By Candice Nunez, NSS ISDC Reporter, courtesy QGITS
Carl Schueler is a Satellite remote sensing system architect, EO sensor systems engineer and applications scientist, study and proposal lead. He received degrees in Physics & Astronomy at Louisiana State University, followed by two years at Hughes Aircraft Company teaching F-14 radar, Maverick missile theory and field repair. He earned a Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering at UC Santa Barbara in 1980 under a Howard Hughes Doctoral Fellowship. He is currently President at Schueler Consulting with clients that include LexerdTek, MEI Technologies, Orbital Sciences, and Cornell Technical Services. Carl is the Main Track Chair kicking off the first day of introductions for the NASA Exploration Track for the ISDC 2014 National Space Society conference May 14-18. QGITS (an online publication for STEM students) had the pleasure of talking to Carl about the NASA 4-day track.
QGITS: The Nasa Exploration Track at the ISDC conference is a four day event that will cover four subtracks: 1) Asteroids; 2) Emerging Science & Technology; 3) Lunar; and 4) Space Exploration. Which track will you be speaking on?
Carl Schueler: We have a really packed schedule, well over 30 invited speakers plus 4 students to present during the track in which I had the pleasure working with 5 Co-Chairs for the subtracks. The Asteroid sub-track is being managed by Dan Kwon from Orbital Sciences Corporation and the Lunar sub-track by David Dunlop. Saturday we have an all day science and technology sub-track by Samantha Infeld and Bill Gardiner and finally Sunday morning we have space exploration managed by Matt Ondler. My job was really made pretty easy and I am not giving a presentation. I introduce the 1st speaker of the track Thursday morning and turning the rest to the sub-track leads; the work I have done has been stage manager/background. I’m just really pleased to be able to have done that relatively small contribution to the effort and be a part of it. I think it’s a really exciting track. We’ve got people from NASA of course, JPL, NASA Headquarters, Johnson Space Center, the Associate Director of JPL talking about their space exploration program, and several talks on the NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission. We have a talk on DAWN, a mission launched in 2007 exploring a couple of the larger asteroids in the belt, and presentations on extraction of materials from the asteroids, similar for lunar, and prospects for getting to the Moon again, talks on space manufacturing, discussions on propulsion techniques and lots of other great topics. (View full agenda of scheduled speakers.)
QGITS: What type of projects have you worked on?
Carl Schueler: This conference is sort of like the movie “Back to the Future” for me as I started out after I got my degree in Physics & Astronomy as an Astronomy Professor and Planetarium Director back in the early 70’s. Then got redirected into Engineering at Hughes Aircraft Company and remote sensing from space which involves looking down from earth orbit rather than out to space. I had to turn my back on space and look back at earth, spent 35 years doing development of earth remote sensing missions for NASA, that was great. I had a really good time with it, but this conference is an opportunity to get back to what I was doing many years in the past and find out what’s going on in space these days after having spent 35 years looking at earth from space.
QGITS: What are you most excited about the NASA Exploration Track?
Carl Schueler: I am just really pleased that we have been able to assemble a cast of excellent speakers every single day. This track I think is educational, entertaining, and inspirational: all three! The conference overall is great and there are terrific speakers across the board so I am just really excited to be part of the entire effort and glad that I could participate.