Ontolog Forum

Session Space Environment - Disasters
Duration 1 hour
Date/Time 18 May 2022 16:00 GMT
9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT
5:00pm BST/6:00pm CEST
Convener Ravi Sharma
Track Aerospace/Maritime Disasters

Ontology Summit 2022 Space Environment - Disasters

Dealing with Disasters

The COVID-19 pandemic as well as other pandemics and disasters have prompted an impressive, worldwide response by governments, industry, and the academic community. Ontologies can play a significant role in search, data description, interoperability and harmonization of the increasingly large data sources that are relevant to disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontology Summit 2022 examined the overall landscape of disasters and related ontologies. A framework consisting of a set of dimensions was developed to characterize this landscape. The framework was applied to health-related disasters, environmental disasters, as well as aerospace and cyberspace disasters. It was found that there are many cross-domain linkages between different kinds of disasters and that ontologies developed for one kind of disaster can be repurposed for other kinds. A representative sample of projects that have been developing and using ontologies for disaster monitoring and response management is presented to illustrate best practices and lessons learned. The Communiqué ends by presenting the findings and recommendations of the summit.


  • Scott M Hull, NASA GSFC -Maryland Potential Space Disasters, and What We Can Do to Prevent Them Slides Video Recording YouTube Video
  • Operating in space comes with a variety of challenges that arise from the environment itself, which are not typically faced in terrestrial applications. Among these are radiation effects, orbital debris and meteoroid impacts, and simply the necessity to operate remotely from any repair or rescue capabilities. The term “disaster” is more easily recognized in regard to crewed missions, so there is understandably great care taken to limit and avoid risks to the crew – but robotic (uncrewed) spacecraft face many of these same risks albeit with less disastrous consequences. The risks to space missions will be discussed, as well as the mitigations employed to minimize those risks.
  • Scott Hull serves as the Lead Orbital Debris Engineer for Goddard Space Flight Center. He has over twenty years’ experience performing orbital debris assessments, consulting on decommissioning planning, and providing related studies for over 60 missions. Mr. Hull has also supported six orbital debris related studies for the NASA Engineering and Safety Center, and authored or co-authored over a dozen conference papers and chapters for two textbooks. He graduated from Drexel University with a degree in Materials Engineering.

Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 18 May 2022
  • Start Time: 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EDT / 6:00pm CEST / 5:00pm BST / 1600 UTC
  • Expected Call Duration: 1 hour
  • The Video Conference URL is
    • Meeting ID: 881 4427 2329
    • Passcode: 553714
  • Chat Room:
    • If the chat room is not available, then use the Zoom chat room.
  • One tap mobile



[12:13] Ravi Sharma: Welcome everyone including our distinguished speaker Scott and colleague Ivonne

[12:14] Ravi Sharma: I am glad to inform that i have 10+ years of NASA and DOD experience, and Apollo achievement Award.

[12:16] Ravi Sharma: Scott - regarding meteorites, we worried a lot on their size and velocity aspects. My colleague Julius Dohnanyi developed meteorite size distribution formulae in those days. This was for the Apollo Crewed missions primarily.

[12:20] Ravi Sharma: Scott - re Hubble you must have known Atul Shah (Late) who helped NASA GSFC test the Hubble replacement electronics from Hughes Raytheon.

[12:23] Ravi Sharma: Optocouplers in automatic faucets and garage door openers.

[12:30] Ravi Sharma: Scot - how far are we from space qualifies self repairing smart materials such as shields?

[12:43] Ravi Sharma: When will satellites have self-deorbit capability? Including ensuring everything burns out during reentry?

[12:48] Mike Bennett: Are you able to refine a risk ontology to use in these risk assessments?

[13:09] Ravi Sharma: Many thanks to Scott Ivonne and all participants.


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