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IEEE Central Texas Section Joint SMC-AES Chapter - February 2017

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Central Texas Section Chapter Celebrates Engineers Week

The Central Texas Section Joint Chapter of the Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society and the Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society (Joint SMC-AES Chapter) met on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 to hear Ms. Susan Pope, Director of the Department of Space Instrumentation at Southwest Research Institute, speak on Space Science and Engineering in San Antonio.  She touched on several unmanned space science and exploration missions that she worked on in the past including IMAGE, ROSETTA, New Horizons, IBEX, Juno, and Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS).  She also described her most recent mission, the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), which launched on December 16, 2016 and is undergoing commissioning at the present time.
CYGNSS is NASA’s first Earth System Science Pathfinder program.  Its mission is to improve extreme weather predictions by using a constellation of eight small satellites that receive both direct and reflected GPS signals to measure wind speed at the ocean surface.  The mission is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Chris Ruf at the University of Michigan Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences.  Southwest Research Institute provided program management, staffs the mission operations center, and built the eight satellites.
The meeting was attended by 30 people including a couple that participated by webconference from remote sites.  To celebrate Engineers Week (February 19-25) the Section provided free pizza, cookies, and beverages to those that attended the meeting.

Susan Pope presenting “Space Science and Engineering in San Antonio”

A unique feature of space sciences in San Antonio is a graduate study program offered by the University of Texas at San Antonio in collaboration with Southwest Research Institute, which provides 14 “adjoint” professors to support Ph.D. and masters programs in space science.  Students participating in the program work on space projects funded by NASA and NSF at Southwest Research Institute.  There are currently 14 graduate students enrolled in the program.  Since its inception in 2005, the program has graduated 10 students, who are now employed at organizations including The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, The University of California at Berkeley, The European Space Research and Technology Center, The Swedish Institute of Space Physics, West Point, and Southwest Research Institute.
The Central Texas Section is one of 26 sections in Region 5 and it serves more than 4,500 IEEE higher grade members and over 600 student members living and working throughout Central Texas, but primarily in the San Antonio and Austin area.  The Joint SMC-AES Chapter is one of 25 Society Chapters and Affinity Groups in CTS, which also hosts 5 Student Branch Chapters.  (See )

Field of Interest

“The field of interest shall be the organization, systems engineering, design, development, integration, and operation of complex systems for space, air, ocean, or ground environments. These systems include but are not limited to navigation, avionics, mobile electric power and electronics, radar, sonar, telemetry, military, law-enforcement, automatic test, simulators, and command and control."


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