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Space Exploration [clear filter]
Friday, October 19

9:30am EDT

Exploration of Mars with the Curiosity rover
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, featuring the Curiosity rover, has been exploring a part of Gale Crater on Mars for the past six years.  This amazing mobile laboratory, with innovative chemical instruments like the Canadian alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) and the laser-firing ChemCam instrument suite, has been characterising the rocks, soils and atmosphere to try to piece together the past geologic and climate history of Early Mars.  Curiosity’s primary objective if to search for, and characterise, habitable environments – places where the conditions necessary for life could have existed sometime in the distant past, or even today.  Curiosity has already found evidence for extensive ancient lakes that could have supported life as we know it, diverse and complex organic molecules in ancient rocks, and seasonal cycles of atmospheric gases even today.  The Mars 2020 rover, NASA’s next rover, will go a step further and seek out biosignatures – or indicators of possible life in ancient rocks.  It will even collect samples that will be brought back to Earth at a later date for more detailed study and to possibly answer the question “Are we alone?”.  This presentation will summarise how we explore Mars with a rover, some of the key findings from Curiosity and may use lessons learned to better prepare for future robotic and human missions to Mars.

avatar for Dr. Richard Léveillé

Dr. Richard Léveillé

Adjunct professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University | McGill Space Institute
Planetary scientist and geology professor at McGill University and John Abbott College. Mars Science Laboratory Participating Scientist. Founding member and co-lead of the Canadian Astrobiology Network. Former Canadian Space Agency research scientist. Searching for life on Mars and... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 9:30am - 9:50am EDT
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

9:50am EDT

Influence of Lunar Rover on Lunar Surface Temperature
The lunar regolith is a very poor thermal conductor. As a result, the temperature of the surface can fluctuate quickly as the environment changes.  For terrestrial applications it is common to assume that the planet’s surface is fixed at an appropriate temperature. The properties of the lunar regolith indicate that this approach may not be valid for a lunar rover which will experience a varying radiative environment resulting from the presence of the rover itself.
This paper demonstrates the implementation of a published lunar regolith model in NX SST and investigates the influence of a simplified lunar rover on the surface temperature and the impact of these changes on rover thermal performance.

avatar for Dr. Chris Pye

Dr. Chris Pye

Vice President, Maya HTT
Dr. Pye has been with Maya HTT for over 30 years and has been involved in the Space industry for even longer. He has worked on over 20 space missions for Canadian and other customers, mostly in the area of thermal control. During his time at Maya HTT he has also worked as a software... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 9:50am - 10:10am EDT
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

10:10am EDT

3D vision studies for EuroMoonMars 2018 campaign
There is an increased need for interdisciplinary involvement and public input and awareness for future space missions. The International Lunar Exploration Working Group is a public forum for the world's space agencies to support international cooperation towards developing strategies for exploration and utilization of the Moon. To support this goal, since 2008 ILEWG has been developing a research program called EuroMoonMars for research, technology, field work and training with a robotic lander test bench (ExoGeoLab) and mobile laboratory habitat (ExoHab) at ESTEC. Several field studies and tests have been done to develop systems, share knowledge, and collaborate to progress further on the way to the MoonVillage. This past summer a stereo vision system prototype was developed to perform 3D mapping of unknown terrains in order to help assist in navigation and identification of science opportunities. In addition, collaboration between rotorcraft and ground based-systems for more efficient exploration were investigated. This paper will discuss the recent work performed by the EuroMoonMars group with emphasis on newly developed vision systems and results.

avatar for Sandro Papais

Sandro Papais

ILEWG EuroMoonMars Trainee, European Space Agency (ESA/ESTEC)
Sandro Papais is a mechanical engineering student at McGill University. He was an intern with the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) at the European Space Agency (ESA/ESTEC) under the supervision of Prof. Bernard Foing. He previously worked at Pratt & Whitney Canada... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 10:10am - 10:30am EDT
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

11:00am EDT

Swarm Systems for Space Exploration
We are currently on the verge of a new technology revolution---autonomous systems are becoming more and more present in our everyday lives. From drones to self-driving cars, these systems are becoming pervasive, and are acting as an enabling technology for many kinds of safety-critical applications, also in space. Examples of applications are search-and-rescue operations, industrial and agricultural inspection, autonomous car driving, planetary exploration, and satellite mega-constellations. Despite this ambitious vision, the major achievements in the area of swarm systems still consist of algorithms that tackle specific problem instances, and the performance of these algorithms strongly depends upon the context in which they are developed. Given this state of affairs, reproducing results and comparing algorithms is difficult, hindering the development of swarm robotics as a whole. We present a novel paradigm for the development of complex swarm behaviors. It offers a small, but powerful set of operations to specify behaviors both in a swarm-wide fashion, and from the point of view of an individual device. This swarm-oriented programming offers the promise of letting a designer program thousands of autonomous systems (e.g. robots, satellites) in a manageable way. This talk will present the overall swarm-oriented approach, as well as practical examples in the area of planetary exploration.

avatar for Dr. Giovanni Beltrame

Dr. Giovanni Beltrame

Professor, Polytechnique Montreal
Giovanni Beltrame obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering fromPolitecnico di Milano, in 2006 after which he worked as microelectronicsengineer at the European Space Agency on a number of projects spanningfrom radiation-tolerant systems to computer-aided design. In 2010 hemoved... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am EDT
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1
  Space Exploration

11:20am EDT

Prospects for Space Exploration
Space exploration has cemented its position as the ultimate frontier, attracting not only the interest of an increasing number of governments but also the private sector.

Historic space players have been deeply involved in space exploration missions since the nineteen-sixties. Since these early beginnings, the number of countries involved in space exploration has expanded considerably. Moving forward, space agencies worldwide are evaluating the future of space exploration with a converging interest in the Moon as the next destination for human spaceflight beyond LEO. Meanwhile, international partners discuss the future of the ISS, while robotic missions to the Moon, Mars and other destinations are being planned.

In the last ten years there has been a significant increase in the number of private space exploration activities. Private entities see new economic and commercial opportunities derived from space exploration. This rise of commercial space exploration initiatives is redistributing the cards between the government and industry in defining the agenda for space exploration.

This talk will provide an overview of the prospects of space exploration. This will include a review on the global strategic priorities in space exploration, government investment, involvement of commercial organizations and the role of that public-private partnerships might play moving forward. 

avatar for Natalia Larrea Brito

Natalia Larrea Brito

Senior Consultant, Euroconsult
Natalia Larrea is a Senior Consultant at Euroconsult based in Montreal. In her role, she manages and contributes to consulting missions for government and private institutions in the fields of space exploration, Earth observation, and satellite communications. She focuses on the assessment... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am EDT
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1
  Space Exploration

11:40am EDT

Moon Express Commercial Lunar Missions: Developing a cis-Lunar Space Economy
Moon Express’ vision is to open the lunar frontier with turn-key payload, data and services for missions to the Moon for a wide range of customers globally, including governments, NGO’s, commercial enterprises, universities, and consumers.
Like the Earth, the Moon has been enriched with vast resources through billions of years of bombardment by asteroids and comets. Unlike the Earth, these resources are largely on or near the lunar surface, and therefore relatively accessible. Moon Express is blazing a trail to the Moon to seek and harvest these resources to support a new space renaissance, where economic trade between countries will eventually become trade between worlds. All Moon Express expeditions will prospect for materials on the Moon as candidates for economic development and in-situ resource utilization.
One of the greatest practical space discoveries of our generation is the presence of vast quantities of water on the Moon. Water not only supports life but its constituents, hydrogen and oxygen, are energetic and clean rocket fuel. The discovery of water on the Moon is a game changer, not just for the economic viability of lunar resources, but for the economics of humans reaching Mars and other deep space destinations. Water is the oil of the solar system, and the Moon can become a gas station in the sky to fuel human space exploration, development and settlement of the solar system. Moon Express will begin prospecting for water resources on the Moon with its very first expedition.
Moon Express has developed a family of flexible, scalable robotic explorers that can reach the Moon and other solar system destinations from Earth orbit. The MX spacecraft architecture supports multiple applications, including delivery of scientific and commercial payloads to the Moon at low cost using a rideshare model, or charter science expeditions to distant worlds.
Designed for Scout Class exploration capabilities starting from low Earth orbit, MX-1 delivers flexibility and performance to revolutionize access to the Moon and cis-lunar space.
Dual stage flexibility drives more payload to the lunar surface or extends the reach to deep space. Compatible with existing and emergent launch vehicles, the MX-2 delivers Scout Class possibilities for exploration and commerce at low cost.
Designed as a workhorse that can deliver 150kg to low lunar orbit from low Earth orbit, with a range of configurations to support lunar landing and cis-lunar operations, the MX-5 can also be outfitted with MX-1 or MX-2 staged systems that can bring the entire solar system within reach. Available in orbiter, lander, deep space probe and sample return configurations.
Designed for Frontier Class exploration capabilities, MX-9 will support robust lunar sample return operations. Like it’s MX-5 little brother, the MX-9 can also be outfitted with MX-1 or MX-2 staged systems that can deliver over 10kms ΔV and extend its reach to span the solar system, and beyond.

avatar for Dr. Alain Berinstain

Dr. Alain Berinstain

VP Global Development, Moon Express Inc
Alain Berinstain was born and raised in Montreal and worked at the Canadian Space Agency for 17 years. Among other responsibilities, he was Director of Planetary Exploration and Space Astronomy as well as Director of Science and Academic Development at CSA. He now is now Vice President... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm EDT
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1