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Broadcast 1835 (Special Edition)Listen to the show!
Aired on August 17th, 2012
Guests: Robert Meurer, Fred Slane, Dr. Peter M. Wegner
Guests: Robert (Bob) Meurer of ATK; Dr. Peter Wegner of ORS; Fred Slane of Space Infrastructure, Inc. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcome you to this series of three recorded interviews from the SmallSat Conference 2012. After each interview is completed, there is about a ten second pause followed by the next interview. The program concludes when the final interview with Fred Slane is completed. I was assisted with all three interviews by Dr. John Jurist who was also present for the SmallSat Conference. Our first interview was with Robert (Bob) Meurer of ATK. Mr. Meurer is the VP of Business Development in the Commercial and International Programs, Space Mission Systems with ATK Aerospace in Beltsville, MD. During our half hour with Bob, we discussed the ATK series of small satellite buses, ITAR & international business issues, customer responsibility as opposed to manufacturer responsibility, LEO as compared to GEO satellites and much more. While The Space Show has featured many ATK programs, this programs focused on the ATK satellite business rather than the launch and SRB side of the business. I am sure you will find it to be a most interesting & informative discussion as did Dr. Jurist and I. Our second interview was with the Director of the ORS Office, Dr. Peter Wegner. Dr. Wegner was first on The Space Show in 2009 so we asked him for updates with ORS. We discussed their funding status, what constitutes an ORS satellite or ORS mission, national security and ORS, plus I asked about other space nations and their advances in operationally responsive space capabilities. I was a bit surprised to learn that the U.S. definitely has competition and others may actually be making more progress than we are. You don't want to miss this discussion. We talked about student projects, internships, and even garage innovators submitting projects to Dr. Wegner's office or by chance stumbling on classified technology. Our final interview was with Fred Slane as I asked Fred for an annual update on the progress toward adopting space standards. We discussed the need for space standards, the role of the U.N. in promoting space standards, and why adopting standards is important, even for the small entrepreneurial start-up space company. Fred was asked the difference between a standard and a specification, who the various international players are in the process, and just who gets a seat at the table. I think you will agree with both Dr. Jurist and myself that having operationally sound space standards are important for everyone. Post your comments on the blog and let us know what you think about space standards. If you want to email any of the guests for this special SmallSat program, please send your note to me and I will forward it to the guest of your choice. Also, do post general comments and questions on The Space Show blog for all to see and comment on if they so desire.

About our guests...

Robert Meurer
Robert Meurer is the Director, Corporate Business Development at ATK, Space Division, Beltsville, MD.. Business development responsibility from concept-to-flight; strategic business planning with concomitant responsibility for researching, budgeting, scheduling, and securing complex space system contracts – lead new business capture teams. Responsible for developing and executing teaming agreements and joint marketing agreements with cooperating firms. Focus Area Manager for spacecraft – developed a comprehensive strategic plan for spacecraft sales and development in support of multiple mission areas. Detailed analysis of government budgets looking five years into the future. Analyzed, characterized and ranked the performance of all competitors and their spacecraft products. Secured a $12M contract for the Operationally Responsive Space Modular Bus (TacSat-3). Currently guiding the capture of programs in the civil, commercial and international markets. Areas of Expertise: World class capability in engineering services; electromechanical systems; solar arrays; depolyables; optical benches and special payload assemblies; space materials and structures; propulsion systems; guidance, navigation and controls; thermal management systems; assembly, test and integration of flight hardware; and affordable small spacecraft buses.

Fred Slane
Due to my father’s involvement in international business, in my younger years my family traveled extensively. Dad lived in China and the Philippines from 1932 until the end of WWII, and his experiences in those times put him in high demand in Far East business circles. My siblings and I (seven of us) attended schools in Manila, Portland (Oregon) and Hawaii. Perhaps because of our earlier travels, I have always viewed the countries of the world as interesting, complex and eternally changing. An off-hand remark by my mother when I was four sparked my interest in science, engineering and the world our children will inherit. From my earliest memories my perspective has been global and technical, with a strong sense of our place in history. My formal post-secondary education includes: a BA in Physics and Mathematics from Willamette University in 1980; a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1983; an MS in Physics (Astrophysics) from the University of New Mexico in 1993; and, an MBA, International Business from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in 2008. I wrote the paper, “The Space Innovator’s Dilemma” as a final project in my MBA program. My professional background includes 20 years of Air Force active duty. This includes STS launch operations and engineering, Mark XV IFFN test, spacecraft sensor and communications R&D, operational test, and joint/combined space operations. Following my retirement from the Air Force in 2001, I spent two years as a senior engineer at Ball Aerospace. I founded Space Infrastructure, Inc. and Space Infrastructure Foundation (a 501(c)(3)) in 2003. In 2003 I returned to the AF as a reserve officer to serve another six years. I sold Space Infrastructure in 2006 to Space Environment Technologies. Since 2009 I have worked at the Colorado Springs office of Technology Service Corporation. I began my involvement in standards development for the space industry in 1998, anticipating retirement from the Air Force and what I might do as a civilian. I have served on the AIAA Standards Executive Council for most of that time, and do so today. I was a member of the Space Launch Integration Committee on Standards and have supported several AIAA contracted efforts on Space Launch Integration to the NRO. I also support the Committee on Standards for Space Plug and Play Avionics. For the past six years I have been active in the ISO subcommittee for space systems and operations. My initial involvement was through the operations and ground support working group, representing the interests of the joint defense space community. In 2002 I was invited to be one of only two US working group leads in this subcommittee. I still have that job. In 2003 I became involved with the ISO subcommittee for space data and information transfer. I am currently one of the US leads in the development of a business plan for a single standards committee in the international regime for space. This committee will focus international standards development to the appropriate normalization of global intellectual property, for the purpose of advancement of the global industry.

Dr. Peter M. Wegner
Dr. Peter M. Wegner is the Director of the Operationally Responsive Space Office, Kirtland AFB, NM. In this role, Dr. Wegner oversees the development, demonstration, and fielding of space capabilities focused on timely satisfaction of Joint Force Commanders’ needs. This joint-office is manned with personnel from across the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community. The ORS Office Director reports directly to the DoD Executive Agent for Space. Prior to this position, Dr. Wegner served as the Technical Advisor to Air Force Space Command, Directorate of Requirements. In this position, Dr. Wegner helped guide development of Air Force future space concepts based on science discovery and technology trends. Dr. Wegner was responsible for ensuring the alignment of the Air Force’s space science and technology portfolio with the Air Force’s future capability requirements. Dr. Wegner also served as a Senior Aerospace Engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate. He developed AFRL’s Operationally Responsive Space Program; overseeing the development of technologies for responsive spacecraft and launch vehicles. Dr. Wegner also led the DoD TacSat Joint Experiments IPT. Dr. Wegner also served as the Branch Chief for AFRL’s Spacecraft Component Technology Branch. Dr. Wegner was awarded the Air Force Harold Brown Award in 2003 for his work in developing spacecraft technologies and transitioning them into operations; one example is the EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA).

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