NASA Research Experience Project Descriptions

2022 Research Opportunities – NASA Langley Research Directorate

Opportunity RD1:  Investigations of Machine Learning for Measurement Science Data Reduction

Description:  Given the exponential increase in the quantity of data acquired from ground test facility measurement and diagnostic systems (in particular imagery data), there is a growing need to increase the speed and efficiency of data reduction processes.  This exploratory project will look at the possibilities for incorporating machine learning (ML) concepts into existing image data reduction pipelines.  As a test case, methods for incorporating ML methods for the processing of such techniques as particle image velocimetry (PIV) and/or particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) will be investigated by the student.

Preferred Majors: A.S. in electronics engineering, physics, or mathematics

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Computer based

Individual or Team: Individual

Technician/Research: Research

POC: William Humphreys – william.m.humphreys@nasa.gov – 757-864-4601

 

Opportunity RD2:  Powdered Ramjet Fuel Delivery System Development

Description: This project involves the development of a fuel delivery system for a conceptual Martian atmosphere breathing Ramjet. Internship will involve designing, conducting, and analyzing the results from a benchtop research experiment. The PDFB (Positive Displacement Fluidized Bed) experimental rig is a small-scale experiment using compressed air and an inert powder to simulate the flow of a powdered metal fuel that could be used to power a vehicle within the Martian atmosphere. The main goal is to evaluate the powdered fuel delivery system performance and response to input parameters. This information will inform an ongoing design study of potential Martian vehicles. The powdered fuel experiment will involve independent problem solving and learning as well as working on a team with a NASA mentor, facility technicians, and safety personnel. Hands on work with the experimental setup is expected as well as computer-based work for analysis and design. A few of the concepts that will be used/explored during this internship are Aerodynamics, Compressible Flow, Thermodynamics/Combustion, Airbreathing and Rocket propulsion, Design of Experiments, Experimental Instrumentation/LabVIEW, Safety/Industrial Hygiene.

Preferred Majors: Mechanical/Aerospace/Systems Engineering

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Both

Technician/Research: Research

POC: Lin Li – lin.li@nasa.gov – 757-864-1111; Ian Neel – ian.t.neel@nasa.gov – 757-864-4414

 

Opportunity RD3:  Composite Structure Fabrication and Process Monitoring

Description: Intern will perform experimental data collection and analysis in support of multiple composite processing projects.

Preferred Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Materials Science Engineering, and/or Computer Engineering

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Team

Technician/Research: Research

POC: Tyler Hudson – tyler.b.hudson@nasa.gov – 757-864-3342

 

Opportunity RD4:  ESPUR (Enabling Sustained Presence Using Recyclables)

Description: If we want to stay for an extended period of time on the Moon or Mars, we better make sure we are smart about packing what we need.  That is already a huge task, but how do we pack for what we don’t know we will need?  One solution is to bring feedstock to make what we need when we get there.  In this project, we will continue developing a recyclable feedstock material consisting of epoxy microparticles coating with a reversible click-chemistry coating.  We make the microparticles, we make the coating, and we have designed the click-chemistry functionality integration.  This gives us the capability of tuning the properties of every component of this material to what we need.  We anticipate that in the Summer of 2022, we will be working on refining these materials and scaling the process to enable initial work into 3D printing efforts at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to begin fabricating demonstration articles.  We will continue materials synthesis and characterization and will run the project using Agile project management.

Preferred Majors: chemistry, physics, and engineering

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Team

Technician/Research: Research

POC: Chris Wohl – c.j.wohl@nasa.gov – 757-864-8074; Bryce Horvath (E401) – bryce.l.horvath@nasa.gov – 757-864-5830

 

Opportunity RD5:  Materials Research for Lunar Dust Adhesion Mitigation and Management

Description: Even when we get to the Moon, we will still have to keep things clean.  The dust there is really gnarly though so you will not be able to simply break out the broom to take care of it.  Electrostatically charged, chemically reactive, jagged, abrasive, potentially magnetic … these are some of the interactions that Lunar dust can use to make life, and the incredibly important exploration work, on the Lunar surface tough.  Don’t worry though, NASA has leveraged expertise across the agency to deal with this menace.  We have been exploring active and passive ways to mitigate lunar dust adhesion.  Likewise, we have been researching high wear resistant materials to make sure that we can deal with dust particles that could be flying at 2 km/s away from a landing site.  In the summer of 2022, we will continue to develop and characterize candidate materials for passive lunar dust adhesion mitigation and wear management.  We will also be interfacing with active mitigation strategies to enable greater efficacy for their technologies.

Preferred Majors: chemistry, physics, and engineering

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Team

Technician/Research: Research

POC: Chris Wohl – c.j.wohl@nasa.gov – 757-864-8074; Glen King – glen.c.king@nasa.gov – 757-864-4123; Lopamudra Das (D307) – lopamudra.das@nasa.gov – 757-864-6493; Jonathan Hernandez – jonathan.j.hernandez@nasa.gov – 757-864-4047

2022 Research Opportunities – NASA Langley Engineering Directorate

Opportunity ED1:  Aerodynamics Database Implementation for Flight Mechanics Tools

Description: The Atmospheric Flight and Entry Systems Branch at NASA Langley Research Center has a long history of modeling and supporting operations of planetary ascent and entry, descent, and landing missions, such as the Space Shuttle, Genesis, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rovers, Phoenix, and Mars Science Laboratory. Typically, uncertainty quantification for the trajectories of these vehicles have been done using a flight mechanics simulation tool called Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories II (POST2). The internship is framed for students with background in aerospace engineering and an interest in modeling and simulation of spacecraft trajectories. The student will be working with their mentors in collecting and documenting heritage models from past missions and creating an environment where new simulations can rapidly implement the documented models. The internship will deal with documentation of the heritage models and the flight mechanics simulation itself.

Preferred Majors:  Aerospace Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Computer Science, Mathematics

Skills:  MATLAB, C, Fortran, Linux

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

Individual or Team: Individual

Technician/Research: Research

POC:      Soumyo Dutta – soumyo.dutta@nasa.gov – 757-864-3894; Anthony Williams – robert.a.williams@nasa.gov– 757-864-7818

 

Opportunity ED2: Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

Description: Develop, implement, and document a characterization test procedure for the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test facility’s radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers.  This test will demonstrate that the existing RF power amplifiers are performing as per the manufacturer’s specifications, including a determination of the 1-dB compression point for each amplifier.  The 1-dB compression point will be used to determine the maximum electric field (E-field) achievable during radiated susceptibility testing within the semi-anechoic test facility.

Preferred Majors: Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Team (2)

Technician/Research: Research

POC:      Courtney H. Rollins – courtney.h.rollins@nasa.gov – 757-864-7814; Johnny C. Mau – johnny.c.mau@nasa.gov – 757-864-5339

 

Opportunity ED3: Improve EEE Parts Office Influence in Small Sat-Cube Sat projects

Description: The opportunity will include an intern assisting with building small or cube satellites from a reliability application perspective.  The intern will have an opportunity to review what the organization has done in the past with cube satellites.  The result of this opportunity will be a repository of where the organization can retrieve information in the future for building better cube satellites.  As a result the Engineering Directorate will have an improved process that will be more proactive rather than reactive which will improve satellite reviews and the Electronic, Electrical and Electromechanical (EEE) Parts Office’s influential authority relative to cube satellite builds.

Preferred Majors: Electrical/Electronics, Mechanical Aerospace and or Interest in Radiation Effects on Electronics

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Team (3)

Technician/Research: Research

POC:      John E. Pandolf – john.e.pandolf@nasa.gov – 757-864-9624; Trevor Kennedy – trevor.kennedy@nasa.gov – 757-864-2098

 

Opportunity ED4: VBA or VB Macros

Description: Develop automated processes to streamline the project management and systems engineering tasks using VBA or VB Macros

Preferred Majors: Engineering

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Computer based

Individual or Team: Individual

Technician/Research: Research

POC:      Nipa Phojanamongkolkij – nipa.phojanamongkolkij@nasa.gov – 757-864-6396; Charlene A. Cayabyab – charlene.a.cayabyab@nasa.gov – 650-604-1814

2022 Research Opportunities – Wallops Flight Facility

Opportunity WFF1: Balloon Research & Development Lab (BRDL)

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

  • Update the balloon database and present statistical data on technical aspects of balloon construction and launches.
  • Improve the Balloon Program Website and promotional materials with updated graphics and information. This may stretch into improvements on the office presentations as well.
  • 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 – sarah.roth@nasa.gov – 757-824-1324

 

Opportunity WFF2: Precipitation Instrumentation Project

Description: Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) is looking for a student to perform data analysis from rain gauges and other precipitation measuring instruments in support of NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Ground Validation (GV) program. 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. Experience in some programming language is highly recommended.

Preferred Majors: Science, math, physics, meteorology, computer science

Skills:

  • Experience in one or more of the following programming languages is highly encouraged: Python, IDL, FORTRAN, C
  • Basic computer skills such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Technical writing
  • Familiarity with statistical/data analysis

Hands-on/Computer Based: Both

Individual or Team: Both

Technician/Research: Both

POC: David B. Wolff  David.B.Wolff@nasa.gov Ph: 757-824-1515

 

Opportunity WFF3: 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, GIS experience (geographic information systems, including ESRI ArcGIS suite)

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Individual

Technician/Research: Both

POC: Michael Bonsteel – michael.c.bonsteel@nasa.gov – 410-422-7955

 

Opportunity WFF4: Air Quality Program Technical Support

Description: Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) is seeking a student to support the Air Quality Program as an Environmental Engineer Technician. Tasks may include field verification and mapping of equipment and processes, performing emissions calculations for current and projected activities, researching regulatory requirements and alternative equipment or process configurations, development of air quality database input criteria and factors, and writing white papers or technical briefs.

Preferred Majors: Science, physics, civil or environmental engineering, chemistry

Skills: Basic computer skills (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint); technical writing skills preferred

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Individual

Technician/Research: Both

POC: Michael Bonsteel – michael.c.bonsteel@nasa.gov – 410-422-7955

 

Opportunity WFF5:  Wallops NEST/OCIO Desktop Support Group

Description: Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) is looking for a student intern to:

  • Work with team members to gain knowledge of our IT operations.
  • Provide troubleshooting for both hardware and software on NASA desktop systems.
  • Limited interaction with NASA customers to discuss issues, resolutions or troubleshooting steps.
  • Perform limited technical support to users of personal computers either by telephone, or on-site for PC desktop hardware and software packages.
  • Deploy systems to new users and assist with their profile set up.
  • Assist with deploying mobile devices which include data backup and restore.  Also, registering devices with Mobile Device Management (MDM) and installing required apps.
  • Assist with testing software programs.
  • Preview of the incident ticket and order management system, ServiceNow.
  • Deliver computer peripherals and orders purchased via the accessory catalog to end users.

Preferred Majors: Computer Technology/Information Systems Technology

Skills: A+ Certification, Good customer service skills

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Both

Technician/Research: Both

POC: Donna West –  donna.p.west@nasa.gov – 757-824-1140

 

Opportunity WFF6:  Envision Certification of the WFF Causeway Bridge Replacement

Description: Looking for a student who is interested in sustainability, including civil or environmental engineering. The project is Envision Certification of the WFF Causeway Bridge Replacement and will require the student to become familiar with the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision Program.  The student will help the Envision team plan and design a causeway bridge with minimal environmental impacts during construction, minimal operation and maintenance costs, and resilience to climate change.

Preferred Majors: Science, physics, civil or environmental engineering, ecology or biology.

Skills: Basic computer skills such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, GIS (geographic information systems) experience may be helpful but not required.

Hands-on/Computer Based/Both: Both

Individual or Team: Both

Technician/Research: Both

POC:  Kelly Busquets – Kelly.m.busquets@nasa.gov – 757-824-2041

2022 Additional NASA Langley Research Opportunities

Opportunity OCIO1: AI and Machine Learning

Description: Selectee for this position will be tasked with:

  • Learning about different kinds of AI and Machine Learning
  • Mining various information – presentations, documents, etc. to extract the relevant info and inject it into a database (database provided)
  • Interacting with researchers, scientists, and engineers to learn more about their AIML use cases, to refine the info in the database
  • Creating custom exported reports, such as inventory lists required by the White House and Congress, as well as the glossy “who’s doing what in NASA AI” report.

Preferred Majors: Computer science, Data Science, Data Analytics

 Skills:

  • Researching
  • Interacting with SMEs
  • Database entry
  • Technical writing and analysis

Hands-on/Computer Based: Computer based

Individual or Team: Both

Technician/Research: Both

POC: Edward McLarney dward.l.mclarney@nasa.gov

 

Opportunity OCIO2: NASA Data Catalog Automation for Digital Transformation

Description: As a key component of NASA’s Digital Transformation strategy, Langley Research Center (LaRC) is looking for a student to develop programs and models to automate the description and indexing of NASA data sets. Techniques will include natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), and data extraction and transformation via application programming interfaces (API’s). Having an accurate description of NASA datasets will help researchers find the data they need quickly. Automating data catalog collection is essential to scale to the enterprise level.

Preferred Majors: Computer science, Data Science, Data Analytics, Mathematics, Informatics

Skills:

  • Experience in one or more of the following programming languages: Python, Node.JS, C++, PHP
  • Familiarity with data interchange formats, such as JSON and XML
  • Basic computer skills such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Technical writing

Hands-on/Computer Based: Computer based

Individual or Team: Both

Technician/Research: Both

POC: Douglas Trent douglas.m.trent@nasa.gov Ph: 941-621-4535; Tanner Griffin nicholas.t.griffin@nasa.gov  Ph: (757) 708-4456