SGAC_Decode 2022 will be held virtually from July 9th to August 27th

Below is the preliminary programme and topics to touchdown during the event.

8 weeks of work, learning and of course Decoding a solution to a problem using CubeSat will be the outcome of the event. We will not only have a competition but we also want you to discover the diversity that exists in the space sector. We want you to see the different fields in which you can build a career in the space sector which is why we have also prepared three guest speakers with roles in different fields in the space sector.

One of the main goals of the competition is to motivate, encourage and inspire!, which is why we bring for you guest speakers who will share their journey to get involved in the space sector as well as about their work in the space industry.

Here are also our judges who will be evaluating the final presentations or mission designs from each team:

Sandra Cauffman

Filo Gomez

Researcher at NASA Earth Science Division – SERVIR 

Filo Gomez is Mexican-US and he earned his M. Sc. in Geography with a concentration in Geospatial Technologies. Filo currently works as a researcher at SERVIR Program, which is part of NASA Earth Science Division’s Applied Sciences in conjunction with USAID. Filo believes that integrating geospatial technologies through videos can serve as a medium to identify challenges and opportunities and propose inclusive mitigation on climate resiliency and advocate for sustainable development.

Angel Arcia Gil

NCAC SGAC Regional Coordinator & PhD. Candidate in Aerospace Technologies

Mr. Angel Arcia Gil is the SGAC NCAC Regional Coordinator, and founder of the Open-Course Intro to Space Engineering for students in Panama and Central America. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Aerospace Technologies and is a Project Manager at BairesDev. Ángel graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology, US, with a Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, where he participated in 2 nano-satellite projects within the University Nano-satellite Program, as part of the COMM subsystem team. Angel was also the TOP 25 IAF Emerging Space Leader 2021.

Italo Pinto Rodrigues

Electrical engineer & PhD. student in Space Engineering and Technology

Italo holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University Center of Volta Redonda in 2013. He completed his master’s degree, with the theme of test systematization for small satellites, in Space Engineering and Technology, at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in 2015. He is currently a doctoral student in the Space Engineering and Technology course, researching artificial intelligence for satellite design. Between 2016 and 2018, he worked on developing the Operational Simulator for the CBERS-4 satellite to Amazônia-1. He has experience in specifying systems, the most recent being the Amazonia 4.0 project, whose idea is to build a smart factory in the middle of the Amazon rainforest for chocolate production. Since 2014, he has also been dedicated to scientific dissemination, organizing the Workshop on Space Engineering and Technology and the nanosatellite development competition, CubeDesign.

Nicholas Florio

Aerospace Systems Engineer at Blue Origin

Nicholas Florio is an Aerospace Systems Engineer at Blue Origin in their Advanced Development Programs group. He previously worked at Lockheed Martin Space on various advanced programs spanning satellite communications, instrumentation, and deep space exploration. Outside of work, Nicholas is a Co-lead of SGAC’s Commercial Space Project Group (CSPG) and has founded a STEM program called Sim to Balloon to Orbit (S2B2O). Nicholas looks forward to seeing all of the submissions for this design competition!

Meet our Guest Speakers:

Sandra Cauffman

Sandra Cauffman

Astrophysics Division Deputy Director at NASA Headquarters

Mrs. Cauffman currently serves as the Deputy Director for the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA Headquarters as its Deputy Division Director. She helps provide executive leadership, strategic direction, and management for the entire agency’s multi-billion Astrophysics programs and missions necessary to discover how the universe works, to explore how the universe began and developed into its present form, and to search for Earth-like planets. She served as the Deputy Director for the Earth Science Division from May 2016 to October 2021 and during that period she served as the Acting Director of the Earth Science Division from February 2019 until May 2020.
Mrs. Cauffman has been awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and she is a two-time recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. She is also a four times recipient of the NASA Acquisition Improvement Award, and numerous GSFC and HQ awards.

Matteo Capella

Space and Telecommunications Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Leaf Space

Matteo Cappella works as Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Leaf Space, where he contributes to the development and deployment of the company’s Ground Segment-as-a-Service worldwide, being in charge of space and ground segment licensing for Leaf and its customers. He is also secretary and board member of the Commercial SmallSat Spectrum Management Association (CSSMA).

Previously, Matteo worked as research consultant as part of the Space Power and Policy Applied Research Consortium (SPPARC), based at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. He worked also at the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) as Operations Manager, and conducted research at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), where he covered topics as space policy, entrepreneurship and international relations.

Liam Weston

Business Development Executive at Raytheon Technologies

Liam Weston is the Business Development Executive in-charge of ICCC (International, Commercial & Cross-cutting) space business development efforts for Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s (RIS) Space & C2 (SC2). He has been working in international business for Raytheon since April 2016 and commercial space remote sensing for nearly 30 years.

Prior to joining Raytheon, Liam served as an original team member of Ball Aerospace’s commercial business unit that built the highest resolution commercial imaging satellites in the United States, QuickBird and WorldView series, for DigitalGlobe which is now part of MAXAR. From the inception of Ball’s commercial business in the late 1990’s, Liam guided Ball Aerospace’s government policy initiatives for commercial satellites and international sales to market high-resolution commercial imaging satellites.

Andres Mora

Robotics Engineer, Astrobee Facilities at NASA Ames

Dr. Mora currently works as a Robotics Engineer at the Astrobee Facilities at Ames Research Center, NASA at Moffett Field, California.

He has extensive experience in the implementation of mobile robot solutions to real world problems. As a post-doctoral fellow researcher at the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) at ASU (Arizona State University) he worked on the design and implementation of robots and instrumentation for extreme environments such as hot springs, volcanoes and sub-glacial lakes. As a researcher at ATR (Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International) in Kyoto, Japan, Dr. Mora worked on the field of Human Robot-Interaction. In particular, he  studied the simultaneous control and monitoring of multiple mobile robots from a single operator. He helped design and evaluate a GUI that enabled a single operator perform these tasks in a shopping mall. During his work at JPL, he worked in the design, development, implementation, and deployment of a remote monitoring system of volcanoes which measured temperature, humidity and sulfur dioxide emissions. He deployed this system at the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii where it continuously worked for over 2 years.

Some of Dr. Mora’s previous work also includes research focused on the development of a rescue and search team of robots remotely controlled through the use of JAXA’s ETS-VIII satellite and the automatic control of Langmuir probes which take measurements of density, temperature and force of the flow of plasma within the VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket) at the ASPL (Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory) Johnson Space Center, NASA.

Mike Conroy

Senior System Engineering – Modeling and Simulation, NASA Exploration Team

Mr. Conroy has experience in System Engineering, Simulation, Architecture Development and Complex System Design developing Space and Ground systems. Applying this experience with Florida Space Institute to enhance design methods and design-related simulation technologies for Florida Universities and integrate Student Design projects with Aerospace needs.

Marcelo German Boldt

Research Engineer at German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Marcelo is a passionate Space Engineer with high proficiency in stress analysis in metallic and composite structures, mechanical design and vast experience in hands on in manufacturing & structural testing. Purpose driven and goal oriented attitude with an engaging personality and a true passion and devotion for my trade and areas of research. Marcelo enjoys teamwork and development of individuals towards challenging and innovative goals. Due to his background he possess experience in project management and quality assurance that he combines continuously in strategic and decision making.