These conversations with experts will cover a spectrum of timely topics including programs, systems, policy, operations, applications, platforms and more! Delve deep into subjects like hybrid electric propulsion systems, additive manufacturing, and assuring critical system behavior—just to name a few.
NRC Low-Carbon Aviation Report and Recommendations
Monday, 25 July, 09:30 - 12:00 hrs
In 2015, NASA commissioned the National Research Council to convene a committee to develop a national research agenda with the objective of reducing life-cycle carbon emissions from commercial aviation. The recommended research agenda consists of a prioritized set of research projects of importance to the national and international commercial aeronautics community, and focuses on advances in technologies and capabilities that can only be achieved through substantial research and technology development. Specifically, the committee focused on new or more highly efficient propulsion (such as hybrid-electric) and energy systems (such as biofuels, batteries, and fuel cells). These include consideration of the opportunities and challenges that changes in propulsion and energy technologies have for aircraft configurations, airline operational models, and infrastructure integration.
- Marty Bradley, Technical Fellow, Boeing (moderator)
- Alan Angleman, Study Director, Aeronautics and Space, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (formerly the National Research Council)
- Karen Thole, Department Head (Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering) and Professor, Pennsylvania State University
- Alan Epstein, Gas Turbine and Propulsion Integration Chapter Leader, Pratt and Whitney
- Mike Benzakein, Director, Propulsion and Power Center, Ohio State University
- Steve Csonka, Executive Director, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI)
Launch Vehicle Reusability: Holy Grail, Chasing our Tail, or Somewhere in Between?
Monday, 25 July 2015, 1530 -1800 hrs
The recent landings of first-stage rockets by SpaceX (Falcon) and Blue Origin (New Shepard) mark a technical watershed in the development of launch vehicles. Successful demonstration of this technology guarantees the ability to examine the effect of operation on flight hardware, and to understand differences between "as designed, " and "as performed." Advocates of reuseability also discuss the promise of opportunity for significantly lower costs, derived through reuseability of components and heardware. Others are not so sure, citing effects such as higher per-unit costs absent large-number production to drive costs in a different direction. The Space Shuttle program offered a form of reuseability for the main engines, solid-rocket boosters, and the orbiter, however "learning" in the form of evolution in design could not be implemented due to the development of only five orbiters. In this panel, we will discuss the basic principles and viewpoints surrounding reuseabilty, discuss both the economic and engineering advantages and challenges, and explore how eventual design evolution based on learning may change significantly how we build and launch boosters to lift payloads into orbit.
- Dan Dumbacher, Professor of Engineering Practice, Purdue University (moderator)
- Gary Payton, Distinguished Visiting Professor, United States Air Force Academy (panelist)
- Ben Goldberg, Vice President of Science and Engineering for Propulsion Systems Division, Orbital ATK
- Additional panelists to be announced
Nuclear Power for Distant Solar Systems Destinations
Tuesday, 26 July 2015, 1500-1800 hrs
The quest for understanding the origins of life and the solar-system are leading us deeper into space, as we "follow the water." Europa, Titan, Enceladus, and Mars are all critical destinations for finding water, organics, and other potential clues to important scientific questions. As we pursue robotic exploration - and eventual human follow-up to these destinations, the use of solar-power becomes more problematic at large scale and drives engineering solutions towards nuclear power sources. Recently, the United States has restarted the production of plutonium suited for use in Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermal Power Generators (MMRTGs), and technology is being pursued to develop advanced, stirling, brayton, and other energy conversion technologies. In this panel, we will survey the landscape of deep-space power, for both landed and "fly-by" missions. We will discuss the various pros and cons of different technology candidates, suitability of hardware for high-radiation environments such as the magnetosphere of Jupiter, and the prospects for future missions.
- Lee Mason, Principal Technologist for Power and Energy Storage, Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA (moderator)
- Rex Geveden, Chief Operating Officer, BWX Technologies, Inc.
- John Casani, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (retired)
- Leonard Dudzinski, Science Mission Directorate, NASA
- Susan Voss, President, Global Nuclear Networks Analysis, LCC
- Steve Clement, Senior Technical Advisor, Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Additional panelists to be announced