Conference Symposia

Four interrelated topical areas will run simultaneously to maximize time efficiency for conference attendees. Please review the topicial areas and keywords below.

Symposium 1: Granular Materials in Space Exploration

The unconsolidated, granular nature of planetary regolith (soil) raises fundamental questions about its properties and behavior everywhere from Earth to the Moon and Mars to the asteroids and beyond. Traditional approaches need improvement to be effective in space, as well as in extreme environments here on Earth. Empiricism must be replaced with a firm fundamental basis in order to develop reliable and efficient methods to land, drive, excavate, and construct structures on solid surfaces of the solar system.

• anchoring in soils • geotechnical property measurement and prediction • regolith mechanics
• cratering • knowledge gaps and how to fill them • regolith simulants
• exhaust plume effects • new findings on specific solar system soils • numerical modeling
• granular flows • terramechanics in space • physical modeling

Symposium 2: Exploration and Utilization of Extra-Terrestrial Bodies

This topic will focus on methodologies, techniques, instruments, concepts, missions and system level designs associated with robotic and human exploration of the Moon, Mars, Near Earth Asteroids and other planetary bodies. Many of the various types of civil, geological, mining, chemical and materials processing engineering are needed to sustainably explore space.  Standard practices will have to be adapted, and new practices will have to be developed, to be able to rely on the natural resources of near-Earth asteroids, the Moon, and Mars to sustain human and robotic activities in space. Engineering systems and economics concepts as well as mechanical, robotic, and structural engineering solutions are needed as well. While there is always room for robust and innovative new concepts, the testing, refining, and more testing of previously proposed concepts are especially sought.

• economic geology of space     • mining and processing automation     • physical and numerical testing
• new equipment concepts     • equipment and system capability definition     • regolith operations
• orbital dynamics for mine planning and scheduling      • planetary drilling and regolith excavation     • mobility and robotics systems
• sample handling and processing technologies     • surface site preparation     • dust mitigation
• low gravity anchoring devices and techniques     • surface stabilization     • life support systems
• space commercialization, policy and law     • space transportation systems     • surface habitation systems
• human exploration and development of space     • in-situ resource utilization and development     • in-situ manufacturing
• technologies supporting space exploration     • communications and navigation     • remote sensing technologies
• in-situ instrumentation, sensors, site mapping and prospecting     • planetary mechanisms driven by electro-active acuation materials     • future missions and mission concepts, and related surface mission architectures
• commonalities and differences in lunar, martian, and asteroidal exploitation     • planetary analogs, engineering and science and earth extreme regions     • mineral processing in low gravity/vacuum/high-energy radiation environments
• extra-terrestrial and extreme terrestrial civil engineering and construction     • large, long-term terrestrial engineering projects as templates for non-terrestrial infrastructure development and financing     • other related topics

Symposium 3: Advanced Materials and Designs for Hydraulic, Earth, and Aerospace Structures

New techniques in experimental, computational, and analytical mechanics are expanding understanding of the behavior of composite, smart, and new materials.  Exciting combinations of fundamental studies and practical applications by government and industry are expanding the design and analysis capabilities for hydraulic, dirt, and aerospace structures on Earth and elsewhere.  Recent advances and studies on materials and structures as well as their design aspects in large hydraulic structures, geotechnical exploration, underground space development, and aerospace are particularly solicited.

• novel new structural components and systems   • structural health monitoring • nano/micro-mechanics
• safety and health monitoring of hydraulic structures   • impact mechanics of composites  
• green and high-performance concrete   • bioplastics and biocomposites  
• urban underground space development technologies      
• experimental, analytical and numerical techniques      
• fatigue, fracture, and damage mechanics
• resilience and sustainablility of materials and structures

Symposium 4: Structures in Challenging Environments:  Dynamics, Controls, Smart Structures, Health Monitoring, and Sensors

Integration of sensors into structural and material systems enables more effective and precisely tuned performance, as well as remote evaluation and control of space and terrestrial systems. The design and analysis of structures in challenging environments on any planetary body need special care beyond current terrestrial practice. Space environments – on surface or on orbit – expose systems to radiation exposure, micro/reduced gravity, vacuum, debris/meteoroid impact, and temperature extremes.  In addition, educators face challenges in using emerging technology to improve the education of the engineers of the future. Overcoming these significant challenges is imperative to the success of any structure in space.

• smart and intelligent structures   • shape memory alloy actuators   • structural health monitoring
• dynamics and controls   • modeling of intelligent structures   • fiber optic and piezeoelectric-based sensors
• structural vibration control via active and semi-active approaches   • nanomaterial-based and biologically inspired sensors, actuators, and structures   • tracking and control of structures in challenging environments
• innovative techniques/methodologies of design and analysis of structures   • structures in extreme environments on Earth, in space, and on the Moon and Mars   • university-industry joint programs
• remote experiments