The Space Show Broadcast 526

The Space Show
July 25, 2006

Dr. Pat Patterson and Dr. Charles Swenson joined The Space Show to discuss the upcoming SmallSat Conference in Logan, Utah. We began the interview Dr. Patterson giving us the history of the SmallSat conference. We then began talking about education in the U.S., engineers, funding for science and space related programs in schools and universities and much more. Listeners can learn more about the SmallSat conference by visiting Registration for the conference is still available. We also talked about launch overkill regarding small satellites and large launchers. Pat and Charles had much to say on this subject, as well as the applications for small satellites around the world. We discussed military space and its relationship with commercial space, ITAR and space conferences, and the keynote speakers attending this years SmallSat. Pat explained the side meetings, the student programming and aspects of SmallSat and the networking that takes place at this conference. You can asked Drs. Patterson and Swenson follow up questions or give them your comments by sending them to me care of I will immediately forward your comments/questions to the guest you designate.

Listen to the show (43 MB MP3)

The Space Show Broadcast 526 (Special Edition)

About our guests...

Dr. Pat Patterson
With over 20 years experience in the space industry Dr. Patterson has a distinctive and broad history in space systems engineering as well as mission operations planning and execution. Dr. Patterson is currently is charge of all small satellite programs at the Space Dynamics Laboratory. He has over a decade of experience in sounding rocket, balloon, and spacecraft systems engineering and ten years experience in program management. He is currently the ANGELS program manager and was program manager on the NIMBUS, FPMU, Combat Sentinel, and Solar Thermal Propulsion programs and planned and executed several space experiments for AFRL. His spacecraft operations experience includes efforts at Onizuka Air Force Station, AFSCN, SSN, 1st SOPS and the Space Control Center. Dr. Patterson has also led Laser and Radar operations at LAZAP, HELSTF, MALABAR, MSSS, SOR, Kwajalein Missile Range, Beale Air Force Base, and Eglin Air Force Base. His engineering experience includes EXCEDE III, StarTracker, Brilliant Eyes Proof-of-Principle (BEPoP), Flying Infrared Signatures Technology Aircraft Instrumentation and Support (FISTA), Technology for Autonomous Operational Survivability (TAOS), Interferometric Fiber Optic Gyroscope (IFOG), and Atomic Oxygen (ATOX). As Principal Investigator, Dr. Patterson conducted the ASTEC and Microsat studies, and is currently leading the ANGELS study for AFRL. Dr. Patterson is also the Chairman of the Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites.

Dr. Charles Swenson
Charles Swenson is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Utah State University. He teaches graduate level courses in the area of space engineering and space science and undergraduate courses in analog circuits. His research activities are split between space science, instrumentation for measuring the space environment, space systems engineering and small satellites. He has been the principal investigator for instrumentation on multiple NASA sounding rocket missions and is the principal instrument scientist for the Floating Potential Measurement Unit for the International Space Station. He is the principal investigator and academic adviser for the Utah State University Student Small Satellite Program. His active research programs include data analysis of NASA TIMED Spacecraft, a sounding rocket mission to understand the connection between storms in the ionosphere and large terrestrial storm systems, the USUSat program and the development of new instrumentation for understanding space weather. Dr. Swenson’s research activities are often in association with Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Lab. He attended Utah State University where he graduated with a double major in Electrical Engineering and Physics and earned a Masters of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He completed his Ph.D. at Cornell University in Electrical Engineering in January of 1992 and joined the faculty at Utah State University that same year. He is currently the Director of the Space Instrumentation Laboratory and the Center for Space Engineering at Utah State University. He has received awards for teaching and research excellence, directs over $1 million/year in basic research and development and has over 50 scientific publications.

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