2017 Annual Technical Symposium

AIAA Houston Section and JSC Human Systems Integration ERG proudly present the 2017 Annual Technical Symposium

Friday, May 5, 2017
NASA/JSC Gilruth Center
Map/Directions (PDF)

Conference Schedule

08:00 – Registration and Welcome
08:15 – Keynote Speaker, Astronaut Lee Morin “Overview of the Orion Cockpit, Rapid Prototype Lab”
09:00 – Morning Technical Session & Engineers as Educators Workshop
12:00 – Luncheon and Keynote Speaker, Professor Andre Droxler “Human-Induced Climate Change requires Urgent Action”
13:30 – Afternoon Technical Session

Important Dates to Remember

Friday, April 21, 2017 – Abstracts due to planning committee (contact us sooner if possible)
Friday, April 28, 2017 – Abstract authors notified of abstract acceptance
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 – Luncheon Reservations (pay online at time of RSVP)
Friday, May 5, 2017 – Registration (all day, starting at 8:00 AM)


  • Space Exploration
  • Space Architecture
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Communication and Tracking
  • EVA
  • GN&C
  • Human Systems Integration
  • In-Space Imaging
  • Space Operations
  • Life Sciences and Human Factors
  • Propulsion and Power Systems
  • SR&QA
  • Systems Engineering
  • Space Commercialization
  • Structural Mechanics
  • Avionics
  • International Space Activities
  • Astrodynamics
  • Climate Change

More Information

See the Early Warning Flyer (PDF), Call for Abstracts (PDF), Schedule (PDF), and Program (PDF).

For more information: ATS General Chair Justine Wiles, vicechair-tech2016@aiaahouston.org or HSI ERG Professional Development Chair Jackelynne Silva-Martinez, jackysumac@yahoo.com.

Engineers as Educators Workshop

Join us Friday, May 5, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. for a FREE Engineers as Educators Workshop! The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will teach you to inspire students about the marvels of aerospace engineering. Share your passion in a manner students can relate to. Register now for the Engineers as Educators Workshop, and you will walk away armed with the tools to help plan and execute powerful experiences and excite the next generation of engineers.
Learn how to:

  • Connect your work to classroom objectives
  • Plan memorable experiences
  • Use simple and clear vocabulary
  • Engage students with hands-on experience

Questions? Contact Edgar Bering.

ATS 2017 presentations will be linked in the list below. Reminders:

AIAA Houston Section Annual Technical Symposium: 

  • Date: Friday, May 5, 2017
  • Time: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Place: NASA Johnson Space Center Gilruth Center Destiny Ballroom


Morning Keynote Presentation: (STS-110) Astronaut Lee Morin, Overview of the Orion Cockpit. 

Morning Presentations:

  • Carolina Restrepo, COBALT Open-Loop Flight Test Campaign
  • Jackelynne Silva-Martinez and Shelby Bates, Progress of Crew Autonomous Scheduling Test (CAST) on the ISS
  • John Cook, Why Return to the Moon? (PDF, 510 KB, 15 pages)
  • Wes Kelly, Wing Design for Designers! Solutions Applied to the Stellar-J Launch Vehicle
  • Richard Jedry, Hyperbolic Rendezvous at Mars: Risk Assessment and Mitigation Strategies
  • Alex Monchak and Samina S. Masood, Exploration with Quantum Computation: Mars Drone (PDF, 1.4 MB, 41 pages)

Luncheon Keynote Presentations: Human-Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action. Three speakers were invited by Douglas Yazell, the organizer of these 3 keynote luncheon presentations. Dr. André Droxler (below) was the advertised presenter, and we added two more presenters (below), Dr. Stephanie Thomas and Doug Peterson. The title of the 2-page 2013 (revised and reaffirmed a few times since 2003) position statement of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) is, Human-Induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action. This AGU position statement is endorsed (since 2012, updated in 2013) by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) on their website. About a month or two prior to ATS 2017, AIAA Houston Section Chair Jennifer Wells gave the green light to a suggestion from Douglas Yazell to create a climate change position statement for AIAA Houston Section. (The first attempt by AIAA Houston Section to create a climate change position statement was in the year 2014, or maybe 2015, when our Section Chair was Michael Martin.) Mr. Yazell proposes endorsing the AGU position statement, following the example of the AAS. [On the opening web page of the website of AIAA Houston Section, “Climate” can be added to the title bar menu choices between “IAC” and “Spirit of Apollo Scholarship.” We can place our endorsement on that web page.] As of May 15, 2017, AIAA Houston Section is planning an in-person social event to discuss our climate change position statement. (This AIAA year ends on June 30, 2017.) [As planned, about 5 or 10 Houston Section Council members met at Chelsea Wine Bar prior to June 30, 2017, to discuss this climate proposal.]

  • Dr. André Droxler, Rice University Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science; Atmospheric CO2 Buildup, Global Warming, Ocean Temperature Increase and Acidification. (PDF, 4.9 MB, 42 pages)
  • Dr. Stephanie Thomas, Public Citizen; Climate Change, Science and Beyond. The last page from Dr. Thomas lists five things we can do. She states on page 11 that the sixth mass extinction is currently underway. She cites this web page: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253.short. This is a web page of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license. Here are the last two sentences from the abstract. “These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing.” The authors explain that those are conservative estimates. Here is the last part of the last paragraph in the discussion part of the full text. “Avoiding a true sixth mass extinction will require rapid, greatly intensified efforts to conserve already threatened species and to alleviate pressures on their populations—notably habitat loss, overexploitation for economic gain, and climate change (31–33). All of these are related to human population size and growth, which increases consumption (especially among the rich), and economic inequity (6). However, the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.”
    • PowerPoint (the original file): 1.7 MB, 16 pages
    • Keynote (2.7 MB, 16 pages)
    • PDF (1.6 MB, 16 pages)
  • Doug Peterson, Exploration Green Conservancy. This new park in the Houston Clear Lake area near NASA/JSC is named Exploration Green. Presentation title: Exploration Green: Clear Lake’s 200-Acre Multi-Purpose Green Space. This 1962-era golf course is now Exploration Green, a multi-purpose park or green space that will not be commercialized. One of those purposes is flood control. This is a great exercise in adaptation in response to the human-induced climate crisis. With urgency in mind, it is noted here in this summary that the planning timeline for all 5 phases of Exploration Green was reduced from 15 to 5 years, so Phase 1 will be complete in 2017, and the remaining 4 phases will be complete in 2021. Mitigation (reduction in human-induced greenhouse gas emissions) is still required with the Paris Agreement in mind, but Exploration Green is a superlative project, and this is a great presentation.
    • PowerPoint (the original file): 331 MB, 45 charts.
    • Keynote: 336 MB, 45 charts.
    • PDF: 126 MB, 45 charts.

Afternoon Presentations: 

  • From Peru via Skype, from since-2017 Peru-USA sister section (SCAP) of AIAA Houston Section; The Scientific Society of Astrobiology of Peru (SCAP) & NatBio (Natural Biofilm Biotech) Mission of Team KillaLab, presentations by Saul Perez and Ruth Quispe (PDF, 3.7 MB, 16 pages)
  • Gerald Condon, Moon Age and Regolith Explorer (MARE) Mission Design and Performance (PDF, 2.2 MB, 22 pages)
  • Matthew Brake, On the Influences of Observed Variability and Repeatability in Jointed Structures (PDF, 2.3 MB, 21 pages)
  • Chris Y. Taylor, Long Range VTOL Cargo Delivery via a Cooperating Robotic Aircraft Flock
  • Carroll Thronesbery, Integrating Tests of Autonomy with both Software and People: Autonomy Requirements Tester (ART) (PDF, 1.9 MB, 21 pages)
  • Carrol Thronesbery, Integrating Fault Management Planning Tools with System Engineering: Fault Management Viewer (FMV) (PDF, 2.5 MB, 20 pages)
  • Svetlana Hanson, The Internet of Things, Overview


  • Amorea Books
  • NASA/JSC History Office, Julie Ann Barnes, a display with several items from the McLane Collection of NASA/JSC, in response to our request from the AIAA Houston Section History technical committee.