May 15 – 17, 2024

Hosted by NASA Langley Research Center and Lockheed Martin Space.
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 Virginia Beach Convention Center is the site for all technical sessions. Check in and technical sessions will be on the second floor, and lunches and reception will be on the first (ground) floor.

Virginia Beach Convention Center

1000 19th Street

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451-5674 USA


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


On Monday and Tuesday, May 13 and May 14, three separate courses will be offered at the convention center. Registration for the Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium is not included in any class price.

Space Mechanisms Course (May 13-14)

Launchspace is providing a special edition of its Space Vehicle Mechanisms course. 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 materials necessary to achieve high performance are discussed. Examples of the many types of mechanisms are included for illustration. In addition, the mechanisms relationships and interfaces with other vehicle systems are explored. The course includes design and analysis examples to demonstrate principles involved in understanding how mechanisms should work and how design margins should be evaluated during the evolution of a program.
Register at: www.launchspace.com
The price for this course is $795.

Compliant Mechanisms Design (May 13-14)

Traditional rigid-body mechanisms consist of rigid links connected at movable joints. A compliant mechanism is a mechanism that gains at least some of its mobility from the deflection of flexible members rather than from movable joints only. This two-day course focuses on the basics of compliant mechanisms, modeling and simulation, materials selection, failure prevention and design.
Register at: www.launchspace.com
The price for this course is $795.

Rolling-Element Bearings: Fundamentals and Mechanics (May 13-14)

Examine fundamental geometry, kinematics, Hertzian contact mechanics, internal load distributions, preloading, stiffness and various nonlinear relationships of rolling-element bearings. Explore how system performance characteristics are affected by both internal bearing parameters and various bearing row configurations. Learn about boundary influences, such as fit-ups and relative thermal expansions, and gain knowledge related to the design, sizing, analysis and troubleshooting of rolling-element bearings. A minimum of 10 attendees is required to hold the course. Lunch and refreshments provided.
Register at: www.halpinengineeringllc.com
The price for this course is $1250.


On Tuesday evening, May 14, from 6:00-8:00 PM, check in and registration will be in the Suite 1 Atrium, in the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Symposium materials will be available along with light refreshments.


On Wednesday evening, May 15, a reception will be held in Ballroom One in the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Supplier displays and poster papers will be exhibited during the evening along with demonstrations by a local school robotics team. A buffet dinner will be served. The reception is open for the enjoyment of all attendees and guests.

Symposium Banquet

On Thursday evening, May 16, the symposium dinner open to all attendees and guests will be in the Military Aviation Museum. The museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of flying vintage military aircraft. The facility includes over 50 aircraft from the World War I and World War II-era and a wide range of exhibits.

Facility Tours

On Friday afternoon, May 17, there will be an opportunity to tour NASA Langley Research Center or the USS Wisconsin. Transportation is provided with symposium registration. The NASA Langley tour is a private tour open to only U.S. citizens and is limited to 50 persons; the USS Wisconsin is open to all attendees and guests.

Guest Activities

Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront. Nearby are historical places to visit such as Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. Virginia Beach is a 4-hour drive from Washington, D.C.

Presenters’ Meetings

Presenting authors are required to attend a complimentary breakfast on the day of their presentation. (Note – only the presenters, not all authors of the paper.) This gathering gives the session participants an opportunity to meet their Session Chair and each other, and to review the session arrangements. The Symposium AV help will be available to discuss presentation requirements.



Advance registration is requested to facilitate planning and commitments. Please register on www.aeromechanisms.com. The registration fee is $775 ($350 for full time educators, $300 for students, $250 for retirees). Registrants will obtain access to the proceedings as soon as they are available. NOTE: If the registration payment is received after 11:59pm EDT (GMT-4) April 15, 2024, the registration fee is $875. Also, any registrations started but unpaid before this deadline will also be revised to the late registration fee of $875. This fee covers all sessions, transportation as noted, reception and banquet and early access to the proceedings.

Refund Policy

If a registration is cancelled, the Mechanisms Education Association will refund all fees paid less $50, if cancelled by May 1, 2024. After May 1, no refunds are given. Alternatively, a registration may be transferred to another employee at the same company if the original registrant cannot attend if the request for the transfer is done prior to the symposium by contacting our registration point of contact (Ron Mancini, MEA Treasurer).


There is no official symposium hotel; there are numerous hotel choices in Virginia Beach, particularly along the beach. Searching the region “Oceanfront” on this site will give you options (or use your favorite hotel search engine).

Dr. 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, a co-founder of the Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium.

Dr. Charles Coale Grant

Each year the Mechanisms Education Association sponsors high school and junior high school robotics teams in honor of Dr. Charles Coale of Lockheed Martin. Dr. Coale was the leader of the symposium for more than 20 years and had a special interest in helping children.


Day 1
Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Day 2
Session 5
Session 6
Session 7
Day 3
Session 8
TimePaper TitlePresenting Author / Session ChairAffiliation
Tuesday May 14, 2024
18h00 - 20h00CHECK-IN – Suite 1 Atrium
DAY-1: Wednesday May 15, 2024
07h00 PDTPresenters' Breakfast - Meeting Room 2A
08h15INTRODUCTORY REMARKSEd Boesiger, General ChairmanLockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, CA
Benjamin Nickless, Host ChairmanNASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
Clayton Turner, Center DirectorNASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
Session I: RELEASE MECHANISMSDavid EddlemanNASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, ALTop Of Page
08h30Caging and Release Mechanism Design for the Simplified Gravitational Reference SensorJoseph FootdaleBall Aerospace, Boulder, CO
08h55Development Plan of the Upgraded Release Mechanism for the LISA Space MissionCarlo ZanoniUniversity of Trento, Trento, Italy
09h20FD04 Frangibolt Actuator Performance Test: Measuring Force and Stroke MarginIngie BahoJet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
09h45Development of an Ejectable Data Recorder (EDR) Ejection Mechanism for the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID)Brian SaulmanNASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
10h1015 min Break
10h25LARES2 Satellite Retention and Separation subsystemMatteo SpinelliOHB Italia, Milan, Italy
10h50Design and Qualification of the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) Payload Adapter Separation System (PASS) Sean HancockNASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
11h15Development and Testing of a Novel Solenoid Launch Lock for a Lunar Lander Thrust Vector Control ActuatorJoseph PlunkettHoneybee Robotics, Longmont, CO
11h40Testing Frangibolts for Extended Space Mission DurationsBrian GoreThe Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA
12h05Lunch: Lunch for AMS Attendees in Ballroom One
Session II: MATERIALS MEET MECHANISMSGilles FeusierÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, SwitzerlandTop Of Page
13h05Development of a Bulk Metallic Glass Planetary Gearmotor for Unheated Actuation in Cryogenic EnvironmentsAndrew KennettJet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
13h30Extreme Benefits of Visual Inspection Under Magnification of Mechanical ComponentsDuval JohnsonJet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
13h55Motor Stator (Fluidize) Insulation Material Options and Testing SummaryJonathanWoodLockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, CA
14h20Ti Beta-C Spring Development Testing for Cold Deep Space ApplicationsGrady LynchLockheed Martin Space, Denver, CO
14h45Root Cause Analysis of Failure and Design Modification of Snubber for Solar Panel Mechanisms of SatellitesAkash ShettyIndian Space Research Organization: U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru, India
15h1015 min Break
Session III: DRILLING MACHINESTerry NienaberNASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VATop Of Page
15h25Lessons Learned in Building and Testing the Regolith and Ice Drill for Exploring New Terrain (TRIDENT)Philip ChuHoneybee Robotics, Altadena, CA
15h50Micro-Sampler: A Kilogram Class Drill for Planetary Sampling and Powder CollectionNick TraedenHoneybee Robotics, Altadena, CA
16h15Development of the DrACO Drill: A Rotary Percussive Drill for Cryogenic OperationGrayson AdamsHoneybee Robotics, Altadena, CA
SESSION IV: POSTER SESSION PREVIEWMark BalzerNASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CATop Of Page
A rapid fire session of poster papers. Each presenter will give their best 5-minute pitch and attendees can follow up at the reception or other time.
16h40Government Reference Design of the Vertical Solar Array Technology DemonstratorScott BelbinNASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
16h45Bearings for Extreme EnvironmentsChristoph BayerGRW, Rimpar, Germany
16h50Magnetic Fast Steering Mirrors for High Power Optical CommunicationGérald AigouyCedrat Technologies, Meylan, France
16h55Application of Kane’s Method in SymPy to Study Race Conditions in Deployment MechanismsJosh DayJet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
17h00Lessons Learned on Synchronization System Modelling for Solar Array Wing Deployment PredictionsHéloïse BorossBeyond Gravity, Zurich, Switzerland
17h05Development and Qualification of a New SADM for NanosatelliteAdrien GuignabertComat Aerospace, Flourens, France
17h10Development of a Shape Memory Alloy Thermal SwitchAlai LopezMIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA
17h15On the Internal Loading Distribution in a Radial Load Rolling Element BearingMario Cesar RicciINPE (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil
17h20Programable Lead Screw Actuated Self-Leveling PlatformIok WongNASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
17h25Aerocapture Technology Demonstration Risk Reduction ActivityScott BelbinNASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
18h00 - 22h00RECEPTION - Ballroom OneComponent suppliers display current products and provide tutorials, Poster Papers are displayed, Robotics Team demonstrations, and a buffet meal.
DAY-2: Thursday May 16, 2024
07h00Presenters' Breakfast - Meeting Room 2A
Session V: DEPLOYMENT MECHANISMSMatthew ZwackNASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, ALTop Of Page
08h00Listening into the JUICE Deployments with the On-Board High Accuracy AccelerometerRonan Le LettyESA/ESTeC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
08h25Bricard Mechanism Based Engulfing Gripper Mechanism for Space Debris RemovalBiju Prasad BIndian Space Research Organization Satellite Centre Thiruvananthapuram, India
08h50DIABLO – Deployable Interlocking Actuated Bands for Linear Operations; Design, Development, Testing, and ApplicationsVishnu SanigepalliBlue Origin Honeybee Robotics, Longmont, CO
09h15A Modular Ready-to-Use Active Gravity Offloading SystemBenjamin KrolitzkiCarboSpaceTech GmbH, Immenstaad am Bodensee, Germany
09h4015 min Break
9h55Origami-Inspired Elevated Lunar Solar Array System that Is Automatically Deployable, Compact, Lightweight, Stable, Retractable, and Re-DeployableAlexander GendellFolditure, Hoboken, NJ
10h20Design and Testing of a Deployment Mechanism for NASA’s 1653-m2 Solar Cruiser SailZachary McConnelRedwire Space, Longmont, CO
10h45Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3): Mechanisms and Lessons Learned from a CubeSat Solar Sail DeployerNigel SchneiderNASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
11h10Design and Test of the Orion Crew Module Launch Abort System HatchAaron LarsonLockheed Martin Space, Houston, TX
11h35Lunch: Lunch for AMS Attendees in Ballroom One
Session VI: INSTRUMENTSJustin ScheidlerNASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OHTop Of Page
12h35Precision Actuation in the Flight Design of the Roman-CGI Focus Control MechanismMineh BadalianJet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
13h00A Dust-Resilient Thermal Shutter Mechanism for Lunar RadiatorsAndrew GibsonESR Technology Ltd. European Space Tribology Laboratory, Warrington, United Kingdom
13h25An Introduction to Flexure DesignJohnathan CarsonJet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
13h50Design and Test of Retention Mechanism to Apply Direction-Dependent Axial Force to Mars Returnable Sample Tube AssembliesJay MarionJet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
14h15Tough Precision Piezoelectric Motors for Space ApplicationsFrancois BarillotCedrat Technologies, Meylan, France
14h40VenSpec-H Filter Wheel Mechanism Breadboard Development and TestGerhard SzékelyLucern University of Applied Sciences & Arts (HSLU), Horw, Switzerland
15h0515 min Break
Session VII: GIMBALSJason SchulerNASA Kennedy Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, FLTop Of Page
15h20Design, Assembly, and Testing of a Two-Axis Scan Mirror Gimbal MechanismPaula Marie CountourisMIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA
15h45Development of an Advanced Electrical Propulsion Pointing Mechanism 2-Axis (APPMAX2)Paul JanuBeyond Gravity, Wien, Austria
16h10MPCV SADA for Artemis Program: A Story of Increasing Demands and Continuous ImprovementJosef Viktor ZemannBeyond Gravity, Zurich, Switzerland
16h35Development and Testing of a Low Disturbance Antenna Gimbal Subsystem: Investigation and Lessons LearnedTimothy UlmSierra Space, Durham, NC
17h00Development and Qualification of an Electrical Thruster Two Axis Pointing MechanismRichard HorthMDA, Quebec, Canada
18h30 - 22h30BANQUET - Military Aviation MuseumDinner and entertainment amongst World War II vintage airplanes.
DAY-3: Friday May 17, 2024
07h00Presenters' Breakfast - Meeting Room 2A
Session VIII: THE STU LOEWENTHAL TRIBOLOGY SESSIONStu LoewenthalLockheed Martin Space (Retired), Sunnyvale, CATop Of Page
08h00Dry-Film Lubricated Ball Bearing Tests for High-Speed, Moderate-to-Long Life, Cryogenic OperationRobert WeiHoneybee Robotics, Altadena, CA
08h25Cold Welding under Space and Launch ConditionsRoland HolzbauerAerospace & Advanced Composites GmbH, Wiener Neustadt, Austria
08h50Qualification of Rheolube 3000-3PbNp for the BABAR-ERI Chopper MechanismDarren EricksonUniversity of Colorado, Boulder, CO
09h1515 min Break
09h30Development of Strain Wave Gearing Lubrication for the Steering Unit for The Manned Pressurized RoverJun'ichi KurogiHarmonic Drive Systems Inc, Nagano-ken, Japan
09h55On the Potential of Orthoborate Ionic Liquids to Meet Lubrication Challenges in Space MechanismsRoman de la PresillaKTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
10h20Design and Test of Bearings Used in Electromechanical Systems under High Vibration EnvironmentsKyle GotthelfHoneybee Robotics, Longmont, CO
10h45Development and Qualification of an Extreme Mechanical Live Antenna Pointing Mechanism, part of the Inter Satellite Link of an ESA Mission SpacecraftRichard Horth DA, Quebec, Canada
11h40TECHNICAL SESSIONS CONCLUSIONJonathan WoodLockheed Martin Space, Sunnyvale, CA
Herzl Award Presentation
11h55Lunch: Lunch for AMS Attendees in Ballroom One
13h30Busses depart Convention Center for NASA Langley or USS Wisconsin
17h00Approximate time busses return to Convention Center


Host Chairs:

  • James Wells, NASA LaRC
  • Benjamin J. Nickless, NASA LaRC

General Chairman: Edward A. Boesiger, Lockheed Martin Space

Deputy Chairman: Jonathan P. Wood, Lockheed Martin Space

Mark A. Balzer, JPL
Torin L. Bowman, NASA ARC
Earl Daley, NASA ARC
Adam G. Dokos, NASA KSC
Michael J. Dube, NASA NESC
David E. Eddleman, NASA MSFC
Carlton L. Foster, NASA MSFC (retired)
Lionel Gaillard, ESA/ESTeC
Nicolas E. Haddad, JPL
Claef F. Hakun, NASA GSFC
Louise Jandura, JPL
Timothy L. Krantz, NASA GRC
Lance R. Lininger, Lockheed Martin Space
Alan C. Littlefield, NASA KSC (retired)
Stuart H. Loewenthal, Lockheed Martin Space (retired)
Ronald E. Mancini, NASA ARC (retired)
Fred G. Martwick, NASA ARC
Donald H. McQueen, Jr., NASA MSFC (retired)
Landon Moore, NASA JSC
Brandan Robertson, NASA JSC
Justin J. Scheidler, NASA GRC
Joseph P. Schepis, NASA GSFC
Jason M. Schuler, NASA KSC
Donald R. Sevilla, JPL (retired)
Mathew R. Zwack, NASA MSFC