Wednesday, June 20, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM PDT
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5:30 pm - 6:55 pm Check-in, Networking, Dinner (6PM)
6:55 pm - 7:00 pm Introduction
7:00 pm - 8:15 pm Indoor Presentation and Q & A
8:15 pm - 9:30 pm (10 pm) Ourdoor demo & Networking

(Library (indoor) closes at 9:00 pm)


Manhattan Beach Library 
1320 Highland Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266  


(Lot 8 - Free - 10 hour limit, Lots 5, 6, 14, & 15 - $0.75 per hour - 2 hour limit)

Driving Directions 



LA Section Events/Programs Chair
AIAA Los Angeles - Las Vegas Section


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Ticket Information

$20 AIAA Professional Member Price
$25 Non-AIAA Member -Regualr Price
$10 AIAA Student / Educator Member Price
$15 Non-AIAA Member -Student / Educator
  $5 Presentation Only -No Meal

(No Refund within 7 days of the event or afterwards)

Dress Code

Business Casual

Dinner (except for Presentation Only tickets)

Pan-Asian Platters or Boxes

Refreshment (for all attendees)

Snacks and hot/cold beverages

AIAA LA-LV June Dinner Meeting

Astrophotography Techniques

 with Telescope Demonstration (if weather permits)


Timothy McDonald
USAF Test Pilot School

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The Topic

Astrophotopgraphy Techniques

The proliferation of CCD technology -- in addition to the speed and processing power of modern personal computers -- has made it possible to capture images of deep-sky objects that far exceed the best resolutions amateurs were achieving only a few short decades ago.  Join test pilot and amateur astronomer Tim "NiCd" McDonald as he explains the basics of telescope optics, space "navigation," closed-loop sky-tracking techniques, CCD sensor noise mitigation, signal-to-noise ratio optimization and the modern data processing techniques amateurs are now using to achieve some truly astounding imaging results.  Weather permitting, we will step outside after the presentation to observe a few planets and/or deep-sky objects through Tim's telescope. Attendees will also have the opportunity to:

  • Learn how the astrophography is conducted and facilitated by CCD technologies
  • Enjoy the outdoor telescope demonstration with bright celestial objects like the Moon and the Jupiter etc. as the targets
  • Appreciate the beauty of the celestial objects/sky, and enjoy the fun evening of astronomy & astrophotography
  • Learn how fascinating astrophotograph could be achieved & enjoyed with personal equipment
  • Network with the speaker(s), aerospace professionals, amateur astronomers, business professionals, educators, students, and enthusiasts

The Speaker

Timothy McDonald
USAF Test Pilot School

Tim is currently an Experimental Test Pilot and flight instructor, USAF Test Pilot School and currently flying five different aircraft types, including the F-16. He is also a classroom instructor in the test disciplines of loads / structures, aircraft performance, human factors and aero-elasticity. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Foundation and is an award-winning author and public speaker on a variety of topics.   Tim attended USAF Academy (Class of ‘86), and obtained his BS in Astronautical Engineering, Cal State University, Fresno, (‘98), and MS, Mechanical Engineering, with honors. He is a graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot School (1996). He also served as the Technical Consultant to NASA on Human-Performance research projects. Accomplished amateur astrophotographerHe has 9 years operational flying experience in the F-16 and A-10, in Korea, the Philippines, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey and Iraq. He was the A-10 Demonstration Pilot in 1991. He has 20+ years of experimental flight testing in the F-16, F-15, F-117, T-38, DG-1000 and Boeing 747, with over 6,500 hours of flying time in over 80 different types of aircraft.