Latest Space News
Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0100
We are proud to announce the third annual Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology conference will be held in Rome from the 30th-31st January 2018. Download Conference Agenda | Register to attend this Conference Reconnaissance and Surveillance are key to developing clear and accurate maritime situational awareness. In order to maximise their ISR range, Navies and Maritime agencies around the globe are looking beyond the atmosphere to provide new and advanced surveillance capabil...
Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:47:00 +0100
The propulsion system of the light-weight Angara 1.2 Launch Vehicle Service Module, manufactured by the Khrunichev Space Center (part of ROSCOSMOS State Corporation), completed successful hot-fire testing at the Federal State Enterprise "Rocket & Space Industry Research & Test Center" (RSI RTC) test facility (Peresvet, Moscow Region). The hot-fire tests are the most important and final stage of ground based propulsion system tests prior to flight testing. During the tests, specialists from...
Mon, 20 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0100
For the first time ever astronomers have studied an asteroid that has entered the Solar System from interstellar space. Observations from ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile and other observatories around the world show that this unique object was traveling through space for millions of years before its chance encounter with our star system. It appears to be a dark, reddish, highly-elongated rocky or high-metal-content object. The new results appear in the journal Nature on 20 November 2017. ...
Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:30:00 +0100
Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) has partnered with NASA's Johnson Space Center to successfully complete thermal vacuum testing for the James Webb Space Telescope - validating its ability to operate in the frigid space environment. The Webb telescope will be the premier space observatory of the next decade, and will study galaxy, star and planet formation in the universe. Harris' team helped safeguard the telescope in Houston during Hurricane Harvey and ensured uninterrupted testing - including ...
Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:31:00 +0100
Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, contributed to the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket as it lifted off Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, carrying the first Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) spacecraft. Orbital ATK's contributions to the Delta II include nine Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM 40) and a large composite fairing for the rocket. This event marks the penultimate launch of the Delta II rocket. It i...
Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0100
Twice as big as Earth, the super-Earth 55 Cancri e was thought to have lava flows on its surface. The planet is so close to its star, the same side of the planet always faces the star, such that the planet has permanent day and night sides. Based on a 2016 study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists speculated that lava would flow freely in lakes on the starlit side and become hardened on the face of perpetual darkness. The lava on the dayside would reflect radiation from th...
Sat, 18 Nov 2017 13:03:00 +0100
Today, NASA launched NOAA's next-generation polar satellite, the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, into space. Two Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) weather programs are mission-critical components of the satellite's mission: the JPSS Common Ground System and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite sensor. Svalbard, Norway, is home to part of a global network of receiving stations that process and distribute polar satellite data to users worldwide. Photo taken at Kongsberg Satellite Services plateau, ...
Sat, 18 Nov 2017 08:00:00 +0100
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket carrying the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) for NASA and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-2 on Nov. 18 at 1:47 a.m. PST. The JPSS program provides the nation's next generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system, delivering key observations for the nation's essential projects and services, including forecasting weather in advance and assessing environmental hazards...
Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0100
Landing on Mars is difficult and not always successful. Well-designed advance testing helps. An ambitious NASA Mars rover mission set to launch in 2020 will rely on a special parachute to slow the spacecraft down as it enters the Martian atmosphere at over 12,000 mph (5.4 kilometers per second). Preparations for this mission have provided, for the first time, dramatic video of the parachute opening at supersonic speed. The Mars 2020 mission will seek signs of ancient Martian life by investiga...
Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:07:00 +0100
The U.S. Navy's Communications Satellite Program Office, PMW 146, and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) handed over full operational control of the fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite to the Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC). The October 11 milestone followed the successful completion of the MUOS-5 satellite's on-orbit testing and delivery of all operational products needed to "fly" the satellite. In April, the Navy, working with Army Forces Strategic Command (ARSTRAT), con...
Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:04:00 +0100
As part of ESA's strategy to foster commercial competitiveness in Europe while focusing on its core aims, the agency has transferred ownership of several ground tracking stations for reuse by external organisations. By the end of 2017, ESA will have transferred three stations to national organisations in Spain and Portugal, who will take over the provision of satellite tracking services to a wide variety of commercial customers. The three stations involved in the transfer are all equipped ...
Wed, 15 Nov 2017 19:33:00 +0100
Boeing [NYSE:BA] won large commitments across its twin- and single-aisle commercial airplane families, debuted key capabilities including the CST-100 Starliner docking and KC-46 refueling simulators, and announced services agreements at the 2017 Dubai Airshow. "This has been a very successful show for Boeing. Our regional customers have maintained their trust in our products and technology, and our partnerships in the Middle East region continue to grow," said Bernard Dunn, President, Boeing ...
Wed, 15 Nov 2017 12:00:00 +0100
A temperate Earth-sized planet has been discovered only 11 light-years from the Solar System by a team using ESO's unique planet-hunting HARPS instrument. The new world has the designation Ross 128 b and is now the second-closest temperate planet to be detected after Proxima b. It is also the closest planet to be discovered orbiting an inactive red dwarf star, which may increase the likelihood that this planet could potentially sustain life. Ross 128 b will be a prime target for ESO's Extremely ...
Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:29:00 +0100
Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), has been chosen by the Italian space agency ASI to develop an instrument called RIME (Radar sounder for Icy Moons Exploration) for the JUICE (JUpiter Icy moons Explorer) mission, part of the European Space Agency's "2015-25 Cosmic Vision" program. Scheduled for launch in 2022 with an expected arrival in 2029, the JUICE mission is designed to study the Jovian system and more specifically its icy moons, Ganymede, Call...
Wed, 15 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0100
The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's December 12 year-ending flight for 2017 has completed its initial build-up at the Spaceport in French Guiana - where preparations also are moving ahead with four satellite passengers that will further expand Europe's Galileo global navigation system once in their final orbit. During activity in the Spaceport's Launcher Integration Building, this heavy-lift vehicle for Arianespace Flight VA240 underwent the assembly process that began by mating its two solid prop...
Tue, 14 Nov 2017 19:47:00 +0100
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded BAE Systems a contract worth up to $12.8 million to develop an innovative space evaluation and analysis testbed to support the development, integration, evaluation and analysis of advanced space enterprise command and control (C2) tools and capability technologies. The U.S. military must be able to quickly establish situational awareness and execute operations in space. Within the space domain, many thousands of objects that ar...
Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:45:00 +0100
Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that the "S.S. Gene Cernan" CygnusTM spacecraft successfully completed its rendezvous and berthing maneuvers with the International Space Station earlier this morning. This marks the company's eighth successful berthing with the orbiting laboratory. Cygnus launched into orbit aboard an Orbital ATK Antares(tm) rocket at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on November 12. The spacecraft then executed a ser...
Mon, 13 Nov 2017 17:45:00 +0100
Thales Alenia Space has signed a contract with ArianeGroup, prime contractor and design authority of Ariane 6, to design, develop, qualify and manufacture the telemetry transmitter of the new European launcher. The telemetry transmitter is responsible for transmitting to the ground the data generated by the launcher throughout the whole launch mission. It is the first contract of the company in Spain in the launchers segment. After three decades of activity in the space sector participating i...
Mon, 13 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0100
What seemed at first like a rare instance of a huge, ancient galaxy revealed itself to be an even rarer pair of extremely massive galaxies, seen on the brink of merging when the Universe was only a billion years old. This outstanding source was first identified by ESA's Herschel space observatory, and later exposed in greater detail with the ground-based Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. The earliest galaxies in the 13.8 billion-year history of our cosmos starte...
Mon, 13 Nov 2017 16:00:00 +0100
Gas giant Jupiter, organic molecules in star-forming clouds and baby galaxies in the distant Universe are among the first targets for which data will be immediately available from the James Webb Space Telescope once it begins casting its powerful gaze on the Universe in 2019. Thirteen "early release" programmes were chosen from more than 100 proposals after a competitive peer-review selection process within the astronomical community. The programmes have been allocated nearly 500 hours of obs...
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    Personal information
     Name:<withheld>
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    Contact information
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    Candidate Profile
     Date Submitted:03-03-2013
     Last Modified:03-03-2013 (08:20)
    Job information
     Current job:Principal Systems Engineer
     Employment Term:Permanent
     Job location:Anywhere
     Date available:immediately
     Industry:Satellite Manufacturers and Subcontractors, Satellite Operators, , , Consulting/Engineering Services, Space Tourism
     Keywordsorbit mechanics, astrodynamics, trajectory, orbit determination, satellite coverage, simulation, software development, FORTRAN, VMS, VAX
    CV

                                                                Professional Experience Summary

                                               Aerospace Engineer – Orbit Analyst – Software Engineer

    20+ years experience in orbital mechanics and astrodynamic analyses, design, simulation development and modeling with specialization in Orbit Determination (OD) and parameter estimation, and satellite constellation earth coverage design & analysis.

    Supported the SGT/Raytheon Orbit software program contract for the proposed New Space Fence, designed to maintain the catalog of space objects that are significantly smaller and many times more numerous than the current system. The program segments process design state of the art phased array radar high accuracy measurements which are in turn form 1) the initial single pass OD estimates, 2) compute correlation measures for earlier ephemeris and covariance estimates, 3) update correlated orbital ephemeris states and covariance, and 4) generate propagated ephemeris and covariance predictions at the Fence crossing time epochs.

    Supported the Naval Space Command DB15 OD Program (classified) software development & test, and configuration control for 13 years. The work included implementing software enhancements for 1) higher accuracy earth gravity and polar motion modeling, 2) extended duration satellite DV thrusting, 3) solar panel radiation pressure and panel dynamics 4) numerous other force modeling modifications, 5) implementation of modified Doppler measurement types, 6) robust and refined estimation techniques, and 7) responsible for the OD software installations and checkout at the mission ops ground support stations.

    Software test & development in support of a concept & design phase of a program for a unique open-loop Pitch Control attitude control program (PCS), formulated by Dr. J. Vahlberg which proved as a key development that extended the Navy/Air Force DB15 multi-constellation satellite mission many years beyond the expected mission life plan. The PCS program was developed as a workaround after critical satellite sub-system failures threatened to terminate the multi-satellite classified mission.

    Prior to working for SGT and Raytheon, Mr. Elsner worked for Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. (now, Lockheed-Martin) Space Systems Division Orbital Mechanics Dept. in Sunnyvale, CA. The work involved a variety of orbit analysis tasks and developing orbital software simulations employing general perturbation models. Primary focus included analysis and software simulation development for evaluating satellite & constellation earth coverage, satellite payload trade study performance assessments, and other studies for numerous proposed DOD and NASA satellite systems.

    Developed orbital simulations for deriving cross-range maneuver requirements for a proposed eight-man re-entry atmospheric lifting body vehicle (Assured Crew Return Vehicle, or ACRV) to serve as a lifeboat for the (then planned) International Space Station, or ISS. In addition, simulations were developed for demo and conducting trade studies and Monte-Carlo analysis for evaluating de-orbit landing site selection options.

    The above software development work and analysis were performed on a variety of computer platforms such as Alpha, SUN, and HP Workstations, as well as PC, VAX Mainframe, CRAY, and others. Operating systems included VMS, VAX, UNIX, and PC Windows. The programming was done primarily in FORTRAN 77 & 95, VMS/VAX command scripts, MS Windows batch scripts, and some C and UNIX.

    Sgt Inc., Greenbelt, MD              Aug 2007 – Aug 2012

    Principal Systems Engineer

    Provided software simulation development, modeling, and support for Raytheon/SGT proposed New Space Fence system.  The modeling and simulation tasks were performed on PC Windows platforms with computational programming code performed in FORTRAN 95 and PC Windows scripts.

    The Space Fence software development involved the programming, test, and analysis for automated functional blocks for orbit object sequenced OD processing, object correlations, and propagated orbit state and covariance. Scenarios for up to several hundred thousand orbit objects were simulated and the SGT program consistently correctly correlated objects much better than spec requirements.  The Space Fence task required knowledge of special perturbation (SP) earth orbit models, orbit determination (OD), covariance analysis, astrodynamic, Maximum Likelihood correlation, inertial & rotating coordinate systems and transformations, and implementation of the SGT and NASA Goddard GEODYN Precision OD program.  Software configuration control management was maintained for frequent program development enhancements and updates.

    Raytheon Technical Services Co.  Lanham, MD                Oct 1994 – Aug 2007

    Principal Systems Engineer

    Software enhancement modifications, testing and development of the Naval Space Command DB15 satellite surveillance system orbit determination (OD) program.  The primary responsibilities included the development & test, validation, software maintenance, and updates to the OD Estimation Program and the corresponding special perturbation (SP) orbit propagation program software executed at the global remote station sites.

    Enhancements to the DB15 OD Program provided orbital accuracy improvement on the order of 2-3x over the original operational program for the multi-satellite missions. Enhancements included implementing a 40x40 WGS84 earth gravity model; automated updates for earth spin axis orientation, removal of Doppler station survey biases, variable weighted fit-span option which demonstrated significantly improved orbit accuracy spanning solar/atmospheric events. In addition, programming changes for the Y2K transition epoch.

    Conducted a comprehensive error analysis studies to accurately model satellite thrusting force for long duration thrusts, as well as consecutive rev thrusting. This enabled mission planners more flexibility to command longer duration, larger V orbit adjust maneuvers with small ephemeris errors for remote station prediction accuracy.

    Provided a satellite station-keeping simulation program and software tools for the mission planners to much more accurately and optimally plan satellite station-keeping thrusts. The program utilized a position-velocity phase-plane control concept which resulted in reducing the total number of thrusts, maintaining tighter station-keeping control, and also provided advance alerts for mission planners when relative position rates were high.

    Created a simulation for optimizing satellite electrical power for reduced solar panel functionality when multiple solar panel step-motor failure events occurred on multiple satellites. The analysis led to implementing optimal fixed configurations for a range of angles (solar/orbit geometry) on multiple satellites. This operational implementation significantly restored the mission payload tasking level near the original spec for full panel function.

    Supported design phase testing and development of the PCS (Pitch-Control-System) open-loop attitude control program (devised by Dr. J. Vahlberg) that was the key factor in extending the mission life for the DB15 mission for up to 8 years beyond its designed life. Also provided PCS daily operations monitoring, optimized momentum wheel controls generation and working in concet with mission ops crews that extended the overall mission life.

    Lockheed Missiles & Space Co. (Lockheed-Martin) Sunnyvale,CA   1985 – 1994

    Sr. Research Engineer

    Supported orbit analysis tasks as part of the Space System Division (SSD) Orbital Mechanics Group on DOD and NASA proposed satellite programs, including SDI Boost Surveillance Tracking System (BSTS), MILSTAR, DMSP, ACRV (ISS), IRIDIUM, and numerous others.

    Specialization in satellite constellation design and earth coverage simulation tools, ground station revisit time analysis, derived BSTS (classified) payload earth coverage requirements. One of four team members that designed and developed Lockheed’s Integrated Coverage Analysis Program (ICAP) which provided broad program applicability and flexibility.

    Designed / implemented a simulation program for analysis and demo for deriving the ACRV manned re-entry spacecraft cross-range maneuver requirements and landing site options.

    Computers

    Computers:  ALPHA, PC WINDOWS, VAX Mainframe, CRAY, SUN, HP

    Languages/Applications:  FORTRAN 77 & 95,  VMS scripts, PC Windows scripts, C, WORD, EXCEL

    Education

    M.S., Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL  1985

     B.A., Liberal Arts & Sciences Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL  1978

    Security Clearances

    DOD T.S. and SCI/Poly debriefed in 2011 at end of mission. DOD SECRET debriefed Aug 2012.


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