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The International Conference on Astronautics and Space Exploration 2021 (iCASE 2021)

The International Conference on Astronautics and Space Exploration 2021 (iCASE 2021), co-sponsored by National SPace Organization (NSPO) and Taiwan Space Industry Development Association (TSIDA), was held from November 16 to 18 at the International Conference Hall, Microelectronics and Information Research Center (MIRC), Guangfu Campus, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (MYCU), and it has been successfully concluded. The iCASE 2021 consists of six (6) program themes this year, including: Space technology development, Data value-added applications and services, Space policy and governance, Taiwan's space industry development, Outer space exploration and scientific innovation, and Space education. It is the largest comprehensive space conference in Taiwan, which will lead domestic experts and scholars in different fields to focus on Taiwan's space development and establish a solid foundation in terms of technology, policy, legal system, industry, and education. In iCASE 2021, the 3rd CubeSat Mission Design Contest and Student Paper Contest were also planned and held on the first and third day, respectively. The conference invited Dr. Bou-Wen Lin, Vice President of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) and Dr. Chi-Hung Lin, President of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU), to give a welcome speech, respectively. The president of the Agencia Espacial del Paraguay (AEP), Dr. Col. Liduvino Vielman Diaz, also gave a warm opening speech through a pre-recorded film to the conference on the first day. Dr. Tian-Chuan Kuo, Deputy Director General of NSPO, delivered an opening speech on behalf of the conference chairman, Dr. Jong-Shinn Wu, who is also Director General of NSPO. The iCASE 2021 started in the afternoon of November 16, and the conference invited Dr. Naoto KADOWAKI, Deputy Director of Japan's NICT (National Institute of Information and Communication Research), to give a keynote speech on the topic of "Space Communications in 5G and Beyond - NICT's Achievements and Challenges." Dr. Kadowaki introduced Japan's new trends, achievements and challenges in space wireless communication networks and laser optical communications. After the distinguished keynote, two forums were combined and discussed on issues of space law and space policy and global space governance with invited speakers including Ms. Tsai-Wei Wu, Researcher of Institute for Information Industry (III); Dr. Kenny Huang, CEO of Taiwan Network Information Center (TWNIC); Professor Chu-Cheng Huang of National Tsing Hua University (NTHU); Professor Yuan-Chou Jing of National Defense University (NDU); and Dr. Feng-Tai Hwang, Division Director of NSPO. At the beginning of the second day's iCASE activities, Dr. Elsayed Talaat from NOAA, USA, Director of the Office of Projects, Planning, and Analysis (OPPA) at NESDIS was invited to give the second distinguished keynote speech entitled "Space Optics and Weather: NOAA's Environmental Observing Systems". He introduced the applications of NOAA's Global Environmental Observing System in space optics and space weather. The mission of US team of the FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 has been successfully executed with outstanding achievements under his leadership. Presentations for oral and poster papers are the second day's main topics, which covers the mentioned six (6) program themes. On the third day, with the space industry development and space education as the main topics, the conference invited two experts to give the third and fourth keynote speeches. The first speaker is Brent Sherwood who is Senior Vice President of Blue Origin. The topic of his speech is: "Four Futures in Space Travel", introducing four distinct paths for future manned space flight, including 4E; Explore, Experience, Exploit and Expand. The second speaker is Dr. S. Somanath who is Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The topic of his speech is "Increasing Global Public Private Partnership in New Space Collaboration." Dr. Somanath introduced India's future in the face of new space, opportunities and challenges in global cooperation, and possible solutions, especially seeking a global Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the launch, communications and remote sensing markets. His speech provided Taiwan with valuable experience and reference in planning and execution. He also mentioned that the two space agencies of Taiwan and India could sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in new space collaboration. After the keynote speeches, two industry forums were arranged. One forum is for the development of the space industry in Taiwan's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with invited speakers including: Erin Liao, Deputy Division Manager of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI); Ms. Pei-Wen Fu, Industrial Analyst of Metal Industries Research & Development Center (MIRDC); Ms. Charlie Tzeng, Program Manager of III; Ms. Celine Chen, the founder of Innospace Ltd. Corp.; and Dr. Feng-Tai Hwang, Division Director of NSPO. The other forum is for Taiwan's space education with invited speakers including: Professor Chi-Kuang Chao, Space Department Head of National Central University (NCU); Professor Shih-Sin Wei, Deputy Director of Advanced Rocket Research Center (ARRC), NYCU; Professor Kaiti Wang of TamKang University (TKU); Dr. Chun-Chieh Hsiao and Dr. Chao-Yen Chen, both are researchers of NSPO; and Dr. Feng-Tai Hwang, Division Director of NSPO. In order to encourage domestic and foreign students to actively participate in space science and technology-related research, this conference also held the third CubeSat Mission Design Contest (12 teams participated) and the Student Paper Contest (13 papers participated) on the first and third days, respectively. The CubeSat Mission Design Contest has made students to increase their interest in the space program during the process of participation. At the end of the CubeSat Mission Design Contest, the total scores of the participating student teams of the NCU/NTHU/NYCU and the TKU were the same. The conference chairman announced on the spot that the two teams were tied for first place, and the prize money was split equally with NTD 45,000 for each team. Their paper titles are "Heavenly body gravity field investigation by Ultra high frequency ranging Inspection (HUI)" and "Investigating Life-sustaining Environment on Ganymede by Heimdallr CubeSat Mission," respectively. The other TKU team guided by Professors Kaiti Wang and Fu-Yuen Hsiao also won the third place with a prize of NTD 10,000. The paper title of the third place is: "The Prediction and Warning System of Solar Wind by Icarus CubeSat Mission." The 4th to 7th among the 12 teams also won the sponsorship special award with a prize of NTD 5,000. The paper titles for these winners' teams are: "CubeSat-Integrated Google Street Car (CIVC)" from a joint high schools (FSHS/PTSHS/KCIS) and universities (NCKU/NTHU); "Utilizing Pop-Up Platform on CubeSat to Achieve Commercial Activities in the Universe (UCCU)" from NCU; "IFFSaver (Instant Forest Fire Saver)" from NTHU and NYCU; and "MarVen: An Interplanetary Low-Thrust Earth-Venus-Mars Gravity-Assist Mission by using THz Technology" from Beijing Institute of Technology, China, and University of Science and Technology, Iran. In the student paper contest, student Yukai Wang (NYCU) under the guidance of ARRC Professor Shih-Sin Wei (NYCU) and Prof. Jong-Shinn Wu (NYCU) won the first place with the paper title of "Development of a 20 kgf Class Liquid Rocket Engine by Using Hydrogen Peroxide and Ethanol." And student ZuoRen Chen (NTHU) under the advisor of Prof. Tsung-Lin Chen and Prof. Jong-Shinn Wu (both from NYCU) won the second place, with the paper title of "Improving GPS Positioning Accuracy by Fusing Position and Velocity Measurements with a Kalman Filter." Student Yi-Chung Chiu (NCU), first author for IDEASSat team under the guidance of Professor Loren Chang won the third place and the paper title is "Lessons Learned from IDEASSat: Design, Testing, On Orbit Operations, and Anomaly Analysis of a First University CubeSat for Ionospheric Science." A total of over 280 people including registers, manufacturer representatives, and invited VIPs attended the conference. More than 125 papers and reports were published, including 40 orally presented papers from 11 countries, and 44 poster papers, 4 keynote speeches, 16 forum reports, 12 papers from CubeSat Mission Design Contest, and 13 papers from Student Paper Contest. In order to allow the domestic industry to have more participation and provide opportunities for technical exchanges between the industry, academia, and research. In addition to providing members' product catalogues, TSIDA also invited 16 manufacturers in 13 booths to give presentations on space industry products. The conference was used to conduct comprehensive industrial technology exchanges. People from remote places and foreign countries who cannot physically participate due to the epidemic can download information about space products related to the booth through the virtual booth on the website. Taiwan's "Space Development Law" was announced by the President Tsai Ing-wen on June 16 this year. This year's iCASE International Symposium is the third large-scale comprehensive space conference held in Taiwan. The iCASE will grow to be a Taiwan Space Week after NSPO becomes an independent administrative Institution next year. It will become the most important annual international space exploration conference and exhibition in Taiwan in the future, which can attract international experts and scholars to participate. Figure 1 Conference VIPs (From Right: Dr. Bou-Wen Lin, Vice President of NARLabs and Dr. Chi-Hung Lin, President of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU), and Dr. Tian-Chuan Kuo, Deputy Director General of NSPO) Figure 2 The Agencia Espacial del Paraguay-AEP, a diplomatic country with Taiwan, Colonel Liduvino Vielman Diaz, gave a warm opening speech through pre-recorded film to the conference on the opening session. Figure 3 Group Photo Figure 4 Group photo of students and reviewers before the 3rd CubeSat Mission Design Contest Figure 5 Group photo of participating students, instructors, sponsors and NSPO members after the completion of the 3rd CubeSat Mission Design Contest Figure 6 The total scores of the participating student teams of the NCU/NTHU/NYCU and the TKU were announced to be the same. The conference chairman announced that the two teams were tied for first place on the spot. Figure 7 Another team from Tamkang University's student team won the third place. Figure 8 In the student paper contest, students Yukai Wang (NYCU) and ZuoRen Chen (NTHU) won the first and second places, respectively.