Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
Track: Commercial Space Reliable and efficient communications will be critical to the success of commercial flight operations in cislunar space. The radio communication procedures on which flight mission support has historically been based are labor-intensive, and growth in the cost and risk of error in these largely manual procedures would be exponential with increasing numbers of inter-communicating cislunar vehicles and devices. Automation will therefore become vitally important, but the Internet – our most familiar model for communications automation – is in several ways sub-optimal for use in the cislunar operational environment. A widely discussed alternative is Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN). This talk will outline the rationale for adopting DTN as a communications fabric for space flight operations, briefly describe the salient features of DTN, relate these features to the requirements for communication in a Solar System Internet (SSI, as articulated by the national space agencies’ Inter-Operations Advisory Group), and present a strawman architecture for a DTN-based cislunar network that could constitute the first stage of SSI deployment.
Satellite Operator and Government Coordination of the Deorbit of a Commercial Satellite
US Strategic Command is currently tracking over 22,000 man-made objects in orbit around the Earth, over 6 million kilograms of mass. Over half of that mass is from the 3400 spacecraft orbiting the Earth, only 1100 of which are actively performing a mission.
On March 13, 2011, something extremely rare took place as one of those 2500 inactive spacecraft completed a months-long, extremely well-coordinated reentry into the Earth's atmosphere.
Object # 27838, a commercial spacecraft, performed the last of a well-orchestrated sequence of maneuvers that lowered its perigee such that a controlled deorbit occurred over the southern Pacific Ocean. The design of the deorbit plan was such that if any pieces did survive reentry, they would impact harmlessly into the ocean.
The purpose of this presentation is present the work conducted behind the scenes between various government agencies and the commercial satellite operator. It is our hope that this event will pave the way for future commercial satellite deorbits in order to mitigate the creation of more space debris, thus preserving the space domain for use by future generations.
The FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation
Dr. Tristan J. Fiedler,
Associate Vice President for Research Federal Government Relations & Partnerships
Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Florida Institute of Technology
Track: Commercial Space The Federal Aviation Administration created the Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation on August 18, 2010. The center is a partnership of academia, industry, and government, developed for the purpose of creating a world-class consortium addressing current and future challenges for commercial space transportation. The nine COE CST member universities provide geographical coverage of the entire Commercial Space Transportation industry, including the top four civil space states (Florida, California, Colorado, Texas) and New Mexico, a state active in the suborbital industry. Combined, the member universities bring over 50 other government, industry and academic organizations as research partners.
Advanced Decision Support Systems Supporting both Structure and Unstructured Decisions for NASA (A Key Step on the Way to Fully Autonomous Operations) Paul Giangarra,
Track: Mission Operations Assurance The core pattern for resolving issues that occur in space flight and in many other venues is 'FDIR', Failure Isolation, Discovery, and Recovery. Computers have been doing Failure Detection for years. Efficient, accurate, and fast 'Failure Isolation' (and the expeditious Failure Resolution) has been the Holy Grail that gets more and more difficult to attain as systems get more complex. Even "simple systems" today are often componentized and built as systems of systems. This talk is about combining state of the art structured decision support systems (e.g. they provide state machines and/or rules based "when" and "what" processing) and augmenting them with IBM's DeepQA unstructured decision support system built on the Watson computer that beat the two best Jeopardy players in history. The core capabilities of unstructured decision support are:
Structuring and reasoning over natural language content
–documentation, manuals, procedures, test results, guidelines, journals, ...
Generating ranked answers with associated confidences
–Differential problem isolation, suggested remedies
Presenting Dimensions of Evidence scores for answers
–Explanation of why answers were selected
Affording drill-down into each dimension to explore evidence
–Explore specific pieces of evidence in a dimension to help the user evaluate correctness
By providing more complete information and allowing humans to participate in the problem/failure isolation the Failure Recovery will likely be accomplished faster and simpler with less room for error. When the Failure Isolation suggestions are truly and consistently accurate the computer can be confidently plugged in the Failure Recovery process and we will finally have invented "HAL" that can truly perform autonomous operations.
Legal Atmosphere for Commercial Cis-lunar Operations
Doug Griffith, Esq.,
Aviation & Spaceflight Attorney
Track: Commercial Space Like aviation companies, members of the commercial human spaceflight industry engaged in cis-lunar activity will function within a rubric of state and federal statutes, regulations, case precedents, and industry standards that form an omnipresent legal atmosphere. This talk equips the attendee with a basic knowledge of the composition of that atmosphere, including state tort law, immunity statutes, human spaceflight regulations, international treaties, and export control laws, and then lays out the basic elements of a risk management architecture that addresses the legal framework in the context of a company providing products or services relating to cis-lunar travel.
Using Electrodynamic Propulsion for
End-of-Mission Disposal of LEO Spacecraft
Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
Track: End-of-Mission Disposal Requirements and Activities In this presentation, we will discuss methods for using electrodynamic propulsion to accomplish end-of-mission disposal of LEO spacecraft ranging from tiny CubeSats up to large satellites. We will review the physics of electrodynamic propulsion and briefly summarize the result of prior flight experiments involving electrodynamics. We will then describe several different potential hardware implementations, including conductive tapes, passive (unpowered) tether deorbit modules, and powered tether-based tugs. We will also discuss the primary technical risks of these systems, including deployment, dynamics, and collision cross-section, and outline methods for addressing these challenges.
Space Servicing: The Future is Now
co-author Bruce Walker,
Track: Commercial Space Various forms of on-orbit space servicing solutions have been flown and operated for over 30 years, with more than $3B of commercial and government invested specifically in this field. This includes more than 90 successful Shuttle robotic missions that have flown, most notably the four (4) Hubble Space Telescope (HST) servicing missions. Since 2001 the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) has been sequentially launched to the International Space Station (ISS) to assemble and maintain this invaluable international asset. In 2008, the final and most advanced MSS piece called Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (or “Dextre”) was launched to the ISS and is now performing regular ISS maintenance tasks previously only performed by EVA astronauts – all supervised and controlled remotely from the ground. Dextre was also certified by NASA in 2005 to be fully capable of robotically servicing the HST and is now poised to demonstrate new robotic capabilities such as satellite refueling on the ISS. Advanced robotic rendezvous and servicing solutions were also demonstrated on DoD AFRL/DARPA missions as XSS-11 (2005) and Orbital Express (2007). MDA has been the key robotics providers for all the above missions and has also spun-off into leading edge terrestrial robotic applications as medical (brain) surgery, nuclear reactors inspection/remediation and mining automation.
The robotic capability to safely and reliably assemble, service and replenish valuable assets in Space is well proven and available today.
In March 2011, MDA formally announced its commercial offering of Space Infrastructure Services (SIS), plus the signing of Intelsat as its Anchor Customer. Via SIS, MDA wants to be a pioneer in providing and promoting a new “Replenish, Repair and Reuse” alternative for all our valuable commercial and national assets. This game-changing capability will also help defer replacement capital expenditures and improve network reliability for Satellite Operators.
Consistent with the current US Space Policy to purchase and use commercial space capabilities and services to the maximum practical extent when such capabilities and services are available in the marketplace and meet United States Government requirements, MDA envisions a future where a variety of commercial on-orbit robotic services are available and use by both commercial and government space missions. Examples of such services include refueling of satellites or exploration spacecraft, assembly and maintenance of space telescopes or orbiting stations, space debris mitigation and removal, plus reconfiguration & repurposing of retired onorbit assets.
Space Development and Test Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base
Track: End-of-Mission Disposal Requirements and Activities
The components onboard a spacecraft have a large role in determining the level of detail that must go into End of life (EOL) planning. One of the primary drivers is bringing the spacecraft to a minimum energy configuration, to minimize the destructive capability of its components after contact with it is no longer possible. The large amount of debris floating in LEO and GEO makes impact with the satellite at some later point in its orbit almost inevitable.
A collision that produces an explosion due to the satellite being in a high-energy state can create thousands of debris particles that will remain in the orbit of the original satellite and become a hazard to future missions. Therefore every stored energy source must be deactivated or dissipated to the maximum extent. This presentation will discuss the impact of constituents such as fluids, leftover propellant, pyrotechnics, radioactive material and power components aboard the spacecraft, and mitigation measures to prevent debris creation that should be addressed as part of the satellite’s EOL plan.
In addition, once the spacecraft is beyond commanding, the potential for accidental explosions due to thruster malfunctions, structural degradation, battery ruptures due to small debris impact or accidentally induced high rotation rates is not reduced. The role of a formal Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) in highlighting the areas of concern will also be presented.
De-Orbiting "Smart" Space Junk: End-of-life requirements and practices for CubeSats and other small spacecraft
Draper Labs Track: End-of-Mission Disposal Requirements and Activities
The first decade of the 21st Century saw the emergence of very small satellites that can be built and launched quickly and cheaply, often for less than $100,000. The California Polytechnic State University and Stanford University took the idea of small satellites for educational purposes one step further by developing the CubeSat concept of small satellites measuring 10 x 10 x 10 cm and weighing about 1 kg. CubeSats provide a modern and fun way of teaching science and engineering with the end result being a small orbiting satellite. Dozens of CubeSats have been launched since 2003, mostly for scientific and educational purposes. Yet CubeSats operate in an orbital environment that is already overcrowded. Because of their limited maneuverability, it is important for CubeSat missions to be planned from the start with end-of-life de-orbiting in mind. In addition, as first-time spacecraft operators, CubeSat mission planners may not realize that their satellites are subject to many of the same end-of-life regulations as their larger cousins. This talk will discuss end-of-life considerations for CubeSat missions, with a focus the end-of-life regulatory requirements that CubeSat operators must comply with.
Novel Use of Monte Carlos for Operational Mission Assurance
Applied Defense Solutions
Track: Mission Operations Assurance The Flight Dynamics Group (FDG) of the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has used Monte Carlo simulations as a mission assurance capability in both nominal operations and maneuver operations over the last three years. The IBEX prime mission orbit was highly elliptic – approximately 0.9 eccentricity – and highly chaotic due to lunar perturbations. The FDG utilized Monte Carlos of the orbit state uncertainty and attitude maneuver uncertainties with two year propagations to verify mission requirements for the duration of the prime mission. When IBEX was moved into a 3:1 lunar resonant trajectory for an extended mission in June 2011, these Monte Carlos were modified to account for uncertainties in maneuver performance and spacecraft attitude during maneuver operations. The Monte Carlos of the maneuver operations sequence included 10-year propagations of the resulting extended mission trajectory that were used to verify mission requirements compliance for a minimum of 10 years. The purpose of this presentation is to present these Monte Carlo methods, the analysis that went into their development, and their use in nominal and maneuver operations as a mission assurance tool. The presentation will also cover validation of the Monte Carlo methods with two years of nominal operations results and eight months of definitive data from the extended mission orbit.
Electrostatic plasma brake for satellite deorbiting
Finnish Meteorological Institute Track: End-of-Mission Disposal Requirements and Activities
Electrostatic plasma brake is a novel tether-based de-orbiting concept especially suitable for satellites with less than 100 kg of mass. It is a spin-off of the Electric Solar Wind Sail (E-sail), invented in 2006 (www.electric-sailing.fi) and consisting of charged tethers transforming solar wind momentum into spacecraft acceleration through Coulomb repulsion. Also the plasma brake consists of a charged tether by which a drag with the surrounding stationary ionosphere is created. Unlike the well-known electrodynamic tether, the plasma brake tether only needs to carry the thermal current resulting from it remaining charged and can thus be made of very thin metal wires of some tens of microns in diameter. This reduces the mass and power consumption of the system relative to the electrodynamic tether. The tether is also thin enough that if it breaks, the broken piece does not threaten other satellites and will also deorbit quickly by its low ballistic coefficient. A cube-sat could be thus be brought down with a few hundreds of grams of electrostatic plasma brake. The first space test of this concept will be on-board the first Estonian satellite, EstCube-1, planned to be launched during 2012 (http://www.estcube.eu/). A year after that the first finnish satellite (3U cubesat) Aalto-1 (https://wiki.aalto.fi/display/SuomiSAT/Summary) will board yet a lengthier plasma brake tether to more accurately measure the effect.
A systems modeling approach for risk management of command file errors Leila Meshkat,
Track: Mission Operations Assurance A commanding error during space mission operations is often the symptom of some kind of imbalance or inadequacy within the system that comprises the hardware & software used for command generation and the human experts involved in this endeavour. As we move into an era of enhanced collaboration with other NASA centers and commercial partners, these systems become more and more complex and hence it is all the more important to formally model and analyze them in order to manage the risk of command file errors. This presentation will demonstrate a novel approach using a combination of Bayesian Belief Networks and Event Tree/Fault trees for this purpose. A summary of results obtained from the application of these techniques to anomalies observed on a sample space mission will be presented as well.
Lessons Learned for safer and economical instrument operations Dominick Miller,
Track: Mission Operations Assurance The MLS instrument on the Aura spacecraft has completed 7.5 years of successful operation, providing science data for more than 600 peer reviewed journal articles. MLS is a very complicated instrument and our initial approach to its operation was dictated by an abundance of caution both for the safety of the instrument and the spacecraft. However as our understanding and confidence in the instrument’s operation has matured, so has our appreciation for the risks associated with turning the instrument off as a fault management response. In this presentation we will present a few of the lessons learned during MLS Phase E with an emphasis on how these lessons learned can be applied during the design phase for more robust operations and a lower operating cost.
Enabling Technologies and Approaches to Integrating Commercial Space Transportation into
the National Airspace System
Program Manager for Commercial Spaceport Operations
FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST)
co-author Dan Murray
Space Transportation Development Division (AST-100)
Track: Commercial Space In the not-too distant future, commercial launch and reentry sites will be located throughout the country and throughout the world. Fleets of commercial launch and reentry vehicles will be operating regularly and routinely from these sites, flying suborbital trajectories between them or flying to and from orbit and beyond. These vehicles will be considered “operational” in that they will have demonstrated a level of reliability that allows for safe, efficient, and profitable commercial space transportation.
The FAA seeks to provide equitable access to the NAS for all users. The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation and its partners in the Air Traffic Organization are working to develop approaches to the airspace management of commercial launch and reentry operations that will maximize opportunities for commercial space operators to achieve their mission objectives, minimize the impact of their operations on the system, and maintain the current high level of safety that the air travelling public has come to expect. A number of technologies may become critical enablers of these approaches.
This talk will provide an overview of the approaches to integration of commercial space launch and reentry operations in the NAS being considered. It will also provide some background on these enabling technologies and the efforts underway to investigate and demonstrate their applicability.
Addressing Mission Operations Assurance for a Commercial Manned Near-Earth Asteroid Mission Michael Nayak,
Satellite Flight Test Engineer, Space Development and Test Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base
Track: Mission Operations Assurance Previous work by the author focuses on the prospecting of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs). Using current commercially available technology, the goal of this work was to estimate the feasibility of a human spaceflight (HSF) mission to the maximum number of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) possible, before the middle of the 21st century, with the ultimate goal of returning to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with mined materials of commercial and scientific value.
Private enterprise goals and HSF mission considerations bring several previously un-encountered issues into play. Mission time must be minimized while maximizing return and simultaneously balancing astronaut health and support issues. In such a scenario, the impact of Mission Operations Assurance and contingency planning can be both crucial and a hindrance to the commercial mission objectives. The recommended risk management approach is presented in three phases: travel to the NEA, operations in the vicinity or on the surface of the NEA and return to Earth, together with the trade-offs to opportunistic mission timelines and milestones.
Masten Space Systems Flight Opertions:
VTVL Reuseable Launch Vehicles
Masten Space Systems
Track: Commercial Space As a small business with public and private sector clients, Masten Space Systems routinely conducts dozens of liquid propellant rocket operations (including free flights, tether flights and static engine tests) each quarter. This presentation will provide an overview of the Company's approach to infrastructure, ground support equipment, regulatory authorizations, and vertical take-off vertical landing (VTVL) suborbital reusable launch vehicle (sRLV) flight operations in a high-tempo environment.
Economic Benefits of In-Space Propellant Delivery, Storage, Transfer and Manufacture
The Competitive Enterprise Institute
Track: Commercial Space The key to reducing space transportation costs, both to and from orbit, and in space, is to maximize reusability of the space transports to minimize the costs associated with manufacturing of single-use hardware. The key in turn to full reusability is to refuel vehicles, early and often. For example, without propellant cheaply available in lunar orbit or at a Lagrange point, propellant carried all the way from the earth surface costs more than the hardware of a lunar lander, making its reuse economically impractical. In addition, ubiquitous propellant caches at key locations allow vehicles to be smaller, saving even more on their operating costs in terms of propellant consumption. In this presentation, these and other economic benefits of in-space propellant production, storage and transfer will be discussed and quantified, and technological barriers, to the degree that they exist, will be described.
Solving the Orbital Debris problem posed by the ULA EELV Dual Launch System
Gerard (Jake) Szatkowski, ULA Rideshare Project Mngr, Denver CO
Mitchell Wiens, president of MMA Design LLC, Boulder CO
Austin Jurgensmeyer, ULA Trajectory & Performance, Denver CO
Track: End-of-Mission Disposal Requirements and Activities ULA is developing a Dual Launch System (DSS) capability for both the 4-meter and 5-meter EELV (Atlas and Delta) launch systems. The objective of the DSS system is to provide Dual satellite delivery to orbit and reduce mission cost to the spacecraft operations. The consequence of the DSS is that it deploys a large piece of launch vehicle structure into orbit. In order to adhere to the international agreements on space debris, ULA is working on methods to de-orbit this piece of debris and de-orbit the upper stage as well. This paper discusses the solutions that ULA with its partners are pursuing.
The MESSENGER SciBox Automated Planning System R. Joshua Steele, Teck H. Choo, Lillian Nguyen, Hari Nair, Michael Lucks, Alice Berman, Mark Perry, Peter Bedini
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Laurel, MD 20723
Track: Mission Operations Assurance MESSENGER SciBox is an automated, closed-loop planning and commanding system that has been used successfully to optimize orbital and extended mission science operations for the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission. MESSENGER orbital operations are challenging due to a complex orbital observing geometry, pointing restrictions imposed by the harsh thermal environment, and ambitious science measurement objectives (which often conflict with another), and limited downlink bandwidth.
In this presentation, we describe the use of MESSENGER SciBox in long-term planning and near-term execution. The long term planning includes helping instrument scientists to formulate mission-long observing strategies, while the near-term planning and execution includes weekly runs of MESSENGER SciBox to generate the most up-to-date command sequence for mission operation engineers, and interacting with the data management and archiving system to form a closed-loop system. This system avoids planning duplicate observations and aids in re-planning any failed observations at the next opportunity.
MESSENGER SciBox is an efficient science operations system that maximizes science return, improves system response, reduces manual labor, and reduces operational risks. Since MESSENGER orbital insertion in March 2011, MESSENGER SciBox has been used to plan science observations and generate command sequences for all 7 instruments, as well as spacecraft pointing and the radio frequency system. Even though there were several unexpected environmental events, MESSENGER SciBox allows the MESSENGER team to rapidly react to these events and ensure smooth operations. All observations have been executed according to plan, and MESSENGER has returned more than 70,000 images, and more than 2 million spectra.
Author of Moonrush: Improving Life on Earth with the Moon's Resources
Track: Commercial Space In Situ Resource Utilization is a fundamental enabler for the robust exploration and development of our solar system by humans. Without it, all human spaceflight missions are flags and footprints. With it humanity can begin the long road to the stars. The majority of ISRU studies have focused on oxygen as a principal product for make up gasses and or as a component for propellant. Steurer (JPL-82-41) went into detail to outline processes that would render metals as well as oxygen. Our presentation will go into extensions to Steurer’s work using advances in the technology over the intervening twenty years to outline a production system that will provide metals as well as oxygen. Further discussion of how the metals derived from this process can be seamlessly integrated into the building blocks for structures, ground vehicles and even spacecraft systems using traditional metals processing techniques as well as 3D printing technology. It is our thesis that the invention of 3D printing has fundamentally shifted the value of ISRU. Though many may consider this science fiction we are now to the point whereby large scale 3D printing systems in the vacuum environment of the Moon can be used to build large scale tanks for oxygen and hydrogen and a lunar surface constructed single stage to orbit tanker is well within our capabilities. This is a fundamental transformation in the enabling of cislunar space development, sustainable Mars development, and the economic development of the solar system.