Space Enabled Presents at the 2021 International Astronautical Congress




Saturday — Saturday
October 23, 2021 —
October 30, 2021

The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is the world’s premier space event. High-level stakeholders from space agencies and institutions around the world come together under one roof to exchange information and ideas, to share developments and advances, to swap insights, strategies and rising trends. In 2021, in a first for the country and a first for the entire region, it will be held in the UAE.

The Space Enabled research group will present 12 research papers at the International Astronautical Congress in Dubai, October 25-29. Several team members won scholarships to participate in the conference, including Ufuoma Ovienmhada, winner of the Future Space Leaders Award, and Gladys Ngetich, selected as an Emerging Space Leader by the International Astronautical Federation. The research papers share work on designing for sustainability and social justice on Earth and in space.


Space Enabled

In addition to the papers below, several Space Enabled members won awards and earned recognition related to IAC 2021:

Dr. Gladys Ngetich was named a 2021 IAF Emerging Space Leader.  The 25 students and young professional recipients of the award were chosen by the IAF Emerging Space Leaders Sub-Committee composed of nine highly experienced space stakeholders.

Ufuoma Ovienmhada was  one of seven young professionals chosen for the 2021-2022 Future Space Leaders Foundation (FSLF) Grant Program, intended for U.S. graduate students and young professionals who are pursuing space- and satellite-related careers.

Jack Reid and Golda Nguyen received a 2021 Soffen Memorial Fund Travel Grant. On behalf of the NASA Academy Alumni Association, the Gerald A. Soffen Memorial Fund Committee selected Nguyen and Reid "given their interdisciplinary work, impressive research successes so far, and history of service," in light of which "[the Committee was] pleased to support [their] attendance at the 72nd International Astronautical Congress."

Seamus Lombardo was selected via the Next Generation Plenary to share a young professionals presentation. He will present in the International Student Zone at IAC on Wednesday, October 27 at 13:00 Dubai Time.

Prof. Danielle Wood will chair the session called "UN/IAA Workshop on Small Satellite Programs at the Service of Developing Countries," Tuesday at 9:45 Dubai Time.

Space Enabled Papers Presented at IAC 2021:

Learning from asynchronous, space-based telemedicine systems to support spinoffs for Earth-based healthcare

Golda Nguyen, Danielle Wood

October 26, 2021 - 14:45, paper order 2

Session 2. Is Space R&D Truly Fostering A Better World For Our Future?


Telemedicine is a unique mode of healthcare delivery that provides medical care and support to patients at a remote distance. Throughout the history of human spaceflight, telemedicine has been essential to monitoring and supporting crew physiological and behavioral health on spaceflights to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), the International Space Station (ISS), the Moon, and hopefully one day to Mars and beyond. When considering crewed exploration missions to Mars, such missions will require new architectures of asynchronous telemedicine where communications between the astronaut crew and Earth-based medical support will be delayed by the vast distances that radio signals must travel between the two planets. Many of the constraints to resources and expertise for deep space telemedicine have interesting parallels to constraints that patients on Earth may face with telemedicine access, such as for patients in rural areas or individuals with intermittent or nonexistent telecommunications infrastructure. These shared constraints present a research and development (R&D) opportunity to collaborate and transfer potential knowledge and technology toward the design of new asynchronous telemedicine architectures for resource-constrained environments. This opportunity to advance Earth-based telemedicine through space-based lessons and development is well aligned with the mission of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by UNOOSA (United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs) and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in 2020 to foster international collaboration and dissemination of space benefits for Earth. To examine pathways for fostering benefits from space medicine to Earth based medicine through this MOU, this work analyzed the telemedicine knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) ecosystems at UNOOSA and NASA using systems architecture principles. These analyses were conducted by systematically characterizing the stakeholders that operate in these environments, the objectives they seek to meet, the actions (functions) they can perform, the mechanisms (forms) through which they conduct actions, and the constraints and context that bound these systems. The development of systems architecture frameworks yielded insight on challenges to international and intergovernmental collaboration including variation in action mechanisms (such as presence or lack of policy levers), variations in telecommunications and medical infrastructure and expertise, and differences in development timelines for deep space versus Earth-based telemedicine. However, the analyses also highlighted potential opportunities for expanding collaboration and engagement between longstanding and emerging space actors, building capacity of STEM and medical capabilities, and fostering further co-development between space and health domains to deliver more immediate benefits for Earth-based systems. 

Centrifugal Casting of Paraffin Wax: Numerical Simulation - Influence of Rotational Speed, Fluid Viscosity, Tube Diameter, and Volume Fill Fraction

Gladys Ngetich, Javier Stober, Danielle Wood

October 27, 2021 - 10:15, paper order 5

Session 4. Solid and Hybrid Propulsion (2)


The centrifugal casting process is an effective method of producing hollow casts including rocket fuel grains. In the centrifugal casting process, centrifugal force spins high-density fluid in a partially filled tube towards the walls whereas low-density fluid migrates towards the center of the tube forming a thin-walled hollow cast after solidification.

Fluid properties, as well as casting tube geometrical parameters like length and diameter, have a direct impact on the quality of the final cast product in the centrifugal casting process. To further understand, predict various heat and mass flow phenomena, and even optimize the centrifugal casting process, it is necessary to study, both through experiments and numerical simulations, fluid flow patterns in the centrifugal casting process. This research paper numerically investigates the influence of rotational speed, fluid viscosity, tube diameter, and volume fill fraction in the centrifugal casting process of paraffin wax. 

The present numerical research work is the first phase of an extensive series of numerical work that is currently underway in the Space Enabled Research Group, MIT. The numerical work, aside from validating the experiments that have been conducted by the group, will facilitate further understanding of the fluid mechanics and heat transfer mechanism of centrifugal casting; the overarching aim being to better understand centrifugal casting to be able to produce better fuel grains both on Earth and in space.

Commercial CFD solver ANSYS Fluent was employed in the numerical simulations. In the present simulations the following four parameters were considered: 1. liquids viscosity (water, SAE 5W-30 motor oil, paraffin wax dotriacontane C32H66) 2. rotational speeds, RPM (1000 RPM, 2220 RPM, and 3000 RPM) 3. centrifugal casting tube diameter, d (12.5 mm, 25.4 mm and 50.8 mm) 4. Liquid volume fill fraction, (50%, 86.5% and 95%). In all these simulations, a 2D cross-sectional slice of the centrifugal casting tube was considered.

It was found, as it was expected, that viscosity played a major role in the centrifugal casting process - with high viscosity liquids like SAE 5W-30 motor oil forming a smooth reliable annulus much faster, even at relatively lower rotational speeds, unlike low viscosity liquids like water. In addition, it was noted that an annulus was formed faster at higher RPM, for larger casting tube diameter, and lower volume fill fraction.

Design and Analysis for Centrifugal Casting of Wax on Suborbital and Orbital Platforms

Javier Stober, Maria Regina Apodaca Moreno, Alana Sanchez, Anika Kamath, Dinuri Rupasinghe, Gladys Ngetich, Jackson Zhang, Danielle Wood

October 27, 2021 - 14:45, paper order 1

Session 3. Microgravity Experiments from Sub-Orbital to Orbital Platforms


Centrifugal casting of paraffin and beeswax has been shown to reliably yield hybrid rocket fuel grains with superior structural integrity compared to those produced via drip casting [1].  As waxes are increasingly considered as fuels for in-space propulsion, the ability to centrifugally cast wax in the microgravity environment of low Earth orbit requires in-depth investigation.  Prior work demonstrated the successful miniaturization of the centrifugal casting process for both laboratory and microgravity experimental setups [2-4].  Those papers reported results from two parabolic trajectory aircraft microgravity flights with the Zero G Corporation alongside tabletop experiments.

Currently, four microgravity flights are scheduled for the upcoming year: a third aircraft flight scheduled for 2021, two suborbital spaceflights onboard the Blue Origin New Shepard vehicle, and a 30-day mission within the Destiny module of the ISS scheduled for launch in summer 2021.  The initial New Shepard flight experiment is constrained to a 2U form factor, while the second flight experiment will benefit from the 25X greater volume of a single payload locker.

This paper describes the approach to design and analysis for each of these three experimental platforms and details the adaptations made to the centrifugal casting experiments to meet various environmental demands, including mass, volume, power, and thermal requirements.  Notably, the casting experiment requires local temperatures in excess of 50 deg C to melt the wax prior to casting, and extensive thermal modeling was conducted in order to ensure that neighboring experiments were not adversely affected.

An image analysis technique was developed and employed in each case to automate the process of determining instantaneous solidification rates in the molten wax for various centrifuge rotation rates.  The solidification rate influences material properties of the wax and is corroborated by a parallel in-depth modeling study conducted by Ngetich et al. [5].

Vida Decision Support System: An International, Collaborative Project for COVID-19 Management with Integrated Modeling

Jack Reid, Seamus Lombardo, David Lagomasino, Eric Ashcroft, Mary Bracho, Mohammad Jalali, Amanda Payton, Katlyn Turner, Maggie Zheng, Danielle Wood

October 27, 2021 - 15:15, paper order 5

Session 2. Integrated Applications End-to-End Solutions


The Vida Decision Support System (Vida) is an application of the Environment-Vulnerability- Decision-Technology (EVDT) integrated modeling framework specifically aimed at COVID-19 impact and response analysis. The development of Vida has been an international collaboration involving multidisciplinary teams of academics, government officials (including public health, economics, environmental, and demographic data collection officials), and others from six states: Angola, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States. These collaborators have been involved with the identification of decision support needs, the surfacing and creation of relevant data products, and the evaluation of prototypes, with the vision of creating an openly available online platform that integrates earth observation instruments (Landsat, VIIRs, Planet Lab’s PlanetScope, NASA’s Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, etc.) with in-situ data sources (COVID-19 case data, local demographic data, policy histories, mobile device-based mobility indices, etc.). Vida both visualizes historical data of relevance to decision-makers and simulates possible future scenarios. The modeling techniques used include system dynamics for public health, EO-based change detection and machine learning for environmental analysis, and discrete-event simulation of policy changes and impacts. In addition to the direct object of this collaboration (the development of Vida), collaborators have also benefited from sharing individual COVID-19-related insights with the network and from considering COVID-19 response in a more integrated fashion. This work outlines the Vida Decision Support System concept and the EVDT framework on which it is based. The international team is using Vida to evaluate the outcomes in several large cities regarding COVID cases, environmental changes, economic changes and policy decisions. It provides an overview of the overlapping and diverging needs and data sources of each of the collaborating teams, as well as how each of those teams have contributed to the development of Vida. The current state of the Vida prototypes and plans for future development will be presented. Additionally, this work will discuss the lessons learned from this development process and their relevance to other integrated applications.

MAD: An Experiment For Material Adhesiveness Determination On-Board The Emirates Lunar Mission's Rashid Rover

Sara AlMaeeni, Sebastian Els, Javier Stober, Amna Busoud, Yarjan Abdul Samad, Carlo Iorio, Danielle Wood, Hamad Almarzooqi

October 28, 2021 - 14:45, paper order 15

Session IP. Interactive Presentations - IAF Space Exploration Symposium


Lunar dust is a major concern for any lunar surface mission. Due to its very abrasive nature, and its electrostatic charge, lunar dust has the tendency to stick to almost anything it gets in contact with. It is therefore necessary to develop materials and surface treatments which are repellent to that type of contamination. To test such developments, it is ultimately needed to obtain in-situ data of the adhesiveness of different material samples to lunar dust. To do so, the experimental setup MAD - Material Adhesiveness Determination – as part of the Rashid rover of the Emirates Lunar Mission is presented. MAD employee several wheels of the rover’s mobility system, as platform to repeatedly expose different materials to the lunar surface regolith. The material samples will be mounted on neighbouring elements of the wheel surface. Hence, when the rover is moving, these different samples will be put in contact with the lunar surface in a controlled manner. Among the materials, also Graphene based composites and structures developed in a collaborative effort of the University of Cambridge and the Free University of Brussels are foreseen to be integrated to MAD as part of novel materials investigated for lunar applications. Another proposed component of the MAD experiment that is under study for potential inclusion in the Emirates Lunar Mission is a Passive Regolith Sampler, being developed by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The PRS will be further introduced elsewhere in this conference (Stober). Observing those samples during drive operations by means of an optical imager, the contamination of these samples can be inferred directly. Either determining the change in reflectivity of these samples, or change in color, will allow to estimate the surface density of the accumulated dust. Or, if the collected particles are larger than the optical resolution of the camera, a these grains can be spatially resolved. In this paper we present the measurement and operations concepts of the MAD platform for material testing in the lunar surface environment.

Intersectional Antiracism & Technology Design: Building Frameworks to Advance Justice and Equity in Complex Sociotechnical Systems

Katlyn Turner, Aditi Verma, Danielle Wood

October 28, 2021 - 15:15, paper order 7

Session 3. Innovation: The Academics' Perspectives


Technology, far from being an equalizer, often further entrenches or sustains hierarchies in our society such as sexism, classism, racism, ableism as well as other forms of discrimination. Whether considering technology across scale: (1) as Epistemology - the creation processes, norms, and ways of knowledge-making that become canon in fields like engineering and sciences; (2) technology as Artifacts such as cellular phones or satellites; (3) technology as Complex Product Systems such as a nuclear reactor or a rocket; or (4) technology as Sociotechnical Systems such as the nuclear or aerospace designs; and (5) technology as Ecosystems or Industries—assimilationist and exclusionary ideas about issues like class and race are enshrined into technologies during their conceptualization,development, design, and distribution within society. In order for technology at any scale to create and sustain intersectional equity—we consider a systems architecture analysis of the technology design process with the goal of producing equitable outcomes in society. How can engineers, designers, policymakers, and consumers use principles of antiracism and intersectionality to advance justice in technologies across scale: Epistemologies, Artifacts, Complex Product Systems, Sociotechnical Systems, and Industrial ecosystems? We consider technology as Sociotechnical Systems and Industries and use the aerospace sector and the nuclear sector as examples. The nuclear enterprise and the aerospace sector are two Industries which have historical overlap, and lessons may be learned from the other to create more antiracist and equitable outcomes within each. Developed in the mid-20th century, both Industries have dual-use civilian and military applications, due to which their development played a pivotal role in geopolitics and diplomacy during the Cold War. In early stages of their development, cooperation to create international treaties and norms attempted to set standards for civilian access and use of both aerospace and nuclear technologies. Both Industries have an air of technological prestige and are regarded even today as emblematic of modernity and national pride. All of this makes mastery of the embedded technologies desirable for states in the context of diplomacy and national industrial development. Both Industries face challenges today related to access, equity, and policy around issues like climate and environmental justice and techno-colonialism. The latter set of issues become especially important as countries from the Global South consider the development and use of these technologies even as they are predominantly regarded as technology buyers and markets by the Global North technology supplier nations We consider these two sectors within the context of systems architecture, antiracism, and inter

Earth Observation and in-situ data to inform understanding of water hyacinth growth on Lake Nokoue in Benin

Ufuoma Ovienmhada, Danielle Wood, Temilola Fatoyinbo, David Lagomasino, Seamus Lombardo

October 28, 2021 - 15:25, paper order 7

Session 5. Earth Observation Applications, Societal Challenges and Economic Benefits


The research explores an Earth Observation application with the enterprise Green Keeper Africa (GKA) based in Cotonou, Benin, that addresses the management of an invasive plant species that threatens economic activities such as fishing, transportation, and irrigation. GKA pays local community members to harvest the invasive water hyacinth and transform it into a product that absorbs oil-based waste. The EO application is an online observatory and decision support tool that utilizes satellite, aerial and ground data to map the location of the water hyacinth and a fish farming practice known as “acadja” over time, providing valuable information for government, private and public users. This paper is a follow up on the work presented in the 2020 contribution to IAC session B1.5 by the authors. New research in this paper includes (i) a qualitative assessment of the ability to monitor water hyacinth extent in rivers using data from Landsat and Sentinel satellites and (ii) the conceptual design of an online Decision Support System (DSS) for hosting satellite, aerial and ground-based data. We test the application of a combined Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and change detection analysis of optical data for the identification of water hyacinth in rivers. We also examine synthetic aperture radar data from Sentinel-1 for this application. We find that detecting water hyacinth poses challenges due to spatial resolution, accuracy of surface water layers, and challenges of using qualitative interpretation to inform a classification scheme. For the design of the DSS, we present the results of stakeholder analysis and demonstrate how stakeholder input maps onto functional requirements for the DSS. Overall, the study highlights limitations of applying satellite data for monitoring aquatic plants in small bodies of water and contributes to the literature on accessible and inclusive DSS design. 

Accessible Decision Support Systems Utilizing the Environment-Vulnerability-Decision-Technology modeling framework

Seamus Lombardo, Jack Reid, Steven Israel, Danielle Wood

October 28, 2021 - 15:35, paper order 8

Session 5. Earth Observation Applications, Societal Challenges and Economic Benefits


The Environment-Vulnerability-Decision-Technology (EVDT) integrated modeling framework considers the interactions between the environment, societal impact, human decision-making, and technology design to support decision-making. Local leaders in coastal communities in Indonesia and the Yurok indegnious community in California face societal challenges and related decisions regarding  the planting of mangroves to improve coastal resilience versus other man-made techniques to mitigate flooding, and the monitoring and protection of indigenous natural resources. The EVDT framework is being applied to develop accessible, web-based Decision Support Systems (DSS) utilizing integrated modeling and Earth Observation (EO) satellite data to support decision-makers seeking to address complex societal challenges at the intersection of environmental factors, socioeconomic factors, and technology investments. These DSS can provide a value added product to aid leaders in addressing these decisions by helping them understand complex relationships between these factors, adapt to changes within the community, and address the needs of multiple stakeholders. For both coastal communities in Indonesia and the Yurok tribe in California, the EVDT framework is being utilized to develop DSS that output descriptive and predictive models for decision-makers. These models allow decision-makers to examine historical data from environmental and socioeconomic domains and explore the relationships between these factors under different simulated conditions to evaluate potential policies or technological investments. These DSS make extensive use of EO observation data as inputs to environmental and socioeconomic models that employ cloud computing and use machine learning algorithms to  classify features of interest in the satellite data. These models can be employed by local leaders to analyze societal challenges at the intersection of environmental and socioeconomic domains such as where to plant mangroves to mitigate the economic impacts of flooding in Pekalongan, Indonesia, or quantifying the carbon sequestration potential of forests on Yurok tribal land for participation in the environmental policies of the California state government. This work details the EVDT framework and provides an overview of applications of EVDT to the development of DSS for use in sustainable development situations at the intersection of multiple domains. Prototype versions of DSS employing cloud computing and machine learning techniques in remote sensing analyses and integrated models are presented. Efforts to integrate local collaborators in coastal and indengious communities into the DSS development process to improve DSS utility and value are also discussed. Planned efforts for quantitative assessment of DSS by relevant end-users are also touched upon.

Modeling and Simulation of In-orbit Centrifugal Casting of a Paraffin Wax Grain inside a 3U Cubesat

Daniele Leuteri Costanzo, Keith Javier Stober, Danielle Wood, Camilla Colombo

October 28, 2021 - 16:39, paper order 8

Session 8-B4.5A. Joint Session between IAA and IAF for Small Satellite Propulsion Systems


Continued interest in paraffin wax as a high-performing hybrid rocket fuel motivates the investigation of the use of paraffin for small satellites. Shorter-chained paraffin waxes have been used as phase change materials for thermal insulation onboard satellites dating back to the Apollo missions, but paraffin has yet to be leveraged as an in-space propellant (1). The purpose of this research is to explore the possibility of using paraffin wax as fuel to deorbit small satellites, potential mean to tackle space debris mitigation.

Experiments conducted by the Space Enabled Research Group have been characterised by the use of paraffin as working fluid, with rotation rates ranging from 50-1500 rpm, and initial temperature of 75-100 °C. The expectations are that the microgravity environment will reduce the rotation rates required to cast the wax into the desired shape (2).

The work conducted by the authors investigates the possibility of performing centrifugal casting of paraffin into annular shapes while the spacecraft is in orbit. The adopted strategy considers using the wax as thermal insulator and, at the end-of-life, recast it as fuel to allow a controlled reentry of the satellite.

The workflow is conceived such that the wax will be melted and conveyed into the combustion chamber, which - spun by a DC motor - allows the wax to be shaped into a hollow cylinder, one of the most efficient shapes to burn the wax (3). Future extensions of this research will involve the design of a thermal bus capable of melting and conveying the wax inside the combustion chamber.

This work is developed under the assumption that the wax is already inside the combustion chamber, and the simulations conducted take into account the grain formation mode and the reentry trajectory design.

The generated model is based on the propagation of a quasi-ISS orbit including all relevant perturbations, coupled with the true attitude measured by onboard sensors. Then, these two are coupled with a multi-node thermal model used for a transient thermal analysis, which considers direct solar radiation, Earth albedo, infrared radiation and internal power dissipation.

It is shown that the stability of the spacecraft can be maintained with minimum effort, especially due to the low inertia of the rotating device. Also, with passive thermal control, the wax endures the eclipse-sunlight cycles and is kept below its melting temperature. The deorbit of the spacecraft can also be accomplished by considering the theoretical performances of the paraffin wax engine with one burn only, optimised to lower the altitude of the spacecraft enough to induce atmospheric reentry.

Implementing the Space Sustainability Rating: An Innovative Tool to Foster Long-term Sustainability in Orbit

Minoo Rathnasabapathy, Danielle Wood, Francesca Letizia, Stijn Lemmens, Moriba Jah, Simon Potter, Nikolai Khlystov, Miles Lifson, Kristi Acuff, Riley Steindl, Maya Slavin, Jean-Paul Kneib, Emmanuelle David

October 29, 2021 - 9:57, paper order 3

Session 8-E9.1. Political, Legal, Institutional and Economic Aspects of Space Debris Mitigation and Removal - STM Security


Given the growing number of government and commercial actors, and plans of mega constellations, there is a critical need to consider implementing tools that will incentivize space actors to foster responsible behavior and implement debris prevention and reduction measures in order to ensure long-term sustainability of the space environment. Over the past two years, an international and trans-disciplinary consortium consisting of the World Economic Forum, Space Enabled Research Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, European Space Agency, University of Texas at Austin, and Bryce Space and Technology have been working on the design and development of the Space Sustainability Rating (SSR). The SSR is a tool to assess and recognize missions that design mission compatible with sustainable and responsible operations that reduce the potential harm to the orbital environment and the impact on other operators. Designed as a composite indicator, the SSR consists of six modules highlighting key related decisions faced by space operators in all phases of the mission. These include the mission index to calculate the space traffic footprint; (ii) collision avoidance capabilities; (iii) ability and willingness of the operator to share data on the mission data; (iv) the mission’s detectability, identification and tracking; (v) operator’s compliance with standards and regulations; and (vi) commitment to use or demonstration of use of on-orbit servicing and external services.

Following the presentations at the IAC2019 and IAC2020, this paper provides a third installment of the design of the SSR, including an overview of the scoring methodology developed for each of the SSR modules. Prior to the SSR’s public launch, the consortium conducted alpha and beta tests on the SSR in order to gain valuable feedback from stakeholders. This paper will present the methodology of the SSR alpha and beta tests, subsequent feedback, and lessons learnt that have been effectively implemented into the design of the SSR to increase the usability of the rating system. In late 2020, the World Economic Forum announced a call for applications for the formal management and hosting of the SSR on a permanent basis. As the SSR transitions from design to implementation, this paper will further present the key criteria used to select the administrative organization, chosen to work with the consortium on finalizing the design of the SSR, and developing a business model to practically and sustainably executing the rating system.

The Potential Role of Satellite IoT in Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia

Ajie Nayaka Nikicio, Joga Dharma Setiawan, Wahyudi Hasbi, Danielle Wood

October 29, 2021 - 10:15, paper order 3

Session 4. Space Assets and Disaster Management


Indonesia lies within the Ring of Fire, making the country highly prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. The National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) recorded a dramatically increasing trend in natural disasters, with more than 2,500 events and a total loss of at least 10 billion USD just in the year 2018 alone. Having developed its local satellite development capabilities and recognizing this as an urgent issue, the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) published a conceptual mission design called the Nusantara Early Warning System. The proposed system shall be a LEO communication satellite constellation flying along the equator, providing 24/7 coverage for both pre-disaster and post-disaster purposes. This constellation aims to be a storeand-forward platform for many of the disaster monitoring sensors deployed all over the country, often in areas where cellular network is compromised. These sensors include seismometers, tsunami buoys, tidal gauges, and weather stations that are operated by national government agencies, mainly the Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG). Although many of them are already connected over commercial communication satellites, cost has always been an issue hindering the government from deploying sufficient number of sensors to protect the country entirely. Newer Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies such as the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) has over the past few years been getting widely adopted and validated due to its long range, low power, and cost-effectiveness. This paper will investigate how satellite IoT utilizing modulation techniques such as in LPWAN can play a role for Indonesia to monitor its geophysical/meteorological activities reliably and affordably; enabling abundant number of sensors to be deployed nation-wide. Concepts from System Architecture framework are applied to design and evaluate a system consisting of terrestrial sensors, communication satellites, and a disaster operations center. The paper will also discuss how developing, operating, and maintaining such a complex system locally can give long-run technological, economic, and social benefits for the country. Results from this study will provide LAPAN, BMKG and similar agencies with insights on adopting satellite IoT for disaster risk reduction toward their journeys on sustainable development.

Centering Indigenous Voices and Resisting Colonialism in Space Exploration and Policy

Frank Tavares, Alvin D. Harvey, Seamus Lombardo, Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar, Dava J. Newman, Danielle Wood

October 29, 2021 - 13:30, paper order 2

Session 9. Space Culture – Public Engagement in Space through Culture


Indigenous perspectives and an anticolonial framework are essential to an equitable and genuinely sustainable future in space. Often imagined as an extension of manifest destiny and western expansion, space exploration requires a reframing if it is to achieve its potential to be a catalyst for ways of living and forming community that do not reproduce the same destructive systems of western capitalism. By understanding the ways in which past and present systems of coloniality intersect with the space sector and centering the experiences of Indigenous peoples in space exploration, a new way of conceptualizing space exploration can potentially emerge. Centering these issues highlights both near-term policy questions around lunar exploration as well as longer term questions about how to envision interactions with potential extraterrestrial life and sustained human communities on other worlds. To explore these ideas, the authors organized a series of webinars throughout 2021 hosted by the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, with more events to come. The webinars address topics such as: 1) Indigenous perspectives on space exploration and the impact of a colonial mindset on the field; 2) near-term policy questions for lunar exploration; and 3) the role of astrobiology and opportunities for an anticolonial perspective to open up new ways to imagine potential futures in space. In this paper, the organizers of the webinar series present some of the key outcomes from the webinar series and the discussions it generated, and offer lessons learned from these concepts for the space community.

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