May 16-17, 2022

11:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern daily

You are invited to attend Improving Space Operations Workshop 2022, organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space Operations & Support Technical Committee (SOSTC). This year the Space Operations & Support Technical Committee will be offering a virtual workshop in May 2022, which is jointly sponsored by AIAA and the SpaceOps Organization.

The objectives of the workshop are:

  • Investigate the development, implementation, and operation of systems that support space related activities.
  • Focus on operations technologies associated with space operations infrastructure, including the internet and other commercial technologies.
  • Develop positions on operational issues needing AIAA input from a cross section of member expertise.
  • Identify approaches and standards for making operations more affordable, more flexible, more productive, and safer.

As in past years, the emphasis will be on small groups working to advance the level of understanding in several technical areas relevant to space operations. For any questions, please contact

Important Dates

Registration and Abstract Submission Opens January 31, 2022
Abstract Submission Deadline April 30, 2022
Selection notifications will be sent within a week of abstract submission.
Attendance Registration Deadline May 9, 2022
Final Presentation Submission Deadline May 9, 2022

Call for Presentations

Presentations (no paper required) are solicited in each of the four tracks of the workshop. The presentation should be of an educational or problem solving nature involving exchange of ideas and not a product or service advertisement.

Workshop Format and Track Descriptions

On each day of the workshop, a plenary session will be followed by two tracks running in parallel.

The 5 tracks are described here:


Artemis Mission is the first step in the next era of human exploration. Together with commercial and international partners, NASA will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars with Artemis Base Camp on the Moon’s surface and the Gateway space station in lunar orbit. Planned Base Camp elements include a lunar terrain vehicle (LTV, or unpressurized rover), a habitable mobility platform (pressurized rover), a lunar foundation habitation module, power systems, ad in-situ resource utilization systems. This incremental build-up of capabilities on and around the Moon is essential to establishing long-term exploration of Earth’s nearest neighbor and preparing for human exploration of Mars.

This track will explore multiple aspects of lunar operations. We invite presentations, guided discussions, etc. on all related topics including:

  • Moon-observing and lunar regolith sampling missions
  • Operational aspects of guidance, navigation, pointing, and timing including dynamical interaction of GNSS/rovers and tele-robotics
  • Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter and lunar cubesats
  • Commercial Lunar Payload Services to deliver rovers and instruments for in-situ lunar studies and testing
  • Lunar telecommunications
  • Lunar in-situ resource utilization and mapping


The radiation environment in space has severe adverse effects on electronic systems. The Moon is not shielded from galactic cosmic radiation because it lacks a global magnetic field and atmosphere. Since the International Space Station, is in low Earth orbit where radiation is lower than in deep space, its hardware requires less shielding than on the Moon. Designed to operate autonomously, the Gateway will provide a unique platform to conduct science investigations in deep space. With space weather as a high-priority investigation, the first two payloads onboard are a radiation instrument package provided by ESA and a space weather instrument suite provided by NASA. Rovers analyzing lunar samples will transmit their data to lunar orbiters (e.g. LRO, LunaNet cubesats), which, in turn, will the data back to Earth. Space weather instruments will alert rover control systems of incoming solar flares or other energetic particle radiation, for responsive feedback actuation.

Contributions from researchers and industry are welcome in, but not limited to, the following topics.

  • Computer vision and image processing
  • Localization, mapping, and navigation
  • Locomotion and actuation systems
  • Sensor and sensor integration
  • Space environment modeling and risk analysis
  • Space weather prediction


Emerging technologies such as space optical communication, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, data mining, machine learning, cloud computing and others will have significant impact on space operations. Past applications of some of these technologies to space operations showed potential, but for various reasons their use did not grow significantly. For example optical communication was used on-orbit well before the year 2000, but its use did not grow significantly. Now, with gigabit and terabit downlink needs and advancements in technology, optical communication will likely become very significant. Another example was a Stanford University AI space operations program that had only limited success due to the computing power limitations at that time. Now, with much greater computing capacities, unmanned AI mission control centers may for space ops become commonplace. We invite presentations, guided discussions, etc. on all emerging technology applications in space operations topics including:

  • Space operations applications for emerging technologies
  • Planned initiatives, e.g. Starlink optical communication by SpaceX, on-orbit cloud computing, etc.
  • National and international regulatory and policy considerations
  • Business enterprise initiatives involving emerging technology applications in space ops


At the heart of every space mission is an operations system that enables the mission from planning stages to execution. Mission planning and operations systems are responsible for obtaining highly valuable data from space while keeping the spacecraft safe. These systems range from grudgingly manual to highly automated; cheap to very expensive; for missions ranging from simple to extremely complex. The type and cost of mission typically drive the type of operations system. For example, the operations system for a Hubble Class or a NASA flagship mission will be quite different than one required to handle hundreds or thousands of communication satellites for the planned SpaceX and OneWeb missions. These systems should be able to handle an extreme number of data collection events and other activities, be highly automated and support numerous users. On the other end of the spectrum may be simpler manual system required for a single earth orbiting CubeSat mission that makes routine measurements while solar arrays face the Sun and the instruments are nadir pointed. Also, crewed missions necessitate additional considerations and have a different set of needs and challenges than robotic missions. We invite presentations, guided discussions, etc. on all mission planning and operations system topics including:

  • Mission planning and scheduling systems
  • Ground system architecture
  • Payload operations
  • Data management and distribution
  • Situational awareness tools and displays
  • Small satellite operations centers
  • Constellation management


Space exploration is becoming a domain offering new business opportunities. As a commercial partner, NASA provides technical support and expertise, co-funding of technology development, access to ground- and space-based research facilities (such as ISS) and act as an anchor customer during the early implementation phase of the commercial partnership. Lunar exploration is pursued today with diverse robotic missions in orbit and on the surface. Early human exploration missions in the next decade will likely target the lunar vicinity as a first step in the sustainable extension of human presence beyond LEO.

We invite presentations, guided discussions, etc. on all related topics including:

  • Resource supply chains
  • Governmental and legal concerns
  • Opportunities for entrepreneurs in space operations
  • Digitalization in space operations
  • Software technologies to improve space systems design process

Registration & Fees

Workshop fee: $25

When registering please indicate your method of payment.

Payment options offered are:

  1. Advance payment
    1. Via PayPal using the workshop website.
    2. Check payable to AIAA SOSTC. Send to:

    3. Larry Bryant
      Jet Propulsion Laboratory
      4800 Oak Grove Drive
      MS 264-767
      Pasadena, CA, 91109

Location (virtual)

This year's workshop will be virtual and we will be using Airmeet as the platform.