Preliminary Program

Program is subject to change.

Technical Program Outline

The Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS) Conference is an annual venue for international progress on space nuclear power and propulsion. NETS serves to communicate advancements across government, academia, industry, and national laboratories related to space nuclear activities. This year, an emphasis is placed on emerging space technologies and capabilities that could support or augment existing space nuclear power and propulsion systems and concepts. The technical conference program includes keynote speakers, panel sessions, six technical tracks, and a special lightning talk session for selected concepts.

Keynote Speakers

Franklin Chang-Diaz – Former astronaut, Entrepreneur
Steve Jurczyk – Associate Administrator, NASA
John Kelly – President, American Nuclear Society
Aaron Miles – Policy Analyst, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
Fred Kennedy – TTO Director, DARPA

Technical Tracks

Track I: Emerging Technologies for Space
Track Co-Chairs: Omar Mireles (NASA), Justin Kugler (Made in Space)
• Data analytics
• Machine learning & artificial intelligence
• Additive manufacturing
• New launch opportunities for small payloads
• CubeSat & SmallSat exploration vehicles & mission concepts
• Constellations & distributed capabilities
• In-situ resource utilization
Track 2: Mission Concepts and Logistics
Track Chair: Russ Joyner (Aerojet Rocketdyne)
• Future mission concepts & technology development needs
• Spacecraft design concepts
• Launch opportunities & logistics
• Space nuclear regulation
• Infrastructure & capabilities
• Lessons learned
Track 3: Space Nuclear Policy
Track Co-Chair: Bhavya Lal and Susannah Howieson (Institute for Defense Analyses)
• Commercial use of space nuclear systems
• Legal, regulatory, and political environments
• Public-private partnerships
• International and Public Considerations
Track 4: Space Reactors
Track Co-Chairs: Paolo Venneri (Ultra-Safe Nuclear Co) and Patrick McClure (LANL)
• Nuclear thermal propulsion
• Mars & Lunar power
• Space vehicle power
• Fuel production & processing
• High-temperature materials & alloys
• Radiator concepts, design, and testing
• System design & testing
• Modeling & Simulation
Track 5: Radioisotope Power Systems
Track Co-Chairs: Robert Wham (ORNL) and Steve Johnson (INL)
• Radioisotope production & processing
• Component & system testing
• R&D using surrogate materials
• Advanced design concepts & development
• High-temperature materials
• Radiation tolerance & testing of materials
Track 6: Energy Conversion Technology Development
Track Co-Chairs: Jean-Pierre Fleurial (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and Salvatore Oriti (NASA GRC)
• Development & testing of static energy conversion devices (ex. thermoelectric, thermionic)
• Development & testing of dynamic energy conversion devices and components (ex. Stirling engines, acoustic engine, Brayton, Rankine)
• Advanced energy conversion materials
• Radiation effects on energy conversion materials & devices
• Thermal management
• Power management & distribution

Panel Sessions

Panel Session 1: Emerging Manufacturing Technologies for Space and Nuclear Components
Scott Shargots (BWXT)
Justin Kugler (Made in Space)
Omar Mireles (NASA Marshall)
Jeff Slostad (Tethers Unlimited)
Panel Session 2: Opportunities and Directions in Space Nuclear Policy
Matt Forsbacka (NASA)
William Kowalski (Atomos)
Fred Kennedy (DARPA)
Aaron Miles (OSTP)
Panel Session 3: Directions in Space Nuclear
Optional, TBD

Organizing Committee

Technical Program Chair: Jeff Katalenich (PNNL)
Committee: Brandon Seifert (Atomos), Chris Morrison (USNC), Andy Prichard (PNNL), Dion Sunderland (PNNL)