t get that much out of this one.  Talked a little about Australian Space Agency, much modelled after other agencies but lots of platitudes and no specifics.  Brian Schmidt suggested every agency needs the Right People (trademark) a focus on solving real world problems, and a critical mass of people of different expertise.

Also had many fun conversations today with people in the industry (highlight was meeting Andrea Accomazzo from ESA, who was chief of the Philae lander team).

Need to sleep! even bigger day tomorrow  :D :D

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #7 on: 09/25/2017 02:49 PM »
Well, its a bit mad here in Adelaide with a record 4500 delegates! They ran out of paper programs, but should have some more coming in. The big news is that an Australian space agency has been announced by the Federal government!!! Rocketlab had a cool display with a full size Electron second stage. Next flight is in the next two months. Former NASA astronaut Pamela Melroy will be moving here to Adelaide to work for a local company.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 450
  • Likes Given: 334
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #8 on: 09/25/2017 11:23 PM »
Well, its a bit mad here in Adelaide with a record 4500 delegates! They ran out of paper programs, but should have some more coming in. The big news is that an Australian space agency has been announced by the Federal government!!! Rocketlab had a cool display with a full size Electron second stage. Next flight is in the next two months. Former NASA astronaut Pamela Melroy will be moving here to Adelaide to work for a local company.

Looks like I under-estimated it.. and I'm kicking myself for not trying harder to be there.  :( If Shaun from RL is there, do please say a quick 'hello' from me?  I had no idea they were going.  I know Sothern Space, Gilmour and Space Ops will all be there in the crowd someplace...

Anyways, it sounds like fun. Enjoy!! :)

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 450
  • Likes Given: 334
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #9 on: 09/26/2017 12:04 AM »
Looks like I'll miss Elon Musk also.. bummer!! :o

Quote
Major improvements & some unexpected applications to be unveiled on Friday at @IAC2017 in Australia

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/912259150175813633

I'm case you're wondering what's in store, here's what he's posted previously on the subject:
Quote
“I’m thinking probably the upcoming IAC in Adelaide might be a good opportunity to do an updated version of the Mars architecture...”
« Last Edit: 09/26/2017 12:05 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #10 on: 09/26/2017 01:17 PM »
Day 2 notes

Third Plenary (Topic: Development of a Civil Space Traffic Management System) by George Nield:

Major increase in the degree of public interest in the problem since “Gravity” and the chip in the ISS cupola window.  Begs the question re: congestion potential, especially now with large sat constellations on the horizon.  Could some orbital regimes eventually become unusable?

Sees 4 possible options for a space traffic management system.  Administered by 1) DOD, 2) Civil agency 3) Non-gov organisation/company 4) International organisation.  Currently DOD serves as space “traffic cops”, using equipment not able to integrate new sensor data.  Not really DOD’s role, and they not so well positioned to interact with industry or international agencies.  An International organisation could make sense, but many complications regarding control of sensitive DOD data, and also questions re funding.  Private industry may also do it, but questions re profits/ shouldn’t services be freely available to all?

Preferred option is civil agency – specifically FAA, which already administers launches/landings.  Can integrate data from multiple sources to calculate conjunctions, while maintaining security of DOD data.   FAA is starting pilot program that will operate in parallel with current system, with complete transparency over process.  Compare to DOD system and – assuming success – take over role.

Panel following discussed various aspects - that the UN office for outer space affairs already keep a register of all objects launched into space.  David Bell from Australian Space Environment Research Centre (SERC) spoke of models which integrate solar radiation pressures atmospheric variation measurements into trajectory analysis.  Agreed that every effort should be made to enhance information exchange, but most important to start acting on a system (even if not perfect) and improve as we go.

Session A6.2 Space Debris Symposium

1) Risk awareness of Space Debris problems – rather than statistical analysis, build list of “worst offenders” determined by potential for most consequential events.
Studied 4 clusters of debris grouped by altitude C775 (Altitude=775km), C850, C975 & C1500. 

Two clusters in particular: C850 has n=36 (SL16 stages) totalling 218,000kg, potential for 16,000 fragments (double debris population in one event).  Observed approach distances of ~200m.  C975 has n=301, totalling 352,000kg, potential for 4000 fragments in one event, observed approach distance of 30m.

Cumulative probability of such an event in C850 having happened before now is 1%.  Probability of such an event in C975 having happened before now is 11%.  Ten worst offenders list 2 objects from C975 and 8 from C850.  Suggest one of these is the most urgent target for first deorbiting.  Future work expanding technique to rocket stages in GTO, the fragmentation of which at perigee would bring debris to GEO.

2) Mitigation measures for large constellations.  Could adjust orbital planes of constellation by altitude (slight change in inclination to compensate), and have more robust post mission disposal.  Modelled case of 1080 satellites (20 orbital planes) centred on 1100km +/- 5km per orbital plane.

Some question over modelling software, since this created no difference in risk of collision or even an increase, going forward over 200 years.  However, when additional constellations were added to simulation, the altitude change vs orbital plane model helped.

3) Moved to Global Networking Forum Space Situational awareness by COMSPOC (spelling?).  Noted a much greater number of debris than the ~23,000 pieces >10cm size, because this is less than 4% of debris >1cm.  Also GEO debris catalogue usually only catalogues >1m objects.  Showed some very cool visualisations of AMC-9, Echostar 3, and Telkom-1 satellite anomalies, where malfunctioning satellites wandered near operational satellites.  COMSPOC warnings to various organisations resulted in course corrections.  COMSPOC expects to issue >26 million collision warnings in next 10 years.

4) Impact of Constellations (Boeing).  Notes an exponential increase in demand for data.  Currrently 122 Exabytes/month, expect 278 exabytes/month by 2021.  Satellites currently 2% of this market.   Example of benefit from even single sats in GEO, where MexSat communications has saved lives in recent Mexican earthquakes.

LEO constellations help 1) Mobility of users 2) Ubiquitous Coverage 3) Flexible infrastructure 4) provide low latency.  New era of capability with megaconstellations combined with layered architecture (GEO/MEO/LEO/terrestrial internet). 

5&6) Moved to session A1.2 Human Physiology in Space: two Russian talks on Ballistocardiography (BCG) and kinocardiography (KCG) for assessing the amount of work the heart is doing.  First talk measured 12 cosmonauts at 2, 1 months before flight, every month during flight and 4 and 8 days after landing.  As compared to baseline of 4 (not sure of units), hearts were only averaging half the work (2) during microgravity flight, but twice the work ( 8 ) 4 days after landing.  It had returned to baseline (4) by 8 days after landing.

Second talk used head down bed rest (lying whilst tilted 6 degrees down towards head) as simulacrum for heart deconditioning whilst measuring KCG.  Validated by MRI (showed *super* cool 3D video of heart beating as visualised by MRI).  But main takeaway was that the “sledge jump” exercise (whilst lying down – elastic pulled the subject towards a vertical platform at their feet) did not mitigate for deconditioning effect of head down bed rest.

Lastly 7) Introduction of an Aerospace Medicine Systematic Review Group for microgravity medical research:  Equivalent to Cochrane review – which is the gold standard for “meta” reviews of literature.  In response to a clearly formulated question, 2 independent assessors critically appraise high quality evidence.  Aiming to provide guidance and identify gaps in research.  Nothing equivalent exists for this field.

First result was identifying that outcome measures for studies of exercise countermeasures to microgravity are non-standardised, which is problematic because cross comparison is discouraged.  Meta review in this way did conclude that exercise consisting of resistance/resistance-vibration counter measures (as opposed to high impact exercise – like sledge jumps) was most promising.

Another advantage is that this facilitates outreach to the wider medical community.  Question on fraudulent data in such studies – is still difficult to identify fraudulent data in any individual study, but such meta analyses of high quality data (e.g. double blinded studies) and encouragement of standardised outcomes helps identify fraudulent data through exclusion.

That was morning notes.  Will do afternoon notes separately.

Offline eeergo

  • Phystronaut
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5020
  • Milan, Italy; Spain; Japan
  • Liked: 725
  • Likes Given: 489
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #11 on: 09/26/2017 01:22 PM »

Studied 4 clusters of debris grouped by altitude C775 (Altitude=775km), C850, C975 & C1500. 

Two clusters in particular: C850 has n=36 (SL16 stages) totalling 218,000kg, potential for 16,000 fragments (double debris population in one event).  Observed approach distances of ~200m.  C975 has n=301, totalling 352,000kg, potential for 4000 fragments in one event, observed approach distance of 30m.

Cumulative probability of such an event in C850 having happened before now is 1%.  Probability of such an event in C975 having happened before now is 11%.  Ten worst offenders list 2 objects from C975 and 8 from C850.  Suggest one of these is the most urgent target for first deorbiting.  Future work expanding technique to rocket stages in GTO, the fragmentation of which at perigee would bring debris to GEO.

Extremely interesting, thanks.
-DaviD-

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #12 on: 09/26/2017 02:19 PM »
Tuesday PM notes

Plenary 4: 50 ways to leave your Earth
Panel included Virgin Galactic (Whiteknight/SpaceShip2), Blue Origin (New Shepherd), Astronauts working at Boeing (Starliner) and Lockheed Martin (Orion), plus George Nield (FAA) & Pamela Malroy (Nova).

Virgin Galactic to move to Spaceport America in 2018, powered flights to begin “shortly”.  3 day training for 2 hour flight with ~4min weightlessness.  Wide acceptance criteria ("we’ll take your 70yo grandma, but not your 5yo daughter because she cannot give informed consent").  Blue Origin capsule to include the biggest windows ever flown in space.  1.5 days training for 11-minute flight.

Starliner to launch on slightly modified Atlas 5.  5 seats: 4 for NASA, remainder for non-NASA astronauts or spaceflight participant (TBD).  Test flights 2018, crewed flights 2019 onwards.  Tony Antonelli of Lockheed Martin spoke briefly of Orion EM1 EM2, through to the Deep Space Gateway, but more emphasis on what talents future astronauts will need “solving real-world problems with a ticking clock”

George Nield emphasised how amazing it is that 6 human-rated spacecraft in development (2 suborbital, 4 orbital).  Fatal accidents for human space flight currently at 4/375, so participants must be prepared for risk.

Surprisingly extended discussion of toilet facilities (or lack of) on the respective crafts.  ;D

Global Networking Forum: Startups in Asia Pacific
Panel consisting of Rocketlabs USA (smallsat launch vehicles), Fleet Australia (nanosats for IoT), QxBranch (Data analytics Machine learning), DeltaV SpaceHub (Aus-centric Startup incubator) and CSIRO.
Talked about speed of iteration and the willingness to fail and have wrong assumptions about what your customers want: Better to provide the tools to allow customers to empower themselves.  There’s no lack of talent/training in asia/pacific region, just an underdeveloped startup industry which is changing quickly.   Good leaders need to pick the best employees and then be in service of and dedicated to them, no matter what (legal) mistakes are made. => Family mindset.

Tidbits: Australian Space Agency will be writing constitution in the next 4 months.  Rocketlabs next flight in 8 weeks or so.

2-5) Moved to session 5.2 Human Exploration of Mars
Included new publically accessible software generating porkchop plot transits to Mars, and a couple student talks including 1) a concept for Mars transit (from DSG using Nuclear Thermal Rocket).  Also 2) the results of a Mars analogue 2 week stay by students in Poland.  Last was a 330kg “Ice miner” rover powered by 180m2 of solar or 1.8kW RTG.

6) “Mars Base Camp” is Lockheed Martin proposal of station in Low Mars Orbit I had not heard before.  Based on Orion heritage. Features a lander able to do “sortie” missions from and two Mars orbit to anywhere on Mars surface (limited to 10 days because of H2/O2 boiloff).  Lander performs lofted trajectory plus supersonic retropropulsionm then SSTO.  Needed to be H2/O2 to go to surface and back to orbit without refuelling, but no need to rendezvous with preplaced assets.

Importantly, lander sorties could be practiced prior to Mars as requirements to go from DSG to lunar surface then back to DSG would be within the capabilities of lander, analogous to sorties from “Mars Base Camp” to Mars surface and back.  Dependent on “water economy” as this would be used to produce all propellant shortly before sortie missions.  “Mars Base Camp” also features two of everything, including 2 landers, which would mean rescue from Mars surface back to low Mars orbit would be possible.

7) Super interesting “Tradespace exploration of Multi-mission crewed Mars surface system architectures (summary of PhD thesis by Dr Sydney Do).  Way too many variables to mention, but concluded that the mass cost of many of the systems required to recycle various components on Mars surface (reclamation of water/urine/O2/CO2), or trying to grow local crops would actually cost more over time than having an open system where everything was shipped in from Earth.  Wanted to ask questions but he ran over time.

Highlight lecture by Bill Nye was very engaging/funny, but not much new in terms of content.  Lightsail 2 will launch on 2nd Falcon Heavy flight.  Has a “lightness factor” (deltaV from light over theoretical deltaV from light hitting solar sail) better than Lightsail 1 (=0.01).  A good lightness factor of 0.1 is considered achievable (but not sure if they expect that from Lightsail 2).   

Lots of positive applications of lightsail tech – notably station keeping in unstable Lagrange points SEL1/2 EML1/2 for asteroid/object detection or even in position directly over North/South Poles for Earth observation.

Encouraged everyone to “reach back” with science education, even as we move forward with the new space revolution.

Okay that’s it for today.  Not sure if I’ll manage tomorrow’s notes tomorrow because I’ll be going out at night, but I’m sure I’ll post them at some stage.  Cheers, Mike

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #13 on: 09/26/2017 02:38 PM »
If Shaun from RL is there, do please say a quick 'hello' from me? 

No idea who Shaun is, but I saw Peter Beck in the Rocketlab stand several times! There was a great presentation from Bill Nye on the Planetary Society solar sail satellites this evening. Pamela Melroy will be working for Nova Systems.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #14 on: 09/26/2017 02:43 PM »
Highlight video of the Congress for Monday.

Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #15 on: 09/27/2017 12:06 PM »
Here's Tuesday's video. They had the "First woman on the Moon" breakfast this morning. I met a lady from JAXA at my table. I later realised she was Japanese astronaut Chiaki Mukai! Boeing gave their presentation on their manned Lunar mission architecture using SLS and the DSG. Has a very large LM with 7 t reusable ascent stage with four CST-100 engines and 43 t expendable descent stage with 12 engines. Energia has a reusable LM with staged descent, also using the DSG.

« Last Edit: 09/27/2017 12:06 PM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Andrea_It

  • Member
  • Posts: 2
  • Turin, Italy
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #16 on: 09/28/2017 02:43 AM »
Thanks for the coverage, mikelepage. Considering the staggering number of technical sessions, it is much appreciated even though I am at IAC myself.
On your number 7, the trade off between open and close cycle, i believe they were comparing recycling with ISRU, not with Earth resupply.
Out of curiosity, what did you think about the student presentation on the NTR transfer between the DSG and Mars, presented by Ryan Elliot? I am one of the authors of it.

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #17 on: 09/28/2017 11:05 AM »
Thanks for the coverage, mikelepage. Considering the staggering number of technical sessions, it is much appreciated even though I am at IAC myself.
On your number 7, the trade off between open and close cycle, i believe they were comparing recycling with ISRU, not with Earth resupply.
Out of curiosity, what did you think about the student presentation on the NTR transfer between the DSG and Mars, presented by Ryan Elliot? I am one of the authors of it.

"Staggering" is right.  I must admit that I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but looking through my notes will be a good reminder.  I'm handwriting notes and writing them up at night, except not last night, because I was out networking with a number of folks I hope will be able to help me with my new start up company :)  As a result of that I missed plenary 7 and the Charles Bolden Highlight lecture :( But still, it was a very productive late night at the bar  :D so let's just say I apologise if my notes miss details or make mistakes.  I honestly cannot remember that talk very well any more, so you may be right.

I realise I already made a mistake on my notes for the heads of agencies (plenary 1) that it was someone else who asked the agencies what their perfect headline would be.  Bill Nye reiterated during his keynote that he had asked Jan Worner to allocate roles to the various agencies for an international Mars mission.  Got my wires crossed there, so I hope no one plans to quote anything I wrote as fact before checking with the authors.

Your NTR transfer to Mars was easily one of the most thorough student presentations I've seen, well done!  It's just that - I'm sure you know - I think I've seen maybe ten Mars studies of this type which were paper exercises.  People treat many current technologies like lego and combine them into a mission which can work in theory.  The reason Elon Musk's talk tomorrow means so much more is that there is money behind it and lots of people working on it.  So many other plans make compromises because the cost of launch to orbit is so expensive.  But I think the SpaceX plan will assume fully reusable boosters allow much bigger (different) structures.  Super keen for that.  More notes to come.

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #18 on: 09/28/2017 12:38 PM »
Wednesday Notes:

Plenary 5: Innovative Methods for Secure Access to Space.
This was a panel of younger entrepreneurs, talking about what to do with Space Debris. 

1) “Intelligent Space” is a company doing AI data-mining of satellite catalogues, and aiming to create a platform where people can design new satellites using components already on orbit.  Creating the web platform first, then plans to have a prospector craft to inspect/test/harvest parts.  2) MEDUSA was a debris chaser craft that had capture arms made of two types of shape memory alloys.  Heat one to open, heat the other to close.   Planning to scale up after launch of demo craft.  3) Ground based Laser manipulation of debris orbit using adaptive optics, at SERC (Australian Space Environment Research Centre).  No laser ablation, only photon pressure.  Looking to test on high area, low mass debris (no deorbit – only perturb the orbit).  4) Space platform with harpoon developed at UK space agency.  UK space agency is really trying to facilitate better knowledge transfer between companies and agencies.  Also making a push to classify debris differently

Session A1.4 Exploration and the ISS
1) Sam Scimemi (NASA): roadmap is coalescing around ways to get from 6-month current stays to 4-crew, 2-3 year Mars missions. Cis-lunar (DSG) missions will last 30-40 days (also likely 4-crew).  Need to demonstrate viability of ECLSS far from earth.  Drew attention to problems with CO2 recycling, a “crew nightmare” that is “breaking down frequently” and needing many spare parts for reasons that only showed up once it was in LEO, not on ground.

Aside from obvious science purpose, ISS has been really important to test out iteration of docking hardware, a “zero boil-off cryo demo”, and even asteronomy experiments where mapping of quasar positions may become a precision navigation tool for HSF craft (over and above star trackers, I think he was saying).

2-3) A couple of talks wanting to use ISS as more realistic Mars stimulator along the lines of other “analogue habs” like Mars 500.  Suggestion of using final lifetime of ISS as closed off space station with time delayed communications, a requirement to have food supplies/spare parts on board at the beginning of a “sealed off” 2-year mission.  Real emphasis on psychological elements of being isolated for so long in a way that astronauts are not currently at ISS.  Claim that “Interpersonal conflict/depression/anxiety is the single biggest risk for Mars missions”

Also cool was 4) Space Radiation superconductive shield design (new to me).  Nominal mars mission design approaches a 10% lifetime cancer risk.  Active radiation shield is necessary.  Using a semi-open field “pumpkin” design, (see attachment) which can achieve a 2-fold reduction in doses using superconductor 160x better than copper.  It takes GJ to charge it, but no ongoing energy expenditure.  It needs to be turned off to transmit radio however, and any asymetric break down could cause it to tear apart catastrophically.

5) Lastly, there was an autonomous VTOL Mars airplane or “aerobot” called “Hyperion II”.  Has central counter-rotating helicopter-style rotors, which help it take off and land, after which it shifts to horizontal flight using smaller external rotors. Numbers of simulations of power requirements show that solar panels on wings (fold to fit inside entry vehicle) can power the craft for 2 min ascent and descent plus a 1-hour flight.

Simulations appear to support it being feasible.  But interesting consequence is that traditional banking is impossible in Mars atmosphere, it yaws left or right instead.  3kg payload, and designed to be able to take off and land as many times as needed.  Tricky part is that it has to be autonomous, but onboard AI is capable of the processing in real time within weight requirements.

Wednesday PM

Plenary 6 Real MoonMars Villages
‘UUUUGE panel (hardly anyone got to speak at length).  Reps from NASA, Roscosmos, ESA, DLR, UNOOSA, Korea Space, EEAS, plus several select students.  Many upcoming missions adding to lunar orbital fleet.  ESA supports an open-ended architecture to the moon, as a practice run for Mars, with everyone doing what they are good at.  20km from South pole is the “lunar peak of eternal light”, ideal real estate.

Interesting tidbits:  NASA has >4800 sols of continuous activity on Mars since 2003, and can bring all the strengths they have, in a model that can replicate ISS.

South Korea has built there world’s largest vacuum chamber also capable of simulating sun/shadow temperature shifts (4x4x4m), from -150C to +120C (I think).  Rivasseau from EEAS made a few good points about security, saying to forget about putting any military assets on the moon, even to duplicate function that exists elsewhere, as this will set off arms race.  Only “security” on moon should be protecting the asset itself from hostile environmental conditions, or from accidental human error.

Global Networking Forum: A LEO space station after ISS
Panel with reps from DLR, William Gerstenmaier for NASA, ESA, Roscosmos JAXA, Sierra Nevada, and Airbus.

Basic takeaway was there are no plans to expand beyond LEO without there also being something in LEO.  Roscosmos: “You don’t continue building the road by digging up the beginning of the road.”  But ISS costs are high, and DLR suggests future op costs for LEO stations must be at least half the cost or less.  NASA clarifies ISS costs 800-900 million/year, and says that’s money well spent.  Looking to reduce costs through cheaper transportation to and from ISS.

ESA (Parker) points out that the trend is for the previous small number of actors to become a huge number, but asks “what is the killer app for humans in LEO?”

Roscosmos and JAXA, we’re no longer “exploring” LEO, we’re exploring beyond, but LEO is now part of the economic sphere.

NASA will decide on extension for ISS in 2018-19.  Commercial transport is promising.  By December NASA will issue report on what to do post station and how the transition will work.  ESA: Not the replacement for ISS, many replacements.

SpaceGEN entrepreneurs
Panel of young entrepreneurs from “Bryce Space”, the ministry of Space economic affairs Luxembourg, and Troy McCann from Australia’s MoonshotX program.

Tidbits: Australia’s space start-up community (and the world in general) has gone exponential in the last decade.  However, many young entrepreneurs spend too much time telling VCs about their tech, instead of their business plan, and it should be the other way around. 

Having said that, they issued a reminder that it’s possible to grow a company organically without taking VC money or giving away equity, by bootstrapping.  Stay as lean as possible.

3x TED-style talks, by companies FluoroSat (Anistassia Volkova, selling Space Based Ag data)/Valispace (Marco Witzmann, selling a cloud engineering platform)/TriD Dynamics (Depak Atyam).

That was Wednesday for me.  Will have to do the notes from Thursday tomorrow with the rest of Friday's notes. Going to bed now, gotta be well rested for the SpaceX GNF...  :D
« Last Edit: 09/28/2017 01:30 PM by mikelepage »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #19 on: 09/28/2017 02:43 PM »
Got to meet Jim Burke from JPL today at breakfast. He's long retired from JPL, but still presenting, giving a talk on meteorite strikes on the Moon. His son Richard is wheeling him all around the conference. He's not very happy about the new rules where someone has to meet him at the gates if he wants to visit JPL. Jim was also at the Moon Village Jam. Below are some photos I took. The second photo shows me next to the Electron second stage. Wedgetail X was launched on Monday. Expected altitude was 1.8 km. Drogue deployed but the main failed to deploy, so it made a hard landing. Apologies that some of the photos are a little blurry.

Big day tomorrow. My presentation in the morning and Elon's talk at 2 pm. I somehow wrangled a VIP ticket, so we get in before all the plebs. :-)
« Last Edit: 09/28/2017 02:46 PM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10430
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 7274
  • Likes Given: 5077
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #20 on: 09/28/2017 05:34 PM »
A giant thank you to all the reporters bringing us great stuff from this conference. Your efforts at taking notes and transcribing are vastly appreciated!!!!
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #21 on: 09/29/2017 01:08 AM »
Well done to our own Steven Pietrobon for his (very!) detailed study of an apollo-equivalent mission to the moon, performed with a single block II SLS.

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #22 on: 09/29/2017 01:39 AM »
Also: for anyone else who is here at the conference, myself and Bernard (Azular) will be meeting straight after the SpaceX talk near the entrance to the exhibition hall.

Offline Azular

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #23 on: 09/29/2017 04:42 AM »
Code name is still BFR

Elon thinks they've figured out how to pay for it.

Have a smaller vehicle that will replace Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy

Offline Azular

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #24 on: 09/29/2017 04:46 AM »
Test engine runs at 200 bar, production will be 250 bar and over time he thinks they could get to 300 bar

Offline Azular

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #25 on: 09/29/2017 04:53 AM »
BFR 9m

Offline Azular

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #26 on: 09/29/2017 04:58 AM »
First stage 31 raptors, ship 48m long, delta wing at the rear for pitch and yaw control. Pressurised volume 825 sq m

Offline Azular

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #27 on: 09/29/2017 05:01 AM »
240 tons CH4 860 TONS LOX

4 VAC,  2 SL raptors 250 bar,

Offline Azular

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #28 on: 09/29/2017 05:03 AM »
Ship and tanker dock at the rear

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #29 on: 09/30/2017 01:07 AM »
Okay definitely planning to write up my notes for Thursday and Friday today at the airport or on my flight home, but first wanted to post this pic of the NSF'ers who met up after the Elon Musk talk.  It was great to finally meet some of you in person!

Also: The gala dinner was pretty amazing, but no news/nothing technical there.  Entertainment was a group of construction workers (there's a construction site next to the Adelaide Convention Centre) who came in wearing hi-vis (fluoro vests) over work clothing... turned out to be magnificent opera singers.  A very Australian way to finish!  Well done Adelaide!

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #30 on: 09/30/2017 02:13 AM »
Well done to our own Steven Pietrobon for his (very!) detailed study of an apollo-equivalent mission to the moon, performed with a single block II SLS.

Thanks Mike for taking this photo. The co-chair on the left is Buzz Aldrin's son Andy! Sorry for the late report. I was so tired last night that I went to bed at 8:30 pm! What an amazing day yesterday was. In the morning we had Lockheed Martin's presentation of their Mars Camp idea. They are proposing a "water based" economy. Water is brought to Mars Base Camp in low Mars orbit (LMO) and electrolysed into LH2 and LOX propellant. This is used for a single stage lander that lands on Mars and then goes back to LMO without requiring any ISRU propellant from the ground. A fully reusable heat shield with RCC edges and Titanium panels is used. Video below.



« Last Edit: 09/30/2017 02:18 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #31 on: 09/30/2017 02:14 AM »
Thursday AM Notes:

Plenary 8: Big Space Data driving Sustainable and Economic Growth on Earth
Panel with reps from Geoscience Australia, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD), Sinergise, and Amazon Web services cloud program. 

Was about how to use Geospatial Earth observation data (“big” data) for better decision making (mainly demographic, agriculture and environmental interests).  Talking about how the Millenium development goals have now (2015 onwards) transitioned to “Sustainable development goals”.  Aim is to make data more dynamic, real-time and disaggregated.

Looking at Geoscience Australia’s Digital Earth Australia program (website): which has used big data to create temporal terrain maps for Australia at high resolution, with every landsat image over 30 years now available for free. Can track agriculture use in individual paddocks, or river outflow variations, etc, and looking to export program so whole world can benefit from Landsat images in this way.  Sinergise is also processing the Landsat images “Sentinel Hub Playground” which was a different algorithmic approach (didn’t really understand what they were doing tbh).  Amazon Web services is also in process of creating tools to better browse these types of big satellite data.

Session 3.4A Small Bodies Missions, Tech and Explotation
1) Roger Lenard Keynote:
Lots of generalities.  But asteroid prospecting needs to consist of three stages: 1) affordable detailed imaging, 2) excavation in situ 3) turn into useful material.  Some of the legal regime was improved under Obama, but not complete/large gaps in what is regulated.  Suggests the benefits of prospecting with impactor plus observer craft combinations.

2) Al Canguhuala (JPL) gave an update on Dawn @Ceres in place of Marc Rayman, with a brief review on the timeline: ’07 left Earth, ’09 Mars assist, ’11-‘12 Vesta, ’15 onwards at Ceres (also reviewed different orbital regimes used at Ceres).  Has been able to map each surface in colour, with stereo imagery and take numerous other measurements, including looking at mineral concentrations and searching for moons. 

The ion engine use has allowed the Dawn probe greatest the greatest cumulative dV of any craft in history.  Video simulation of how orbit insertion around Ceres was achieved – “orbit” with ion engines becomes a non-critical event.  Also looked at salts in Occator crater which are evaporated from water which reached the surface in response to the impact, which is estimated at single-digit millions of years old.

3) Final review of the Operations legacy of the Rosetta probe by Accomazzo.
Notes that Rosetta was actually the first craft to fly beyond Jupiter with solar power, and the first craft to undergo long-term (3 year) hibernation prior to the main mission.

Many outcomes learnt from the execution of such a long-term (10 year) mission.  Software was updatable –On OBCP (didn’t catch acronym – programs/sub-routines I assum?)  110 loaded on Rosetta at launch.  34 added during flight, and ~50% modified during flight in response to mission.  Prototyped and refined a highly flexible packet storage system for transfer of science data/telemetry.

Careful to manage the obsolescence of equipment and crew expertise over 10 years.  Ground station development was staggered over cruise phase.  Ground team were sent to work on other ESA missions or elsewhere while maintaining employment agreements, such that they were brought back without issue during mission critical phases.  Heavy emphasis on management of documentation, with an emphasis on pertinence, completeness, and conciseness so that the team could remember how things worked years later.

During science phase, found communicating weekly with probe was actually less work than less frequent communications (with a lot more to do each time).  Operationally things were kept to a weekly schedule for ease of team.  Trajectory planning was (almost) always Mondays, up-linking of instructions was (almost) always Thursdays.  Tried to minimise the use of scientific data for operational inputs, as this could disrupt the schedule which caused organisational issues.

What could have been done better was that Philae was treated as a payload (separate from operations at ESA) – and in Accomazzo’s opinion it would have been more efficient to “treat it as a second spacecraft”.

Moved to Global Networking Forum
4) Caught the end of a session on Space Law:
Tidbits: Mining operators in Deep Space will be obligated to provide their own ground stations/deep space network.  While states currently retain ownership of space junk, some suggestion that the law of the sea “right to salvage” should apply. 

There should be “safe zones” on the moon (eg 50km exclusion zones around Apollo landing sites), and laws regulating radio frequency bands may be most analogous when generating regulations for use of particular zones of space/orbital regimes.

5) Growth challenges of Space Startups: Role of public and private investors.
Some repetition of things seen earlier in my notes such as how entrepreneurs spend too much time talking to Venture Capitalists (VCs) about the technology, and not enough talking about the business plan.  Think of the minimum viable product first… but make sure you think of the “minimum viable transaction” soon after.

Real emphasis (from Collective VC Australia) that companies should try to bootstrap and grow organically by looking for projects that don’t require exchange of equity.  VC is for “step-change” operations. i.e. To scale up once the business is already viable.

Q&A about a “space bubble”? Possible, because lots of investors are not knowledgeable about space and are in for the bandwagon effect.  If 2-3 big companies were to have several big failures or go bankrupt in quick succession you could see a lot of investors get spooked.

Also, don’t be afraid to pivot the company in response to a real change in market conditions.  Investors will support wise changes, just not erratic-ness.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #32 on: 09/30/2017 02:51 AM »
Then it was off to my session in Hall O. My presentation was right after a NASA presentation on SLS, so it was pretty tough act to follow. I hope I did OK. The last presentation was one by Equatorial Launch Australia, hoping to have sounding rockets and launch vehicles launching from the Arnhem Space Centre, Northern Territory over the Gulf of Carpentaria. They are at 12.5º South and have strong support from the traditional land owners.

The VIPs were then corralled in Rooms E where we entered from the Eastern side. Everybody was let in very slowly, so it took about an hour to fill the room. I was sitting about four rows from the front of the stage. I was very pleased that BFR (which now seems to be the official name) would be doing satellites, ISS, Moon and Mars. Not so sure that a 9 m, 31 engine and 4400 t vehicle with 150 t LEO payload is the right vehicle for sending 6 t communications satellites to GEO.

We then met up with other NSF attendees in Hall G. The last event for me was the closing ceremony where various awards were presented and the IAF flag handed over to the next IAC in Bremen, Germany.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #33 on: 09/30/2017 02:56 AM »
Here are some more photos I took on Thursday.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #34 on: 09/30/2017 03:00 AM »
Wenesday and Thursday highlight videos.



Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5155
  • Liked: 982
  • Likes Given: 343
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #35 on: 09/30/2017 09:22 PM »
Long videos but well worth watching. Leaves a very optimistic feel about the state of the space industry, lots of new organizations, new generations of young talent.

Two key takeaways: smallsats, and Australia is very much on the map in space technology.

Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #36 on: 10/02/2017 03:48 PM »
Thursday PM notes

Interactive Presentations (instead of Plenary):
All the extra presentations that didn’t get time in the technical sessions were put into this session, where presenters (each one allocated to one of an array of something like 40 screens – probably another 400 presentations in all) worked their way through 4 page pdfs.  I didn’t get to spend much time or take notes for this, but there were a great number of students and young professionals, contributing their own studies/concepts.

Session 6.6 Active Debris Removal

Most of the active debris removal proposals presented at the conference involved a chaser craft (often some variant on a cubesat), which may or may not be deployed from a more capable mothership, matching velocities with a target piece of debris tracked using visual and/or LIDAR means.

Then, using some kind of attachment mechanism (proposals included mechanical grippers, mechanical caging/netting solutions, chemical glue, magnetic attachment, electro-adhesion and harpoons), the chaser craft attaches itself to debris.  A number of proposals had reaction wheels as part of the chaser craft, with the aim to “de-tumble” the debris.

Methods to deorbit the debris included SEP (one used an Iodine propellant SEP system, that while less efficient was much cheaper), electro-dynamic tethers, or a drag augmentation sail (Lightsail solar-sail type deployment).

Upcoming demo ADR mission “Remove Debris” will launch on SpaceX Dragon in January 2018 and subsequently deploy from ISS through JEM module, including cubesat “test debris” which will trial visual/LIDAR tracking, net and harpoon deployment, and a drag augmentation sail.

There was also a presentation by Doris Grosse of SERC at the Australian National Uni, detailing how they plan to take adaptive optics techniques normally used to create sharp ground-based telescope imagery, and use them to focus a medium-to-high power laser on debris, resulting in photon pressure (not powerful enough to ablate) which will perturb debris orbits for collision avoidance (not powerful enough to deorbit, either).

Moved to Session C1.7 Mission Design, Operations and Optimization

 “Dust Environment Models for Asteroid Surface”, by K Nichols, modelled the Lunar Horizon glow and the dust ponds on Eros. Aiming to incorporate solar radiation pressure and electrostatic effects to explain the disconnect between previous models and the observations of dust on asteroids.  This work was able to generate a much better approximation of how particles are perturbed in orbits where the effect of gravity and electrostatic/solar radiation pressure all have similarly significant effects. 

Very cool and relevant for manned work at asteroids: while tiny particles disturbed at surface of small asteroids will likely achieve escape velocity, mid sized particles most likely to affect machine joints, astronaut suits etc are of significant concern.  Model suggested working at or near the sunset terminator line of the asteroid was most likely to prevent these larger particles from achieving orbit due to assists from non-gravity effects.

“Planetary Defence Optimal asteroid deflections” modelled a couple of scenarios for using an impactor to shift an Earth-bound asteroid.  Remembering that asteroid velocities can be 60km/s relative to sun, and the most deltaV we can add is on the order of cm/s, time may be of the essence when designing a planetary defence mission.  Looking at the trade offs between doing a heavy n-body propagation for trajectory analysis (high fidelity/computationally intensive), versus new method of doing a simpler Keplerian propagation but making certain adjustments to compensate.

Compared the new modelling method to the heavy n-body method with a pair of impact scenarios (fictitious 100m and 1000m asteroids to impact in 2027) and found that it was sufficiently accurate to be useful for mission planning.

Highlight lecture 2: The Great Barrier Reef: Assessing its health from space.
Probably the most depressing talk of the entire conference.  As an economic asset the GBR is responsible for 6.4 billion/year in Australian tourism, supports 64,000 jobs, and has had an estimated worth of 56 billion dollars, yet coral cover has declined to 50% over 1985-2012.  The largest part of this is from cyclones/hurricanes, which have a two-fold effect: firstly the direct impact from wind/high seas, and secondly the nutrient load that comes with torrential rain on agricultural land resulting in fertilizer/derivatives washing onto the reef.

1985-2012: Estimated that 48% of the coral cover loss is from 12 major cyclones in that time, 42% from the crown of thorns outbreak induced by high agricultural runoff, and 10% directly from coral bleaching as a result of the 1 degree C rise in ocean temperatures.  “Coral cores” dating back ~300 years have failed to detect coral bleaching events prior to 1980s, yet there have been several since then, including the back-to-back bleaching events of 2016-17, which has destroyed 90%+ of the previously pristine northern third of the reef  (the one area unaffected by the agricultural runoff).

Issued a request to space industry to provide better, higher-resolution imagery of the reef to track coral bleaching, and for satellites capable of providing better assistance to farming practice – so they can use less fertilizer, more efficiently, thereby causing less runoff.  Marine Science Australia has a 35 year plan with 139 actions to be taken.

Offline mikelepage

Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #37 on: 10/05/2017 10:07 AM »
Friday AM notes (finally!):

Late Breaking News.  Mars Base Camp proposal launch by Lockheed Martin

Much of this will have been reported elsewhere by now, but this did seem to be a natural evolution of the modules Lockheed is working on for the DSG, with duplication of everything for redundancy, to be placed in Mars orbit, including central crew modules shielded by hydrogen/oxygen propellant tanks for radiation protection.

The basic premise was that sticking to Hydrolox enables landers of a given size to have 33% more delta-V capability than Methalox, which enables multiple “sortie” missions from Mars orbit, as long as water is available.  Hydrolox as rocket propellant leverages “water economy”, assuming that water can be extracted in many places, (especially/hopefully) Phobos.  Having extractable water on Phobos would enable a robust sortie program with telerobotically-operated rovers scouting for human missions at sites all over Mars surface, which would enable science at a high frequency.

By having 2x 4-crew landers that can go anywhere on Mars surface and back without ISRU, the level of safety/redundancy is high.  Unlike craft on direct-entry trajectories, these landers can abort the landing before even touching down if conditions turn averse.  Also, if one lander breaks down on the surface, the other can go to rescue the crew.

When asked about SpaceX’s methalox architecture, the LM representatives were quite positive; saying a diversity of propellant systems makes the whole Mars program even more robust.  A LM basecamp in orbit with Phobos water ISRU, plus a SpaceX base with ISRU on the ground can only make things safer.

Session D2.8/A5.4 Joint Session: Space Transportation Solutions for Deep Space Missions:

1&2) Representatives from China National Uni of Defence tech, and China academy of launch vehicle tech gave a summary of proposals (and CNSA plans?) for 1) a manned cis-lunar transport system, and 2) lox depots in LEO and (eventually) EML1.  Although some questions about translation, I think they basically wanted to have a Apollo-style lunar lander going from lunar surface to low lunar orbit and back, and transiting a manned craft from LEO to LLO and back.  The depot in LEO seemed intended to support these kinds of missions, whilst the EML1 depot was intended to support deep space operations.

3) Masson from CNES gave a summary of Arianne 6 developments, which will start 40% cheaper than Arianne 5, includes 62 & 64 variants, and could do 3 and 8 ton to EML1 respectively.  He then moved onto 3 types of tugs that they could launch using Arianne 6 family: a chemical “kick” stage, solar electric propulsion, and nuclear electric propulsion.  He didn’t spend much time on the chemical tug, other than to  state it was a “Boreas” hydrolox engine.

The solar electric tug had a 60kW solar array, and 6 hall thrusters (each 20kW nominal but used at 12.5kW), using Xenon.  Enabled 5-year sample return mission from Mars, with 0.5 ton payload.

The “Democritos” nuclear electric propulsion received the most time in the presentation, with the case study including a 3.3MW Nuclear core. Potential uses include deviating asteroids and putting larger payloads to Mars/Jupiter/Saturn.  Using Hall or ion grid thrusters, it could move 7 ton to Mars in 250 days (Hall thrusters @2500s), or 11-17ton to Mars in 360-500 days (Grid ion thrusters at 4000-7000s).  If using 7000s thrusters, could move 8 ton to Saturn in 3 years.

4) Talk by Steve Creech, the Spacecraft payloads element manager for SLS:

Block 1B (crew/cargo) is expected as early as 2022, Block 2 as early as 2028.  Block 1B’s cargo variant will be used for Europa clipper.

Talk included many photos of booster and core stage progress, especially for EM1 mission where booster segments are complete and core stage has completed all major welds.  Engines are currently being shipped for assembly and are soon to be hot-fired at Stennis.  Booster segments and core stage welds for EM2 have commenced.

Talking up the advantages of the universal stage adapter, which can take 8m payloads suitable for Orion docking and will be likely be used for DSG elements. Also emphasised the ability to do direct injection for Europa clipper on block 1B.  Noted the potential for a Europa lander follow-up mission to have a 16-ton payload to Europa by using block 1B and inner-solar system flybys.

5) Talk by our own Steve Pietrobon. Very detailed study of an Apollo-analogue mission to moon using a single SLS block II.  Must admit I didn’t take notes for this one because I was aiming to get the photo (posted above), but there were definitely a few NASA heads in the audience who would have been interested in the costings.  Good work!

Final session A1.8: Biology in Space
(glad I made it to at least some of every technical session!!!)

Probably my favourite session of the entire conference – this is right down my alley as an immunologist, and there were plenty of questions that came to mind!  This included an interesting discussion on the relative uses of “simulated” microgravity, with a number of us questioning the premise that simply keeping cell cultures in motion is in any way equivalent to true microgravity.

1) Because of the difficulty of gaining access to space, especially for long-term studies, this group used the LSMMG system for rotating suspension cultures of medically relevant bacteria.  Specifically they studied the genetics of E Coli for 1000 generations (1 month) in sim microgravity, followed by 300 generations back in ordinary culture, to determine if changes were as a result of acclimation (changes go away when “gravity” returns) versus adaptation (changes remain).

Found 237 gene mutations, which resulted in the gene up-regulating expression, and another 120 gene mutations, which resulted in the gene down-regulating expression.  Up-regulated genes were associated with biofilm formation, increased protein transport mechanisms, increased stress proteins and increased virulence, whilst down-regulated genes were associated with cellular mobility mechanisms.  They found these mutations persisted after 300g generations back in lab, and concluded that bacterial mutations in response to microgravity are in face adaptation, not just acclimation.

2) The second group used a different microgravity simulator to look at human endothelial cells, using a variety of cellular assay methods.  Interestingly, they found that the microgravity itself did not stimulate production of connective tissue protein they used as an outcome measure, however it did enhance activation of endothelial cells, which would produce more of the connective tissue protein in response to a particular immune cytokine (TNFalpha).  Basically, the cells were more primed to respond to any immune signal as a result of microgravity, but the microgravity effect only appeared in combination with other stimuli.  Lots of interacting factors at work here. 

3) The third group presented a study of transcription factor genes in mice that spent 37 days on ISS.  These flight mice showed significant demethylation as compared to controls.  Methylation of genes is commonly understood to cause the epigenetic effects that have been shown to control gene expression over generations.  That means there is a correlation between the expression of your genes and the conditions in which the sperm and egg that became you, formed (i.e. the expression of your genes is affected by your parent’s health at two time points: your father’s health about 9 months before you were born, and your mother’s health at the time her eggs were forming – about 6 months before she was born).

The fact that we’re seeing demethylation effects on genes in mice who spent 37 days on ISS suggests that there will be effects from the space environment that appear one to two generations after the first trip to orbit.

4) Elizabeth Blaber from NASA Ames presented a really interesting talk on the effects of spaceflight on bone and cartilage, examining the bones of rodents from several studies that went to the space station.

Lots of detail here: https://iafastro.directory/iac/paper/id/41432/abstract-pdf/IAC-17,A1,8,6,x41432.brief.pdf?2017-03-23.11:12:59

but talk had a lot of imagery, demonstrating dramatic losses of bone density, bone structure, and cartilage most comparable to a rapid onset, stage 4/5 osteoarthritic patients (who are usually in old age and have taken years to develop the condition).  The reason we don’t see equivalent bone losses in astronauts is because of exercise regimes, however there is some question as to whether the quality of bone (“trabecular number”) is maintained even with exercise, since rodents returned to Earth regained bone density, but not bone quality.

5)  Lastly Cora Thiel of the Uni Zurich presented work with immune cell lines which were kept on the ISS and analysed in other microgravity environments such as parabolic flights. 

There is a reasonable question as to whether immune affects of microgravity are really a problem, since we have no severely damaged astronauts, and not much in the way of allergy/infections…

In experiment 1, macrophage culture was kept in a centrifuge on ISS, with a live, continuous data download of outcome measures as culture was stepped down (or up) in 0.1xg steps over 5 hours.  Interesting note: the “threshold” for measures showed that the cells only began producing (/stopped producing) stress hormones at a level of 0.3-0.5 xg, which to my knowledge is the first ever attempt to determine what that threshold level of gravity might be.  The counter to this was communicated to me by Elizabeth Blaber after the session – who suggested that partial weight studies with mice (partially held up by harnesses so they only held some of their weight) showed that detrimental effects of partial gravity on bones began as soon as the “gravity” was less than 1xg.

The various cultures were also used to compare outcome measures when in parabolic flight (or on-board a sounding rocket), versus simulated microgravity systems mentioned above.  Noted a number of outcomes that were seen in real microgravity, but were not replicated by the simulated microgravity systems.

These flights also showed that these outcome measures (gene expression changes not seen in simulated microgravity) were responding to the lack of gravity almost instantaneously (<1 second), while others (n=279) appeared after 20 seconds, and still others (n=1873) had appeared after 300 seconds.

Basically, the cells of the immune system can tell the difference between real microgravity and lab-based simulators, and start changing their behaviour within seconds of exposure, even if harmful macro effects take much longer to manifest.

Then it was over to Global Networking Forum: Elon Musk presenting Mars plan
Y’all saw this one right? I didn’t take notes for this because it seemed rather pointless, and I’ve posted my opinions in discussions elsewhere.

***

All in all it was an absolutely fantastic mix of science, engineering, and entrepreneurial minds, and I enjoyed it immensely.  I hope you all found these notes interesting, and I invite you to check out the Exodus Space Systems FB page and website if you’re interested in finding out what I’m working on now.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16304
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 5223
  • Likes Given: 653
Re: Help me plan my IAC 2017 conference
« Reply #38 on: 10/10/2017 07:33 AM »
One of the chairs took this photo of me during my presentation.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Tags: