Space Enabled Presents at the 2020 International Astronautical Congress


IAC 2020

IAC 2020

Monday — Wednesday
October 12, 2020 —
October 14, 2020

Since its first edition in 1950, the IAC has been THE place for all space people to come together and discuss about the latest developments in space. In these challenging times, when physical meetings are near-impossible, the Federation, more than ever, is determined to play its unifying role for the space community. And this is why the International Astronautical Federation has organized the 71st International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2020, as a Cyberspace Edition and to offered it without registration fee, free of charge for a global community

The theme of the IAC 2020 – The CyberSpace Edition will indeed be about the IAF Motto: “IAF Connecting @ll Space People. The IAF has understood that all the measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic that rely on social distancing and social isolation are placing a huge strain on communities. As the world is grappling with this massive challenge, the role of the Federation in the space community has become of paramount importance in connecting people back together. **Virtually and for free, we will embrace resilience by being connected together. 

Exploratory Methods and Techniques for Space Technology Development and Space Mission Concept Development

Lizbeth B. De La Torre, Danielle Wood

Session A7.1

This paper hopes to fill a gap in literature by framing the current state of exploratory design methods and techniques within space mission development and laying the groundwork to begin utilizing a wider variety of these methods and accompanying techniques. The purpose of this paper is to review the ways in which design methods and techniques used in other fields may be used in support of the space mission concept development process and space technology development. Designers are almost synonymous with the consumer product, automotive and entertainment industries. Fields such as Product Design, Transportation Design and Entertainment emphasize finding solutions to problems using exploratory design methods and techniques. Often, they are leaders in their organizations. However, there is not a direct appreciation or understanding of how to utilize these methods and techniques within aerospace. These methods have been shown to support mission concept development, however may also directly support technology development, as is seen in the consumer product industry. Evidence shows that these methods have sporadically been utilized by NASA for habitat design, software development and astronaut wearables. This paper explores opportunities within the space mission concept development process where these techniques are currently used and develops a design library of methods and techniques used outside of Aerospace that may be supportive of technology development. The current Pre-Phase A concept development process is mapped along with exploratory design methods used in other industries. Design Thinking is a heuristic problem solving method that can be applied to many fields. Human Centered Design and User Centered Design have been utilized for architecture and software development; these same tools could also be used to help inform the design of long term human habitation system on planetary surfaces. The Imagineering process is instrumental in theme park development; this paper argues it should also inform design of robotic science missions such as Mars Sciences. Science Fiction Thinking is a method of extrapolating future technology. How can this type of thinking inform the design of systems that aim to detect life in locations such as the liquid oceans on Europa and Titan? Techniques that are instrumental throughout these methods, such as storyboarding, sketching and prototyping are also defined. Interviews with employees within aerospace, consumer products and entertainment may shed light on opportunities and barriers to utilizing these techniques.

Crowdsourcing Indigenous Knowledge to engage alternative ontologies of Space Exploration: A case study among the Khasi of Meghalaya

Prathima Muniyappa, Danielle Wood

Session E1.9

Whether it was the pulse and bloom that is the lunar cycle, the iridescent swirls of dust that span across the Milky Way, the shimmering clusters of constellations that pinprick against the inky depth of the night sky. The vast canopy of space has had civilizations straining their necks skyward, seeding origin mythologies amongst the heavens, straining to make journeys that lay the horizon at their feet long before the existence of the nation state or the modern institution that is the corporation. Indigenous people the world over have a distinguished provenance of origin stories that invoke the cosmos. They have evolved centuries of rich cosmology and star knowledge that relate to space and its exploration. The Khasi are one such community, who trace their ancestry back to the stars. Hailing from the North eastern state of Meghalaya in India, the Khasi are an indigenous tribe who are famous for having evolved a synergistic technology of weaving living architecture by braiding tree roots into architectural structures, like bridges, platforms and stairs. Their origin mythology is replete with allusions to the cosmos, their origin mythology abound with stories of space travel to meet their sister tribes in the sky. It offers a wealth of nuance in considering space explorations relationship to the environment and climate change. This paper the design of a tool SCRIBE in a case study with the Khasi community to crowdsource and document oral histories, ecological memory and indigenous knowledge and practices relating to ecosystem management using new media. In crystallizing process into product and research into a technology that can be used for conservation, the paper seeks to dwell deeply on devising the methodology of interaction with the communities, on the co-creation of a structure of engagement, of humbling learning from both their knowledge and their ontologies to inform the design principles for a tool that can address the complex questions of justice that underly the politics of knowledge conservation. 

Using Earth Observation Data To Inform Community Management Of Invasive Plants And Traditional Fishing Practices On Lake Nokoué In Benin

Ufuoma Ovienmhada, Temilola Fatoyinbo, David Lagomasino, Fohla Mouftaou, Eric Ashcroft, Seamus Lombardo, Danielle Wood

Session B1.5

The research explores an Earth Observation (EO) 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 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. The acadja analysis is relevant due to the adverse effects on water quality that the practice results in. This paper is a follow up on the work presented in the 2019 contribution to IAC session B1.5 by the authors. New research in this paper includes (i) improved and validated remote sensing algorithms for monitoring water hyacinth extent, (ii) trend analysis and forecasting of water hyacinth growth with other environmental data sets, (iii) improved and validated remote sensing algorithms for identifying and quantifying acadja and (iv) analysis of water quality parameters describing the coastal ecosystem.

Space Sustainability Rating: Designing a Composite Indicator to Incentivise Satellite Operators to Pursue Long-Term Sustainability of the Space Environment

Minoo Rathnasabapathy, Danielle Wood, Francesca Letizia, Stijn Lemmens, Moriba Jah, Aschley Schiller, Carissa Christensen, Simon Potter, Nikolai Khlystov, Maksim Soshkin, Krisit Acuff, Miles Lifson, Riley Steindl

Session A6.8

The Space Sustainability Rating (SSR) was first conceptualised within the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Space Technologies, and is being designed by an international and transdisciplinary consortia including 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. With the increasing awareness of the rapidly growing number of objects in space, the implementation of a rating system, such as the SSR, provides an innovative way to address the orbital challenge by incentivising industry to design missions compatible with sustainable and responsible operations, and operate missions considering potential harm to the orbital environment and impact on other operators in addition to mission objectives and service quality. This paper builds upon the SSR concept introduced at the IAC in 2019, and provides in-depth description into the methodology used to design the SSR, based on successful rating systems in other industries such as LEED (green building energy and environmental design). This method seeks to provide a practice tool that governments, satellite operators and insurers can reference. The process also seeks to build capability among emerging space actors as they seek to understand how to design responsible space missions. The SSR is a composite indicator that is a function of the Space Traffic Footprint, measured through a mission index and compared to the so-called Environment Capacity and other measures of the responsibility shown by operator actions. The components of the SSR take into account mission aspects including onorbit fragmentation risk, collision avoidance capabilities, detectability, identification, trackability, data sharing, onorbit servicing, collision avoidance, debris mitigation, and adoption of international standards. The paper further explores key questions including; (i) what factors are most important to influence whether an operator seeks to reduce the potential for debris creation, (ii) how can the SSR can contribute to existing mechanisms (eg. UN Longterm Sustainability Guidelines, IADC) in supporting long-term space sustainability, and (iii) how can the SSR educate policy makers regarding manufacturers' and operators' motivations in choosing specific criteria and certifications in designing their mission to achieve a high rating or improve their existing rating. 

Interactive Model for Assessing Mangrove Health, Ecosystem Services, Policy Consequences, and Satellite Design in Rio de Janeiro Using Earth Observation Data

Jack Reid, Danielle Wood

Session B1.4.

There is an increasing need for tools to translate earth observation data into societally relevant metrics to inform human decision-making. To address this need, we present a multi-disciplinary, interactive modeling framework to advance ecological forecasting and policymaking using earth observation data. The Environment-Vulnerability-Decision-Technology (EVDT) Modeling Framework will integrate four models into one tool that can be adapted to specific applications; the four models address the following: earth science models of the Environment: Human Vulnerability and Societal Impact; Human Behavior and Decision-Making; and Technology Design for earth observation systems including satellites, airborne platforms and in-situ sensors The capabilities provided by this framework will improve the management of earth observation and socioeconomic data in a format usable by non-experts, while harnessing cloud computing, machine learning, economic analysis, complex systems modeling, and model-based systems engineering. This paper presents a prototype that demonstrates the viability of the framework via a case study: the mangrove forests in the Guaratiba area of Rio de Janeiro. These mangroves are vulnerable due to urbanization and rising sea levels. They provide a variety of ecosystem services, including serving as a mechanism for carbon sequestration, supporting subsistence fishing, preventing coastal erosion, and attracting an ecotourism industry. The case study of mangrove and community health in Rio de Janeiro demonstrates all four model components. The Environment Model builds upon work by biospheric scientists Fatoyinbo and Lagomasino to use earth observation data, cloud computing, and machine learning to track mangrove extent, health, and vulnerability over time for a 600 km2 area, as well as work by the ESPAÇO research group at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro on the local mangrove ecosystem. To build the Human Vulnerability and Societal Impact Model, we are collaborating with ecosystem services economist Suhyun Jung to explain how policies impact mangrove health and how mangroves impact socioeconomic wellbeing. To create the Human Decision Making Model, we have partnered with the Pereira Passos Institute (the data science office of the Rio de Janeiro municipal government) to understand the policy history and socioeconomic factors. The Technology Model accounts for the types of data collection used by policy makers since 1975. Through such collaborations, we are able to build an integrated, interactive decision support tool that policymakers can use to assess mangrove health, ecosystem services value, and policy consequences. The model helps answer such questions as: (a) What is the state of the mangroves over time? (b) How are human communities impacting the mangroves? (c) what is the value of the mangrove ecosystem services to human communities? and (d) what policies can improve human and mangrove outcomes? This case study is demonstrative of the viability of a similar approach for ecosystems around the world.

Leveraging Microgravity to Investigate Earth- and Space-Based Centrifugal Casting of Wax

Javier Stober, Alana Sanchez, M. Regina Apodaca M., Gladys Ngetich, Daniel Erkel, Juliet Wanyiri, and Danielle Wood

Session A2.3

A multi-year research effort aimed at increasing understanding of the centrifugal casting process of wax fuels for hybrid chemical propulsion in multiple thermal and gravitational environments is described. As both radiative and convective heat transfer drive the casting process, the suborbital and orbital microgravity environments are critical to disentangling these contributions to heat transfer away from the fuel. The experimental effort comprises testing on multiple platforms, including the ambient atmosphere of the laboratory, as well as various mobile microgravity platforms. Testing onboard reduced-gravity aircraft facilitates increased understanding of how these types of fluids perform in the microgravity environment, while a suborbital spaceflight and orbital platform under standard atmosphere allow for longer-term observation of natural convection sans buoyancy. An orbital platform subjected to the space environment facilitates understanding of the contribution of radiation to the heat transfer away from the liquid fuel. Each progressive testing environment requires updates to the experimental setup in order to accommodate respective physical and electrical constraints which are described in detail herein. An image analysis routine was developed in order to automate post-processing and determine the solidification front speed for each test. A rotation rate actuation routine is in development which aims to improve the accuracy of the centrifuge control system by leveraging electromagnetic sensing and feeding back rotation rate measurements to the motor driver. Preliminary modeling work was conducted which aims to elucidate the fundamental physics of the centrifugal casting problem; specifically, the impact of rotation rate, material properties, and environmental conditions on the heat transfer and fluid mechanics which constitute the larger casting problem. Both paraffin wax -- a solid fuel with two decades of heritage -- and the more novel beeswax are considered in this study.

Session B4.1 - 21st Workshop on Small Satellite Programmes at the Service of Developing Countries

Session Chairs:  Sias Mostert & Nathalie Ricard

Rapporteur: Danielle Wood

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