4th Applied Space Environments Conference

I am excited to be a co-convener for the 4th Applied Space Environments conference (ASEC2023) will be held October 9-13, 2023 at the AC Hotel by Marriott in downtown Huntsville, AL.  ASEC is a forum for the space environment engineering and applied space science community to discuss the discipline’s ability to support current space programs and to identify gaps in knowledge and technology needs required to meet future crewed and robotic exploration goals. 

Current Collaborations

NESC Space Weather and Spacecraft Charging Deputy

I currently serve as the Deputy for Spacecraft Charging and Space Weather to the NASA Space Environments Technical Fellow where my primary responsibilities include conducting and performing assessments for the NASA Engineering Safety Council (NESC) that are related to space environments. 

Understand, Specification, and Prediction of Lunar Space Weather, NASA HERMES Grant
PI Dr. Janet Green, Space Hazards Applications

The objective of this science team is to understand, characterize, and predict lunar space weather in order to enable a safe sustained human space presence at the moon and future frontiers. Our motivating research questions are:

  1. What are the particle populations that present a hazard to astronauts and spacecraft operations at the moon?
  2. How do those populations vary with time, location, and different driving conditions?
  3. How does the environment translate into impacts?
  4. How can we characterize and predict the environment and impacts and best convey the hazards to users?

We know from past experience that space plasma and radiation cause four types of issues. Our work will focus on accurately describing each of the particle populations, their variation along the lunar orbit, and translating those populations and their intensities to expected impacts. This information will convey the current risk of an issue, as well as allow for any anomalies to be quickly analyzed, explained, and mitigated. Prior to the Gateway/HERMES launch (expected no earlier than May 2024 [Thomspson, 2021]), our work will focus on developing an understanding of space weather and creating tools using currently available data such as from the THEMIS/ARTEMIS satellites, and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The analysis and tools will be developed such that the HERMES data can easily be incorporated to augment the work post launch and identify any critical observational gaps.

The Satellite Surface Charging Observatory for Prediction, Understanding, Learning, and Industry (SCOPULI), NSF ANSWERS Grant
PI Dr. Adam Kellerman, UCLA

Earth is surrounded by electrons and ions that create beautiful auroral displays but are also a hazard for orbiting satellites. These particles collect on satellite surfaces causing the satellite to charge to high levels. A sudden discharge can cause a damaging surge in electronic components and cause the satellite to behave in unexpected ways or completely stop responding. The SCOPULI project will investigate the physical mechanisms that produce this hazardous charged particle environment, educate society about the causes and effects of these charging events, and build tools to help government and industry prevent damaging impacts to our satellite infrastructure. SCOPULI is a collaborative project between the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Colorado Boulder, Space Hazards Applications, and Space Weather Solutions.

The project will develop physics- and machine-learning based models that span the solar wind and magnetosphere, and provide estimates of energetic (eV to keV) electron flux to predict spacecraft surface charging hazards. Models of electron population and of electric and magnetic fields, in combination with injection events with existing data products via data assimilation and machine learning, will be leveraged to develop a charging environment prediction capability. The models will allow users to provide their own satellite specifics, thus allowing for new or non-standard designs to be tested and provided charging predictions. The team will develop curriculum materials and interactive simulations with science teachers (grades 6-12), as well as industry-ready tools for real-time specification of space weather. A postdoc and graduate students will be involved in all aspects of the project. ANSWERS projects advance the nation’s STEM expertise and societal resilience to space weather hazards by filling key knowledge gaps regarding the coupled Sun-Earth system.

Professional Service

Science Meeting Organizer

  • 4th Applied Space Environments Conference – 2023 (Huntsville, AL)
  • 16th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference – 2022 (Virtual)
  • Applied Space Environments Conference – 2017 (Huntsville, AL), 2019 (Los Angeles, CA), 2021 (Virtual)

Session Organizer

  • AGU – 2017, 2018, 2019 (Physics of Space Weather Interactions and Societal Impacts), 2020, 2021 Session Co-convener on Space Weather
  • Space Weather Workshop (Boulder, CO) 2019 – Panel Chair, “Space Weather Support for Human Expansion Across the Universe”

Scientific Organizing Committee and Steering Team

  • 16th Spacecraft Charging and Technology, Virtual (2022)
  • 15th Spacecraft Charging and Technology, Kobe Japan (2018)
  • 14th Spacecraft Charging and Technology, Noordwijk, The Netherlands (2016)

Science Review Service

  • Journal and proposal reviews
  • Guest editor for special issue of IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science

Community Service

Board of Directors, Ars Nova School of the Arts