Designing a nanospacecraft and space mission will help us better understand the feasibility of a novel propulsion technology – miniature electrodynamic (ED) tethers – as means to provide propellantless propulsion to new classes of very small satellites known as picosats and femtosats. These spacecraft can be the size of your smartphone and smaller. The Miniature Tether Electrodynamics Experiment (MiTEE) team is demonstrating this propulsion technology in space for the first time.
Students apply to a specific role on team as follows:
ELECTRICAL POWER SUBTEAM (1 STUDENT)
Specific Tasks: Circuit design, prototyping
Preferred Skills: Electrical engineering, any circuit building experience
Likely Majors: Electrical Engineering
PLASMA ELECTRODYNAMICS SUBTEAM (2 STUDENTS)
Specific Tasks: Circuit design, prototyping, charged prototyping, charged particle reactions, plasma physcis, materials science
Preferred Skills: Electrical engineering, knowledge of electromagnetism, any circuit building experience
Likely Majors: Electrical Engineering, Material Science, Climat and Space Sciences & Engineering
COMMUNICATIONS SUBTEAM (1 STUDENT)
Specific Tasks: Circuit design, prototyping, wireless communication system design
Preferred Skills: any experience with electromagnetism/wireless communications, taking/taken EECS 230, taken/taking EECS 411/430
Likely Majors: Electrical Engineering
ORBIT ATTITUDE DETERMINATION & CONTROL SYSTEMS SUBTEAM (3-4 STUDENTS)
Specific Tasks: Dynamic modeling/analysis, control system design, sensor validation
Preferred Skills: Attitude Modeling, Electrical engineering, any circuit building experience, any programming experience
Likely Majors: Aerospace Engineering, Climate and Space Sciences & Engineering, Electrical Engineering
COMMAND & DATA HANDLING SUBTEAM (3 STUDENTS)
Specific Tasks: Embedded system design, programming
Preferred Skills: Any experience with embedded system software/hardware design
Likely Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science (CSE/CS-LSA), Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering
STRUCTURES, MECHANICAL, & THERMAL SUBTEAM (1 STUDENT)
Specific Tasks: Mechanical design, machining/prototyping, heat transfer and mechanical modeling
Preferred Skills: Experience with manufacturing and structural analysis, CAD experience helpful
Likely Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering
APPRENTICE RESEARCHER (2-4 STUDENTS)
Requirements: Interest in project material, willingness to develop skills. OPEN TO FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORES ONLY.
Likely Majors: ANY
Brian Gilchrist Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Co-Advisor, Multidisciplinary Design Program
Dr. Gilchrist is a professor in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Climate and Space Science and Engineering. He also serves as the director of the Space Physics Research Laboratory (SPRL). He specializes in plasma electrodynamic sensors and technological applications principally for in-space applications. Dr. Gilchrist’s research efforts span in-space plasma measurements, ground-based chamber simulations of high-speed space plasma flows principally to investigate current collection and sheath physics, and the development of advanced space electric propulsion applications. He is at the forefront of efforts to develop space tether technology for scientific and technological applications including electrodynamic tethers as a new propellantless space propulsion technology.
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Students: 7-16 Students
Likely Majors: AERO, Any, CE, CS, EE, ME
Summer Opportunity: Summer research fellowships may be available for qualifying students.
Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students on campus.
IP: Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign an Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement prior to participation in January 2020.
Course Substitutions: Honors