NASA Research Experience Project Descriptions

2020 Research Opportunities – NASA Research Directorate

Opportunity RD1:  Photogrammetry Support

Description: Photogrammetry is the non-invasive image-based measurement science used in aerospace ground test facilities for tracking model position, shape and deformation.  The student will assist in the development of a multi-camera system supporting both acquisition and analysis.

Preferred Majors: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Engineering or Physics

Skills: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Engineering or Physics

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Hands-on

Individual or Team: Individual

Technical/Research: Technical

POC: Felecia Berry – f.c.berry@nasa.gov; 757-864-3016, Thomas Jones – thomas.w.jones@nasa.gov; 757-864-4903

Opportunity RD2: IR Thermography Technique Development, Image Processing, Hardware Design, Data Acquisition and Analysis

Description: Assistance with IR Thermography technique development, image processing, hardware design, data acquisition, analysis.

* Mounting apparatus design, remote focus mechanism design, emissivity testing and modelling, wind tunnel test design tool development.

* SCIFLI team support including documentation and database work, file-sharing solution design, code debugging hardware for the tunnel entry, and some mechanical assembly of equipment for the entry. 

Preferred Majors: Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Game Design/Simulation

Skills: FEA, Matlab, Satellite Tool Kit, IR thermography, FLIR, Electro-optical / IR, Visual Basic, CAD, Game Design, Autodesk

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Hands-on with wind tunnel testing & technique development

Individual or Team: Both

Technical/Research: Research (Wind tunnel testing, system design)

POC: Carey Scott – carey.f.scott@nasa.gov; 757-864-1238, Jennifer Inman  jennifer.a.inman@nasa.gov; 757-864-8076

Opportunity RD3: Durability Evaluation of Low Ice Adhesion Coatings

Description: Durability Evaluation of Low Ice Adhesion Coatings: The intern for this opportunity will evaluate the durability of novel potential aircraft coating formulations. Although several coatings have demonstrated a reduction in ice adhesion, they have not exhibited durability performance. Likewise, coatings that exhibit durability often demonstrate poor ice adhesion properties. The intern for this position will continue to develop novel coating formulations, characterize those coatings, and participate in extensive durability evaluations.

Preferred Majors: Engineering, Chemistry, Physics

Skills: General Microsoft Office programs, statistics is a major plus

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Individual

Technical/Research: Research

POC: Joseph G. Smith Jr. – joseph.g.smith@nasa.gov; 757-864-4297 Christopher J. Wohl – c.j.wohl@nasa.gov; 757-864-8074

Opportunity RD4: Lunar Dust Adhesion Mitigating Materials

Description: Lunar Dust Adhesion Mitigating Materials: In this work, the intern will be responsible for contributing to the generation and characterization of novel materials that exhibit an intrinsic resistance to Lunar dust adhesion. This may involve the use of polymeric, metallic, or ceramic substrates and will likely involve a custom-built Lunar dust simulant deposition chamber and adhesion testing facility. Promising materials will be identified for placement on a Lunar surface mission payload.

Preferred Majors: Statistics

Skills: Matlab preferred; Other data analysis software tools, general Microsoft Office programs

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Individual

Technical/Research: Research

POC: Christopher J. Wohl – c.j.wohl@nasa.gov; 757-864-8074, John W. Connell – john.w.connell@nasa.gov; 757-864-4264

Opportunity RD5: Recyclable Feedstock for In-Space Parts Production

Description: This project will focus on the synthesis, application, and characterization of novel coating formulations toward generation of a durable, contaminant adhesion resistant surface.  Prepared coatings will be characterized using standard laboratory techniques including roughness, water contact angle, and infrared spectroscopy. The coatings will also be characterized for impact ice adhesion strength in inset residue contamination using custom built instruments. Durability will be assessed using a variety of techniques including scribe and solvent soak, Taber abrasion, flexibility, erosion resistance from sand blasting, among other techniques.

Preferred Majors: Engineering, Chemistry and Physics

Skills: General Microsoft Office programs, MatLab, LabView, CAD are all major pluses

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Individual

Technical/Research: Research

POC: Christopher J. Wohl – c.j.wohl@nasa.gov; 757-864-8074, Bryce L. Horvath – bryce.l.horvath@nasa.gov; 757-864-5830

Opportunity RD6: Characterization of Prepreg-to-Prepreg Tack Using Novel Probe Fixtures

Description: Characterization of Prepreg-to-Prepreg Tack using Novel Probe Fixtures: In this work, the intern will be responsible for conducting fundamental experiments and characterization of novel fixtures that will enable determination of prepreg-to-prepreg probe tack strength. This is a critical element regarding defect detection and prevention for automated fiber placement. The work will involve initial determination of reliability and repeatability, determination of influence of fiber orientation, as well as characterization of the change in tack due to a cadre of experimental conditions.

Preferred Majors: Engineering, Chemistry, Physics

Skills: General Microsoft Office programs, statistics is a major plus

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Individual

Technical/Research: Research

POC: Chris Wohl – c.j.wohl@nasa.gov; 757-864-8074, Frank Palmieri – frank.l.palmieri@nasa.gov; 757-864-8802

Opportunity RD7: Aeroelastic Models Used to Predict/Simulate Structural Deformities Due to Forces From a Fluid Moving Relative to the Structure.

Description: Aeroelastic models predict how a structure deforms due to forces from a fluid moving relative to the structure (e.g., a tree bending in the wind, or an airplane wing bending during flight). Simulating this phenomenon involves (1) solving how the fluid behaves due to the presence of the structure and (2) solving how the structure deforms due to forces from the fluid. Because performing this 2-step process accurately at several points in time can be computationally expensive, methods have been developed to reduce the complexity of one or both steps. Doing so, however, results in a loss of accuracy in the final aeroelastic predictions. The goal of this work is to explore techniques for reducing the complexity of the first step (i.e., the fluid solver) while maintaining a certain level of accuracy in the aeroelastic predictions. The codes to conduct this work already exist. The student will exercise these codes using different inputs and will make conclusions about which inputs lead to better aeroelastic simulations. The student will summarize his or her findings in a poster presentation.

Preferred Majors: Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science

Skills: Linux, Matlab skills and an understanding of numerical analysis are required

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Computer Based

Individual or Team: Individual

Technical/Research: Research

POC: Josiah Waite – josiah.m.waite@nasa.gov; 757-864-5937

Opportunity RD8: Research Assistance in the Fourth Evolutionary Research Phase of the Traffic Data Manager (TDM)

Description: The students will be assisting me in the fourth evolutionary research phase of the Traffic Data Manager (TDM). This involves the implementation of real-time elements of that autonomous system and the development of Intelligent Party Line capabilities associated with the relevant aircraft predictions of TDM with respect to an ownship.

Preferred Majors: Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Modeling and Simulation, or Computer Science.

Skills: Matlab, Python, Visual C++, C++, Java, or Julia programming

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Hardware and software development, but mainly software

Individual or Team: Both

Technical/Research: Both

POC: Vincent Houston – vincent.e.houston@nasa.gov; 757-864-3987

Opportunity RD9: Material Processing and/or Testing

Description: Material processing and/or testing

Preferred Majors: Mechanical, Electrical, or Electronics Engineering Technology

Skills: n/a

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Hands-On

Individual or Team: Both

Technical/Research: Technical

POC: Sean Britton – sean.m.britton@nasa.gov; 757-864-3014

Opportunity RD10: Literature Review to Assess Published Data Regarding Damage Thresholds of Glass/Windows in the Presence of Laser Energy

Description: The objective of this project is to complete a literature review to assess published data regarding damage thresholds of glass/windows in the presence of laser energy.  This work will culminate development of additional best practices for safe laser measurement techniques through wind tunnel windows/apertures during aeronautical testing at Langley Research Center.

Preferred Majors: Engineering or Science

Skills: n/a

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Individual

Technical/Research: Research

POC: Lianne Kuster – lianne.m.kuster@nasa.gov; 757-864-7526

2020 Research Opportunities – NASA Engineering Directorate

Opportunity ED1: Model-Based Engineering (MBE)

Description: This is a computer-based opportunity for research and development in MBSE for NASA Langley Research Center. Examples of research and development tasks include, but not limited to, developing an open API application to extract Systems Modeling Language (SysML) data and exchange with other analysis tools; developing web applications to display or charting extracted SysML data on the browser; generating automated documentation directly from the SysML model; and translating document-centric engineering design into the SysML model.

Preferred Majors: Computer Science

Skills: Java, Python, Javascript, HTML, CSS

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Computer

Individual or Team: Team

Technical/Research: Research/Engineering

POC: Dr. Nipa Phojanamongkolkij, nipa.phojanamongkolkij@nasa.gov; 757-864-6396

Opportunity ED2: Developing Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) solutions for the NASA Langley Research Center’s Engineering Design Studio (EDS)

Description: Developing Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) solutions for the NASA Langley Research Center’s Engineering Design Studio (EDS):  Project Description – Internship opportunity researching and developing VR/AR solutions for visualizing developing engineering system designs and related analysis data. This will nominally include solutions for rapid virtual and augmented reality display of 3D computer aided design (CAD) drawings and related engineering data. Engineering data will nominally include cost and engineering analysis results characterizing alternative system designs. The solutions will support rapid system design development and rapid prototyping. System designs will nominally include proposed space-based earth science instruments. Results will be used for proposals and project advancement. The intern will work directly with the EDS system engineers to research and utilize EDS VR/AR equipment including Oculus Rift and MS Hololens EDS VR/AR software such as Unity and SketchUp Pro on EDS VR/AR workstations. Interested interns should have knowledge or experience with some combination of two or more of the following: virtual or augmented reality game engines (example: Unity Game Engine), visualization techniques, computer science, and data analysis. Applicants must be US citizens, submit to NASA identify verification processes and comply with NASA security procedures.

Preferred Majors: Computer Science

Skills: Virtual Reality VR/AR Computer Science

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Individual

Technical/Research: Research

POC: David Goggin; david.g.goggin@nasa.gov; 757-864-5705

Opportunity ED3: CNC Machinist

Description: Mechanical trades focusing on metal machining processes and procedures. Work is primarily in the advanced machining development lab.  Metal Machining utilizing multi axis milling machines, drill presses, Water-Jet machining, introduction to NC programming/operation, Electronic Discharge machining, and 3D printing.

Preferred Majors: Machinist

Skills: Machinist

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Team

Technical/Research: Research

POC: Mark Simonton; mark.a.simonton@nasa.gov; 757-864-2785

Opportunity ED4: Research Experience in the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Test Facility

Description: Research Experience in the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Test Facility.  The project involves developing automated test methods to perform characterization testing of the high power radio frequency (RF) amplifiers used to perform radiated susceptibility testing for spaceflight verification testing.  The developed test methods will be used to perform testing of the amplifiers to provide test data that will identify the optimum operating range of RF power amplifiers and will verify the amplifiers are operating within the manufacturers’ nominal specifications.  The resulting data will provide limits used to perform radiated electric field tests to characterize the overall radiated susceptibility testing capabilities for the EMC test facility.  This project will involve working in a laboratory environment and will provide opportunity to work with various types of test equipment including RF power amplifiers, RF signal generators, RF power meters, directional couplers, oscilloscopes, and spectrum analyzers.

Preferred Majors: Electrical Engineering, Computer Science

Skills: Experience with LabView, Excel, Matlab preferred but not required

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Team

Technical/Research: Research

POC: Courtney Rollins; Courtney.h.rollins@nasa.gov; 757-864-7814

Opportunity ED5: Research Experience with the Contamination Control Team

Description: Research Experience with the Contamination Control Team: Seeking student researcher(s) to join the contamination control team. The field of contamination control specializes in identifying and preventing contamination from impacting the performance of optical, thermal, and mechanical space systems. Contamination Control Scholar to do research on molecular and particulate contamination related topics. Specifically, the student researcher will investigate materials changes in a space environment by testing in thermal vacuum chambers and modeling contamination effects.

Preferred Majors: Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science and Engineering,

Skills: General laboratory skills, traditional wet chemistry methods, technical writing, use of Microsoft Office. Experience with Matlab and/or spectroscopic instrumentation is a plus.

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Team

Technical/Research: Research

POC: Gugu Rutherford; gugu.n.rutherford@nasa.gov ; 757-864-2153, David Taylor –  david.p.taylor@nasa.gov; 757-864-2555

2020 Research Opportunities – Wallops Flight Facility

Opportunity WFF1: Precipitation Instrumentation Project

Description: Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) 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

Opportunity WFF2: Near Earth Network (NEN) Evolution Engineer

Description: Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) is looking for a student to work on one or more of the following projects:

1) Wallops Test Bed – Work with others to document how to use the Wallops Test Bed for spacecraft compatibility testing. Modify existing Test Plans. Plan streamlining for reduced planning time, reduced reporting time, and automated testing.

2) McMurdo – Assist others in documenting the current status of McMurdo Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) Relay System (MTRS) and planning for potential upgrades including modifications to the existing system.

3) Automation enhancements – Assist others in improving automation to increase the number of ground stations monitored and controlled by each 24 x 7 operator/maintainer.

4) Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) – Assist others in adding DTN to NEN-owned stations.

5) NEN Users’ Guide – Improve the NEN Users’ Guide with additional stations, graphics, and updated antenna information.  Develop an Interactive Users’ Guide for the NASA website with hyperlinks to various sections of the NEN Users’ Guide.

Preferred Majors: Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, Physics, Math
Skills: Excel, PowerPoint, will teach other skillsets that student needs
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Both
Technician/Research: Research
POC: Scott Schaire – scott.h.schaire@Nasa.gov – 757-824-1120

Opportunity WFF3: Balloon Research Development Lab (BDRL)

Description: Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) is looking for a student to work on one or more of the following projects:

1) Update the balloon database and present statistical data on technical aspects of balloon construction and launches.

2) Improve the Balloon Program Website and promotional materials with updated graphics and information. This may stretch into improvements on the office presentations as well.

3) Quality assurance testing. Comparing results of current and past data. Student must have dexterity and be very detail oriented in order to successfully prepare samples for testing

 

Preferred Majors: Engineering, Physics, Math
Skills: Basic laboratory skills, Basic computer skills such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Both
Technician/Research: Both
POC: Sarah Roth Fischer – sarah.r.fischer@nasa.gov – 757-824-1324

Opportunity WFF4: Environmental Engineer Technician

Description: Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) is looking for a student to perform a variety of tasks as an Environmental Engineer Technician, including research of environmental topics, presenting research results, conducting lab testing and sampling and field work on and around the Wallops main base. Selected candidate will participate in numerous environmental programs, including Air, Environmental Planning, Natural Resources, Regulated Waste, Restoration and Water Programs. The field work will expose the student to summer conditions common to the Delmarva Peninsula; i.e. hazy, hot and humid. A specific project will be developed in an area that matches the candidate’s interests and educational background.

Preferred Majors: Science, physics, civil or environmental engineering, chemistry
Skills: Basic computer skills such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint
Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both
Individual or Team: Individual
Technician/Research: Both
POC: Theodore J. Meyer – theodore.j.meyer@nasa.gov   – 757-824-1987