28-30 April, 2013
Historic Inns of Annapolis
Annapolis, MD

*** The workshop block of rooms closes on 12 April. This a popular time of year in Annapolis so please make your reservations now to ensure that you have a room. ***

The Aeronomy Research Vessel Working Group invites you to join us for a two day workshop in Annapolis, MD. The venue will allow the scientific community to participate in the latest developments and determine the utility, challenges and interest level for the types of aeronomy science investigation enabled by the rapidly emerging commercial suborbital spacecraft industry.

Multiple companies are developing suborbital reusable launch vehicles (sRLV) targeted initially at space tourism. This dramatic increase in low cost access to space provides groundbreaking opportunities for scientific research and STEM education. These new capabilities include:

  1. Manned and unmanned access to altitudes up to 110 km
  2. Flights cost proposed at <$200K (much less for smaller payloads)
  3. Guaranteed return of payload
  4. Daily flight capability with rapid turnaround from varied launch locations
  5. 3-5 minutes of microgravity

Talks will cover the latest developments in sLRVs and introduce some of the science investigations already envisioned. We invite the community to submit talks on current or potential research in the altitude range 0-100 km.

Perhaps most important from a scientific perspective is that dedicated rapid turn-around flights allow for near persistent , in situ profiling and measurement from 0-100 km altitude. This capability provides for completely new thematic approaches in scientific investigations that were never before possible. This opportunity offers the potential novel establishment of a spacecraft as a dedicated scientific research vessel, just as aircraft, ships, and submarines have and are currently being used. Such an asset could revolutionize our understanding of the Earth and its atmosphere, and ignite new educational and engineering opportunities. With these new capabilities rapidly emerging, bring your imagination to Annapolis on how to best exploit commercial suborbital spacecraft.

Limited student funding available on request.

Please contact H. Todd Smith with any questions.
H.Todd.Smith@jhuapl.edu, (240) 228-9420

We look forward to seeing you in April as we discuss the utility of such a commercial spacecraft established as a dedicated aeronomy research vessel.


Scientific Organizing Committee

H. Todd Smith, JHU/APL
Lars Dyrud, JHU/APL
Dan Marsh, NCAR
Julio Urbina, PSU
Shikha Raizada, SRI Arecibo Obs.
Sigrid Close, Stanford University

Workshop Organizing Committee

H. Todd Smith JHU/APL
Lars Dyrud JHU/APL
Jonathan Fentzke, JHU/APL
Abigail Rymer, JHU/APL