Keynote Speaker: Colonel Richard H. Graham, USAF (ret.)
The SR-71 Blackbird – An Engineering Marvel
The world’s fastest and highest flying aircraft was conceived as early as 1958 by the renowned aircraft engineer, Kelly Johnson. The gigantic leap in technology he and his engineers had to overcome at the Lockheed Skunk Works was phenomenal. Built in total secrecy, the first Blackbird flew on April 26, 1962. The Blackbird’s only purpose was to gather highly classified intelligence on hostile countries around the world. Flying at Mach 3+ speeds and cruising at over 85,000 feet, the SR-71 could survey over 100,000 square miles every hour, gathering in millions of bits of intelligence. When cruising at over 2,100 mph, with skin friction temperatures reaching 700 degrees Fahrenheit, the SR-71 performed at its very best!
Col. Graham’s presentation will discuss the evolution of the SR-71 and some of the major hurdles Kelly Johnson and his band of engineers had to overcome in order to reach Mach 3+ speeds.
Col. (Ret) Richard Graham started his flying career as a teenager, soloing out at age 17. He entered the Air Force in 1964 and flew 210 combat missions in Vietnam flying the F-4 Phantom. He then flew the SR-71 Blackbird for seven years on operational reconnaissance missions. He was Squadron Commander of the SR-71 unit in 1980 and eventually became the Wing Commander at Beale AFB, California, where he flew the SR-71, U-2, KC-135, and T-38 aircraft. Among his awards and decorations includes 3 Legion of Merit Awards, 4 Distinguished Flying Cross medals and 19 Air Medals. After 25 years in the Air Force, Col. Graham flew 13 years for American Airlines. He retired in August 2002 as a Captain on the MD-80 aircraft. He has accumulated over 14,000 flying hours.
He now keeps busy as an author, speaker, aviation consultant, flight instructor and Civil Air Patrol pilot. Col. Graham has written four books on the SR-71 and will be available to autograph and purchase at the end of the presentation. He was the 1999 recipient of the University of Nebraska’s William F. Shea Award for his distinguished contribution to aviation. In 2005 he received the Kelly Johnson Award for his lifetime achievements to the Blackbird program. He received the 2013 Congressional Veterans Commendation in November from Congressman Sam Johnson.
He is currently a Distinguished Lecturer for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He serves on the Leadership Council at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas and on the International Advisory Board of Directors at the Flight of the Phoenix Aviation Museum in Gilmer, Texas. He is also a member of the FAAST team for the FAA.
Monday Luncheon Speaker: Mr. Steven L. Rickman, NESC
History of Spacecraft Thermal Analysis, Then and Now
Steve Rickman joined the NASA Engineering and Safety Center in January 2009 as the NASA Technical Fellow for Passive Thermal. In this capacity, he leads a cross-agency Technical Discipline Team, leveraging expertise from within and outside of the Agency to solve high risk technical problems and foster a community of practice for the passive thermal control and thermal protection disciplines.
He began his NASA career, just prior to his nineteenth birthday, in 1981 as a cooperative education student at the Goddard Space Flight Center focusing on thermal-vacuum and structural dynamic testing. He transferred to the Johnson Space Center in 1982 and was hired into the JSC Thermal Branch upon graduation in 1985. Steve was named Deputy Chief of the Thermal Branch in 1998 and Chief of the Thermal Design Branch in 2002. He and his branch provided thermal technical expertise to the Columbia accident investigation. He served as the NASA lead for the Flight-Day-Two Object Radar Team and worked with the U.S. Air Force on this facet of the investigation. In 2006, he led the Tile Overlay Repair Development Team, focused on developing a repair for Space Shuttle tile damage.
Steve’s primary interest has been in the area of passive thermal control of orbiting spacecraft. He’s served on numerous design teams including the TransHab inflatable module project as lead environments engineer and lead thermal analyst. As the NASA technical manager, he led the development of the Thermal Synthesizer System (TSS) analysis tool suite. He was the thermal design engineer for the Inter-Mars Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter, the ISS Extravehicular Charged Particle Directional Spectrometer and the Mars Odyssey 2001 Martian Radiation Environment Experiment. He also developed concurrent engineering techniques for representing thermal protection systems in spacecraft thermo-mechanical stress models. He co-developed a general purpose on-orbit thermal environments tool which was used extensively during the STS 35 ASTRO-1 mission.
Steve has authored or co-authored 14 technical papers and conference presentations including public testimony given with the U.S. Air Force to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. He also authored a textbook chapter on natural and induced thermal environments. He holds a U.S. patent as a co-inventor of an innovative space station concept. He has received numerous mentoring, Group Achievement, Tech Brief and Space Act Awards and has been honored with the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal. In autumn 2011, he was named an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Rice University.
Steve received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and earned his M.S. in Physical Science from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Tuesday Luncheon Speaker: Ms. Mary F. Wadel, NASA
We Freeze To Please – Aircraft Icing
Ms. Wadel’s career has spanned over 25 years at the NASA Glenn Research Center. She holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a M.S. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Her work experience has covered a variety of technology areas such as rocket propulsion concepts and systems, cryogenic fluid management, aircraft icing, fixed wing aircraft, and experimental testing in wind tunnels. Ms. Wadel began her career doing experimental research and has since held several project management leadership positions in key Aeronautics and Space technology development programs. Currently, Ms. Wadel is Chief of the Icing Branch.
Wednesday Luncheon Speaker: Dr. Geoffrey A. Landis, NASA
Ten Years of Mars
Dr. Geoffrey A. Landis is a scientist at the NASA John Glenn Research Center. He was a member of the Mars Pathfinder scientific team, where he analyzed solar energy and dust on Mars, and is currently a member of the science team for the Mars Exploration Rovers. In addition to his work on Mars, he works on developing advanced concepts for spaceflight. He was one of the first fellows of the NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts, where he worked on analyzing new concepts for laser-pushed lightsails. He is currently working on future missions including the Solar Probe Plus, a spacecraft to probe the outer corona of the sun, design concepts for telerobotic missions to Mars, Venus, and the asteroids, and development of technology for in-situ resource utilization for the moon and Mars.
He has published four hundred scientific papers in the fields of photovoltaics and astronautics, and holds seven patents. Dr. Landis is also a Hugo- and Nebula- award winning science fiction writer. His novel Mars Crossing won the Locus award for best first novel. More information can be found at his web page.
Thursday Luncheon Speaker: Mr. Steven M. Iden, Air Force Research Laboratory
Optimized Integrated Multidisciplinary Systems (OPTIMUS)
Mr. Steven M. Iden is the Optimized Integrated Multidisciplinary Systems (OPTIMUS) Program Manager for the USAF Aerospace Vehicles Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate. He is a member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), SAE, and Tau Beta Pi. Mr. Iden has a B.S., M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton and has 30 years of experience in the aerospace industry. He joined AFRL from Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, where he led the F-35 vehicle systems improvements and derivatives team.
More efficient and capable high performance aircraft require highly integrated designs with energy balance considered at conceptual design. Propulsion, power, and thermal challenges require the knowledge and integration of complex systems early in the design. The OPTIMUS program was established by AFRL to bring new disciplines to the Multidisciplinary Design Optimization to address these challenges by developing new methods that merge conceptual and preliminary design.