In this episode we will explore the bleeding edge of satellite and satellite constellation miniaturization. These awe inspiring craft commonly known as Chipsats, Wafersats, Sprites, Monarchs, Kicksats, Starchips, or even just “Smart Dust” are facilitating the rapid miniaturization of space craft following an exponential trajectory stipulated by Moore's Law, no doubt enabling new incredible possibilities and discoveries just around the corner.

We talk about the unique physics and associated challenges that these low-mass vehicles face in space, how incredible engineering is overcoming them, and how the Breakthrough Starshot project will tackle the very difficult problem of sending a spacecraft interstellar to Proxima b.

Our guest today is Professor Zachary Manchester, who studied physics and aerospace engineering at Cornell University earning his BS and PHD respectively. Zac undertook his Postdoc at Harvard and became Assistant Professor at Stanford University, and later at Carnegie Mellon University where he now heads the Robotic Exploration Lab. He received critical acclaim for his crowdfunded Kicksat project - deploying an armada of chipsats in LEO and has published together with Mason Peck and Avi Loeb and is member of the Breakthrough Starshot Research team, who are working on an interstellar spacecraft mission to Proxima-b.


00:02:36 Intro

00:05:51 Inspiring Moments | Working with Professor Mason Peck

00:06:47 What are Femtosats, Attosats, Zeptosats, Yoctosats, Chipsats?

00:11:29 Regulatory Constraints | Collision Risks

00:15:12 Cubesat & Chipsat costs

00:20:00 Most valuable uses cases and applications

00:25:50 Chipsat Communication

00:28:28 Length Scaling

00:32:16 Thermal Equilibration

00:34:12 Attitude Determination and Orbit Control

00:43:36 Bio-inspired Constellation Management

00:53:15 Limits of Miniaturization | Smart Dust

00:56:00 Breakthrough Initiative | Starshot

00:59:45 Starshot Payload

01:07:39 Is Earth going to look like a Death Star?

01:08:59 Nuclear Propulsion

01:15:00 Most advanced Breakthrough Propulsion

01:16:18 The Origins of the Chipsat Idea | Kickstarter Campaign

01:30:42 Next Research Projects

01:35:09 Hard Problems to solve

01:38:58 Science Fiction becomes Science Fact

01:40:20 Why space and why space now?

Podden och tillhörande omslagsbild på den här sidan tillhör Hussain Bokhari, Benjamin Shapiro, Matthias Frenzl. Innehållet i podden är skapat av Hussain Bokhari, Benjamin Shapiro, Matthias Frenzl och inte av, eller tillsammans med, Poddtoppen.