Skip to main content

2024 Call for Papers

Publish and Present a Technical Paper

Submission Closed on 12 December
HomePresentersCall for Papers

The 2024 ASCEND Technical Program invites abstracts focused on advances spanning the art and science of space technology, exploration, economics, and more.

The expansive scope of subjects are represented through the Paper Topics below, which will each host focused technical paper presentations and co-host multidisciplinary joint paper presentations.

Of particular interest are abstracts that clearly connect to ASCEND’s theme of “Building Our Off-World Future,” as well as abstracts that address the utilization of space assets to better understand and combat global climate change. Authors are strongly encouraged to present interpretations on the broader impacts of their work. Impacts that can potentially affect/influence other areas of the space arena additional to the specific paper topic addressed are also strongly encouraged. Additionally, for work that is ongoing or incomplete, the abstract should clearly describe the work/program results that are anticipated and should be included in your 2024 ASCEND presentation.

The 2024 ASCEND Call for Papers (CFP) is designed at a higher level to promote greater diversity and freedom of important content to be offered. Papers are strongly encouraged to fully explore all aspects of Enduring Space Access, to include Arrival and Sustainability and building toward a permanent off-planet human presence, first on the moon, then onto Mars and beyond.

Paper Topic Quick Links
2024 Program Chairs

If you have questions about submission topics and our interdisciplinary approach, please reach out to one of the 2024 ASCEND Technical Program Chairs:

2024 Key Dates and Deadlines


3 OCTOBER 2023


2000 HRS ET, USA | 12 DECEMBER 2023


18 MARCH 2024


2000 HRS ET, USA | 24 JUNE 2024


30 JULY–1 AUGUST 2024
Las Vegas, Nevada
Paper Topics

Space Traffic Management/Coordination ↓

Benjamin Seibert, Deputy Technical Program Chair

The quantity and diversity of space traffic has increased dramatically over the last 50 years, and now includes a variety of companies and nations with different goals, motives, and business/operating models. As growth continues, there is an increasing need to ensure access to space and safe operations from initial launch of the vehicle through mission completion. As more and more megaconstellations are deployed, the possibility for electromagnetic interference and the need for operational coordination increases. ASCEND seeks to provide technical content related to these issues and solutions to address them.

Further, papers are invited on policy, best practices, and lessons learned that address the appropriate roles of organizations (international bodies, national governments, nongovernmental organizations, etc.) in providing space situational awareness, traffic management, and control services. Regulatory clarity regarding the on-orbit authorities of government agencies – as-yet largely undefined – is a timely subject. Planned/evolving regulatory frameworks and priority preferences for air traffic operations amidst the increasing launch/reentry cadence are of specific interest.  ASCEND seeks to provide technical content related to these issues and recommended solutions to address them.


  • Autonomous Operations of Satellites and Constellations
  • Certification of STM Systems and Commercial Launch Systems
  • Communications, Command, and Control in Distributed Space/Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • Interoperability Across Commercial, Civil, and Military Assets
  • Detection, Notification, and Coordination
  • New and Enabling Technologies and Processes
  • Orbital Debris Management Establishment/Evolution, to include International Efforts/Partnership
  • Planned/Anticipated Commercial Space Initiatives and Impact on Space Traffic Management (STM)
  • Regulatory Concerns, Including Spectrum Regulations and Management
  • Space Access and Safe Operations from Initial Launch through Mission Completion/Decommissioning/Deorbit
  • Space Situational Awareness (SSA)/Space Domain Awareness (SDA)/Space Traffic Management (STM), Including Satellite and Orbital Debris Detection, Notification and Coordination, and Automated Space Domain Tracking and Reporting
  • Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) Impacts Upon STM Operations

Expanding and Evolving the Space Economy ↓

John Carsten, Deputy Technical Program Chair
Christine Edwards, Deputy Technical Program Chair

Recent analyses suggest that the space economy is at a major tipping point toward rapid exponential growth. Realizing the full potential of that growth—a forecasted $1 trillion globally by 2040—demands bringing together business leaders, academics, innovators, investors, technical experts, government stakeholders, and decision makers to envision, design, and build the future of space commerce together. ASCEND seek papers that discuss and support this community while inspiring new approaches and lessons learned from relevant markets.

Submissions may relate to items such as:

  • Emerging Commercial Services and Capabilities in Progress (like On-Orbit Servicing)
  • Market Research Products
  • Business Plans and Opportunities to Enable Synergistic Implementation and Exploitation
  • Major Cost Drivers and Potential Solutions (for Establishment and Expansion of Space Commerce)
  • Strategies and Success Stories for Public Awareness

  • Current and Emerging Space-Based Commercial Markets
  • Investment and Financing Approaches
  • Economic Trade-Offs for New Capabilities
  • Emerging Commercial Services and Capabilities
  • Role of Government in the Space Economy
  • Space Cost Drivers and How to Address Them
  • Evolutionary Stresses and Other Dynamics
  • Risks and Sustainability of Space Assets Growth
  • International Cooperation and Competition
  • Lessons Learned from Past and Current Commercial Space Ventures
  • Major Drivers Enabling Expansion of Commercial Space
  • Space Resources for Economic Development
  • Affordability and Safety
  • Economic Evaluation of Infusing New Capabilities
  • Ethical, Societal, and Legal Frameworks for Economic Development in Space
  • Intersection/Synergies/Partnerships of Science, Technology, and Commerce

Space Exploration and Infrastructure: Exploring, Living, and Working in Space ↓

Mohammad Ayoubi, Deputy Technical Program Chair
Hao Chen, Deputy Technical Program Chair
Paula Do Vale Pereira, Deputy Technical Program Chair

Throughout human history, we have pondered the great mysteries, such as the formation of the universe and our solar system, the existence of life on other planets, and how we can better understand the complex systems of the Earth. Within the past century, advances in space technology have allowed us to make great leaps in our understanding of these and other scientific frontiers.

As we seek to further accelerate the growth of the space economy and make strides toward our off-world future, it is imperative that we leverage the resultant new technologies and capabilities to expand our understanding of the solar system and the universe. We must address the most crucial scientific questions that remain unanswered. This topic focuses attention on these questions, as prioritized by the scientific community in publications such as the U.S. NASA-requested decadal surveys, and to identify opportunities and challenges that can be addressed through increased activities and human presence in space.

Submissions may relate to items such as:

  • Enabling Infrastructure, Architectures, Platforms, or Tools (Digital Engineering/AI) to Safely Support a Safe and Persistent Human and Robotic Space Presence and Space Logistics
  • Space Missions: Planning and Design, Achievements, Lessons, and Discoveries
  • Potential Environmental Impact Considerations/Issues Regarding Planetary Exploration
  • Cross-Disciplined Sciences Supporting or Informing the Space Ecosystem
  • Opportunities for Leveraging or Lessons Learned for Future Developers
  • Reviews of Space Program Status for Public Information

  • Advancing Space Science Objectives
  • Autonomous Operations
  • Innovations in Spacecraft Subsystem Capabilities, Including Onboard Computing, Software, and Information Systems; Propulsion; Navigation, Guidance, and Control; Thermal Control; Power Systems; Communication Systems; Situational Awareness; etc.
  • Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I) innovations regarding Spacecraft Design, Development Test and Evaluation (DDT&E)
  • Planetary Environmental Impact and Protection During Exploration
  • Robustness and Resilience
  • Space Mission Achievements, Discoveries, and Lessons Learned
  • Space Mission Planning and Design
  • Space Science Drivers for Planetary Science and Astrophysics
  • Human and Robotic Teaming
  • Human Space Exploration
  • Space Resource Exploration and Utilization
  • Space Logistics and In-Space Servicing/Assembly/Manufacturing
  • New and Enabling Technologies and Processes
  • Robotic Space Exploration
  • Safety and Mission Assurance
  • Space Medicine and Human Health
  • Space Operations
  • Small Satellites and Novel Platforms for Exploration
  • Space Architectures and Infrastructures
  • Lunar Development and Scientific Exploration: Synergies and Challenges
  • Affordability and Safety in Space Exploration
  • Space Transportation
  • Space Communications Architectures and Technologies

Space Security and Protection ↓

Sean Phillips, Deputy Technical Program Chair
Derek Doyle, Technical Discipline Lead

The threats and risks to the space systems and associated infrastructure that support all aspects of daily life continue to grow. ASCEND seeks papers that address the protection of our space capabilities, and the trade-offs between efforts to produce value in space, manage the increasingly crowded space domain, and protect our ability to operate freely in space. This includes capabilities that leverage novel sensors, components, and system technologies, as well as products from other relevant communities, to protect our space assets. Papers are sought that explore how public-private partnerships provide the architectures and systems that enable the continued open use of space for the benefit of all humankind.


  • Mission Cybersecurity
  • Policy, Partnerships, Processes to Mitigate Risks
  • Detection, Notification, and Coordination
  • New and Enabling Technologies and Processes
  • Protection Methods
  • Resiliency, Including Hardware/Software Enablers
  • Space and Cyber Situational Awareness, Including Detection, Notification, and Coordination
  • System Designs and Architectures
  • Space Operations in a Contested Cyber Environment
  • Susceptibilities and Vulnerabilities (Natural and Unnatural)
  • Threats and Sources of Risk to Space Assets and Operations
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Support/Threat

Space and Sustainability ↓

Amir Gohardani, Deputy Technical Program Chair

The awe-inspiring capability and rapid growth within the space enterprise suggests a discussion of sustainability is needed. ASCEND promotes a comprehensive understanding of the intersection between the space enterprise and maintenance of a suitable environment here on Earth is of interest. This includes both the impacts that the space enterprise has on global environments, and the risks that a changing climate impose on the space enterprise.

Understanding the profound changes affecting our planet has become an existential necessity for humankind. The nature and effects of climate change, the global extent of pollution, and the evolution of biodiversity are measured through scientific observations from a variety of platforms. ASCEND seeks papers that highlight the advantages and opportunities of space-based environmental sensing technologies in synergy with ground measurements. The aggregation and sharing of the gathered data are of interest to increase environmental domain awareness across the globe and inform policymaking.


  • Asteroid Threat Detection and Mitigation
  • Space-Based Clean Energy
  • Leveraging The Power of Remote Sensing
  • Minimizing Future Planetary and Environmental Impact of Space Activities
  • New and Enabling Technologies and Processes for Sustainability
  • Using Space Assets to Help Combat Climate Change
  • New Earth-Observing Architectures and Earth Science Strategies
  • Developing Sustainable Processes for Space
  • Evolving Artificial Intelligence (AI) application distributed impact on Space Development and Operations

Space and Society, Education, and Workforce ↓

Christopher “Chrispy” Petersen, Deputy Technical Program Chair

Space activities shape human lives in many ways and there is a continuous need to consider the human element and the societal impact of space endeavors. The recent explosive growth in the commercial space industry has led to one of the most dynamic and exciting periods of expansion of the aerospace workforce. However, this vitality and growth has not come without challenges: workforce retention and management has become a first-order concern, prevalent across the industry. At the same time, our industry is becoming increasingly conscious of the critical importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in our schools, and yet challenged to impart significant traction in this regard. Emergent technological needs in areas like artificial intelligence, human-robot teaming and cybersecurity are driving our system requirements and capabilities, resulting in significant changes in the educational needs of modern-day aerospace engineers. This phenomenon also reaches many other areas of our society by transforming the relationship between space and society, culture, and the arts. ASCEND seeks papers to shed light on all these issues within the broad impacts of space activities on society and help our economic sector wrap its arms around these huge challenges.


  • Educational Approaches; Curriculum Strategies
  • Workforce Development, Retention and Management
  • Commercial aerospace economic ‘up/down’ reaction upon industry Workforce
  • Legacy, Lessons-Learned, continued involvement of Older Workforce
  • Outreach Initiatives and Programs
  • Diversity, Advocacy, Equality, and Inclusion
  • Synergistic Approaches by Academia, Government, and Industry
  • Societal impacts of space activities and technologies and related spin-offs

Call for Content

Call for Sessions

Accelerate with Us!

Build your off-world future faster. Subscribe now for alerts, news, special offers and extra access to the expanding universe of ASCEND.