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  • SERC Seminar

    Tue, Nov 28, 2023 @ 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Astronautical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: David Miller, NASA-JPL

    Talk Title: If You Cannot Create Space in Your Lab, Create Your Lab in Space

    Abstract: Experimentation is an essential step in maturing technology. Whether it is to measure new phenomena, assess the repeatability and reliability of components, calibrate simulations, determine performance limits, identify operational drivers, or to demonstrate to a decision-maker that the technology works in an operational environment, those experiments must be conducted in an operationally authentic environment. For space, those environments include thermal, radiation, vacuum, lighting conditions, orbital dynamics, the “view,” and long-duration micro-gravity. The first four can be tested to some fidelity in ground-based chambers but the latter three require testing in space.
    Analogous to a wind tunnel, testing in long duration micro-gravity allows a formative technology to be tested, under nominal and (more importantly) off-nominal conditions, without harm to the technology, the operator and the platform. This talk will illustrate the use of Shuttle, Mir and the International Space Station as research platforms for maturing space technology whose behavior is dependent upon long duration micro-gravity. This will be done through the lens of three evolvable research facilities that the presenter’s laboratory at MIT developed over the past three decades.

    Biography: David W. Miller is the former Director of the Space Systems Laboratory and the Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor (Post Tenure) in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at M.I.T. Prof. Miller has played an engineering role in the development of space-based apertures.  He has built and operated a dozen space flight experiments spanning Shuttle, Mir, ISS, and free flyers. He was a member of the JWST Product Integrity Team and the Vice Chair and S&T Chair of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He served two and a half years as NASA's Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC and three years as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at the Aerospace Corporation. He is currently the Chief Technologist for the Astronomy and Fundamental Physics Directorate at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and an AIAA Fellow and member of the National Academy of Engineering.

    Host: ASTE Department

    Location: Hedco Pertroleum and Chemical Engineering Building (HED) - 116

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Dell Cuason

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