Rockets: cool. Computers: cool. Computer controlled rockets: awesome!

Programming for mission critical, realtime, and embedded environments can be very different than for typical consumer or corporate projects. We'll take a look at some programming patterns around state-driven computing, realtime control loops, and feed-forward controllers which make brutal real world physical devices smooth as butter. Most importantly, we'll discuss this all in the context of rocket powered landers, which can hover, translate, and do some amazing aerial acrobatics, we'll talk about how this all feeds forward into the next generation of planetary landers, and how the principles can apply to a wide variety of software domains.

  • Joel Scotkin

    Joel Scotkin

    Joel started his career in financial technology. As JP Morgan's first webmaster he helped launch the very first online presence for a major financial firm with their RiskMetrics offering in 1994. In 1995 Joel founded Random Walk Computing, which drove the acceptance of Java into the financial domain and grew to become Wall Street's leading capital markets technology consultancy. After selling Random Walk to Accenture in 2006, Joel decided to pursue his dream of building rockets, and joined Masten Space Systems as lead investor and eventually CEO. Masten won the NASA Centennial Lunar Lander Challenge X-Prize in 2009 and has pioneered fully autonomous hovering rocket vehicles via dramatic advances in on-board computation. Current projects include work with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory designing the landing approach for the next major Mars mission, angel investing in a variety of startups, and pondering the next big thing.