Author’s Instructions for the Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium

Please observe the following requirements in order to facilitate the editing while providing a high-quality, uniform appearance throughout the proceedings. Materials submitted for publication will not be returned. Please follow the “Preparation of Paper” instructiones below.

1. Submit an electronic version of the final paper (edited, approved, ready for publication) to:

Jonathan Wood

Telephone: (408) 742-8959



The author shall supply the paper in electronic form (authors will not be notified of grammatical editing or that needed to bring the paper down to the maximum number of pages). Format shall be a PC Microsoft Word file by email (or other file transfer).

Before you submit the final Word version, be sure to convert to PDF and check to see that it converts properly!

Download sample paper file (Word version)

2. Submit the transmittal letter and clearance form. No paper will be published until this permission has been received.


Download Transmittal and Clearance Form


Each paper shall contain:

  • Title – does NOT have to be exactly the same as the one on the summary that was submitted.
  • Authors’ names – authors should be listed in order of contribution to the work described in the paper.
  • Abstract – The purpose of the abstract is to enable potential readers to determine whether or not the paper contains material of interest to them. It should be about 100 words and include what new data, conclusions, or perspective the reader will find, followed by a brief statement of the significance of this new material. A good abstract identifies the main ideas detailed in the paper.
  • Main body – The body of the text should be organized to reflect natural groupings of information into categories that flow from one to the other.
  • Conclusions – A summary of what was accomplished by the study. Conclusions and summaries are counterparts to the introductory statements: there was a specific problem, an investigation was planned, this is what was found, and this is what it means. Every paper should have a summary, but the nature of the paper may make conclusions either unnecessary or impossible. Of course, the reader should be able to find supporting evidence for each point presented in the text or references.

3. Complete and return the biographical sketch form for the presenter of the paper at the symposium (used to introduce the speaker).


Download Biographical Sketch


An example text is provided in separate file below.  It is best to use this as the basis for the paper as it contains the requirements outlined below.

download sample paper file (Word version)


The following requirements shall be adhered to:

  • Type manuscript single spaced, then set the Line Spacing to Exactly (or at least) 12 pt (makes it more readable), in black type for all but photos and charts
  • Arial font, size 10 with no condensing spaces. If you cannot use Arial, use Helvetica.
  • Greek letters shall be input with Symbol font.
  • Turn on window/orphan control
  • Run spell check
  • The manuscript shall be 8 1/2 x 11 inch page layout (“Letter”) with 1 inch left side margin, a 1 inch right side margin, a 1 inch top margin, and a 1 inch bottom margin. Pages incorporating figures shall also maintain these margins.
  • The beginning of new paragraphs are not to be indented. Leave one blank line between paragraphs.
  • Text in figures and tables shall be at least 8-point font.
  • Use American (U.S.) English spelling, not British.
  • Photographs and continuous tone illustrations shall be incorporated electronically into the manuscript. Maximum pdf file size is 10 MB. Be sure to convert to pdf and inspect to make sure there are no errors and the images/photos are clear (Submit the Word version, not the .pdf). The proceedings will be archived on the web in .pdf format.
  • No anchored figures or objects – Paste complete figures as bmp, png, or jpeg objects. If you do put figures side by side, do not put them in a table – use section formatting.
  • The paper is limited to 14 pages, including figures (Poster papers are limited to 6 pages). The papers are expected to contain enough detail to be this length and not significantly shorter. The tables and figures may be either interspersed or grouped together at the end of the text. If grouped together, all tables shall be placed before figures.
  • Single column format; do not use two-column format. Use full justification.
  • Equations are to be numbered consecutively throughout the paper. Each equation number must be unique. When numbering equations, enclose numbers in parentheses flush with the right margin. Refer to equations by number, as Eq. 1 or Eqs. 3-6, not as “above” or “below”.
  • Use only standard symbols and abbreviations.
  • When using an acronym, define the full acronym without abbreviating at the first occurrence in the text followed by the acronym in parentheses. The acronym may be used alone thereafter. Do not include or define an acronym in your title (acronyms for spacecraft are allowed in the title to keep the titles to a reasonable length.). Be sure you need to define an acronym, i.e., make sure it is used more than twice in your paper.
  • Company logos and identification marks or symbols shall not be used.
  • The sequential page number shall be placed in a footer, centered on the bottom of each page, Arial 10 font, with the footer 0.5 inch from the edge of the page. The paper must end on an even number page – insert a blank page if you must (not a problem if you adhere to the page limit!).
  • Footnotes – On the first page of the paper, a footnote shall be included for each author giving the name and brief address of his affiliation (company, city, state or country). Also include the lead author’s email (optional). The order of symbols for these footnotes shall be *, **, +, ++. Footnotes shall be in 10-point type.
  • Centered at the bottom of the first page with one line separating it from the last company name in the footnote, the following shall be included in Arial 9-point italic font (fill in correct information for this symposium):

Proceedings of the xxth Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium, NASA xx Center, May x-x, 20xx

  • Text footnotes shall be numbered consecutively throughout each paper with an Arabic numeral reference mark. When footnotes are needed for tabular data, the data are marked with an alpha letter footnote reference.
  • Figure number (in sequential order) and caption (e.g., Figure 1. Ionic Pipe Cleaner) shall be placed under the figure, centered under the figure, 6-point spacing below the figure. Table heading shall be placed 6-point spacing above the table, centered above the table. Use full word Figure or Table in the captions. When referring to a figure in the text, capitalize the “f” in figure (e.g., as shown in Figure 1, the…. or as shown in Fig. 1, the..). Figure captions and table headings shall be in italic text, title or sentence case, 10-point font. Refer to figures by number, as Fig. 1 or Figs. 3-6, not as “above” or “below”.
  • Spaces – Following a period or colon, one space is required.
  • Use the English convention of using a period as a numeric decimal point rather than the European usage of a comma (use 1.4 rather than 1,4 for one and four tenths).
  • Title of paper in bold, title case, 12-point font. Put the main section breaks centered (Abstract, Main body headings, Conclusion, References) in bold, title case, 10-point font with a space between it and the next paragraph. Sub-headings shall be in underlined, left-justified, 10-point font with no space to the next paragraph.
  • The conference proceedings are published as a NASA document. It is NASA policy to use the International System of Units (SI) in technical publications; therefore, SI units shall be used as shown in the table below. However, if desired, the SI units may be followed by the appropriate English units in parentheses (e.g. 50 mm (2 in)). Note that these abbreviations are used for both singular and plural and that no periods are used (no such thing as lbs or lb.). Multiplication of units is indicated by a dot, not a hyphen. Subscripts and superscripts shall be in 7-point type.
  • References: Number citations consecutively in square brackets (example: [1]).
  • Do not use the “ (double quote) abbreviation for inches or ‘ (single quote) for feet. Note SI units should be used with SAE in parenthesis as optional.
SI Units for AMS papers
Quantity Unit Symbol Conversions
plane angle radian rad degree (deg) also acceptable
solid angle steradian sr or st
length meter m 1 ft = 0.3048 m  1 in = 25.4 mm
force newton N 1 lbf = 4.4482 N
torque newton•meter N•m 1 ft•lbf =1.356 N•m

1 in•oz = 7.062 mN•m

linear velocity m/s 1 ft/s = 0.3048 m/s

1 knot = 0.514444 m/s

rotational velocity rad/s 1 rpm = 0.10472 rad/s
linear acceleration

rotational acceleration



1 ft/s2 = 304.8 mm/s2
area m2 1 ft2 = 0.092903 m2
volume m3 1 ft3 = 0.02832 m3
liter l 1 US gal = 3.785412 liter
time second s also hour (h), day, week, year
frequency hertz Hz
mass kilogram kg 1 lbm = 0.453592 kg

1 slug = 14.59388 kg

density kg/m3 1 lbm/in3 = 27679.9 kg/m3
moment or product of inertia kg•m2 1 lbf•in•s2 = 0.112985 kg•m2

1 slug•ft2 = 1.355822 kg•m2

pressure, stress pascal Pa


1 psi = 6.894757 kPa

1 torr = 1 mm Hg (0°C) = 0.133322 kPa

viscosity (dynamic) Pa•s 1 centipoise = 0.001 Pa•s
viscosity (kinematic) 1 centistoke = 1.0E-6
energy, work joule J 1 J = 1 N•m

1 ft•lbf = 1.355818 J

power watt W 1 horsepower = 745.699 W

1 Btu/hr = 0.2930711 W

temperature ° Celsius °C °C = (°F – 32)/1.8
electric current ampere A
electric charge coulomb C 1 C = 1 A•s
electric potential volt V
capacitance farad F 1 F = 1 C/V
resistance ohm 1 Ω = 1 V/A
magnetic flux weber Wb 1 Wb = 1 V•s
magnetic flux density telsa T 1 T = 1 Wb/m2
inductance henry H 1 H = 1 Wb/A
luminuous intensity candela cd
luminuous flux lumen lm 1 lm = 1 cd•sr
illuminance lux lx 1 lx = 1 lm/m2