Extreme Spacecraft Engineering
Summary: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Space Exploration Sector has the privilege of conducting investigations of some of the most extreme places in the solar system for NASA. From exploring the Pluto system, 4.5 light-hours from Earth, to flying into the outer corona of the sun itself, or living in the Van Allen radiation belts around the Earth, APL spacecraft are (or will be) contributing to discoveries from one end of our solar system to the other. The challenges of delivering the science from these extreme environments at reasonable cost requires disciplined, innovate engineering. How these challenges are being met on the New Horizons, MESSENGER, Solar Probe Plus, and Van Allen Probes spacecraft will be discussed.
Biography: Mr. Dan O’Shaughnessy graduated from the University of Missouri with BS and MS degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering. After graduation, he joined the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) as a guidance and control engineer. He has been involved with MESSENGER since joining APL in 2000, previously leading the guidance and control team through cruise, Mercury orbit insertion, and the first year of orbit operations. Dan has also supported NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous), STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory), and New Horizons, in addition to working numerous research and flight projects in control systems, algorithm and software development, and autonomous on-orbit commissioning and calibration. He is currently MESSENGER’s Mission Systems Engineer, making him responsible for all technical aspects of the program. In 2014, Dan was awarded the inaugural Heinlein Award for Space Technology for his work supporting MESSENGER’s flight demonstration of solar sailing.
Challenges of On-Orbit Satellite Servicing
Summary: This presentation will review the challenges in simulating on-orbit robotic satellite servicing on the ground at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. These challenges range from using industrial robots to simulate space robot dynamics to testing refueling operations that are impacted greatly by microgravity. NASA’s ongoing Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) launched on the last space shuttle will be highlighted along with the specialized robotic tools built for the mission. Mission support such as communications, video, and operator interfaces will also be discussed.
Biography: Brian Roberts is the Robotic Demonstration and Test manager in the Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. His team is developing the capability to simulate the dynamics of a robotic system interacting with space objects and using industrial robotic platforms to simulate motion of space objects. The team is also maturing the robotic technology needed to perform operations in space. Before coming to Goddard, Brian spent 6 years as a research engineer at the University of Maryland. There he worked on teams that developed and tested various robotic systems ranging from those designed to service satellites and fly on the shuttle, to those that can put themselves together and take themselves apart in space, to those that assist physical therapists working with shoulder rehabilitation patients, to those that autonomously find and sample life at the bottom of the ocean. Most of his time was spent coordinating the design, assembly, testing, and operation of the systems and conducting much of the testing underwater in the lab’s Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility.
Brian earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and completed a Master of Science in the same field at the University of Maryland where he also completed coursework in Fire Protection Engineering.
Managing NASA Missions with Federal Budget Uncertainty
Speaker: Andrew Hunter
Summary: The federal budgeting process is complicated and somewhat frustrating given the system we work in. As a result of this complicated environment, stakeholders in the political system who influence the budget are pushed and pulled in many directions so the decisions they make can seem contradictory and hard to follow. Individuals can end up feeling there is no direct line from what they do to the outcomes they see (e.g., budget levels and program priorities). They can end up believing they have no “voice” in the system. In fact, individuals in our Agency, and our Agency leadership, do have a voice, and we can help ourselves work within the system. NASA works closely with Congress and the Executive Branch to determine our Agency priorities, define missions, and guarantee the funding to make them real.
Biography: Andrew came to NASA in a round about journey…he graduated with an Anthropology major from the University of Colorado/Boulder. He served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer and an additional year training new volunteers in West Africa. After return to the US, he earned a Masters degree in Public Administration from the American University in Washington. While getting his masters degree at night he worked at the Government Accountability Office and at the Department of the Treasury by day.
Andrew has been with NASA since 1988 where he started as a Presidential Management Intern with the Space Shuttle program. He also had a year detail at the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Management and Budget and 6 months working with the Spacelab project office at Marshall Space Flight Center. He then spent three years working in the independent assessment group within the office of the comptroller where he co-led (with technical counterpart) several Independent Annual Reviews of major agency programs whose status was briefed annually to the Deputy Administrator. Andrew then worked as the budget manager for the Earth Science Enterprise for 7 years. At the time of Science Mission Directorate creation, Andrew entered the SESCDP program where he went off and had some fun with a detail at the National Geographic Society, and served as Deputy for Human Resources at Langley Research Center. He took the position as Director of Resources, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate in the Fall of 2005, where he served until September of 2010. Andrew is now the Agency Deputy Chief Financial Officer (Budget, Performance and Strategy) where he oversees the Agency’s Planning Programming Budgeting Execution (PPBE) process.
Andrew enjoys riding his motorcycle, paddling local rivers, swimming and is active in his local Arlington community. He and his wife Carol share the everyday challenge and wonder of balancing work with raising four kids – one in High School, two in College and one in graduate school.
He co-authored a chapter on Budgeting and Budget Strategy in the latest 2008 edition of Applied Project Management for Space Systems, Space Technology Series.
Overview of the NESC and Support to Thermal and Aerosciences
Speaker: Steve Rickman
Summary: A brief history of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) and an overview of the work performed by this organization is presented along with some examples where the Thermal and Aerosciences disciplines have been used to solve key technical challenges.
Biography: 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. His primary interest has been in the area of passive thermal control of orbiting spacecraft. He 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 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. Steve 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 at Rice University. Mr. Rickman 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.
The lunch presentations will take place in the conference center’s ballroom. Each meal costs $18 (the government per diem rate). The meal will be a buffet including salad, entrée, side, and dessert. You can purchase these meals for any days you would like, so you don’t need to pay for a lunch on a day you won’t be attending. The conference center will accommodate all dietary restrictions. You can attend the talk without buying food, but outside food is not allowed in the ballroom, so you will not be able to grab food down the street and bring it in to see the speaker. If you buy lunches, tickets for them will be given to you as part of your registration packet. All food payments are due no later than July 20th.