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Presented By: Aerospace Engineering

Chair's Distinguished Lecture: Traffic In Near-Earth Space: A Wicked Problem Of A Complex System Requiring A Transdisciplinary Solution

Moriba Jah Moriba Jah
Moriba Jah
Moriba Jah
Associate Professor
The University of Texas at Austin
Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department

The space domain is what you get when you mix a wicked problem with a complex system, whose behavior is difficult to model and predict due to unknown dependencies, non-linear causal relationships, incomplete and even contradictory knowledge, competing opinions, and other types of interactions amongst the participants and constituents of the domain.

Given the vast and deep developments of each scientific field, coupled with globalization and competing interests, problems related to the space domain are finding themselves unsolvable through unidisciplinary or even multidisciplinary efforts because the space domain represents a complex system where the measured aspects of it are not explained by simply aggregating the behaviors of individual participants and constituents. The emergent behavior is more than the individual sum of its parts. Solving wicked problems in a complex system requires transdisciplinary, which is a fused or holistic solution from the melange of multiple disciplines concurrently. You’ll recognize a transdisciplinary solution when it is difficult if not impossible to identify the unique contribution of any specific discipline to the solution.

We have developed ASTRIAGraph as an initial transdisciplinary solution to this space traffic problem. We describe this development in terms of a digital twin and library making the best of sound data engineering, science, and analytics, with real world examples.

About the speaker...
Moriba Jah is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin where he is the holder of the Mrs. Pearlie Dashiell Henderson Centennial Fellowship in Engineering. He’s the director for Computational Astronautical Sciences and Technologies (CAST), a group within the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences as well as the Lead for the Space Security and Safety Program at the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law. Moriba came to UT Austin by way of the Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory prior to that, where he was a Spacecraft Navigator on a handful of Mars missions.

Moriba is a Fellow of multiple organizations: TED, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), American Astronautical Society (AAS), International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). He has served on the US delegation to the United Nations Committee On Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS), is an elected Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and has testified to congress on his work as related to Space Situational Awareness and Space Traffic Management. He’s an Associate Editor of the Elsevier Advances in Space Research journal, and serves on multiple committees: IAA Space Debris, AIAA Astrodynamics, IAF Astrodynamics, and IAF Space Security.
Moriba Jah Moriba Jah
Moriba Jah

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