I am a freshman at West Virginia University studying both aerospace and mechanical engineering. During my first few years of college, I plan to join the WVU Engineers without Borders club to apply my STEM knowledge to serving communities. I grew up attending NASA Educator Resource Center programs such as TARC rocketry, FIRST robotics, and Small Satellites for Secondary students, which inspired me to pursue a career in the space industry. I have been involved in FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics for six years; two as a team member, three as a mentor, and this past year as a coach for a junior robotics team. In my spare time I enjoy playing basketball, practicing my trumpet, and amateur photography. During my internship this summer, I beta-tested a curriculum sent by Johnson Space Center on porting Core Flight System software onto an AR Drone 2.0 platform. The goal of the project was to modify and improve the application as appropriate, and to create a document reviewing the curriculum which will be sent back to JSC for improvement. This internship has provided me with valuable experience in a professional work environment, insight into STEM fields, and improved programming abilities. I hope to one day land a job in the space industry and contribute to NASA’s mission.
Hello. I am Sebastian Reger. I come from Buckhannon, a small town in central West Virginia with not even 6,000 residents. After graduating from high school, I sought to keep doors open for the future and pursue my interests in problem solving/technology. This kept me nearby at West Virginia University. In college, I have performed music as a trumpet player in the Mountaineer Marching Band. My sophomore year, I began leading the trumpet section of over 60 members and was the president of WVU’s IEEE club. At first, I failed, but my new uncovered passion for leadership drove me to success toward the end of these roles. I chose NASA again this summer because of my interests in building, whether it is a project or making a system more efficient in a government environment. I also love space. In the future, I hope to find a method of integrating my entrepreneurial, leadership, and problem solving passions into a way to impact people and the world around me.
Name: Abigail Ida
Education: Senior at Arizona State University
Area of Study: Software Engineering
Unique Fact: I’m a certified Starbucks Barista
I was introduced to NASA through the Rocksat-C program. I joined the team when studying at West Virginia University and through this program my interested in the software engineering field spiked. Not only was I proud of the payload that was constructed but NASA helped me to achieve something I never sought possible for myself. I entered the software engineering field not knowing a whole lot about it but NASA has helped me to push my limits on what I know and has given me the confidence and support to reach for the stars.
After I enter my career field I see myself in a positive work environment that is always learning and encourages improvement and innovation. I am specializing in web applications and could see myself working on constructing applications as a future job. NASA has provided me with the experience building flight software for small payloads and that has been a really exciting and rewarding experience. I could also see myself doing something related to that as well. I would like to build applications, websites and possibly start my own online company.
Name: Adison Nordstrom
Education and year in school: Rising junior at West Virginia University
Area of study or intended area of study: Computer science major, physics minor
Unique fact about you: I swam competitively for 10-11 years.
What brought you to NASA? I applied for a 2016 summer internship here, got it, and now I’m back for a second summer.
Where you see yourself after you enter into your career? Hopefully software development, either with a tech company or with NASA.
Sydney Michalski, a sophomore at West Virginia University (WVU), is originally from Fairmont, West Virginia. She’s currently working on her double undergraduate major in English and mathematics. She’s also part of WVU’s Uteach program, which will allow her to receive her teaching certificate upon graduation. During the school year and when she’s not in class, she works at the university’s student center, the Mountainlair, as a building supervisor for Night Operations. In the summers, she’s usually working at the local ice cream shop, the Dairy Crème Corner in Fairmont, as a shift leader. Of course this summer she’s working with NASA’s IV&V folks to help gain a better understanding of where she’d like to go after graduation. Sydney likes to unwind by dabbling in pottery and hopes to make a full kitchen set for when she moves into her first apartment this year.
Sydney says she wanted to work at NASA’s IV&V Program, because she had a lot of friends who spent their summer interning at the program and told her that had great experiences. Sydney sees herself working in the education field in some capacity, whether it be in the public school system, with an education program at NASA, or anything else that will let her positively influence young kids, especially girls, to enter STEM fields with confidence.
In an effort to provide students with the stepping stones necessary to carry out the goals of the Space Flight Design Challenge, academic institutions have been provided with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through RockSat-C. The NASA IV&V Space Flight Design Challenge is an initiative aimed towards engaging students of West Virginia in the STEM disciplines needed to successfully build and test critical systems. By enhancing the knowledge and capabilities of students through hands-on spacecraft development, they will be enabled to compete in the development of their own flight systems in space. Primarily, the overall goal of this initiative is to foster innovative advancements in both high school and college students across the nation. As a result, students will be equipped to compete in the fabrication & operation of flight systems in Low Earth Orbit via amateur radio operations.
Through RockSat-C, students and mentors can actively participate in the design & build phases of their own scientific payload. Inevitably, this payload will be launched on a sounding rocket out of Wallops Flight Facility at the close of the academic school year. The fall semester is comprised of engaging students in the full design & review process whilst the primary goal of spring semester is to prepare each team for the Launch Readiness Review. In order to do so successfully, each of the payloads will undergo multiple phases of testing and integration to ensure its suitability for flight.
This year’s Rock Sat-C mission statement:
“To embark on a collaborative effort with academic institutions across the state of West Virginia for development and expansion of knowledge and practical experience in designing, building, launching, and operating space payloads.”
In order to accomplish this vision, our teams have developed a variety of experiments that will inevitably benefit the small sat community. Of those scientific payloads are:
- Bridge Valley Community Technical College Stain Gauge Experiment
- Objective: To measure strain on a series of material samples and model flight path
- West Virginia University Langmuir Probe Experiment
- Objective: Measure plasma density in upper atmosphere
- Blue Field State College Vehicle and Inertial Measurement and Tracking Experiment
- Objective: To gather real-time flight data & Use this data to determine the flight path, trajectory, altitude, and rotation of the rocket
- Fairmont State University Flight Dynamics Analysis Experiment
- Objective: To capture and store real-time flight data, then show the flight path.
- Blue Ridge Community Technical College PiGen (Piezo Electric Generator) Experiment
- Objective: To measure the output of 3 Piezoelectric generators on the X Y and Z axis with 2 ADCs.
- West Virginia Wesleyan College Harvest Energy Experiment
- Objective: To harvest energy by using a Thermocouple and Piezoelectric crystal on the rocket flight.
Shown above is an Isometric (top) and Dimetric (bottom) view of the canister. (Image by Roger Targosky)
Throughout the Conceptual, Preliminary, and Critical Design review, WV-SPACE has displayed both scientific merit & a feasible implementation plan. At this point the payload has been largely cleared by COSGC and Wallops Flight Facility and has been selected to fly in canister #5 and share space Oregon Institute of Technology. The payload is projected to launch aboard a Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket on June 22nd 2017.
We would also like to send ours thanks to NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program for supporting our student outreach initiatives and congratulate all of our dedicated teams for being a part of the Space Flight Design Challenge and cleared for launch.
Emily Certain | Student Trainee
NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation Program
The Simulation-to-Flight 1 (STF-1) team has been making significant progress since the last blog post. As per the primary mission objective, some software-only simulators have been developed and are currently released as version 1 NOS3 or the NASA Operational Simulator for Small Satellites. These simulators will aid in flight software development that is currently underway. The current focus is on developing the core applications that will drive the mission. This development phase will last for approximately three months before integration and testing begins. The clean room that will be used by STF-1 has been completed and is ready to accept components that have already started arriving. Below is a picture of the cleanroom ready for the ribbon cutting ceremony here in the coming weeks.
The components have already been arriving and are nearly ready to begin testing. The science teams have already begun designing systems and PCBs that will perform the experiments. The current component status can be seen in the table below. Each science team at West Virginia University (WVU) has been working diligently to meet the delivery date at the end of this year so that testing can begin.
|ITC Designed Solar Panel PCBs
||Designed – Out for Quote
||Assembled and Setup for Ribbon Cutting
The anatomy of the spacecraft is depicted below. The chassis selected is the Innovative Solutions In Space three unit design. This allows for each unit, or cube, to be assembled independently before full spacecraft integration. The antenna is also specially designed to fit the chassis, depicted on what is actually the bottom of the spacecraft that is upside down in the picture. Having the antennas on the underside of the spacecraft allows for use of the extra space, nicknamed the tuna can due to its size, in the launcher to house the GPS antenna.