2018 Stem Takes Flight NASA Research Experience Proposed Projects

APPLY HERE!

Contact:

Debbie Murray, Program Manager, Virginia Space Grant Consortium; dbmurray@odu.edu; 757/766-5210 or Nicole Shaw, Program Assistant, lnshaw@odu.edu


NASA Langley Research Center

RESEARCH DIRECTORATE Summer Project Opportunities

Opportunity RD1: Performing Aeroacoustic Flight Testing Using the NASA Subsonic Research Aircraft Testbed (SCRAT) Vehicle

Description: NASA Langley in conjunction with NASA Armstrong will be performing a final phase of aeroacoustic flight testing in March and April of 2018 using the NASA Subsonic Research Aircraft Testbed (SCRAT) vehicle. The flight test consists of deploying 185 microphones on a runway at Edwards Air Force Base with the SCRAT aircraft performing flyovers of the microphones in order to identify relevant source of airframe noise on the vehicle. This flight test employs a large amount of ground support equipment (microphones, cabling, signal conditioning and data acquisition hardware, etc.) that will be shipped back to NASA Langley in the late spring of 2018. After the equipment arrives at Langley, it will need to undergo cleanup and acceptance testing so the various subsystems can be repurposed for other flight tests. It is envisioned that this would be a good role for a summer STF student. The student would be responsible for the cleanup, check out, and repair of identified subsystems. For instance, during the last deployment of the hardware in August, 2017, several signal conditioning channels failed requiring the use of backup channels. We would like to have the student individually check all of the signal conditioning channels (in excess of 200 channels) housed across a number of chassis boxes. For any failed channels, we would like for the student to open up the chassis and replace the failed daughter board PCB’s with spare ones we have (so that we have a full set of contiguous channels working again). Similarly, the student will need to acceptance test all of the digitizer channels to verify proper operation. Finally, in support of an upcoming closed wall acoustic test of the Common Research Model in the Langley 14x22-foot Subsonic Tunnel, we would like for the student to organize and calibrate the microphones that will be deployed in the wind tunnel for that test.
Preferred Majors: Engineering Technology
Skills: Matlab experience would be a plus
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Individual
Technician/Research: Technician
POC: William Humphreys - william.m.humphreys@nasa.gov - 757-864-4601

Opportunity RD2: Test Platform for High Energy Density Thermionic Power Converter

Description: A new concept of high energy density thermionic power converter was developed at NASA but will require the proof-of- the concept. A simple test platform is needed to prove the concept. The concept test model will be developed and tested for the avalanche effects of energetic electrons through thermionic emission under electro-magnetic radiations. During the course of the research, a simple ab-initio model instrument and a simulation model for theoretical study will be developed to demonstrate the thermionic power conversion concept.
Preferred Majors: Mechanical Engineering Technology, Chemistry or Physics
Skills: Materials (polymers) lab skills in processing and characterization
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Both (2) positions available
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Sang Choi - sang.h.choi@nasa.gov - 757-864-1408
Adam Duzik – adam.j.duzik@nasa.gov - 757-864-6030

Opportunity RD3: Testing of Novel Polymeric Coating Materials for Ice Adhesion Prevention

Description:This opportunity will focus on the development, characterization, and testing of novel polymeric coating materials for ice adhesion prevention. In-flight icing is a concern for commercial aircraft year round. Although active de-icing mechanisms are utilized on large commercial aircraft, they consume potential payload and energy. Smaller aircraft, such as general aviation vehicles, cannot support the weight and power requirements for active de-icing approaches. Therefore, passive anti-icing/de-icing methods are being evaluated. This work will involve research into coatings as a method to reduce ice adhesion to a substrate. This is part of an ongoing research project to assess the needs for passive ice protection systems for current and future aircraft geometries including determination of coating operational lifetime and durability in a commercial setting.
Preferred Majors: Mechanical and/or electrical engineering/technology
Skills: Matlab
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Individual
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Christopher Wohl - c.j.wohl@nasa.gov - 757-864-8074
Joseph Smith - joseph.g.smith@nasa.gov - 757-864-4297

Opportunity RD4: Using an Inflatable Habitat for Radiation Protection for the Astronauts on Mars

Description: The Ice Home is a concept using an inflatable habitat that is shielded with water ice for radiation protection for the astronauts on Mars. The student will help select and test the materials to be used for the Ice Home construction. The materials must be lightweight, strong, durable, and transparent to light.
Preferred Majors: Chemistry and Physics
Skills: Comfortable working with chemicals and in a chemistry lab
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Mostly hands-on although there will be some analysis involving basic awareness of Microsoft programs
Individual or Team: Team
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Sheila Thibeault - sheila.a.thibeault@nasa.gov - 757-864-4250
Jin Ho Kang - jin.h.kang@nasa.gov - 757-864-92190

Opportunity RD5: Landing Gear Study for a Martian Lander

Description: The student learns to use the Excel-based Apollo/Altair landing gear tool. The student modifies the parametric ABAQUS FE model to match the geometry of the Apollo configuration. After tuning the FE model to the heritage Excel-based tool, the student changes the landing gear geometry to match one of the current EDL configurations. The student uses the assembly options in ABAQUS to modify the single-landing gear model into a model with 4+ landing gear so that tipover effects can be studied. The parametric ABAQUS FE models become a new tool for use by the EDL project for rapid configuration studies of landing gear concepts, based on advanced FE methods.
Preferred Majors: Engineering
Skills: Experience with Linux and computer programming in Python
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Computer Based
Individual or Team: Both
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Brian Mason - brian.h.mason@nasa.gov - 757-864-4895
Tim Collins - tim.collins@nasa.gov - 757-864-3113
Roger Lepsch - roger.a.lepsch@nasa.gov - 757-864-4520

Opportunity RD6: Testing and Development of a New Computational Tool for Materials Research

Description: Looking for a student intern to work on testing and development of a new computational tool for materials research. The tool is a type of machine learning that is specifically tailored to work with computational material models. The work would mainly involve running the tool, organizing and visualizing results, and possibly modifying/debugging the tool itself.
Preferred Majors: Computer Science, Math, Engineering
Skills: Experience with Linux and computer programming in Python
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Individual
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Geoffrey Bomarito - geoffrey.f.bomarito@nasa.gov - 757-864-6355
Jacob Hochhalter - jacob.d.hochhalter@nasa.gov - 757-864-3094

Opportunity RD7: Fundamentals of Material Characterization

Description: Learn the fundamentals of material characterization to include the importance of calibration, instrumentation of test specimens, data collection methods, and interpretation of data.
Preferred Majors: Mechanical Engineering Technology, Electrical or Electronics Engineering Technology
Skills: Basic mechanical skills
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Both (2) positions available
Technician/Research: Technician
POC: Clarence Stanfield - clarence.e.stanfield@nasa.gov - 757-864-4113
C. Diane Griffin - c.d.griffin@nasa.gov - 757-864-3683

Opportunity RD8: Supporting the 31” Mach 10 Tunnel Operations as a Tunnel Technician

Description: Intern will be supporting the 31” Mach 10 tunnel operations as a tunnel technician. This will include working with multiple high energy systems as well as data acquisition systems.
Preferred Majors: Mechanical or Electrial associates degree
Skills: none
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Hand tools, Machine shop basic tools, Computers, instrumentation, and operations of facilities
Individual or Team: Both
Technician/Research: Technician
POC: Anthony Robbins - anthony.w.robbins@nasa.gov - 757-864-3367
Paul Tucker - paul.a.tucker@nasa.gov - 757-864-3426

Opportunity RD9: Experimental Schlieren Characterization of Ultrasonic Fields in Water

Description: Involves applying Schlieren imaging technique for experimental characterization of field produced by ultrasonic transducers, both individually and as part of wide-angle scattering array; and experimental characterization of ultrasonic fields scattered by complex-geometry targets, including fiber-reinforced composite laminates.
Preferred Majors: Physics, Materials Science, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering
Skills: Matlab
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Hands-on experimental; with computer data handling/processing
Individual or Team: Both
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Patrick Johnston - patrick.h.johnston@nasa.gov - 757-864-4966

Opportunity RD10: Experimental Measurement of Ultrasonic Polar Backscatter from Composite Laminates

Description: Involves experimental measurement of ultrasonic backscatter as function of polar angle and azimuthal angle, from various specimens of composite laminate, having controlled fiber orientation defects, using a variety of ultrasonic transducer diameters, focal lengths, and frequencies. Data will provide scientific basis for optimization of the design for an ultrasonic array intended to measure fiber waviness and other flaws in composite laminates.
Preferred Majors: Physics, Materials Science, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering
Skills: Matlab
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Hands-on experimental; with computer data handling/processing
Individual or Team: Both
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Patrick Johnston - patrick.h.johnston@nasa.gov - 757-864-4966

Opportunity RD11: Extreme Space Environment Effect on Materials

Description: Study of the extreme space environment effect on materials, and the development of novel space radiation resistant polymer composites for load bearing space structures for long duration space mission.
Preferred Majors: Chemical Engineering, Materials, Chemistry, Physics
Skills: none
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Hands-on with various equipment
Individual or Team: Team
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Keith Gordon - keith.l.gordon@nasa.gov - 757-864-2201
Jin Ho Kang - jin.h.kang@nasa.gov - 757-864-9219

Opportunity RD12: Development and Characterization of Novel Solar Sail Materials

Description: Study on development and characterization of novel solar sail materials. The mechanical, thermal, optical properties and solar pressure of candidate sail membranes under simulated space environment will be characterized to develop a database for designing successful exploration mission. Setup for a solar pressure measurement rig.
Preferred Majors: Chemical Engineering, Materials, Chemistry, Physics
Skills: CAD
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Hands-on with various equipment
Individual or Team: Team
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Robert Bryant - robert.g.bryant@nasa.gov - 757-864-4275
Jin Ho Kang - jin.h.kang@nasa.gov - 757-864-9219

Opportunity RD13: Novel Polymer Composites for Space Deployable Structures

Description: Development of novel polymer composites for space deployable structures and characterization of their creep and stress relaxation properties.
Preferred Majors: Chemical Engineering, Materials, Chemistry, Physics
Skills: none
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Hands-on with various equipment
Individual or Team: Team
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Jeffrey Hinkley - jeffrey.a.hinkley@nasa.gov - 757-864-4259
Jin Ho Kang - jin.h.kang@nasa.gov - 757-864-9219

NASA Langley Research Center

ENGINEERING DIRECTORATE Summer Project Opportunities


Opportunity ED1: Modernization of Critical Legacy Contamination Modeling Software

Description: This announcement is for an opportunity to develop, modernize, upgrade, and demonstrate a legacy software modeling tool. The contamination modeling program STACK was developed several years ago and is an important tool in modeling the effects of molecular contaminant films on spacecraft surfaces to determine potential performance degradation on orbit. However, development and maintenance of the tool has declined throughout the years, and NASA is at risk of losing key knowledge and capabilities if the tool is not modernized and upgraded to a more stable and useful platform. A student is sought to perform the following tasks: Work with a NASA advisor as well as an advisor from an industry partner to port the STACK code from Interactive Data Language (IDL) to Python. Demonstrate that the STACK code yields the same results from prior analysis. Capture the steps required to run STACK and document in a user manual to be used by a wide audience of the technical community. Develop a library of contaminant and substrate characteristics to be utilized by STACK. Help develop an Excel interface to maximize the ease of using STACK. Includes developing standard input tables and output graphics. Document existing code to enable future modification.
Preferred Majors: Computer Science or equivalent
Skills: Entry level programming, Excel, MATLAB, Python experience a plus.
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Computer Based
Individual or Team: Individual (1)
POC: Elaine Seasly – elaine.e.seasly@nasa.gov - 757-864-2173

Opportunity ED2: Tendon Actuated Lightweight In-Space MANipulator (TALISMAN) Demonstration

Description: This announcement is for a hands-on opportunity to participate in the Sub system testing of the TALISMAN hardware. TALISMAN was designed to mature technologies for the commercial application of robotic in-space manufacturing and assembly of spacecraft and space structures. The task will be to participate in the laboratory demonstration of the TALISMAN which will include integrating the hardware and testing of the TALISMAN robotic arm/joints. The student will be required to learn basic tasks required during laboratory testing. We are seeking an individual with a hands-on experience and interest in cross-discipline development in a hardware testing environment.
Preferred Majors: Electronic, Mechanical, Physics
Preferred Skills: Mechanical
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Individual (1)
POC: Dr. Arthur Bradley- arthur.t.bradley@nasa.gov – 757-864-7343 (Advisor: TBD)

Opportunity ED3: Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Methodology within the LaRC Engineering Design Studio (EDS)

Description: This announcement is for a hands-on opportunity to work side-by-side with the subject-matter-expert in the integration development of model-based design and collaboration tools (i.e., Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) methodology within the LaRC Engineering Design Studio (EDS)). The EDS is a human and technology resource that provides a collaborative engineering facility for projects in all phases of design, from concept to flight. Skilled engineers and scientists utilize the EDS’s collaborative process and tools to produce or analyze space or aeronautics mission concepts, remote sensing instrument, or technology application designs. The EDS allows members of a design team to come together for real-time design development in an integrated environment, where there are standard processes and tools, and a team familiar with how to use these. The facility currently houses 12 pod stations and 3 more tables, all with connections to the 4 projectors and audio-visual equipment to allow up to 16 PC displays to be visualized on the wall simultaneously. The media system also does room video/desktop conferencing. Integration methods between the model-based design tools and collaboration tools with study templates are continually being improved, with a focus on moving toward a single model of the system (i.e. MBSE methodology) that can be used for project lifetime.
Preferred Majors: Software Engineering, Computer Science, or Computer Technology.
Preferred Skills: Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality, 3D printing, Java, C++, VBA, Python, UML or SysML, SQL, HTML, CSS, Javascript
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Computer Based, Model Based SE
Individual or Team: Individual
POC: James E. Price - james.e.price@nasa.gov – 757-864-7079
David Goggin - david.g.goggin@nasa.gov – 757-864-5705


Opportunity ED4: Testing and Analysis for Airspace Technology Demonstration

Description/Objective: This announcement is for an opportunity to conduct hands-on research in air traffic management technologies. A flight test is being conducted to develop and demonstrate an airborne application for reroute planning to support flight operators and service providers in managing dynamic en route trajectory changes. The student will support system testing and data analysis for the flight test.
Preferred Majors: Statistics, Systems Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science
Preferred Skills: MATLAB, Python
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Individual
POCs: Sara Wilson – sara.r.wilson@nasa.gov – 757-864-8587

NASA Wallops Flight Facility

Summer Project Opportunities

Opportunity WFF1: Environmental Technician

Description: Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) is looking for a student to conduct photographic surveys of its installations on Wallops Island, which will enable facility planners to assess potential damages associated with storm surges and other severe weather events. Data will be fed into WFF’s Coastal Resilience Modeling Tool. Student will also bar code chemicals for inclusion into the WFF Hazardous Materials Management System. Finally, the student will assist WFF environmental professionals in field surveys of marsh vegetation and endangered species.
Preferred Majors: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Earth Science
Skills: Excel, PowerPoint, will teach other skillsets that student needs
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Individual
Technician/Research: Technician
POC: Joel Mitchell – joel.t.mitchell@nasa.gov - 757-824-1127

Opportunity WFF2: Water Quality Project – Assessing the Rain Flow Impact to Federally Owned Treatment Works

Description: Wallops Flight Facility is looking for students to monitor rain samples for pH (acidity) and assess acid rain impacts of flows to Federally Owned Treatment Works and from WFF outfalls. Sampling is to be conducted no more than once weekly as weather allows.
The student will establish monitoring sites along Little Mosquito Creek (and its main tributary), and along Assawoman Creek to collect weekly samples to replicate/authenticate studies for Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for dissolved oxygen (D.O.), BOD5, coliform bacteria (and E. coli), nitrogen and phosphorous. Additionally, analyze for pH and salinity weekly. Assess whether rainfall impacts results over the several week long sampling period.
Finally, the student will work with other students and environmental professionals to conduct other tasks unique to the WFF environmental program.
Preferred Majors: Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering
Skills: Analytical abilities, sound laboratory techniques, interest in science, advanced writing, spreadsheet techniques, intellectual curiosity
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Mostly Hands-on
Individual or Team: Individual
Technician/Research: Research
POC: R. Owen Hooks – richard.o.hooks@nasa.gov - 757-824-1941

Opportunity WFF3: Precipitation Instrumentation Project

Description: Wallops Flight Facility is looking for a student to perform field work supporting surface precipitation instruments located on and around the Wallops main base. Duties will include data download and instrument maintenance of several sites that contain a combination of tipping bucket rain gauges (for measuring rain rates and accumulations) and disdrometers (for measuring the size, shape and number of rain drops). Once the data is collected, the student will work with other technicians and civil servants to perform data quality control and some analyses. These data provide crucial surface-based precipitation observations that are used to validate local NASA radar rainfall estimates and Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite retrievals. The field work will expose the student to summer conditions common to the Delmarva Peninsula; i.e. hazy, hot and humid.
Preferred Majors: Science, math, physics, meteorology, computer science
Skills: Programming (not required but a plus): Languages include Python, IDL, FORTRAN, C, Basic computer skills such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Individual
Technician/Research: Both
POC: David Wolff – david.b.wolff@nasa.gov - 757-824-1515