Saturday, June 30, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM PDT
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09:30 am - 10:00 am Check-in, Networking
10:00 am - 12:00 pm Morning Sessions
12:00 pm - 01:00 pm Lunch, Exhibition, and Networking
01:00 pm - 04:30 pm Afternoon Sessions


Redondo Beach Public Library (2nd Fl. Meeting Rm.) 
303 N Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

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$35 AIAA Professional Member Price
$40 Non-AIAA Member -Regular Price
$25 AIAA Student / Educator Member Price
$30 Non-AIAA Member -Student / Educator
$20 Presentation Only -No Meal (with snacks)
$15 Bring Your Own Lunch / Snacks (BYOLS)

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Lunch (except for Presentation-Only OR BYOLS tickets)

Pan Asian Platters of Box:
(A) Beef

(B) Chicken
(C) Vegetarian


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Refreshment (for all attendees)

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AIAA LA-LV mini-Conference series

Planetary Defense & Asteroid Exploration 

mini-Conference 2018

 Dr. Nahum Melamed, Project Leader, Aerospace Corporation
(Planetary Defense & Asteroid Exploration /  International Asteroid Day Introduction)
(NEO Deflection App)
 Andre E. Brochier, Engineering Specialist, Aerospace Corporation
(Recent Analysis performed in Planetary Defense)
Dr. Niraj Inamdar
Associate Physical Scientist, RAND Corporation
(The Story of Our Solar System as Told By Asteroids)
Dr. Joel C. SercelFounder, Trans Astronautica Corporation (TransAstra) 
(Asteroid Mining)
Col. Charlie Vono, USAF Retired, AIAA Distinguished Lecturer
(Keeping Complex Systems Working for Decades)
Philip Groves, "Asteroid Impact" IMAX Producer & Writer, Apophis Pictures, LLC 
(Planetary Defense Education Through Media)
Prof. Madhu Thangavelu, Director, Lecturer, and Faculty Member, USC/ISU
(Planetary Defense Systems)

The Event

June 30 is the International Asteroid Day. In previous years, the AIAA LA-LV Section has held or supported the Near Earth Objects (NEOs) Deflection App Hands-on Workshop or solo Presentation for this special date. This year on June 30, it will be a mini-conference covering the different aspects of Planetary Defense, and to bring more public attention to this interesting and important subject.

This mini-conference will introduce the NEO (and other possible) threats, covering past events, real-time close approaches and Earth impact risk, NEO discovery, tracking, and mitigation concepts. Recent advances, progress, and updates in the related efforts, including the NEO Deflection App, various approaches and issues for Planetary Defense (for instance, once built and deployed, how to keep the very complex system of Planetary defense radars, controls, intercepters, and etc. working forever with constant but timely technology updates, and the directed energy approaches), and Asteroid Exploration (mining and economics etc.), will be discussed. This important subject not only has great impact on the Aerospace community, but also the survival, civilization, prosperity, sustainment, and continuation of Humanity.

Our planet is at risk of being struck by NEOs such as asteroids and comets. We need to find hazardous space objects and deflect them before they impact Earth and cause damage or disaster. It has happened in the past and many NEOs frequently pass close to the Earth/Moon system today, some unnoticed.

More and more of these objects are being discovered and monitored daily, dramatically updating our view of the solar system in this regard thanks to dedicated efforts by planetary scientists, engineers, and support from the society.

It has been brought to attention for many years that effective asteroid deflection & planetary defense systems should be researched and prepared. The systems and the underline science & technology should be brought to a state of readiness associated with the risk. Society should also be prepared and readied for potential emergency due to an unmitigated impact to minimize the potential damage and ensure the maximum survival.

Please join us and bring your questions or suggestions to participate in this important and interesting event. We care for and support the Aerospace communities, and also the defense & survival of the Mankind, the Civilization, and the Earth & the Solar Systems. 

     Dr. Nahum Melamed                    Dr. Niraj Inamdar                     Col. Charlie Vono

           Philip Groves                     Prof. Madhu Thangavelu                        Dr. Joel C. Sercel

        Andre E. Brochier

The Speakers

Dr. Nahum Melamed
Project Leader, Aerospace Corporation

Dr. Nahum Melamed is a project leader at The Aerospace Corporation since 2003. He received BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering from the Technion, Israel, and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech. His expertise include Orbital Mechanics and Optimal Guidance. His key activities include Planetary Defense from Near Earth Objects, Space Debris Mitigation and Flight SW Validation.

He leads a collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) developing a physics based web NEO Deflection App, or NDA, to design NEO deflection missions and gain insights on the challenges involved. This  includes descriptions and tutorials that are necessary to interpret the data, supports planetary defense conferences, workshops and exercises, and is available online https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/nda/. Dr. Melamed serves on planetary defense conferences and planetary defense exercises organizing committees, gives talks at these venues, and instructs a planetary defense class at Aerospace.

Andre E. Brochier
PEngineering Specialist, Aerospace Corporation

Dr. Niraj Inamdar
Associate Physical Scientist, RAND Corporation

Dr. Niraj Inamdar is an Associate Physical Scientist at the RAND Corporation. Over the past decade, Dr. Inamdar has worked in fields as varied as exoplanetary science and planet formation theory; X-ray spectroscopy; mechanical design and analysis; spacecraft attitude dynamics and control; and bioengineering and microfluidics. Before joining RAND, he was a space systems architect at The Aerospace Corporation, and prior to that, an engineer and Science Lead on the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) instrument flying on NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. He received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in planetary sciences, his master's degree from MIT in mechanical engineering, and his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Joel C. Sercel
Founder, Trans Astronautica Corporation (TransAstra)

Joel C. Sercel, PhD, is the Founder of Trans Astronautica Corporation (TransAstra). Dr. Sercel has three decades of experience developing advanced technology and innovative products in fields ranging from aerospace and defense to software and robotics. Joel spent 14 years at JPL and taught systems engineering and space mission and satellite design at the graduate level at Caltech. Sercel led the conception and definition of the NSTAR ion propulsion system currently in use on the Dawn spacecraft in orbit around the asteroid Ceres. Sercel is a three time NIAC fellow for his work in asteroid prospecting and asteroid mining and is the inventor of Optical Mining (patent pending). NASA funded TransAstra studies show that asteroid mining for rocket propellant can reduce the cost of human exploration by a factor of three and make lunar tourism affordable. Sercel received his PhD and master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology with a doctoral dissertation in plasma physics as applied to space propulsion.

Col. Charlie Vono
Colonel, USAF-Retired, AIAA Distiguished Lecturer

Charlie, an AIAA Associate Fellow and Distinguished Lecturer, is a retired USAF colonel and retired defense contractor. In his 45 year career, he has been a pilot, operator, engineer, manager, and sustainer. His BS is from the USAF Academy in Astronautical Engineering. He has MS's in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University. He is a graduate of Air War College. Since retiring from a major defense contractor in 2014, Charlie has been writing and presenting extensively on the “how-to” of sustainment of complex systems. For more info, visit charlesvono.com.

Philip Groves
"Asteroid Impact" IMAX Producer & Writer, Apophis Pictures, LLC

Phil Groves is the writer and producer of the IMAX documentary Asteroid Impact.  Prior to becoming a film producer, he was the EVP of Worldwide Distribution for IMAX Corporation.

During Groves' tenure at IMAX, he successfully brought IMAX’s slate of Hollywood blockbuster event films to IMAX screens around the world, beginning with the very first day and date release of an IMAX DMR title, Matrix Revolutions.  In 2016, he was honored with the CinemaCon Passepartout Award for his “dedication and commitment to the international marketplace.”  Additionally, he increased the reach of IMAX documentaries to more multiplex and institutional IMAX screens worldwide.

Before IMAX, Groves was Vice President of Film for Loews Cineplex, spending over 20 years buying film for this national exhibition chain as well as Cineplex Odeon, and General Cinema.

Prior to his executive film career, Groves earned screenwriting credits and storyboarded a number of films including the comedy classic Airplane!; he also created on-screen graphics for the television program Wall Street Journal Consumer Newsline, and published comic books which he authored and illustrated.

Groves and his wife, Carol, have one daughter, Casey, and currently live in Thousand Oaks, CA

Prof. Madhu Thangavelu
Director, Lecturer, and Faculty Member, Cal-Earth Institute, ISU, USC

Madhu Thangavelu, MSc is space projects director of the Cal-Earth Institute and a fellow at NASA’s Institute of Advanced Concepts. He is an advisory board member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics with a focus on the design of complex space projects, including space stations and exploratory missions. He also teaches at the University of Southern California. Madhu’s educational background is in Architecture (Masters in Building Science, USC School of Architecture) and in Engineering (Bachelors in Science and Engineering, India). Versions of Madhu’s masters thesis (conceived during ISU ‘88 at MIT) entitled “MALEO: Modular Assembly in Low Earth Orbit. An Alternate Strategy for Lunar Base Establishment” were published in several journals worldwide.  He is a creative consultant to the aerospace industry in the newly evolving field of space architectures complex concept synthesis. His concepts have been reviewed and appreciated by NASA, the National Research Council, the National Space Council, and his work has been presented before the National Academy of Sciences. Madhu is on the visiting faculty of the International Space University (ISU) and lectures to Space System Architecture students at ISU and at USC. He continues to present and publish original concepts in Space System Architectures and chairs related sessions at conferences. He is a coauthor of the book The Moon: Resources, Future Development and Colonization and is Vice Chairman for Education, Los Angeles Section of the American Institute Of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).


AIAA Orange County (OC) Section

Bob Welge

The purpose of the Institute (AIAA) is to advance the arts, sciences, and technology of aeronautics and astronautics and to nurture and promote the professionalism of those engaged in these pursuits. The objective of the Orange County Section is to further, within its territory, the purposes and programs of the AIAA.


National Space Society (NSS) Los Angeles Chapter (OASIS) &
Aerospace Legacy Foundation (ALF)

Matthew Monahan
Dr. Seth Potter,
SDP Space Systems

The topics

NEO Deflection App
(Dr. Nahum Melamed)

The talk will introduce the NEO threat, covering past events, real-time close approaches and Earth impact risk, NEO discovery, tracking, and mitigation concepts. Recent advances, progresses, and updates in the related efforts, including the NEO Deflection App, and the recent conferences etc, will be discussed for this important subject, which not only has great impacts on the Aerospace communities, but also the survival, civilization, and continuation of Humanity. Please join us and bring your questions or suggestions to participate in this important and interesting event. We care for and support the Aerospace communities, and also the defense & survival of the Mankind, the Civilization, and the Earth & the Solar Systems.

Recent Analysis performed in Planetary Defense
(Andre E. Brochier)

The Story of Our Solar System as Told By Asteroids
(Dr. Niraj Inamdar)

Asteroids and the meteorites they give rise to provide crucial insights into the early history of our Solar System. Even more, they shed light on the current chemical and dynamical state of the Solar System and hold tantalizing clues to its future. In this talk, I provide an overview of how planetary systems form and evolve. I highlight what distinguishes our Solar System from the thousands of planetary systems we have now observed, and focus on the unique aspects of our Solar System's formation history as revealed through laboratory studies of meteorites, and through thermochemical, magnetic, and dynamical observations of asteroids. I provide overviews of important past, present, and future exploration missions to asteroids, and I close by touching upon the future role asteroids could play for humans here on Earth, and as humans extend their presence throughout the Solar System.

Asteroid Mining
(Dr. Joel C. Sercel)

Since 2015 TransAstra corporation, with the support and collaboration of our partners at the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy (IfA); the University of Central Florida’s Director at Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science (CLASS); and the Colorado School of Mines Center for Space Resources; has been conducting a multidisciplinary research and development program centers on enabling practical harvesting of the ingredients in rocket propellant from Near Earth Objects (NEOs). In this presentation Dr. Joel Sercel will provide highlights of these research efforts focusing on work related to telescopic prospecting; mission design for asteroid mining; economic benefits; and experimental work in our Patent Pending method of Optical Mining™.

Keeping Complex Systems Working for Decades
(Col. Charles Vono)

Planetary Defense Education Through Media
(Philip Groves)

Planetary Defense Systems
(Prof. Madhu Thangavelu)