CEDAR email: Commercial Suborbital Access to Space workshop 28-30 April in Annapolis, MD

Barbara Emery emery at ucar.edu
Mon Mar 25 17:56:57 MDT 2013

This is a generic mailing to the CEDAR community sent 25 Mar 2013.
Meetings and jobs are listed at http://cedarweb.hao.ucar.edu under
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"The End of the Ignorosphere: An Aeronomy Researcher's Conference on Commercial 
Suborbital Access to Space" workshop 28-30 April in Annapolis, MD.
 From Todd Smith (h.todd.smith at jhuapl.edu).

Dear Colleagues,

The organizers and steering committee would like to invite you to "The End of 
the Ignorosphere: An Aeronomy Researcher's Conference on Commercial Suborbital 
Access to Space." '

*When: 		28-30 April, 2013
*Where: 	Annapolis, MD
*Website: 	https://secwww.jhuapl.edu/aeronomy/.

The goal of this workshop is to investigate using commercial spacecraft as 
dedicated aeronomy research vehicles. During this workshop, we will provide 
information on the latest spacecraft/spaceport developments and explore the 
utility, challenges and interest in aeronomy research enabled by these 
revolutionary vehicles. We are also soliciting talks about scientific 
investigations that could be greatly enhanced by these spacecraft (high altitude 
lightning, sprites, nocti-luminescent and polar-mesospheric clouds, mesopause, 
and D/E region etc.).

<b>Workshop Description</b>

Multiple companies are in the process of developing commercial suborbital 
reusable launch vehicles (sRLV's). While these companies originally targeted 
space tourism as the primary customer base, it is rapidly becoming apparent that 
this dramatic increase in low cost access to space could provide revolutionary 
opportunities for scientific research and STEM education. These vehicles are 
currently designed for manned and unmanned flights that reach altitudes of ~100 
km (microgravity environment for ~3-5 minutes) for $5K-$500K per flight with 
payload capacity exceeding 600 kg.  Considering the much higher cost per flight 
for a sounding rocket with similar capabilities, the low cost, high flight 
cadence, and guaranteed return of payload, commercial spacecraft has the 
potential to revolutionize access to near space.

Perhaps most important from a scientific perspective is that dedicated rapid 
turn-around flights allow for near persistent , in situ profiling and 
measurement from 0-100 km altitude. This capability provides for completely new 
thematic approaches in scientific investigations that were never before 
possible. The increase in low cost access to near space anticipated by these new 
vehicles could also offer game changing opportunities with respect to education. 
A space research vehicle will not only grant scientists much more frequent 
access to in situ investigations near the mesopause, but students at all levels 
will gain hands on access to space science and engineering. One can envision a 
model where students can conduct complete end to end projects where they design, 
build, fly and analyze data from individual research projects for thousands of 
dollars instead of hundreds of thousands.

This new paradigm offers the realistic possibility of establishing mankind's 
first dedicated commercial space aeronomy research vessel similar to those 
already established as research aircraft and ocean vessels. The goal of this 
workshop to educate the aeronomy community and begin discussions of future 
enabled research investigations. The results of the workshop will culminate in a 
workshop report and will be distributed via the National Science Foundation 
CEDAR Aeronomy Community.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop. Please do not hesitate to contact 
us with any questions.

<b>Workshop Details</b>
* Workshop Dates: 28-30 April, 2013.
* Workshop Outline:
**April 28: Evening Icebreaker reception
**April 29-30: One half-day update on spacecraft and spaceports followed by two 
half days of community presentations and discussions on science goals and future 
* Location: Historic Inns of Annapolis, Maryland:
* Registration Deadline: 04/28/13
* Workshop details available at (website)
* Please provide talk titles by 22 April, 2013 to h.todd.smith at jhuapl.edu.

Contact the Local Organizing Committee with questions and to submit proposed talks:
*H. Todd Smith (h.todd.smith at jhuapl.edu)
*Lars Dyrud (Lars.Dyrud at jhuapl.edu)
*Abigail Rymer (Abigail.Rymer at jhuapl.edu)
*Jonathan Fentzke (Jonathan.Fentzke at jhuapl.edu)


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