Innovation, International Partnerships, and Leveraging Commercial Community – these were the three common themes that trended at this year’s AIAA Space 2016 Conference. You wouldn’t have heard them mentioned 15 or 20 years ago. In fact, Space, along with Robots, Biotech, Manufacturing and Agriculture were some of the most unattractive industries from investors’ stand points for the longest time. Now they are all ripe for radical change and the never-ending innovation was repeatedly called out from the conference stage. It was described as fast and bold, as pushing the limits, never smooth, welcoming failure, collaborative and incredibly software-driven.
In continuous pursuit to be better in deep space exploration, some of the industry changes were named. From two nations in Space in the 60s., to 60 today, and also from 100% commercial launches operated by the US to 0% in 2000. A whole panel was devoted to reaching Mars and not in the “if” but rather “when” terms. Emerging technologies were discussed thoroughly and emerging markets alongside with them. The commercial potential was analyzed multiple times: communication satellites, satellite imaginary analytics, space tourism, mining asteroid resources in space, and adding value to products in space to stay in space, and for sale back on Earth, when space changes its status from a “special place” to “just a place to work”.
Again, an industry that traditionally has been very resistant to innovation, entrepreneurship and change has become one of the most welcoming to new companies, ideas, investment, agile design, rapid iteration and disruption. It’s an incredible effort in an environment of complex systems and constant risk and liability management.
The future is unlimited but innovation is never smooth and is never an individual effort. It’s a balancing act that takes place when risk, safety, and innovation collide. Jama built a platform that serves those engineering the innovative, safety-critical systems. This way, they can take advantage of opportunity as it presents itself – be it a market, program, or contract opportunity.
Balancing Risk, Safety, and Innovation will be the focus of yet another conference we are tuning into this week. If you are attending SAE Aerospace Systems Technology Conference 2016 be sure to stop by and see our industry veterans at booth 16 to discuss navigating, and most importantly, simplifying a complex systems design.