Welcome to the April 2019 Edition of the ISEC Newsletter
Space Elevator enthusiast,
The team is always on the search for news and science articles that mention the Space Elevator and our Technical lead, Peter Robinson found this doozy:
The part of the article that pertains to Space Elevators was when NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was asked by Bill Foster during a hearing why NASA isn't
funding the Space Elevator to get to space.
That's what WE want to know!
In this issue:
President Swan calls for testing materials and technologies to prepare for the next phase of the development of the Space Elevator, and announces our Summer Internship Program.
Our Space Elevator Conference Chair, David Horn, gives the official announcement of the conference dates and location and gives a call for technical papers.
And our Chief Architect, Michael Fitzgerald, talks about the topic that always comes up when talking about putting a Space Elevator--how do you avoid space debris?
If you would like to follow us on Twitter, use this link! Please like us on Facebook and watch more videos on our YouTube channel. And please visit the Space Elevator home page for all things regarding ISEC for the latest information.
Thank you for your continued support of the International
Space Elevator Consortium!
by Pete Swan
Major ISEC Message for Washington, DC Conferences
We are ready to declare that the space elevator is “Tech
The message that ISEC wants to portray in the two
conferences this year in DC - the International Space Development Conference
(June) and the International Astronautical Congress (Oct) -- is the recognition
of how far we have come in the last ten years.
Last month I called it a "Sea Change;" and, indeed it is when
we start describing the Galactic Harbour and its combination of space
transportation infrastructure and commercial business enterprises.
ISEC believes the space elevator is ready to move into the
next phase, -- "Initiate Space Elevator Development." As explained in
the latest Architectural Note (#24) entitled "The Path to Tech
Readiness," the current systems level maturation must lead to industrial
testing and demonstrations of various technologies ensuring that the space
elevator can proceed towards operations. We are truly at the point where the
next steps require industrial involvement with executable demonstrations and
testing leading to "show me" results. We have moved well beyond Brad
Edwards and Jerome Pearson's views of space elevators towards the actual
initiation of a program. What are the next steps? According to the ISEC technical leadership -
transition to industrial activities (testing - testing - and - testing).
Keep Climbing my Friends
Announcing the 2019 ISEC Space Elevator Conference
The International Space Elevator Consortium presents the 2019 Space Elevator Conference to be held August 16th through August 18th, 2019 at the Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington with the Family Science Fest on
Saturday, August 17th.
This year’s conference theme is “Outreach and Early
Experimentation Support." The
three-day technical conference will engage an international audience of scientists,
engineers, educators, managers, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and students in
discussions of space elevator development including Technology, Business and
Operations, Outreach, and Legal topics.
More details of this year’s technical conference program will be posted
on the conference website (http://isec.org/sec) with registration opening by
The Family Science Fest portion of the conference will be
held Saturday, August 17th. This event is in tandem with the technical
conference and is included in the Museum of Flight admission price. The Family
Science Fest includes a youth robotics competition, public Space Elevator 101
and 201 presentations, exhibits from universities, science organizations, and
science clubs, and much more. This is a
great event for the whole family while you explore the Museum of Flight.
Many thanks to our annual “GEO” level sponsor,
the Museum of Flight, for their generous ongoing support for this
2019 ISEC Space Elevator Conference Call for Papers!
The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) invites
you to join us in Seattle, Washington, USA and contribute to the latest
research, knowledge, stimulating discussions, and exchange of ideas on space
elevators at the 2019 ISEC Space Elevator Conference - August 16-18, 2019. The theme of this year's conference is “Outreach and Early Experimentation Support." Carbon nanotube, graphene, and strong
materials research is also a very important topic that we continue to
emphasize, and we encourage participation by materials science researchers on
this exciting subject. Authors are
invited to submit titles and abstracts of proposed papers for the conference by
May 19, 2019.
Topics for papers should fall into these categories.
elevator impact on the future and public outreach to societal institutions;
government, media, unions, the educational system, etc.
nanotube, graphene, and other tensile strength research progress and other strong materials research relating to space elevators
engineering, and technology topics relating to space elevators
maintenance, ROI, and other business and financial topics relating to space
laws, insurability, and other legal issues and topics relating to space
Submit your abstracts and papers to the Conference
Management Tool (CMT) at https://cmt3.research.microsoft.com/ISECSEC2019/.
Authors are invited to submit titles and abstracts by 19-May-2019. Abstracts must be in English, no more than 5000 words, should
state the purpose, result, and conclusion of the proposed paper with supporting
figures where appropriate. Authors will be notified of acceptance to submit a
corresponding paper within 10 days of abstract submission. For all submittals,
please include the title, authors and affiliations, mail address, e-mail, and
phone number of the corresponding author.
Please use the ISEC Conference Papers Template for your
paper. Papers must be in English with the first full draft for review due by
30-Jun-2019. This is an informal
checkpoint to make sure you are on track to have the paper ready for the conference.
Final papers and presentations are due 09-Aug-2019 so that we can make them
ready for conference attendees. PowerPoint or PDF formats are preferred for
Submission of Abstracts by May 19, 2019
Draft Papers Due: June 30, 2019
Final Papers and Presentations Due: August 09, 2019
Send your abstract, paper, and technical program inquiries
Conference Chair: David Horn (email@example.com)
Architecture Note #25
Space Elevator Architecture’s Debris Mitigation Roles
Debris alert --> Warning needs
Debris sizing --> as a threat variant
Space Elevator Tether Movement --> passive defense
The Sentry System --> an Architecture adjunct
System Recovery --> Post debris-event actions
This is an Architecture Note. It is the opinion of the Chief
Architect. It represents an effort to
document ongoing science and engineering discussions. It is one of many to be published over
time. Most importantly, it is a sincere
effort to be the diary, or the chronicle, of the multitude of our technical
considerations as we progress; along the pathway developing the Space Elevator.
Michael A. Fitzgerald
Senior Exec VP and Co-Founder
Galactic Harbour Associates, Inc
Space Elevator Transportation & Enterprise Systems
Space Elevator Summary Statement of Performance Attributes
for Debris Mitigation
It may be a myth, but old story goes that once upon a time
(circa 1895) there were only two automobiles in the entire state of Ohio, and
they ended up colliding with each other.
So, urban myth or not; It probably is NOT a good idea to think that
“collisions” will not affect your system.
In our case, it is collisions with space debris and/or “rogue”
The Space Elevator Transportation System will soon be
beginning its next development stage; engineering validation. In this stage, all needed capabilities are
reviewed for engineering realism, development risk, performance projections, test
data and operations simulations availability, and more. In most cases, the Space Elevator performance
will be derived from subsystems to be designed, developed, and built within
industry’s Space Elevator Transportation System development program(s). In other cases, the performance capability
sought will be provided by others; an entity not part of the development
program. One such case will be “at
large” / or “on the market” capabilities to resolve the real and potential
threat from space debris and “rogue” space craft.
ISEC believes that debris mitigation concepts will be built,
operating, and thriving before the Space Elevator Transportation System reaches
operational status. To that end, this
paper serves as the initial characterization of how the Elevator can allocate
the needed performance to a system then available. That system would serve as Sentry; capturing,
destroying, and / or removing the debris threat. Additionally, other “topics” must be
ISEC foresees a close and interactive communication with the
military Combined Space Operations Control Center; known familiarly as
CSpOC. CSpOC is responsible for tracking
the thousands of debris pieces and providing the orbital parameters of those
pieces to operating space users. In addition, commercial capabilities have
emerged which offer forming and formatting that information; operationally
satisfying their commercial customers.
Analytical Graphics, Inc.’s ExoAnalytic Solutions has been active in
this regard for years.
At any rate, the Space Elevator team expects that the Sentry
system operator will be able to depend on a warning forecast at 72 hours (to be revealed [tbr]),
of a convergence / close approach to a Space Elevator tether location (accuracy
tbr). This closure accuracy will improve
(improvement tbr) as convergence approaches.
The Space Elevator team expects the commercial team will hold a place on
the Debris Mitigation Chair in the Space Elevator’s Headquarters/Primary
Operations Center (HQ/POC). The Space
Elevator team expects to share the elevators self-surveillance data and other
location information with Space Situational Awareness authorities (to be determined [tbd]).
The Space Elevator team foresees that the Space Elevator
tether will be able to withstand “collisions” of space debris when the debris
is small (size tbd). That engineering
character (e. g. size, mass, and speed) has not yet been assessed AND the
operational tether maintenance concept is still being defined. It is expected that the Space Elevator Tether
Climber will be able to detect tether “scars”, and the Climbers are expected to
have some level of minor tether repair.
In any case, the team expects the Debris Mitigation Chair to
work with its Space Situational Awareness member to predict damage of an impending
collision, assess the damage caused by collisions not predicted or that could
not be avoided. Damage assessment is an imperative; pre & post event.
Space Elevator Tether Movement
The Space Elevator team has long cited the capability of the
tether to move away from an impending collision. It is much like a simple “jump rope”
movement; the movement generated by movement of the Earth Port’s Tether
Terminus with movement augmented by Reel In–Reel Out (RIRO) spools at the Earth
Port and at the Apex. Simulation work is
necessary but the impact of such a motion on tether / climber operations
appears to be negligible. The team would
rather have to “jump” rope only when necessary. In any event, the jump rope motion will be
retained within our Debris Mitigation efforts.
The Space Elevator team has decided to examine an added
capability within Debris Mitigation. In
a concept called “Sentry”, space debris will be intercepted and removed before
a collision takes place. Debris headed for
a collision with a portion of the Space Elevator will have intercept priority
but, if otherwise not encumbered by that priority; the Sentry will gather and
dispose of other space debris as a matter of course.
The team proposes that the Sentry be independently built as
its engineering competencies are developed.
Its initial operations are dictated by its schedule; not the Space
Elevator’s schedule. However, it should
be operational as part of the Space Elevator Architecture as part of the
Elevator’s Tether deployment and build up.
In our terms, by Sequence #4.
The team foresees a concept in which Sentry debris capture
satellites would be in elliptical orbits along the lower tether; at least
including the “debris belt” (tbr). The
number of debris collectors needed will be determined based on a flight
operations analysis; with periodicity and revisit established by the 72 hour
(tbr) window and the number of captures needed to maintain mitigation.
Space Elevator Recovery Operations
The ISEC team has done little in this regard; but in the
coming months ISEC will begin definition of Tether & Climber operations
fashioned to minimize the impact of a tether break. A key aspect of recovery operations will be
where the break occurs. In many cases, the
lower portion and attached objects will reenter; being destroyed. In other cases, the altitude of the break
would lead to the tether moving away from reentry and thus be accessible by the
RIRO’s. Additional RIRO’s would be valuable in that circumstance. The economic value of the payloads in the
several climbers affected by a break also makes recovery operations mandatory.
In closing, Space Elevator Outreach Program
Space debris is expected to be part of space operations for
an extended period in this century. The
real mitigation approach is the establishment of policy and actions that will
prevent, or at least extensively reduce, the creation of debris in the first
This paper is ISEC’s attempt to document the approach to
mitigate the Space Elevator mission impact and safety issues when space debris
meets the Space Elevator’s tether.
We strongly suggest that other activities confront the
issue. In the era of space debris, we all live in Ohio.
More to be supplied --
Here is the schedule for Space Elevator events at ISDC (International Space Development Conference) held by the NSS (National Space Society) June 6-9, 2019 in Arlington, VA.
International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC)
Announces a Summer Internship Program
Deadline 15 May 2019
ISEC will have an internship program this summer to
stimulate research inside the space community with the purpose of improving the
Body of Knowledge on space elevators. The expectation is that the intern would
work from home, putting in approximately 10 hours a week researching various
components of the space elevator while working with an ISEC mentor. The selection
will be competitive with the top several gaining internships. The details are
Process: Apply, be connected with the appropriate ISEC
mentor, select topic of interest, conduct individual research, confer with
mentor every two weeks, interview local space professional, summarize research,
present to mentor/and-or at the ISEC Conference.
Who: This program is open to all undergraduate students. The program is best suited to Freshman and
Sophomores working in a scientific or engineering field, however students from
all areas of study are encouraged to apply as ISEC works on all aspects of the
Space Elevator challenge from technical engineering problems to questions of
Space law and economics. We will be
accepting several interns for Summer 2019.
Where: the intern will conduct Research remotely with
meetings by Skype or equivalent. The
internships final meeting will either be over Skype or at the ISEC Conference.
What: Interns will be researching or assisting with ongoing
research of one area of Space Elevator development. Areas of research include Space Elevator
History, Materials Applications for Space Elevator tethers, Earth Port
infrastructure, and more. Interns will
report progress regularly to their mentor and produce a summary of their
research, as per agreement between intern and mentor. They will present this research in person, by
skype or through a video.
Benefit: In addition to the unique opportunity to work with
leading Space Elevator researchers each intern will be awarded a $500 grant, an
ISEC certificate of completion, and a letter of recommendation.
Application due: May 15th.
Internship period: June 15th - August 15th.
ISEC Conference: August - last week
To Apply: Please submit your application and any questions
to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15, 2019.
Your application should include your name, school, year,
major [and interests], and a short summary of your interest in ISEC and why you
would like to have a career in the space arena (no more than 200 words).
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