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Nov 3, 2023

OSSTP researchers presents at ASCEND conference

Celvi Lisy 

During the Ascend Conference, Angela, Amanda, and I had the chance to present the research that we had conducted as part of the Olin Satellite + Spectrum Technology and Policy Group. We presented in the Autonomous Satellite Operations and Interoperability Across Space Assets session on “An Assessment of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and Policy Implications of Current Orbit Transfer Solutions.” Being able to present our research was an incredible opportunity and hearing the other technical talks in our session gave me a better understanding of the technology development happening in this field. In addition to presenting our work, I was able to attend several interesting technical sessions including the role of satellites in climate change monitoring and space agencies’ contributions towards monitoring greenhouse gasses, which are pertinent to the research I hope to do in the future. Overall, the Ascend conference was an incredible opportunity to present my research and learn more new technical developments in the field.

Amanda Chang, Angela Huang, Celvi Lisy, and Lilo Heinrich at the ASCEND conference

Amanda Chang

The ASCEND conference was a great experience in developing practical presentation skills, hearing about interesting new developments in the space industry, and sharing the research that Celvi, Angela, and I conducted. One particularly interesting talk recontextualized the space industry’s many separate missions into a lunar supply chain, complete with simulations of the most optimal ways to develop such a supply chain. The analogy between Amazon’s distribution system and mission planning was exciting work that I am glad to have been exposed to. Furthermore, I spoke with NASA facility coordinators and gained perspective on the career transition from being an engineer solely focused on technical work to becoming a manager focused on people. I also got the opportunity to meet the founder and CEO of Gitai, a Japanese space robotics company. The work their company does in creating construction robots meant for use on the moon was inspiring. Without ASCEND, I never would have heard of the company. ASCEND was an amazing opportunity and I am very glad to have been able to attend!

Angela Huang

I’m really happy to have been able to present the research Celvi, Amanda, and I have done on Orbit Transfer Vehicles (OTVS) within space sustainability over the past year at ASCEND. I learned a lot about research presentation, not only from practicing with my own team but also from hearing the various other presentations at ASCEND from other undergraduate students all the way up to distinguished professors and leaders in the field. I listened to presentations on topics such as launch opportunities and space logistics modeling of the future, reducing the specific mass of solar arrays, using inflatable docking adapters for impact reduction, economic incentives for orbital debris removal, and many more. I really appreciate that ASCEND took the time to put together such a diverse array of speaker panels and presentation groups particularly within the fields of space logistics, sustainability, and traffic management, which are becoming increasingly relevant as we look to build a genuine space ecosystem that can sustainably support human exploration and even settlement. It was also awesome to be able to speak and connect with other undergraduate aerospace students at the conference. I learned a lot about aerospace testing procedures as well from talking to engineers from Sierra Lobo, and about the work done within OTV start-ups (shoutout to Starfish Space!) with its unique system challenges for GNC and docking to a client satellite moving at thousands of miles per hour. There’s a lot of novel and exciting engineering currently happening in aerospace, and I’m grateful to have been able to get a great run-down of a lot of it at ASCEND 2023!

Lilo Heinrich

At the ASCEND conference, I presented research conducted with the Olin Satellite + Spectrum Technology and Policy Group on “The Current and Future State of Non-Geostationary Orbit (NGSO) Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) Interference Regulation Metrics.” This was a great opportunity to develop my presentation skills and raise awareness of radio frequency spectrum interference as a growing issue that threatens satellite systems alongside orbital debris. I also learned about technology developments in orbital debris mitigation and in-space assembly and manufacturing which related to my interest in robotics. One session I found particularly interesting was about resolving barriers to using autonomous space systems, in which speakers discussed the challenges of verifying autonomous systems and advocated measures such as fault detection and recovery and designing for verification. In summary, ASCEND was an amazing opportunity to share our research, gain practice presenting research, and learn about developments in the space industry. 

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