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Ciclo de Conferências 2019/2020 - Tecnologia, Empresa e Sociedade
O evento decorre online - Link de Acesso
Zoom Meeting ID: 733 004 970
Placing a satellite into even a low orbit costs tens of millions of euros per tonne. Even the smallest launcher rocket for conventional satellites is fuelled by hundreds of tonnes of highly explosive (and sometimes toxic) propellant - a launchpad explosion can be lethal at tens of km. A delay in a launch by even a couple of days may result in missing a favourable planetary conjunction opportunity and delay an exploraty mission by years.
Hundreds of highly specialized experts from tens of contributing companies are required to contribute to a space mission. From thermal, to power, through software, most components are critical, as are the cross-coupling effects between them.
Re-entry spacecraft and capsules glide through the atmosphere at 25 000 km/s, but the uncertainty about the density of Earth’s atmosphere above 80 kms is such that it is dubbed the ignorosphere. In Mars, the same levels of uncertainty occur at the surface.level..
In Space Engineering failure is barely an option, and most missions include new components, methods and concepts.
A manager of critical projects at the forefront of technology must be thorough – see the wide picture, survey potential errors and prepare for the unpredictable. In this lecture, João Branco, a seasoned leader of multidisciplinary endeavours in the space domain, speaks of his experience and explores the mindset required for Critical Thinking, learnt in one and a half decades of life lessons - the blurred lines between method and creativity that allows predicting problems before they occur.
How to derive a solution to a new problem? How not to miss any aspect of it? How to build confidence in a solution and derive a general protocol, when the number of observations and lessons is limited?
Founding philosophical principles of formal and fuzzy logic are reminded. Tools for deductive and inductive reasoning, probability and statistics concepts, and even puzzles for mind training will be listed as potential tools, and linked to practical examples encountered in life and Engineering.
João Branco (gmv)
João Branco has been an Aerospace Engineer for 14 years. After studying in TU Delft and IST Lisbon, he started his career in the European Space Agency’s European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands. His first tasks were to plan Earth defence missions against the threat of asteroid impacts. As a Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineer, João joined multidisciplinary teams in designing the autonomous control system of Space Launcher Vega in Italy, the Formation Flying Proba-3 dual-satellite Mission in Spain, and dozens of other elements of spacecraft subsystems .
João Branco has managed Aerospace Engineering activities for 10 years, and since 5 years he leads the Space Segment and Robotics Business Unit of GMV in Portugal.
João Branco is also a bicycle mechanic and an urban planning enthusiast – he founded MUBI, the first cycling association specifically focused on urban cycling; the Passeio Livre (Free Pavement) movement that raises awareness of walkability in city planning. In 2011 he founded and managed into autonomy the Cicloficina Bicycle Repair Shop, a social project which has been running continuously for 9 years and engages more than 20 volunteer mechanics and thousands of cyclists.