July 2009

This one is for the geeks in the room…

Hi, again. Since I have been at Glenn Research Center (GRC) now since January, I want to mention some of the things that I have worked on here already before talking about my current projects. Initially, I was hired to work on a design for a test chamber able to simulate the environment on the surface of Venus. That was one of two main projects I worked on last semester.

On that project, I met with test engineers, materials engineers, mechanical, and electrical engineers to consult on my design. The work I did involved doing stress calculations, researching materials, researching existing test chambers and industry as well as doing Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis. I ended up producing a preliminary design for the test chamber, able to test an entire Venus lander at surface conditions, and co-authoring a paper in the works for publication. I also wrote a program in Matlab to calculate the deceleration loads seen during ballistic entry into the atmosphere of Venus at varying velocities and entry angles.

The second project I worked on last semester was great, because I actually ended up doing hands on work with electronics and was able to see hardware built from my design. The project was to design a battery and enclosure along with charging circuitry. The battery was to be charged using the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) simulator, a spacecraft power system my branch developed, as a power source. This battery and charging circuitry, combined with the ASRG simulator, will be part of a demonstration unit showing that ASRG technology can be used to charge batteries on lunar vehicles or rovers.

The picture shown of me was taken next to the battery and enclosure I designed, and the little black box containing my circuitry. This project was absolutely awesome to work on, stretching my electrical and mechanical education and skills to the max. Between these two projects I used nearly every bit of knowledge I have gained at Embry-Riddle.

Thanks again for reading, more to come in a week or two.

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About Geoff

Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Internship: NASA Glenn Research Center
Career Goals: Work for NASA in support of space exploration.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I chose to pursue my degree at Embry-Riddle because I wanted the best education I could get with a focus in the aerospace industry. From all of the research I did, Embry-Riddle seemed to be very well respected in industry, and that has turned out to be true.

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