When: Mar 21 2024 @ 3:00 PM
Where: Hodson 210

Title: “Aiming to Explore Deep Space Through Space Robotics and Technology Demonstrations”

Abstract: Exploring planets and moons in the outer solar system is key to understanding planetary habitability, life formation, and several other questions of multiple scientific domains. However, as we continue to design exploration missions headed to those bodies, new technological developments are required, with needs ranging from innovative mission architectures to implementing novel hardware designs. In this talk, we will go over three branches of research that could help accelerate deep space exploration technology: (i) the ideation of innovative exploration architectures, such as models of swarms of small spacecraft and proof-of-concept validations of mobility systems and infrastructure establishing tools; (ii) the maturing of “next decade” exploration technology, which are elements at currently low to mid technology readiness levels, focusing on probes for descending through ice and exploring the hidden oceans of Europa and Enceladus; and (iii) the in-orbit validation of enabling technologies in low earth orbit (LEO), including thermomechanical solutions and attitude control tools that are crucial for spacecraft in deep space.

Bio: Dr. Paula do Vale Pereira is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology. She directs the Space Exploration and Spacecraft Engineering (SPACE) Laboratory, where she performs research on technology development for the exploration of deep space, mainly through the use of small spacecraft and probes for the exploration of Ocean Worlds, such as Europa and Enceladus. She has worked on the development, integration, testing, and operations of three spacecraft and the development, testing, and modeling of melt probes for subsurface descent in the cryogenic vacuum ice found in icy moons in the outer solar system. Dr. do Vale Pereira received her Ph.D. in Space Systems and M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has worked as a Visiting Researcher at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a Graduate Researcher at Stone Aerospace, and an Optical and Satellite Systems Intern at Facebook Connectivity Labs. Dr. do Vale Pereira has published more than 30 papers and has over 600 citations. She is the chair of Technical Affairs of the AIAA Small Satellite Technical Committee, a member of the AIAA Space Exploration Integration Committee, and Co-Lead of the Technology Roadmap Subgroup of the Ocean Worlds Working Group.

Website: https://research.fit.edu/space-lab/

Host: Gretar Tryggvason

Zoom: Meeting ID 955 8366 7779; Passcode 530803