Systems Engineering Seminar

Space: It's Not What It Used to Be. So What?
The Dellingr Project, Questions About SmallSats, a Few Answers, and the Need for Transformative Thought in a Transformative Time

Presented by:
Michael Johnson, Chief Technologist, Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate

Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 1:00pm
Building 3 Auditorium


The "final frontier" is not what is used to be. Advancements in systems capabilities, easier access to orbit, a rapidly expanding spacefaring community saddled with imagination, and innovative approaches to mitigate chronic fiscal constraints are all converging to create novel spaceflight systems and mission architectures. Persons content to apply yesterday's thought to today's challenges stand the risk of finding themselves following instead of leading.

This talk will discuss the ongoing transformation, the Dellingr 6U CubeSat project, and other ongoing activities relevant to "new space" ideas. But even more importantly, it intends to raise questions and catalyze thought about what's happening right before us.



Michael Johnson transitioned from a 10-year career developing advanced space and ground systems at MIT Lincoln Laboratory to join Goddard in 1991 as the lead electrical engineer on a small multidisciplinary Cassini Plasma Spectrometer team in the Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics/Code 692. He wore many hats in delivering hardware, software, and firmware for this and other field and plasma flight instruments and their associated ground support systems. Badged to the science directorate and with few ties to the Engineering organization, little did Mike realize how his Code 600 experiences and the relationships he developed would enrich and inform his insights and perspectives.

Michael continued these responsibilities after being rebadged to the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate (AETD) during the 1997 reorganization. He later assumed a position as the Assistant Chief for Technology in the Electrical Engineering Division, followed by assignment to the position he now holds as the AETD Chief Technologist.

Michael received his undergraduate, Master's, and degree of Electrical Engineer from MIT.


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