The AIAA Tech Symposium is this Saturday November 14 at the Future of Flight Museum in Everett. Here is our opening speaker for this year:


Dr. Rostislav Spektor
Electric Propulsion & Plasma Science Section Head, The Aerospace Corporation; Chair, AIAA Electric Propulsion Committee

Electric Propulsion for Space Vehicles

Electric Propulsion (EP) technology has been known to be an effective mode of spacecraft transportation since the dawn of the space age. First satellite tests of EP devices were conducted as early as 1964 and by the 21st century hundreds of EP thrusters were responsible for performing station-keeping duties on multiple satellites and enabling NASA to visit far-off asteroids. Because, in part, of the latest advances in solar array technology, the role of EP devices has expanded to orbit insertion as well as very low orbit station maintenance – a role that chemical propulsion would not be able to fulfill. Recently Boeing has flown all-EP satellites, which rely entirely on electric propulsion, and other companies are rapidly developing their all-EP satellites. In this talk we will trace the development of EP technology from its early implementation to the current state of the art, and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of flying electric propulsion on satellites. We will also peer into the future and discuss how EP may change the way we explore space.
Also featuring Panel Sessions on:

Financing Innovation
Innovations occur in virtually limitless ways and contexts. Most are incremental, incorporating new discoveries as improvements beyond existing technological boundaries. Occasionally, new discoveries are disruptive, with the potential to completely change the way we do basic things. Examples of this include the telegraph, the telephone, and the mobile phone, each of which fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Established companies find it hard to pursue innovations that cannibalize existing businesses; Kodak discovered digital photography but didn’t reap its benefits. And the disruptive idea may be the easiest part; more difficult tasks include building a compelling plan, attracting capable management and securing funding adequate to execute that plan. These panelists have extensive experience working with entrepreneurs converting ideas into businesses and will share their perspectives on financing innovation.

Electric Propulsion for Space Flight
Spacecraft transportation has used electric propulsion from the beginning of the space age. Advances in EP technology have expanded the role of EP thrusters and devices to orbit insertion and low orbit station maintenance. Today, there is talk of manned missions to Mars. But propulsion systems that meet the severe resource and time constraints required of manned missions do not yet exist. This panel brings together three propulsion experts who have made presentations today- Rostislav Spektor, Justin Little and Setthivoine You- to discuss efforts being made in the development of advanced propulsion systems that could revolutionize the field of high-power electric space propulsion by providing longer lifetimes and higher efficiencies. Each of the panelists has a view of the ways in which EP may change the way we explore space and the panel discussion is intended to bring out advantages, disadvantages, benefits  and risks of the various approaches currently being pursued.


You can still register, and register at the door. See the following link for registration information:

AIAA Tech Symposium Registration