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Proceedings Paper

Rideshare programs: a historical perspective
Author(s): Brian J. Horais
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Paper Abstract

In recent years there has been a significant increase in demand for testing, qualification and evaluation of satellite components in space. This will continue to be true with the dramatic growth in remote sensing and communication satellites and constellations. Finding ways to space qualify components and sensors without paying for expensive, dedicated space experiments has prompted a number of aerospace companies (large and small) and government organizations to increase their emphasis on providing low-cost access to space by means of secondary rides on primary payloads and launch vehicle structures. Proactive rideshare brokering is a process that supports space testing by actively providing the information, processes and equipment necessary to support successful space testing. As U.S. space programs have grown in scope and cost, the capacity to accetp risk as part of the development process has diminished - resulting in reduced levels of innovation and erosion of our space industry domination. In contrast, the international space community has instituted a number of innovative processes that support low cost entry to space for small programs. This has stimulated new space systems industries in many countries around the world. This growth is closely coupled with the dynamic growth in the International space launch industry. Proactive rideshare brokering takes a new approach to secondary payload integration. Many commercial and government payload integration services have taken the approach "If you build it they will come." This is not sufficiently aggressive to attract the new technologists who know very little about space testing. Proactive brokering must take a "You must go out and actively seek high-payoff technology payloads" approach to have a true impact on the implementation of new space system technologies. It should also include the application of proven practices from the international payload integration community. The paper draws conclusions by comparing what has been done historically and currently in the international space payload integration community versus what the current practices are in the U.S.. Observations and recommendations are made that reflect a reduced timeline approach and that acknowledge the close coupling between the technology base, the space systems industry, infrastructure and educational processes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 November 2000
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4136, Small Payloads in Space, (7 November 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.406649
Show Author Affiliations
Brian J. Horais, Schafer Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4136:
Small Payloads in Space
Brian J. Horais; Robert J. Twiggs, Editor(s)

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