Joint Conference – Plenary Panels

Plenary Panel 1

Communications and Navigation for the Expanding Space Economy

The global space economy grew 8% to $546 billion in 2022 and is projected to climb another 41% over the next five years, according to a leading space nonprofit.  This panel will explore the pivotal role of advanced communication and navigation systems in facilitating the growth of the space economy. Experts from Government, Industry and Academia will convene to delve into cutting-edge technologies, strategies, and challenges shaping the interconnected future of space exploration and the expanding space economy. Join us for insightful discussions on how these crucial elements propel the expanding frontier of the global space economy.

Chair:
Badri Younes, NASA Senior Advisor on Communications and Navigation Capabilities, Operation and Technology, NASA, USA

Badri YounesBadri Younes, NASA Senior Advisor on Communications and Navigation Capabilities, Operation and Technology. Previously, Younes was responsible for NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) infrastructure and services, as well as data standards and spectrum. Badri also managed the SCaN Program Office at NASA Headquarters and oversaw all NASA communications and navigation projects and networks, including NASA’s Space Network (SN), Near Earth Network (NEN) and Deep Space Network (DSN). He was also responsible for the development of enabling technologies crucial to meeting the Agency’s vision for an integrated SCaN architecture aligned with NASA’s future space exploration needs.

Plenary Panel 2

Commercial SATCOM is Transforming the Space Ecosystem

The panel will explore space commercialization impacts stemming from NASA's advancements in communications and navigation technologies. Panelists will include Senior Technologists and Senior Managers from Major Aerospace Corporations, Service Providers and Space Agencies.

Chair:
Greg Heckler, Commercial Communications Services Division Director, SCaN Program, NASA, USA

Greg Heckler Gregory W. Heckler is the Director of the Commercial Communications Services Division (CCSD) within NASA’s Space Communication and Navigation Program (SCaN). He leads a multifaceted effort to transition NASA’s near-Earth missions to commercial communication and navigation services and away from g overnment assets such as the Tracking Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS). Greg also provides leadership in the integration, formulation, and execution of SCaN’s Artemis infrastructure elements, including upgrades to the Deep Space Network, expansion of SCaN’s ground assets, and the procurement of Lunar relay services.
Before his position at NASA Headquarters, Greg was a telecommunications systems engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He spent the early parts of his career developing high altitude GNSS receiver technology and then 6 years supporting the Tracking Data Relay Satellite Project to deliver TDRS 11, 12, and 13. He holds a B.S. and M.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University.

Plenary Panel 3

The New Face of the Satellite Industry - 2024

This is the 7th edition of this important panel and it is time to recognize and acknowledge the significant changes to the communications satellite industry over the last decade. Commercial LEO satellites numbering in the thousands are operational, making significant contributions and serving both commercial and government users. Government LEO constellations are entering service. Both Hughes and Viasat have launched their third generation giant HTS spacecraft and bandwidth pricing continues its downward trend. New Space and a new satellite manufacturing paradigm, consumer preferences for video distribution, and the advent of 5G wireless standards that offer the prospect of orders of magnitude service improvements impact the market going forward. The proliferation of sensors in space has highlighted the need for on-orbit relay and provided transparency to the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine. This year’s panel will once again bring together technical leaders who are creating the space communications infrastructure moving well beyond the one-size-fits-all GEO world but the focus will be much more on adapting to the changes that have already occurred and how they will evolve and not to “disruption” of an ecosystem that no longer exits. Join us for another spirited debate about the past, present, and future of the space communications industry.



Chair:
Chris Hoeber, CFH Engineering, USA

Chris Hoeber Chris Hoeber is currently consulting for the communications satellite industry, having retired from SSL in 2015 after an extensive career which included leading the design effort for the first 1300 model Ford Aerospace/SSL/Maxar product line spacecraft, Superbird-A, and managing that program after the contract award. He pioneered the use of electric propulsion for GEO spacecraft Stationkeeping and was instrumental in identifying threats due to Passive Intermodulation Products (PIMs) and Solar Array Augmented Electromagnetic Discharge as well as developing effective mitigation techniques. His consulting activities have included the design of GEO, LEO and hybrid constellations.
At SSL, Chris held a number of executive level positions, including SVP of Engineering & Manufacturing, Program Management & Systems Engineering, and Business Development & Strategy. He was SSL’s first Chief Engineer, and he was CTO when he retired. Chris was responsible for the SSL product development (R&D) program for 26 years, and he is well known in the industry as a student of the industry and thought leader.
He began his career at Hughes Aircraft, where he was responsible for the payload testing of Anik-A and other first generation domestic communications satellites. Chris received Electrical Engineering BS and MS degrees (with distinction) from Cornell University. He is an AIAA Fellow and the recipient of the 2016 AIAA Aerospace Communications Award.