Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brown to Host Desktop Delta-V Emerging Space Technology Workshop

Desktop ∆V is a one-day workshop focused on the topic of safe propulsion systems that can be assembled and tested in a university or similar engineering laboratory setting.

The workshop will be hosted in Providence, RI at the Brown University School of Engineering with sponsorship from the NASA Space Grant Consortia of Rhode Island. 

In parallel we will collaborate in real time with a mirror workshop at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland taking place the same day.

A 'Meet and Greet' is scheduled for 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. February 16th (Wednesday evening before the workshop).

As with previous workshops, we anticipate spirited interchanges among those developing hardware technology and those developing mission applications.

For more information, please go to:

Who May Register?
Workshop registration is open to anyone able to bring relevant insight and expertise to an active discussion on the topic of Desktop ∆V propulsion and related space mission applications.

By invitation university students may attend with registration fees waived and lodging support to US citizen students traveling from a distance funded by the NASA Space Grant Consortia of Rhode Island.

See the Student Invitations for details.

US citizenship is not required to participate in the workshop. However, due to long-established restrictions written into NASA grants, student funding provided by the Rhode Island Space Grant Consortia is limited to US citizens.

Whether or not a US citizen, please refer to the last section below regarding ITAR considerations.

For any reason anticipated or otherwise, at all junctures we remain the final arbiters for who may or may not attend.

Through February 6, 2011, online registration will be $195. Beginning February 7th, online registration will be $250.
Registration the day of the meeting will also be $250.

The registration fee covers all workshop sessions, continental breakfast prior to the workshop and lunch in the Chancellor's Dining Room. Lunch will be buffet style and also includes vegetarian selections.

Registration fees are non-refundable.

For questions or concerns about any aspect of workshop registration please contact us.

Parallel Workshop with the University of Strathclyde
To challenge our thinking, offer added points of view and more easily include those from the EU into the discussion,  this year we have instituted overlapping meetings, one taking place at Brown University and a second at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, with dialog between the two during the day.

Workshop ArchitectureA critical mass of participation is lost in events involving a large number of attendees.. As with our previous workshops, we have set a limit of 50 paid participants plus ten sponsored university students from around the country.
(Please see below for student invitation details).
Desktop ∆V continues our highly effective conference
format, specifically:

  • 1-day intensity.
  • Affordable registration.
  • Key innovators from around the world.
  • Size limited for maximum interaction.
  • Informal, learning-focused, participative workshop environment.
The Problem

To build satellite projects quickly, inexpensively and creatively students, hobbyists, companies and government agencies often assemble small satellites without special precautions atop ordinary desks and workbenches. Whether chemical, electrical or mechanical -- 'propellant' stored aboard these satellites would represent a major safety hazard. Mainly for safety concerns, propulsion systems are removed from consideration. In the process, a host of mission possibilities are never seriously imagined. 
What about including propulsion to significantly alter an orbit? or to sustain a high drag environment? or to perform rendezvous and docking, or station-keeping, or formation flying, or perhaps to later bring itself and maybe a larger satellite safely down from orbit?
What about escaping from orbit altogether, or autonomous satellite operations in orbit around other planets? 
The desktop environment is far too risky for those sorts of propulsion engineering goals, and if truly a desired mission objective, desktop facilities must be abandoned, sending the satellite's cost into orbit while the project often stays on the ground.

Instead, those conceiving missions applications simply avoid parameters requiring high ∆V, and in the process banish whole categories of next-generation missions.

Without sufficient ∆V smaller spacecraft developers cannot hope to offer debris mitigation services, or multiple on-orbit inspection and repair missions, or even remotely consider interplanetary exploration and sample return flights.

In the absence of sufficient low-risk desktop-safe ∆V most microsatellites will remain relegated to modest missions flying close to home.

Our Response
Our workshop this year focuses on propulsion systems built, integrated, fueled and tested safely without contemplating airtight hazmat suits or concrete bunkers. 
Rather then revolving around more traditional trade-space anchors such as ISP, Desktop ∆V will address key question such as:
  • What desktop-safe processes exist?
  • Of these, which technologies exist on scales we might apply to micro-spacecraft?
  • If required, could systems scale to a smaller size?
  • How might high ∆V propulsion systems integrate into form factors we would like to build?
  • Where are the roadblocks to development and application?
As educators, we see the value in propulsion designs more easily explored by students pursuing the field. As engineers we further see this leading to a host practical applications ranging from higher ∆V nanosatellites to low environmental impact planetary space vehicles.

The Audience is the Investigator
Our goal focuses on bringing those developing technologies together with those investigating applications.
There is no audience per se. We are all co-collaborators. 
As we facilitate the workshop, organizers will seek to stimulate a wide variety of presentations and panel discussions on topics relevant to the central subject of Desktop ∆V propulsion while avoiding excessive overlap. 
To cast our net widely, the following are examples of topical areas under discussion (by no means comprehensive):
  • Where is work on Desktop ∆V happening? Who are the players?
  • Description of missions that can most benefit from Desktop ∆V
  • Project costs and benefits versus larger-scale propulsion systems
  • Special design and fabrication requirements (if any)
  • In-flight spacecraft performance capabilities and limitations
  • Unique maneuvering and stabilization methodologies
  • How 'safe' is 'safe'?
  • Missions made possible -only- with safer thrusters
  • "Killer app” missions that might launch a Desktop ∆V industry
  • Science opportunities - near earth - planetary - deep space
  • When will we see new Desktop ∆V flight hardware in space?
Workshop Structure
Morning sessions will cover emerging technologies with key examples. Afternoon panel discussions will further explore notions of desktop safe propulsion systems and the realities of hardware engineering versus mission objectives.
Morning Presentations...
In the morning sessions, prominent contributors to the field will present 20 minute executive summaries of their work with Q&A follow up. Topics will focus on Desktop ∆V propulsion in areas such as technical enablers, architectural concepts, operational logistics, development costs, and potential missions.
Lunchtime Poster Session...
Sharpe Refectory Chancellors Dining Room (map)
Participating students will present a lunchtime poster session immediately adjacent to the dining room.
Afternoon Panel Discussions...
The afternoon sessions will feature moderated panel discussions among a mix of system architects, technology experts, prospective sponsors (commercial and government) and mission designers, with a strong emphasis on audience participation.

The first session will discuss the nature of desktop safe propulsions as actually practiced with the goal of identifying those with the most promise of high ∆V propulsion.

The second afternoon session will brainstorm spacecraft concepts and missions addressing the best balance of desktop ∆V propulsion applications and the sorts of vehicles that might best benefit from this technology.

"Swag" Table
A table will be provided for those offering giveaway items representing your organization or any program related to Desktop ∆V propulsion.

Please let us know what you have in mind and we'll make sure to leave space for you.
PowerPoint Slide Presentation and Archive
Presenters are asked to bring PPT slides on a flash drive stick (please save as PPT or PPS - not PPTX or PPSX). All presentation slide files will be loaded into our presentation computer prior to the start of the workshop.

Presentation slides will be available for download from this website before the close of the workshop. A permanent copy of slides will be hosted here for future reference.

If presenters have concerns about slide publication - please contact us prior to the workshop.

Workshop speakers and attendees are reminded that some topics discussed in the workshop could be controlled by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

US Nationals, which are US Citizens and Green Card Holders, are responsible for ensuring that technical data they disclose to non-US Nationals in attendance is not export restricted by the ITAR.

Non-US Nationals are likewise responsible for ensuring that they do not disclose ITAR export restricted information to other non-US Nationals in attendance.

Website Updates
We will endeavor to maintain this site as accurately as possible. Other than actual paid registration, nothing written on this site or elsewhere (accurately or otherwise) constitutes a contractual agreement or offer.
Workshop Series
Desktop ∆V continues our series of workshops focused on emerging space technologies.
2008 - NLV -- Nanosatellite launch vehiclesPhotos
2010 - ChipSat -- Satellite on a chipPhotos