Presenter Information

Brian J. HoraisFollow

Session

Technical Session III: Year in Review

Abstract

In its early years, during the 1960s and 1970s, the emerging space industry was founded on a strong undercurrent of risk taking that stimulated innovation and the rapid development of new technologies in space. No prior art existed, so innovation was essential. As the space industry matured and focused on larger and larger satellites and systems, the ability to take risks was overshadowed by the need to succeed. Space industries rapidly expanded and the world was introduced to new technologies in space previously envisioned by only the science fiction authors such as Arthur C. Clarke. Risk taking, and its accompanying innovative energy, dwindled because the growing space industry could not afford to fail. Additional barriers to innovation in space emerged, include the lack of easy and low-cost access to space for experimental payloads and the growing list of regulations that limited international development of new technologies and ready access to communications. Despite these limitations, small groups of innovative space technologists emerged, such as AMSAT (The Radio Amateur Satellite Organization) and found ways to launch and prove new technologies in space. The space industry took little notice of these innovators and continued to proceed on its low risk, high payoff path of space commercialization. Recognizing the need to harness and motivate these scattered small groups of space innovators, the Small Satellite Conference was founded in 1987 and has grown dramatically over the past 30 years. The strength of this truly International Conference is rooted in its ability to gather, share and inspire the space innovators of today and the future. As a frequent participant, contributor and conference chair in the small satellite community, the author will chronicle and explore the significant role that the Utah State Small Satellite Conference has performed in the development and expansion of space technology for the past three decades. As a result of its innovative leadership, space industries worldwide are now beginning to embrace and integrate many of the innovative developments that have their origins within the small satellite community and the Utah State Small Satellite Conference.

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Aug 9th, 8:00 AM Aug 9th, 8:15 AM

Pioneering Innovation in Space - 30 Years of International Leadership

In its early years, during the 1960s and 1970s, the emerging space industry was founded on a strong undercurrent of risk taking that stimulated innovation and the rapid development of new technologies in space. No prior art existed, so innovation was essential. As the space industry matured and focused on larger and larger satellites and systems, the ability to take risks was overshadowed by the need to succeed. Space industries rapidly expanded and the world was introduced to new technologies in space previously envisioned by only the science fiction authors such as Arthur C. Clarke. Risk taking, and its accompanying innovative energy, dwindled because the growing space industry could not afford to fail. Additional barriers to innovation in space emerged, include the lack of easy and low-cost access to space for experimental payloads and the growing list of regulations that limited international development of new technologies and ready access to communications. Despite these limitations, small groups of innovative space technologists emerged, such as AMSAT (The Radio Amateur Satellite Organization) and found ways to launch and prove new technologies in space. The space industry took little notice of these innovators and continued to proceed on its low risk, high payoff path of space commercialization. Recognizing the need to harness and motivate these scattered small groups of space innovators, the Small Satellite Conference was founded in 1987 and has grown dramatically over the past 30 years. The strength of this truly International Conference is rooted in its ability to gather, share and inspire the space innovators of today and the future. As a frequent participant, contributor and conference chair in the small satellite community, the author will chronicle and explore the significant role that the Utah State Small Satellite Conference has performed in the development and expansion of space technology for the past three decades. As a result of its innovative leadership, space industries worldwide are now beginning to embrace and integrate many of the innovative developments that have their origins within the small satellite community and the Utah State Small Satellite Conference.