Hello, again. Much has happened since I last wrote, as far as work is concerned. However, I wanted to take some time in this posting to mention some of the other things going on in this area outside of work, since there is a lot and I don’t want to make it sound like there is no fun in Cleveland.
On the work front, the end of the semester is drawing near and tasks are being wrapped up. The Thermoacoustic Stirling engine I have been working with will hopefully be running before I leave here next week. I have been working in the Stirling Laboratory here installing thermocouples, assembling Labview modules, and running wires for the test setup. It will be great to see this project come to fruition.
To avoid making Cleveland and NASA Glenn sound as drab as I may have been doing I offer the following. The whole area is a very active oriented place. Recently I began mountain biking here, and there are several parks and trails in the area built by local mountain biking associations that are free to ride on. There is also the availability of water sports, since we are on the Lake Eerie coast.
Moreover, the younger people (and some of the older people) here at NASA Glenn are very social. There are groups here such as the Developing Professionals Club and Co-op/Intern groups that constantly organize activities. They go out to movies, go on trips to Cedar Point, and generally have a good time. There are also volleyball and softball leagues here that everyone is able to participate in. All in all, this area is able to satisfy both the technical and social needs of any intern.
These past couple weeks at NASA Glenn have been very eventful. As I mentioned in my previous post, I worked on a battery charger and battery last semester. This past week, we finally secured the safety permit and ran the Stirling engines to charge the battery. I am pleased to say that the charger worked as planned. Getting to see a projected through to fruition is one of the great things about working at a place like NASA.
Another great thing is the training courses offered here, and the mindset that employees can and should continue to grow and learn throughout their careers. I was able to attend a three day Labview training course, and will hopefully get to implement what I learned in the coming weeks.
This training will help me finalize my current project, which I have yet to mention. Currently I am building up a test stand and instrumentation rack for a Thermoacoustic Stirling Heat Engine. This engine has been built to study Thermoacoustic Stirling engines for use on Venus. The rack and test stand are in their final stages, and I hope to have the engine ready to run by the time I leave here this summer.
In order to complete this, I have many things to do in the coming weeks. I will have a busy schedule trying to get everything done here, but the experience is unbeatable. More to come in a couple weeks.
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.
“Hello, world!” My name is Geoff Bruder, and I am a senior in Aerospace Engineering with an Astronautics concentration at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus. Since this is my first post, I’ll give you a little of my background and tell you some of the great things I have been able to do thanks to Embry-Riddle.
I have been interested in space and mechanical things as long as I can remember. My earliest memories are of building cars and airplanes with legos and erector sets. I ended up indulging my mechanical curiosity by working on cars in high school. Since I wasn’t able to go straight to a university after high school I worked, and took classes at night. I worked as an auto mechanic and then, thanks to Broward Community College, an AutoCAD technician. While I was working, my aspirations were growing, and I set my sights on the stars, literally.
I did all my research and loved the fact that Embry-Riddle is a dedicated Aerospace university, where you can be immersed in the industry and culture. All of the course training and projects I have worked on here have led me to my current position. I am currently writing from Cleveland, Ohio where I work for NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) as an Aerospace Engineering intern.
Prior to this position, I worked at Kennedy Space Center with the Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP), then at GRC as a USRP intern. Being accepted into the NASA co-op program means I am now a federal employee, and will hopefully be able to transition to be a full time employee with NASA after graduation.
I work with the Thermal Energy Conversion Branch researching, analyzing, and testing Stirling power and cooling systems for spacecraft. My primary focus here has been on hardware for a robotic surface mission to Venus. In subsequent posts I will fill you in on all the gory details. Thanks for your attention, more to come in a couple weeks.