Huntsville, Alabama

May 7-9, 2008

Hosted by

National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

Organized by the Mechanisms Education Association


This symposium is concerned with the problems of design, fabrication, test, and operational use of aerospace mechanisms. Emphasis is on hardware developments. The symposium provides a social and technical forum for personnel active in the field of mechanisms technology, as well as providing a source of information for others interested in this field. The symposium rotates among eight NASA Centers and attracts papers and attendees from all over the world.


The Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama is the site for all technical sessions (www.vonbrauncenter.com). The contact telephone number is (256)533-1953.


The planned technical and social activities provide an opportunity for attendees to become professionally and personally acquainted. Dress attire is business casual unless noted.

SPACE MECHANISMS COURSE – On Monday and Tuesday, May 5-6, Launchspace is providing a special edition of their space mechanisms course in the same hotel as the AMS. To register, go to www.launchspace.com and register for course 1135SE. The price for this course is $595. Register soon!  A minimum of 30 attendees is required for this class to be held. Confirmation that the class will be held will be provided no later than April 21.

This course explores the technologies required for successful space mechanisms design and offers a detailed look at many of the key components common to most mechanisms. The high-performance materials required are reviewed. Examples of some of the many types of mechanism will be included for illustration. In addition, the mechanisms relationship and interface with other vehicle systems will be explored. The course includes design and analysis examples to demonstrate the principles involved in understanding how mechanisms should work, and how design margins should be evaluated during the evolution of a program.

Details about the course can be found at launchspace.santasoft.com/1135.htm.
NOTE: Due to the special pricing, the text will not be provided as indicated in the general description. The handbook, Space Vehicle Mechanisms: Elements of Successful Design, edited by P.L. Conley, available for $145, may be ordered upon registration.  Registration for the Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium is not included in the class price.

CHECK IN – On Tuesday evening, May 6, from 6:30-8:30 PM, check in and registration will be at the Big Spring Ballroom in the Embassy Suites Hotel. Symposium materials, including symposium proceedings, will be available, along with light refreshments.

RECEPTION – On Wednesday evening, May 7, a reception with a meal and entertainment will be held at the Von Braun Center from 6:30-9:30 PM. The reception includes supplier displays and is open to all attendees and paying guests. The exhibits will be open for the enjoyment of all attendees.

SYMPOSIUM BANQUET – On Thursday evening, May 8, the symposium dinner and social evening will be held at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center has one of the greatest collections of rockets and space memorabilia anywhere in the world. The journey through the museum will take you from the beginning of rocketry to today’s shuttle system and beyond. In the museum collection, there are the original Mercury and Gemini capsule trainers, the Apollo 16 capsule, and a full-size replica of the Apollo 11 Saturn V. Transportation will be provided from the symposium hotel. Dress attire is business casual. (see www.spacecamp.com/museum)

FACILITIES TOUR – On Friday afternoon, May 9, there will be a special tour of the Marshall Space Flight Center or the ULA Delta Manufacturing plant. The tour is open to all attendees and guests. Buses depart from the hotel and return to the hotel or the Huntsville airport after the tour. Please indicate upon registration if you and your guests will participate. NOTE: ULA tour is for U.S. citizens only (must bring proof such as passport or birth certificate), 8 years old and older – no cameras, camcorders, shorts or open-toed shoes allowed. Foreign Nationals interested in taking the NASA facility tour (including guests) must provide additional information for access. Citizens of China, Israel, India, et al, must have form in by March 23; form due by April 21 for others. Contact Kathy Lundy, Ed Boesiger or AMS website for form.

GUEST ACTIVITIES – The Huntsville area offers an array of activities, including historic buildings, caverns, museums and gardens (see www.huntsville.org/attractions.php).

PRESENTERS’ MEETINGS – Presenting authors are required to attend a special breakfast on the day of their presentation. This gathering gives the session participants an opportunity to meet their Session Chair and each other, and to review the session arrangements. The Symposium Projectionist will be available to discuss presentation requirements.


REGISTRATION – Advance registration is requested to facilitate planning and commitments. Please register on www.aeromechanisms.com. The registration fee is $425 ($250 for educators, $150 for students and retirees). Late registration for the symposium may be done at the hotel on Tuesday evening, May 6, and each day of the symposium. NOTE: If the registration payment is received after April 15, the fee will be $525 for all. This fee covers all sessions, proceedings, break refreshments, reception, symposium banquet, box lunch for three days, and specified bus transportation. Guest tickets are $15 for the reception and $35 for the banquet (guest banquet tickets are $50 if received after April 15).

If for some reason you cannot use the website to register, send the registration information along with a check payable to “MEA – 39th Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium” to:

Kathy Lundy

ES20, BLDG 4487, RM 249

George C. Marshall Space Flight Center

MSFC, AL 35812

Phone: (256) 544-7005

FAX:   (256) 544-8345


Checks/money orders must be drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. dollars. Please do not send foreign currency.

HOTEL RESERVATIONS – The symposium hotel is the Embassy Suites Huntsville (www.embassysuiteshuntsville.com). The Embassy Suites Huntsville features two-room guest suites with a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast, fitness center, and business center. Rooms at the Embassy Suites are offered at the government per diem rate (ask for code AMG, $94 plus tax – single or double) from May 6 to May 9 for attendees. Attendees must make their own reservations directly with the hotel. Please mention code “AMS” for non-government attendees for the special rate of $134. Make reservations by April 5, 2008 to ensure the special rate. After April 5th, the hotel will honor the special rate on a space-available basis only. Reservations can be made by contacting Embassy Suites Reservations at 1-800-EMBASSY, www.embassysuiteshuntsville.com, or by contacting the hotel directly.

Embassy Suites Huntsville
800 Monroe Street
Huntsville, Alabama 35801

Phone: (256) 539-7373
Fax: (256) 539-7374

TRANSPORTATION – The Huntsville area is served by the Huntsville International Airport (HSV) (airport to hotel is 14 miles/22 km). Taxi service and car rentals are available at the airport.

  1. GEORGE HERZL AWARD – At each symposium, an award is given to the author(s) of the “Best Paper.” The award is based on paper content, presentation delivery, and visual aids. This award was established in honor of Dr. George Herzl of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a co-founder of the Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium.
  1. CHARLES COALE AWARD – Each year the AMS sponsors a child to attend Space Camp in honor of Dr. Charles Coale of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. Dr. Coale was the leader of the symposium for more than 20 years and had a special interest in helping children.


6:30-8:30 CHECK-IN – Big Spring Ball Room of the Embassy Suites Hotel


7:30 Wednesday Presenters’ Breakfast – Embassy Suites Hotel Redstone Boardroom
8:00 CHECK-IN AND REFRESHMENTS – Von Braun Center South Hall Meeting Rooms
8:30 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS – Von Braun Center South Hall Meeting Rooms
Donald McQueen, Jr., Host Chairman
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Edward Boesiger, Operations Chairman

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, CA

9:00 SESSION I – ACTUATORS & MOTORS – Von Braun Center South Hall Meeting Rooms
Chris Kalogeras, Session Chair

Boeing Satellite Systems, El Segundo, CA
Linear High-Force “Step and Repeat” Piezoelectric Motors

Jeffrey Paine, M. Johns, J. Sesler, M. Stefanick & J.A. Kennedy, Dynamic Structures and Materials LLC, Franklin, TN

Development of a High Resolution Rotary Actuator for an Antenna Trimming Mechanism

Jérôme Brossier, Xavier Jeandot, Yannick Baudasse, David Grima & Fabrice Champandard, Thales Alenia Space, Cannes, France

Implications of Underdamped Stepper Mechanism Performance and Damping Solution Methodology

Shane Brown & Scott Starin, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, CO

Large Scale Magnetostrictive Valve Actuator

James Richard, Elizabeth Holleman & David Eddleman, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Design and Development of a Miniaturized Double Latching Solenoid Valve for the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite

James Smith, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

A New Structural Bonding Process for Ferromagnetic Sheet Stacking used in Electric Motors (Rotors, Stators…)

Christophe Casteras, CNES, Toulouse, France; Bruno Bonduelle, SOTEREM, Castanet Tolosan, France; Frederic Martin, CLIX Industries, Toulouse, France

11:45 LUNCH BREAK – Box lunch is provided
1:00 SESSION II – BEARINGS & TRIBOLOGY – Von Braun Center South Hall Meeting Rooms

Ralph Carruth, Session Chair

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Evaluation of Perflouropolyether Lubricant Lifetime in the High Stress and High Stress-Cycle Regime for Mars Applications

Jason Herman & Kiel Davis, Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp., New York, NY

Mars Science Laboratory Rover Mobility Bushing Development

Benjamin Riggs, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Space Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis Liquid Oxygen Pre-valve Detent Roller Cracking Investigation

Elizabeth Holleman, David Eddleman & James Richard, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL; Rebecca Jacobs, Jacobs Engineering Science & Technical Services Group, Huntsville, AL

Measuring the EHD Film Thickness in a Rotating Ball Bearing

Peter Ward, Alan Leveille & Peter Frantz, The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA

Scanning System Development and Associated Bearing Cage Instability Issue

Manfred Schmid & Christian Hehr, EADS Astrium GmbH Satellites, Friedrichshafen, Germany

3:30 BREAK

3:45 SESSION III – RELEASE & SENSORS – Von Braun Center South Hall Meeting Rooms

John Bohner, Session Chair

The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA

Launch Lock Mechanism Design Fault Tree Use and Coatings Study

Daniel Villa & Gustavo Toledo, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM

Lessons Learned Designing a Spherical Satellite Release Mechanism

Ryan Hevner, Planetary Systems Corp., Silver Springs, MD

Wear Life Testing of a Mission Critical Separation Interface

Jonathan Wood & Joseph de la Fuente, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, CA

Circular Hall Transducer for Accurate Contactless Angular Position Sensing

Laurent Sache, Mikael Sjöholm, Daniel Bommottet & Volker Gass, RUAG Aerospace, Nyon, Switzerland; Serge Reymond, Pavel Kejik & Radjan Popovic, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; Lionel Gaillard, European Space Research and Technology Centre, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Electrically Powered Separation Nuts

Barney Little, Hi-Shear Corporation, Torrance, CA

A Radiation-Hardened, High-Resolution Optical Encoder for Use in Aerospace Applications

Pat Kreckie, MicroE Systems, Natick, MA

A Novel Grabbing/Latching Mechanism Without Moving Parts

Brian Gore & Gary Hawkins, The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA

6:30-9:30 RECEPTION & DISPLAYS – Von Braun Center

Invited component suppliers display current products and provide tutorials.
7:30 Thursday Presenters’ Breakfast – Embassy Suites Hotel Redstone Boardroom

8:00 Light Refreshments – Von Braun Center South Hall Meeting Room

8:30 SESSION IV – DOCK & DEPLOY – Von Braun Center South Hall Meeting Room

Gérard Migliorero, Session Chair

ESA/ESTeC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Docking System Mechanism Utilized on Orbital Express Program

Scott Christiansen & Troy Nilson, SpaceDev Inc., Louisville, CO

Ultra Light Self-Motorized Mechanism for Deployment of Light Weight Space Craft Appendages

Cornel Bösch & C. Pereira, RUAG Aerospace, Wallisellen, Switzerland; R. John, T. Schmidt, K. Seifart & H. Sparr, HTS GmbH, Coswig, Germany; J. Lautier, ESA-ESTeC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands ; T. Pyttel, University of Applied Sciences, Friedberg, Germany

Development of the Aquarius Antenna Deployment Mechanisms and Spring/Damper Actuator

Joel Johnson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

10:00 BREAK

10:15 SESSION V – ANOMALY INVESTIGATIONS – Von Braun Center South Hall Meeting Rooms

Joe Pellicciotti, Session Chair

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Deflection Analysis of the Space Shuttle External Tank Door Drive Mechanism

Michael Tosto & Robert Lindberg, National Institute of Aerospace/University of Virginia, Hampton, VA; Bo Trieu & Drew Hope, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA; Brent Evernden & Kenneth Wong, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Failure of the Trailing Umbilical System Disconnect Actuator on the International Space Station

Adam Gilmore & Laura Merritt, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX; Chris Schmitt & V. J. Bolton, The Boeing Company, Houston, TX

The Mars Climate Sounder In-Flight Positioning Anomaly

Bruno Jau & David Kass, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

11:45 LUNCH BREAK – Box lunch is provided

Neil Otte, Session Chair

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Icy Soil Acquisition Device for the 2007 Phoenix Mars Lander

Philip Chu, Jack Wilson & Kiel Davis, Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp., New York, NY; Lori Shiraishi & Kevin Burke, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Sample Manipulation System for Sample Analysis at Mars

Erik Mumm, Tom Kennedy, Lee Carlson & Dustyn Roberts, Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corp., New York, NY

A System for Suspending and Vibration-Isolating a Large Spacecraft for Testing in Vacuum

David Keinholz, CSA Engineering, Mountain View, CA

Gas Strut Separation Alternative for Ares I

Brian Floyd & James Owens, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL

Evaluation of Separation Mechanism Design for the Orion/Ares Launch Vehicle

Kevin Konno, Daniel Catalano & Thomas Krivanek, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

3:45 BREAK

4:00 SPECIAL PRESENTATION – MSFC Launch Vehicles, History, Lessons Learned, Projections to ARES

Bob Ryan, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (retired)

The presentation will cover the history of MSFC launch vehicles including Redstone, Saturn, Space Shuttle, and NLS/ NGLT. Issues discussed will focus on technical integration, uncertainties and margins, risks and trades. A discussion of the Ares mission configurations will lead to projections of possible issues on the ARES I and V configurations.


5:30 Bus leaves Embassy Suites to Rocket Center

Spacedome IMAX Theater – “Magnificent Desolation”

Dinner under the Saturn V

Tour the museum

10:00 Bus leaves Rocket Center for hotel

FRIDAY, 9 MAY 2008

7:30 Friday Presenters’ Breakfast – Embassy Suites Hotel Redstone Boardroom

8:00 Light Refreshments – Von Braun Center South Hall Meeting Room

8:30 SESSION VII – POSITIONERS – Von Braun Center South Hall Meeting Room

Scott Tibbitts, Session Chair

SpaceDev Inc., Louisville, CO

Focus Mechanism for Kepler Mission

Kraig Koski, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, CO

Precision Linear Actuator for Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) Siderostat Pointing

Brant Cook, David Braun, Steve Hankins, John Koenig & Don Moore, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Development of a Low-Cost Fine Steering Mirror

Steve Wassom & Morgan Davidson, Space Dynamics Laboratory / Utah State University Research Foundation, North Logan, UT


Cryogenic Focus Mechanism for the Spitzer Space Telescope

William Schade, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, CO

Development of a Spacecraft Antenna Pointing Gimbal

Chuck Monroe & Peter Rossoni, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

11:15 SPECIAL PRESENTATION: An Overview of Orion CEV Mechanisms

Lance Lininger, Orion Service Module Mechanism Design Lead, will give a preview of all the mechanisms on the Crew Exploration Vehicle. May see these again as the topic of a paper in the future!


  • Herzl Award Presentation
  • Closing Remarks

12:00 LUNCH BREAK – Box lunch is provided

2:00-4:00 FACILITY TOUR at ULA or MSFC

Donald H. McQueen, Jr., Host Chair NASA MSFC

Stuart H. Loewenthal, General Chairman, Lockheed Martin
Edward A. Boesiger, Operations Chairman, Lockheed Martin

Carlton L. Foster, NASA MSFC

Claef F. Hakun, NASA GSFC

Christopher P. Hansen, NASA JSC

Wayne Jermstad, NASA JSC

Gérard Migliorero, ESA/ESTeC
Alan C. Littlefield, NASA KSC

Edward C. Litty, JPL

Fred G. Martwick, NASA ARC

Wilfredo Morales, NASA GRC

Robert P. Mueller, NASA KSC

Fred B. Oswald, NASA GRC

Minh Phan, NASA GSFC

Donald R. Sevilla, JPL

Mark F. Turner, NASA ARC

Robin Tutterow, NASA LaRC

James E. Wells, NASA LaRC


Obie H. Bradley, Jr., NASA LaRC (ret)

Ronald E. Mancini, NASA ARC (ret)

Stewart C. Meyers, NASA GSFC (ret)

William C. Schneider, NASA JSC (ret)