AIAA Rocky Mountain Section 5th Annual Technical Symposium
By Pamela A. Burke
On 21 October, the AIAA Rocky Mountain Section (RMS) gathered to celebrate aerospace/aviation technologies and interests important to the RMS community — from additive manufacturing, unmanned aerial vehicles/systems (UAV/UAS), SmallSats, and Mars exploration to international collaboration and political implications to the industry. For the fifth year in a row, the Annual Technical Symposium (ATS) attendees represented the full range of the Rocky Mountain aerospace community, including representatives from academia, government, and industry.
This year’s event was hosted at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) in the beautiful foothills town of Golden, CO. ATS participants found their day abundantly full with four parallel presentation tracks, a host of plenary presentations, as well as four panel discussions. Ample time was scheduled for networking and perusing the participant poster presentations, sponsor tables and displays, and static exhibits from several local UAV/UAS companies.
Mars emerged as a major topic for ATS 2016. The keynote speaker (Jim Crocker), both Diamond Sponsor (Lockheed Martin and Deep Space Systems) speakers, and multiple session presented on aspects of the history, current technologies, and future for exploring our nearest planetary neighbor. Capping this exciting symposium, Deep Space Systems provided a platform for participants to experience the Lockheed Martin “Mars Base Camp Experience” virtual reality system.
The day started with RMS Chair Brian Gulliver and ATS Chair Scott Tuttle welcoming the participants and sponsors. Scott then introduced the program kickoff speaker Dr. Kevin Moore, dean of the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences at Colorado School of Mines, who addressed the role of CSM and its graduates in aerospace technologies and applications. Rob Chambers, representing Diamond Sponsor Lockheed Martin, gave an invigorating presentation on the Lockheed Martin Mars Base Camp concept and provided convincing arguments about an evolutionary series of missions to viably achieve Mars Base Camp in orbit around Mars by 2028 – “MBC 28”.
After a morning of panels and presentations, the symposium attendees listened to keynote speaker Jim Crocker, former vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) International, give a presentation entitled “The Once and Future Mars,” which educated the participants on the history of human investigation of Mars stretching back 4,000 years — from ancient Egypt through the technical revolutions for the study of Mars to the future technologies that will make humans a spacefaring species and inhabitants of Mars. Later in the day, Steve Bailey, of Diamond Sponsor Deep Space Systems, presented a detailed technical assessment of the Lockheed Martin Mars Base Camp, supporting missions, and technologies in his presentation “The Case for Lockheed Martin’s Mars Base Camp.”
The morning panel, “Political Influences on the Colorado Aerospace Economy,” addressed both space and aviation issues. Tracy Copp, from Ball Aerospace and RMS Public Policy Chair, moderated this energetic panel that included Stacey DeFore from Teledyne Brown Engineering, the Colorado Aerospace and Defense Industry Champion Jay Lindell, LMSSC’s Government Relations Director Joe Rice, David Ruppel from Front Range Airport (Spaceport Colorado), and Scott Palo from University of Colorado (UC) Boulder.
Later, attendees could choose between the two mid-day panels – UAVs and smallsats. “The Future of Unmanned Aerial Systems” addressed the environment and applications of the growing UAV/UAS industry and was moderated by Allen Bishop, president and CEO of Reference Technologies, the developer of the Hummingbird UAS. Panel members included Constantin Diehl of UAS Colorado, Emanuel Anton from the law firm Polsinelli, LLC, Stephen Meer from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Tom McKinnon of Agribotix, Professor Brian Argrow of CU Boulder, and Bill Dunn from the FAA Flight Standards District Office.
“The Big Value of SmallSats,” moderated by Erik Eliasen, AIAA RMS Montana Chair and vice president for National Security Space Programs at SSC Space US, investigated different aspects of “value”: business value, mission value, enterprise value, and human value (STEM). Panel members included Mike Gazarik from Ball Aerospace, Rick Sanford from Surrey Satellite Technology, Rick Kohnert of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), and Debbie Rose of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). This panel held an engaging exchange with the audience that continued through the rest of the day.
The closing panel, “International Collaboration in Aerospace,” was moderated by Kay Sears, vice president of Strategy and Business Development for LMSSC. Joining her was an impressive panel that included the NASA Orion Program Assistant Program Manager Paul Marshall, Vice President of Business Development at Sierra Nevada Corp. John Roth, Vice President of Business Development at Teledyne Brown Engineering Scott Alexander, and Director of Engineering at LASP Michael McGrath.
As the day came to an end, ATS Chair Scott Tuttle closed the symposium and thanked all participants and sponsors. ATS 2016 was honored to have several returning sponsors whose support of this event demonstrates their continued interest in supporting the local community and their influence on its future. In addition to the Diamond Sponsors (Lockheed Martin and Deep Space Systems), there were three Platinum sponsors – Red Canyon Engineering and Software, Advanced Solutions Inc., and Ball Aerospace; and seven Gold sponsors – Surrey Satellite Technology US, Sierra Nevada Corp., ISYS Technologies, Teledyne Brown Engineering, SEAKR Engineering, Colorado Space Business Roundtable (CSBR), and Bristol Brewing Company.
There were 247 registered attendees at ATS 2016, of which 23% were students. ATS again was able to offer a discount for new professional members resulting in nine new members (2 professional, 3 young professional, and 4 students) signing up at symposium and several more taking applications. The success of ATS 2016 helps support several RMS events and initiatives including the new RMS Scholarship within the AIAA Foundation.
The 6th Rocky Mountain Section ATS will be hosted by Metropolitan State University of Denver in October 2017. For additional information and photos about RMS ATS 2016 and other RMS events, please visit the RMS website www.aiaa-rm.org.
Atlanta Warbird Weekend
by Ken Philippart
Members of the AIAA Greater Huntsville Section (Alan and Suzanne Minga, Mike Pessin, Arloe Mayne, Sean Wang, Jennifer Shu-Wang, Zoe Wang, and Ken and Lisa Philippart) headed to Atlanta, GA, the last weekend in September to attend the third annual Atlanta Warbird Weekend. Warbird Weekend commemorates the aircraft and more importantly, the brave men and women, who participated in World War II. This year marked the 75th anniversary of the American Volunteer Group (AVG), better known as the Flying Tigers. Almost 40 aircraft lined the ramp with close to 20 World War II veterans attending. Throughout the day, veterans talked about their experiences while historians provided summaries of operations and other perspective on the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater. Two surviving members of the AVG were on hand to discuss their experiences with a backdrop of the Flying Tigers’ steeds, five P40 pursuits.
Warbird rides were available throughout the day and the sight of Mustangs, Texans, and other WWII aircraft regularly taking off and landing was a sight to behold. Two AIAA members took to the skies to experience WWII-era aviation firsthand. Arloe Mayne flew in a Fairchild PT-19A trainer and Ken Philippart hopped aboard a DC-3 to see what passenger travel was like 70 years ago. The DC-3 is unpressurized and with the day’s 96-degree temperatures, passenger comfort left a lot to be desired. Dr. Mayne commented that his flight was very comfortable; he flew with the canopy pushed back the entire time and the 100-knot wind kept things cool.
A Curtiss C-46 Commando and Douglas C-47 Skytrain were also on static display and open for tours. Re-enactors in authentic WWII uniforms conducted a simulated mission briefing in front of the aircraft followed by a question-and answer-session with veterans who had flown the Hump route during the war to make history come alive. Lt. Col. Dick Cole, U.S. Air Force (retired), the last surviving member of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, was on hand signing autographs and meeting visitors. Lt. Col. Cole, at 100 years old, shared his experiences as Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot during the 1942 raid and subsequent experiences flying the Hump in the CBI theater. The day concluded with the contingent of five P-40s performing several formation flybys in front of the crowd.
On Sunday, the group went on a tour of the Delta Flight Museum. Ms. Jolie Elder of the AIAA Atlanta Section joined Greater Huntsville for the museum tour, tracing Delta Air Lines’ history from its beginnings as a crop dusting service to the major American carrier that it is today. Interior tours of historic aircraft and interactive displays were highlights. The members hatched preliminary ideas for future collaboration between the Atlanta and Greater Huntsville Sections.
The Atlanta Warbird weekend trip was a great way to meet fellow AIAA members, share our love of flying machines, and learn about WWII aviation from the legendary pilots who flew them and the patriot maintainers who kept them in the air.
Fleet Scholarships Awarded by AIAA San Diego Section
The AIAA San Diego Section awarded the Reuben H. Fleet Scholarships at the AIAA San Diego Honors and Awards Banquet on 25 April 2016. Since 1983, 184 students have received the scholarship, made possible by the Reuben H. Fleet Foundation at The San Diego Foundation.
Albuquerque Section Participates in Local Middle School Career Fair
by Robert Malseed, AIAA Albuquerque Section Treasurer
In November, members of the AIAA Albuquerque Section presented a booth at the Lincoln Middle School Career Fair in Rio Rancho. Elfego Pinon, Robert Malseed, and Linda Malseed talked with students to encourage them to consider careers in STEM. A multitude of students came by with questions about careers. Members handed out brochures about aerospace engineering as well as some fun toys that had been provided by AIAA Headquarters. A major item of interest was the Microsoft Flight Simulator software, as dozens of students tried their hand at flying.
Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics Hosts First “WIAA Night”
In November, Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics (WIAA), with the support of the University of Maryland’s (UMD) Aerospace Engineering Department, AIAA Diversity Working Group, The Aerospace Corporation and The Boeing Company, hosted the first-ever WIAA Night. This night was a celebration of the organization’s accomplishments since its founding in 2015 and an opportunity to thank our sponsors and supporters.
WIAA President Kim Westbrook welcomed the 30-plus attendees and explained the purpose of WIAA and provided an overview of the accomplishments from the past two years. Dr. Norman Wereley, UMD Aerospace Department Chair and AIAA Fellow, welcomed everyone to the university and commended WIAA for their commitment. Merrie Scott, development director of the AIAA Foundation, and Mary Snitch, senior staff of Industry Organizations at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and AIAA Fellow, both spoke on behalf of the AIAA Foundation and the AIAA Diversity Working Group.
The highlight of WIAA Night was the keynote address from Catherine J. Steele, senior vice president of The Aerospace Corporation’s National Systems Group and AIAA Associate Fellow. Ms. Steele, using her personal experiences, provided tips for young professionals entering the workforce. The talk was impactful and inspiring.
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