17–19 September 2018
Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando, Florida

Call for Papers

Dates to Remember:

Abstract Submission Opens: 29 November 2017                                                                                             
Abstract Submission Closes: 8 February 2018, 2000 hrs Eastern Time Zone, USA
Author Notification: 8 April 2018 
Manuscript Deadline: 16 August 2018, 2000 hrs Eastern Time Zone, USA
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Student Paper Competition: Additional Information

Abstract Submission Policies Abstract Submission Procedures Abstract Submission Requirements

For 2018, we are soliciting papers in the following technical disciplines: 

Go to: Green Engineering
Go to: Human Space Flight
Go to: Hypersonics                                                   
Go to: Information Systems and Software
Go to: ITAR Presentations
Go to: National Security Space
Go to: Reinventing Space
Go to: Small Satellites
Go to: Space Exploration
Go to: Space History, Society, and Policy
Go to: Space Logistics and Supportability
Go to: Space Operations
Go to: Space Resources Utilization                                                                                                                                    
Go to: Space Robotics and Automation
Go to: Space Systems
Go to: Space Systems Engineering and Space Economics
Go to: Space Transportation 

Green Engineering

Please direct questions to: Jeremy Straub

This track includes topics related to green engineering for space missions (including both in-space activities and activities on the surface of other planets, asteroids and other bodies) as well as the terrestrial facilities, equipment and other mechanisms required to design, develop and support these missions.

  • Energy efficient hardware / craft
  • Energy efficient mission design and operations
  • Environmentally friendly energy for space exploration
  • Green engineering for space missions
  • Green propellants
  • Green space / spacecraft technologies
  • Space solar power / wireless power transmission
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Human Space Flight

Please direct questions to: Matthew Simon, Anita Gale, Ondreju Doule, and Samuel Wald

The future of human space flight continues to provide benefits to all mankind: the exploration of the solar system, development of space resources, research, tourism, education, and permanent settlement. Mission concepts, system architecture, and habitation technologies all enable our visions of this future. The Human Space Flight Track, sponsored by AIAA's Space Architecture, and Space Colonization Technical Committees, welcomes detailed and interdisciplinary papers about all aspects of the human adventure in space such as:

  • Colonies and settlements
  • Economic viability and growth
  • Goals, purpose, vision, and strategy for human space flight
  • Human factors at all scales
  • Human space flight standards
  • Mission concepts and system architectures
  • Professional education and outreach in human spaceflight
  • Space architecture: habitats, infrastructure, and construction
  • Space flight analogs and simulators
  • System-level integration of advanced technologies

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Hypersonics

Please direct questions to:  Peter Montgomery

Sessions will provide a forum for discussion and exchange of information about leading-edge research and development activities associated with space planes and hypersonic atmospheric flight vehicles and the technologies underpinning these capabilities, including national programs from North America, South America, Australia, Europe, and Asia. Topics include planned and ongoing space plane and hypersonic vehicle programs, advanced launch vehicle and hypersonic atmospheric flight vehicle concepts, commercial space tourism concepts, flight testing techniques, results, and lessons learned, reentry vehicle systems and technologies, aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics of space planes and hypersonic vehicles, MHD and plasma aerodynamic flow control techniques, rocket, ramjet, scramjet, and other advanced propulsion systems, including component technologies (e.g., inlets, combustion systems, fuel injection concepts, ignition and flameholding concepts, nozzles), high-temperature materials, hot structures and thermal protection systems, health monitoring and management technologies, and more. For more information, click  here

  • Missions and Vehicles
  • Operational Systems Aspects
  • Thermal Management Systems for Vehicles and all Subsystems
  • Propulsion Systems
  • Propulsion Components
  • Power and Control Systems
  • Materials and Structures for Vehicles and all Subsystems
  • Test and Evalution
  • Computational Methods
  • Hypersonic Fundamentals and History


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Information Systems and Software

Please direct questions to:  Akira Oyama, and Miroslav Velev                                                                                      


The scope of the Information Systems and Software track broadly includes all aspects of architecture, design, development, operations and maintenance of information systems for space applications. In particular, papers are solicited on the following topics:

  • Communications Systems: Design, development and operation of communications systems for space applications, and associated technologies.
  • Computer Systems: Theoretical and practical considerations involving the applications of computers and information processing techniques to space systems.
  • Digital Avionics: Design, development and operation of digital avionics systems and technology for space applications.
  • Information and Command and Control Systems: Integrated application of data acquisition, data assessment, and data dissemination functions required for timely and efficient command and control of space systems.
  • Intelligent Systems: Application of Intelligent System (IS) technologies and methods to space systems, the verification and validation of these systems, and technologies which enable effective, reliable and highly autonomous operation of complex space systems or sub-systems with minimal or no human intervention.
  • Model-Based Systems and Software Engineering: Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) applications to support system requirements, design, analysis, verification and validation activities, including innovative space-related applications, and methodologies, tools, and analysis techniques. 
  • Planning and Scheduling: Automated planning and scheduling for large and complex space systems, architecture development and validation for both software and hardware, integration with human-machine interfaces for supporting advanced mission operations, with special emphasis on planning and scheduling for crewed, dormant, and robotic autonomous systems.
  • Sensor Systems and Information Fusion: All aspects of space sensor systems and distributed sensor networks for detection, collection, information fusion, storage, retrieval, distribution, and reception of information at the local sensing node and at the distributed sensor network level.
  • Software: Innovative software architectures and software engineering issues for complex space systems, across the software engineering lifecycle, including requirements, design, code, test, evaluation, operation and maintenance.

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ITAR Presentations

Please direct questions to:  To be determined

In the ongoing effort to improve the impact of AIAA events for members, ITAR sessions will continue to be organized with the intent of expanding the breadth of topics and emphasizing sessions with relevance to Forum 360 events and major elements of the open technical sessions. Submission of groups of presentations representing major accomplishments or status updates of significant system development programs are encouraged. Specific topics of interest are listed below, but work in other related areas are also encouraged.

  • National Security Space
  • Space Operations
  • Space Transportation
  • Other topics

All abstracts must be unrestricted and cleared for public release, though the final papers and presentations will be ITAR restricted. Click here to make sure you meet the attendance and submission requirement to present in ITAR sessions. 

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National Security Space

Please direct questions to: Joseph Betser, and Roberta Ewart


The National Security Space track invites papers in the following areas:

  • Advanced Concepts: Including NSS CONOPS, material solutions, and architectures
  • Enterprise Architecting Analysis: Including NSS requirements, military utility, multi-mission and one-on-one engagement, acquisition simulation, and procurement
  • Emerging Trends: Including descriptions of the trends affecting the NSS space applications and systems development
  • Prototypes and Demonstrations: Including updates on prototypes and demonstrations in the NSS pipeline
  • Science and Technology Efforts: Including those aimed at key science and technologies for revolutionary applications
  • Technology Transition: Including updates on existing programs working on technology transition from any partner toward the NSS missions  
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Reinventing Space

Please direct questions to:  Anthony Shao, and Claude Joyner

The need to create dramatically lower cost, responsive and reliable launch systems and spacecraft has never been more vital. Advances in technology are allowing smaller and cheaper satellites to be orbited - from cubesats to nanosatellites to femtosatellites. Thanks to more efficient new launch possibilities, low cost access to space is becoming ever more achievable. The Reinventing Space Track will accept papers on all aspects of Low-Cost, Responsive Space, but particularly solicits papers that emphasize economic analysis and methods, techniques, and examples of ways to drive down space mission cost and schedule and create affordable and responsive space missions. Tactical space systems—how do we best serve the needs of the warfighter for military missions, the needs of emergency responders, for civilian missions, and the needs of the end user for commercial missions? Low-cost interplanetary missions—can we use the new technology to create dramatically lower cost interplanetary missions? Ways to dramatically reduce space system and launch cost and schedule—what are the Methods, Processes and Technologies that we can use to achieve major reductions in space mission cost and schedule? New application areas for low-cost space systems—what are the new applications that can take advantage of newer, much-lower-cost systems?     

Areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Economics
  • Law and regulations
  • Mission design
  • On-orbit maintenance and repair
  • Plug-and-play
  • Resilient space
  • Responsive launch and operations
  • Responsive missions
  • Responsive operations
  • Responsive spacecraft 

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Small Satellites

Please direct questions to:  Jeremy Straub

This track covers all aspects of small satellites and their missions. Topics include small satellite design, development and systems engineering, mission operations and spacecraft subsystems. We are also interested in papers discussing launch capabilities for small spacecraft and policy considerations related to small spacecraft and their use. Papers are also welcome that discuss success factors for small spacecraft missions, as are those regarding education related to small spacecraft development or the use of small spacecraft in other educational activities (formal or informal).

  • Board / Chip SATS
  • Control (including autonomy) for small spacecraft
  • CubeSats
  • Dedicated launch capabilities for small satellites
  • Educational activities (informal and formal) related to or using small spacecraft
  • ESPA-class spacecraft
  • Other small satellites
  • Rideshare capabilities
  • Small satellites
  • Small spacecraft communications
  • Small spacecraft missions (including flown and planned)
  • Subsystems for small spacecraft
  • Use of small spacecraft beyond Earth orbit
  • Use of small spacecraft in clusters or federated systems  

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Space Exploration

Please direct questions to:  Chris Moore, and Surendra P. Sharma

The Space Exploration track spans mission architectures, advanced technologies, and flight systems to enable robotic precursor and human exploration missions to the moon, Lagrange points, Near Earth Objects (NEOs), and Mars and its moons, and space infrastructure. Abstracts are being solicited on the following topics:

  • Mission Architectures: Studies, systems analysis, and operational scenarios for human exploration missions beyond Earth orbit
  • Enabling Technologies: The development of critical technologies to enable human exploration missions.
  • Flight Systems: Flight experiments to demonstrate critical capabilities, and development of crew exploration vehicles and in-space transportation systems
  • Robotic Precursor Missions: Mission concepts and plans for robotic precursor missions to characterize space environments and scout potential destinations for future human activity
  • Space Infrastructure: Space communications, Waypoints for repair, servicing, and staging points for deep space launch, propellant depot, spaceports, and others
  • Using ISS for Exploration: Using ISS as an analog for long-duration missions, and as a test bed for demonstrating technologies and operational concepts for exploration.                                                                                                                                  

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Space History, Society and Policy

Please direct questions to:  Amir S. Gohardani, and Scott West

The Space History, Society, and Policy Track examines the history of our time in space, space law and policy, international cooperation, the societal impacts of aerospace technologies and an educated and trained workforce, and the evolution of our space-faring society. For more information, click  here. Topics addressed include:

  • Astrosociology
  • Interactions with Society
  • International Cooperation
  • Space Law and Policy
  • Space Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Perspectives
  • Spinoffs and Technology Transfer
  • The History of Aerospace – Legacy and Lessons Learned

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Space Logistics and Supportability


Please direct questions to: 
Kandyce Goodliff, and Lauren Paunescu

Space logistics is the theory and practice of driving space system design for operability, and of managing the flow of material, services, and information needed throughout a space system lifecycle. It includes management of the logistics supply chain from Earth and on to destinations throughout the solar system. Supportability considers strategies to minimize both logistics requirements and operational costs of human and robotic operations. Supportability strategies include processes and technologies to minimize maintenance complexity, exploit in-situ resources, scavenge and reuse flight hardware, and recycle consumables. Representative areas include the servicing and sustainment of the International Space Station and of lunar and planetary outposts, the optimization of logistics launch vehicles for responsiveness and serviceability, and modeling of the supply chain in space for human and robotic mission campaigns.

  • Advanced Destination Logistics: Outpost Management and Provisioning; In-Situ Resource Logistics
  • Advanced Space Logistics Infrastructures: On-Orbit Fuel Depots, Refueling in Space
  • Advanced Supportability Concepts: In-Situ Repair, In-Situ Fabrication, Resource Pre-Positioning
  • Automated Spaceflight Supply Chain Asset Tracking and Monitoring
  • Commercial Space Logistics Opportunities, Including Asteroid Mining
  • In-Space Spacecraft and Satellite Servicing
  • Logistics Approaches: Design for Commonality, Integrated Logistics Concepts, Consumables Recycling
  • Space Logistics Campaign Planning: Methods, Modeling, Simulation, and Cost Analysis Tools
  • Spaceport Ground Processing and Launch Logistics
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Space Operations

Please direct questions to:  Scott Burleigh

The cost and safety of space operations has long been a major factor in decisions of where and when we proceed with the exploration of space. Commercial space, with remote sensing, crew and cargo to low earth orbit, on-orbit satellite servicing and re-purposing, space tourism and space prospecting/mining is a growing sector for operations. To enhance commercial and scientific growth in space and inspire the next generation of operators/explorers/entrepreneurs, the bottom line is a need to reduce risk and lower costs as well as to grow STEM education in an exciting manner through the application of best practices, new techniques, new technologies, and new paradigms.

  • Command and control of extremely large fleets of smal satellites
  • Commercial prospects for lunar bases
  • How young is too young to start learning about aerospace engineering
  • Law and policy issues in space
  • Operational challenges for the deep space getaway
  • Reusable Launch Vehicles: What are the non-obvious implications?
  • Solar Power Generation from Orbit: What are the remaining obstacles?
  • Space Debris: How do we agree on what is cleanup and what is sabotage?
  • The International Space Station as a classroom

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Space Resources Utilization

Please direct questions to:  Koorosh Araghi

Papers are solicited which address research and development of technologies, processes, and hardware that demonstrate the utilization of space resources. Topic areas encompass any aspects or applications of resource utilization in support of human or robotic exploration to destinations such as the moon, Mars, and asteroids. Areas of interest may include, but are not limited to: Identification of resources via local prospecting, sample return, or remote detection; production of mission consumables (eg from local regolith material, subsurface ice, and/or atmosphere); physical manipulation of surface material including mining, excavation, beneficiation, dust filtartion and mitigation, and surface transportation; processing of local resources for value added products (e.g. construction materials or for earth markets); and integration of space resource production into mission architectures and systems such as propulsion and life support. Abstracts are being solicited in the following technical topics:

  • Dust filtration and mitigations
  • Processing and application of resources
  • Resource acquisition and collection
  • Resource enabled mission concepts
  • Resource identification, prospecting
  • Surface material manipulation and transport

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Space Robotics and Automation

Please direct questions to:  Steven E. Fredrickson, and Ou Ma

This track explores space robotic and automation technologies for orbital and planetary surface missions. This includes both robotic precursor activities as well as human interaction with space robotics and automation systems. Abstracts are being solicited in the following technical topics:

  • Advanced Space Robotics and Automation Technologies and ApplicationsAdvanced Technologies for Space Robotics and Automation
  • Artificial Intelligence for Space Robotics and Automation
  • Computer/Machine Vision for Robotic Applications
  • Current Space Robotic Mission Applications and Projects
  • Human/Robotic Systems Integration, Including Augmented/hybrid Reality Systems
  • Robotic Manipulation Technologies and End Effectors
  • Robotic Servicing
  • Spacecraft Automation
  • Verification and Validation Techniques for Space Robotic and Automation Systems

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Space Systems

Please direct questions to: John Bloomer, and Erica Rodgers

The Space Systems and Sensors track seeks to present important findings from recent work on emerging space systems, space science, and sensor technologies. In particular, papers are sought that address technical, operational, and economic feasibility of current and future space systems that address the full range of civil, military, educational, and international applications. Papers by students are especially encouraged.

  • Additive Manufacturing of Space Systems
  • Education Outreach in Space Systems, Space Science, and sensors
  • Emerging Technologies and Applications for Global Benefit
  • Enabling Technologies for Distributed or Fractionated Space
  • In-Space Assembly and In-Space Servicing
  • Onboard Processing and Intelligent Sensing
  • Proximity Sensing of Space Objects and Orbital Space Situational Awareness (SSA)
  • Remote Sensing for Climate and Weather
  • Space and Planetary Science Mission Science and Technologies
  • Space System Architectures and Concepts of Operation
  • Workforce Development for Space Systems and Sensors Engineering

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Space Systems Engineering and Space Economics

Please direct questions to:  Sherry Stukes, Michelle Bailey, and Daniel Nigg

The role of systems engineering in space programs has become more important as systems have become increasingly complex, architectures have become expansive, and integration across architectures has become commonplace and essential. As the utilization of space increases, driven by technological advances and commercial opportunities, the economics of space have become a dominant challenge. These challenges can be met by analyzing data and developing models to clarify the best value and key economic insights for decision makers. A goal of the systems engineering and space economics community is to understand trends, develop and apply capabilities to facilitate economically robust future space systems. Aspects of systems engineering and space economics that may be included in this track are:

  • Definition and application of space system architectures
  • Concurrent engineering and advances in systems engineering processes and tools applied to space systems
  • Systems engineering lessons learned from current and previous space programs
  • Space systems requirements generation, integration, verification, and validation
  • Systems engineering maturity models for space applications
  • Systems-of-systems research
  • Space systems risk analysis and management
  • Economic Challenges facing today's Commercial Space Companies
  • Economics of "Newspace": crowdsourcing, income streams and payback analyses
  • The Business Case for Space: Analyses of commercial space enterprises, public private space partnerships, spaceports
  • Advances in trade studies or modeling for economic analysis, affordability, or value engineering
  • Space systems engineering efficiencies and cost control in a constrained budget environment

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Space Transportation

Please direct questions to:  Adam Dissel, and Leon McKinney

The commercial, military, scientific, and human exploration of space depends upon highly reliable access at reasonable costs. Commercial companies have offered the promise of low-cost space access, and some are currently developing, testing, and operating their systems. NASA has begun operation of low-cost, reliable commercial cargo delivery, and is developing crew delivery, to the International Space Station (ISS). The NASA Space Launch System (SLS) will provide the Orion crewed spacecraft a capability to reach deep space destinations. Launch capabilities are also emerging on several fronts to transport the increasing number of small satellite payloads to orbit.

  • Emerging launch system designs, concepts, and developments
  • In-space transportation systems and architectures, including propellant depots
  • Launch vehicles and systems (including suborbital)
  • Lessons learned from previous programs and design studies
  • Operations of spaceports and ranges
  • RLV development, programmatic (including economics), and industry-related strategies
  • Space transportation technology design, and integration challenges
  • Space transportation for space tourism
  • Space transportation analytical tools, materials, and technologies

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Student Paper Competition

The following Student Paper Competition is being held in conjunction with the Forum:

  • Space Systems

Student Eligibility Requirements

  • Student author(s) must be a member of AIAA in order to enter the competition.
  • Student author(s) must be full-time students in good academic standing at their university/institution at the time of submission.
  • Manuscript content represents the work of the author
  • Student(s) must be the primary author(s) of the paper and the work must have been performed while the author(s) was a student.
  • Student author(s) must be able to attend the Forum to present their work should it be selected for presentation.

Student Submission Requirements

  • Student Paper Competition submissions must adhere to the overall Forum Abstract Submission Requirements.
  • Students must select the “Student Paper Competition” presentation type during the electronic submission process. Do not submit the abstract more than once. Only submissions with “Student Paper Competition” presentation type indicated will be eligible for the competition.
  • All submissions must be made by the Forum abstract submission deadline of 9 November 2017, 2000 hrs Eastern Standard Time Zone, USA.
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Dates to Remember

  • Open for Abstract: 29 Nov 2017
  • Abstract Deadline: 08 Feb 2018
  • Manuscript Deadline: 16 Aug 2018
  • Early Bird Reg Deadline: 27 Aug 2018
  • Cancellation Deadline: 04 Sep 2018

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