Tech Track Papers

Tech Track Papers Archive

JPSS-1 – Building the Nation’s Next Generation Operational Weather Satellite

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A new generation of Earth-observing satellites are making a dramatic difference in the ability of scientists to predict short and long duration weather events and long-term climate change. The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the next generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system for the United States. JPSS is a collaborative program between NOAA and…

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Radius of Curvature Matching System for a Space Based Segmented Telescope

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As space based telescopes continue to get larger and larger it has become necessary to split the primary mirror up into multiple segments. This allows for the telescope to be folded up within the launch fairing and deployed once on orbit. While there are obvious advantages with this segmented approach it is not without its…

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Demonstrating Autonomous Spacecraft Assembly with the Intelligent Space Assembly Robot

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Historically, larger spacecraft like the International Space Station (ISS) have been assembled over long periods of time using astronaut intensive assembly schemes. Not only does this approach add time and cost to the construction process, but it also ignores the maturity of robotic systems. Fully autonomous robots have the capability to accomplish tasks from sorting…

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Spacehand: The Next Generation On-Orbit-Servicing Tool

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Telecommunication and observations satellites are the backbone of many fantastic technologies and improves the life quality of billions of humans beings. Maintaining and upgrading a network of such satellites is, however, remaining a challenging and expensive task. The concept on robotic on-orbit servicing provides an elegant and cost effective approach to the challenge, allowing to…

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Event Detection from RF Sensing

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RF monitoring is currently underutilized in today’s Space Situational Awareness architectures. Providing RF situational awareness is critical to protecting C2 and mission data satellite links. According to Air Force Doctrine, SSA includes components of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), space environmental monitoring, and space warning functions. Monitoring of the local RF environment near a ground…

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Recent Events and Highlights in GEO SSA

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The rate at which space traffic density has increased has seen much acceleration in recent years. It is expected for this trend to continue as various contributors to the commercial space market plan constellations that are orders of magnitude larger than has been flown to date. Commercial companies, such as ExoAnalytic Solutions, have deployed ground…

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Responsive SSA – Responding to New Space and Old Problems

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The space environment is becoming complicated by the layering of new space system architectures and a diversity of new spacefaring entities layered on top of the existing derelict debris population. This dynamic situation will require more responsive space situational awareness (SSA) capabilities to efficiently respond to the changing nature of space operations without looking past…

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NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office at NASA HQ

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NASA and its partners maintain a watch for Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), asteroids and comets that pass within Earth’s vicinity, as part of an ongoing effort to discover, catalog, and characterize these bodies and to determine if any pose an impact threat. NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) is responsible for: • Ensuring the early detection…

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Wavefront Sensing and Control of the James Webb Space Telescope

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The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a segmented deployable telescope, utilizing 6 degrees of freedom for adjustment of the Secondary Mirror (SM) and 7 degrees of freedom for adjustment of each of its 18 segments in the Primary Mirror (PM). When initially deployed, the optical elements will be positioned to within a few mm…

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Advanced Lightweight Mirrors for Space-Based Missions

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There are many current and future space-based optical systems that are leveraging large aperture or segmented aperture primary mirrors. The growth in the aperture size is driving demand for new approaches to produce large aperture, space-based optical components and/or mirror segments that are more affordable and with faster manufacturing lead times than traditional optical components…

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