The Rocket Newsletter Winter 2012
Alabama Space Grant Consortium State Office Annual Newletter of Programs at Colleges Across the State of Alabama.
W I N T E R 2 0 1 2 What's Inside NASA Advanced Rocketry Workshop........................ 2 CanSat .... .................................... 2 Science Olympiad ......................... 3 NASA Lunabotics Mining ....................................... 3 NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative ........................... 4 Mobile Math Circle ....................... 4 Student Research Internships ....................................4 National Space Grant College & Fellowship Program .................... 5 BalloonSat � UAHuntsville .............. 6 Design, Build, Fly .......................... 6 NASA's Great Moonbuggy Race........................... 6 NASA Wormbot ........................... 7 BalloonSat � AAMU ...................... 7 Planetary (Mars) Rover Competition......................... 7 A Letter from the Director Yours sincerely, Dr. John C. Gregory Director, ASGC THE ROCKET NEWSLETTER WINTER 2012 NASA Advanced Rocketry Workshops ( NASA ASGC ) ASGC coordinated two Advanced Rocketry Workshops during July 2011. The four-day workshops were held in Huntsville, AL and in Las Cruces, NM. A combined total attending both workshops of 65 included a mixture of university students and their professors. The NASA Advanced Rocketry Workshops provide certification training and competition reviews in preparation for the University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) and the Student Launch Initiative (SLI) competitions scheduled for April 21, 2012 at Bragg Farms in Toney, AL. The USLI, university-level students and the SLI, middle and high school students (grades 7-12), is a competition that challenges participants to design, build and launch a reusable rocket with a scientific or engineering payload to one mile above ground level. Both USLI and SLI student teams submit proposals to NASA and once selected, teams design their rocket and payload throughout the academic year. NASA requires review of the teams' preliminary and critical designs engaging students in scientific research and realworld engineering processes with NASA engineers. This year's Advanced Rocketry Workshop participants represented 17 states and 40 teams. The 40 USLI and 25 SLI participants engaged in flight readiness and safety reviews before the rockets and payloads are approved for launch on day four of the workshop training. The Advanced Rocketry Workshop 2012 is scheduled to take place in Huntsville on July 18-21, 2012. For more information on USLI: (http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/descriptions/University_Student_Launch_Initiative.html). For more information on SLI: (http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/descriptions/Student_Launch_Initiative.html). CanSat (UAHuntsville) The UAHuntsville Space Hardware Club (Team #753) placed 4th in the 2011 National CanSat Competition hosted by Texas State Technical College in Cross Plains, TX. ASGC is one of the sponsors of this annual competition organized by the American Astronautical Society (AAS), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), NASA and NRL. This competition is open to teams from universities and colleges. The objective of the CanSat Competition is to conceptualize, design, build, test, and fly a small two unit mock satellite. The Carrier and the Lander are deployed and descend to an altitude of 91 meters as a single unit. At this point, the Carrier is to determine when the system is at the right altitude to separate, as the Lander then breaks free and descends on its own, carrying an egg safely to the ground. The UAHuntsville Space Hardware Club CanSat Team consists of 9 members that represent multiple disciplines and are currently preparing for the National CanSat Competition scheduled for June 8-10, 2012 in Cross Plains, TX. For more information: (cansatcompetition.com). 2 THE ROCKET NEWSLETTER WINTER 2012 NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition (University of Alabama & Auburn) Two teams from the state competed in NASA's Second Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition held at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida (KSC) on May 23-28, 2011. Team "A.L.E.X." represented Auburn University with faculty advisors Drs. David Beale and Lloyd Riggs and Team "Alabama Lunabotics" represented The University of Alabama with faculty mentor Dr. Kenneth Ricks. The University of Alabama team won first place in the "Team Spirit" category. In the inaugural year of this competition (2010), the team from Auburn University won first place in the Systems Engineering Paper Category. Lunabotics is an international competition designed for universitylevel students to engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). NASA promotes the competition in hopes of benefiting from the development of innovative lunar excavation concepts from universities that may result in clever ideas and solutions that could be applied to an actual lunar excavation device or payload. The Lunabotics challenge is for students to design and build an excavator, called a Lunabot, that can mine and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar simulant within 10 minutes. Scoring categories include the amount of material excavated, operation factors such as dust tolerance and projection, communications, vehicle mass, energy/power required and level of autonomy. Both teams from the University of Alabama and Auburn University plan to compete in the Third Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition, which is scheduled for May 21-26, 2012 at KSC. Science Olympiad (UAHuntsville) ASGC is one of the sponsors promoting the Annual Regional Science Olympiad competition held at UAHuntsville's campus each year. Hosting one of the state's four regional competitions, more than 500 students from 25 middle schools and high schools are divided into teams of 15 students per team to compete amongst 23 science-related events covering topics in biology, chemistry, earth science, space science, physics, mathematics and engineering. The overall top three schools advance to compete in the State Science Olympiad and then on to the National Competition. Randolph High School, from UAHuntsville's Regional Science Olympiad, advanced to the 2011 National Science Olympiad. While there, they won the "Spirit Award for High School" along with $2,000 in prize money. The Randolph team best exemplified the "Spirit" of the competition with their good sportsmanship, working well as a team and with other teams, being courteous and respectful toward event supervisors. The Science Olympiad is devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science, and providing recognition or outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. The 19th annual Regional Science Olympiad competition for North Alabama was held February 18, 2012 at UAHuntsville's campus. For more information: (nsstc.uah.edu/scienceolympiad). For more information: (www.nasa.gov/lunabotics). 3 THE ROCKET NEWSLETTER WINTER 2012 NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (Auburn & UAHuntsville) NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative is extending the opportunity for universities to qualify for the chance to send their student designed/built satellite payload(s) to fly on rockets planned to launch in 2012, 2013 and 2014. These CubeSats are approximately four inches long, have a volume of about one quart, weigh less than three pounds, and are identified as a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. ASGC is one of the sponsors of the Auburn University Student Space Program's (AUSSP) "AubieSat-1" (the first student-built satellite from Auburn, AL), which was among five other university CubeSats that were selected and launched on October 28, 2011 aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg AFB in California. AUSSP is a part of the College of Sciences and Mathematics Department at Auburn University where students designed, built, and tested "AubieSat-1" in its entirety to study radio wave propagation through the ionosphere and test solar panel protective films. Additionally, the UAHuntsville Space Hardware Club's "ChargerSat-1" is in the preliminary stages that represent multiple sciences and engineering departments exercising their skills in developing a satellite, ground station, and testing program in hopes of being on a future launch mission themselves. For more information: (www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/home/CubeSats_initiative.html). Mobile Math Circle (University of South Alabama) ASGC is one of the contributing sponsors of USA's Mobile Math Circle. Mobile Math Circle's mission is to introduce students to mathematics as a creative thinking tool through problem solving. This form of academic outreach was made available free to 188 high school students in 2011 that met weekly receiving a specific topic that served as a basis for expanding their math capabilities by solving problems grouped around a common theme. The purpose of this program is to get these students interested in math/science and keep them in the "STEM pipeline". For more information: (http://gauss.usouthal.edu/~mathcircle/sc/) Summer & Fall Internships (AAMU, University of Alabama, Auburn, UAB, UAHuntsville, & Tuskegee) ASGC supported 17 students across the state of Alabama at NASA Centers during the Summer and Fall 2011. The students were selected to participate in a 10-week summer or a 12-week fall session under the Marshall Space Grant Research (MSGR), NASA Academy, NASA Robotics Academy, NASA Propulsion Academy and the JPL Space Grant programs. These undergraduate and graduate students were able to work with a mentor on a full-time basis on a hands-on research project. Students were also able to participate in seminars, social events and enrichment opportunities offered at the centers. NASA is currently accepting applications for the Summer of 2012 session through March 16, 2012. Interested students need to apply via the One-Stop Shopping Initiative (OSSI): SOLAR system which is a NASA-wide system for the recruitment, application, selection and career development of undergraduate and graduate students primarily in STEM disciplines. For more information: (intern.nasa.gov). 4 THE ROCKET NEWSLETTER WINTER 2012 National Space Grant College & Fellowship Program The Alabama Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) presented awards at the 22nd Annual Scholarship & Fellowship Banquet to 48 academia excelling Alabama University students pursuing careers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology, or STEM. The 2011-2012 Scholarship & Fellowship awards included 33 Undergraduate Scholars; 12 Graduate Fellows; and 3 Teacher Education Scholars. These students represented all 7 Alabama Congressional Districts. Each year, scholarship money is awarded to a group of bright young people who will soon become part of the next generation of America's aerospace workforce. Many will assume leadership roles in many different fields of aerospace science and engineering, in research, production, teaching and management. The awards are made to U.S. citizens with proven academic excellence and accomplishment. In Alabama, we award over $400,000 worth of Space Grant Scholarships and Fellowships each year. The students are competitively selected from hundreds of applicants each year. The 2011-2012 year, $477,000 ($222,000 in matching, non-federal funds and $255,000 in NASA funds) was directed to scholarship and fellowship students. Awardees are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA, attend an awards ceremony, choose a STEM outreach project, and submit a year-end progress report to the ASGC office. Scholarship & Fellowship Awardees by University University # of Students 9 11 1 9 3 8 7 Total: 48 35% Underrepresented groups (state population 26%) 42% Female Auburn Alabama A&M Tuskegee University of Alabama University of Alabama at Birmingham University of Alabama in Huntsville University of South Alabama For more information: (education.nasa.gov/spacegrant). 5 THE ROCKET NEWSLETTER WINTER 2012 Design, Build, Fly (The University of Alabama) The University of Alabama students participated in the Cessna Aircraft Company/Raytheon Missile Systems, AIAA, Student Design/Build/Fly Competition in 2011. This year-long project consists of approximately a 12 student member team that must design, document, fabricate, and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft that can best meet the specified mission profile, as well as submitting a written Design Report. ASGC is one of the sponsors of the Design/Build/Fly project from The University of Alabama that encourages student innovation and offers STEM opportunities. The 2012 UA team, "High Tide", is making preparations for this year's 16th annual international competition to be held in Wichita, KS on April 12-15, 2012. BalloonSat (UAHuntsville) The UAHuntsville Space Hardware Club launched three successful BalloonSat missions throughout the year in 2011 from the UAHuntsville Campus. The latex, helium filled balloon, designed to carry lightweight experiments into near space, is coordinated by a team of university students. BalloonSat Flights 14, 15 and 16 were each designed to meet educational objectives such as design, launch, track and recover the balloon, and mission objectives such as deployment and operation of the balloon as well as photography and neutron radiation monitoring of the atmosphere. Additionally, UAHuntsville students coordinated an outreach project with a local middle school (Liberty) as 700 middle school aged students were divided into groups to participate in a hands-on effort in building the payload for the BalloonSat Flight 14. BalloonSat 15 focused on neutron radiation and BalloonSat 16 was successful in maintaining a radio range test. BalloonSat Flight 17 launched on January 28, 2012 to demonstrate Morse Code testing for satellite communications. For more information: (space.uah.edu). For more information: (www.aiaadbf.org) NASA's Great Moonbuggy Race (AAMU, UAHuntsville & Bevill State Community College) ASGC supported two university teams (Alabama A&M and UAHuntsville) and one community college (Bevill State) team in the 18th annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race that took place on April 2-3, 2011 at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. The team from UAHuntsville won second place in the college division. This NASA competition challenges students around the world to build and race lightweight, human-powered buggies -- demonstrating the same innovation and can-do spirit that put the first Apollo-era lunar rover on the moon four decades ago. The 19th Annual great Moonbuggy Race is scheduled for April 13-14, 2012 in Huntsville, AL at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Anyone can come out and show their support! 6 For more information: (http://moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov/). THE ROCKET NEWSLETTER WINTER 2012 NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Wormbot Competition (UAHuntsville) The University of Alabama in Huntsville's team won first place and prize money of $3,500 at NASA's Wormbot Competition in May 2011. This is a Systems Engineering Paper Competition sponsored by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD). The "Lunar Wormbot" is a robot that is designed to burrow, using peristaltic action like a worm, beneath the surface to provide samples of lunar soil for testing and analysis. This operation allows astronauts time to focus on more important tasks. ASGC sponsored the UAHuntsville team, Bradley Boaz, Charles Boyles, Emory Eledui, Ben Gasser, Joshua Johnson, Ben Long and Nathan Toy, who concentrated on the locomotion subsystem to show an effective and energy efficient mechanism movement for the Wormbot to reach the depth where the actual soil sample is taken. The challenge for the team was in protecting the Wormbot's internal electrical and mechanical components from the erosive effects of drilling. Under the direction of Dr. Christina Carmen, of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UAHuntsville, the students gained real world systems engineering experience including conceptual design, details design and the evaluation of cost, schedule, safety, and materials. For more information: (http://education.ksc.nasa.gov/esmdspacegrant/SystemsEngineering.htm). BalloonSat (Alabama A&M University) ASGC sponsored the Alabama A&M University BalloonSat Project that launched April 19, 2011. The latex balloon was inflated with helium and ascended 89,000 feet and travelled 100 miles collecting atmospheric data. The five-student team, "Team Skywalkers", designed and built the BalloonSat with the objective to stabilize the payload using the momentum wheel concept. By stabilizing the payload that tends to spin at high altitudes, data collection would be more accurate. AAMU's School of Engineering and Technology Department of Electrical Engineering students plan for a spring 2012 launch to test their yearlong design approach of payload stabilization. For more information: (balloonprojects.com). Planetary (Mars) Rover (UAHuntsville) ASGC is one of the sponsors supporting the UAHuntsville Space Hardware Club's preparations that began in August 2011 for the team to compete in the 2012 Mars Rover Competition scheduled for March 31, 2012 in Culpeper, VA. Coordinated by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. (AIAA) and Praxis, Inc., university teams are required to design a rocket and mars rover to launch up to ~1000 ft., deploy the Mars rover, and then return to the ground safely. When the Mars rover lands the team's rover must, in ten minutes, complete the mission's ground exercise. To qualify for the competition, UAHuntsville's 8-member team, "Rsquared Rover", is required to complete a successful prototype during the 7-month time frame leading up to the competition. The 2012 Spring competition events also include an Astro-Egg Lander and Target Altitude competition. For more information: (www.aiaadbf.org). 7 THE ROCKET NEWSLETTER WINTER 2012 ASGC...What We Do Since its inception in 1989, the NASA/Alabama Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) has constructed a broad-based member and partnership network of universities, industry, research centers, and formal and informal educational institutions across the state through which we develop and deliver programs and opportunities to recruit and train U.S. citizens. Our members include all 7 Research Universities in the state: Alabama A&M University (AAMU), Auburn University (AU), The University of Alabama (UA), The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAHuntsville), University of South Alabama (USA) and Tuskegee University (TU). Other partners include NASA MSFC and several other educational institutions, museums and private industry. UAHuntsville, located in the city of Huntsville, leads the Consortium. We encourage participation from individuals in those groups traditionally underrepresented in aerospace and STEM-related professions. All ASGC programs are designed to fit within both NASA's education goals and our own consortium mission. Each member university defines its own role within the consortium and sponsors high-quality activities chosen from our portfolio of programs suited to its own capabilities. Community Colleges Bevill State Community College Shelton State Community College Education Outreach Partners AMSTEC Sci-Quest U.S. Space and Rocket Center Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation, Inc. Industrial Partners The Boeing Company Dynetics, Inc. Government Partners NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Alabama Space Grant Consortium The University of Alabama in Huntsville 301 Sparkman Drive, MSB 205 Huntsville, Alabama 35899 www.uah.edu/ASGC ASGC Office: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 256.824.6800 Fax: 256.824.6061 Director: Dr. John C. Gregory (email@example.com) Assistant Director: Ms. Debora Nielson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Program Manager NASA EPSCoR: Mrs. Teresa Shurtz (email@example.com) Administrative Assistant: Mrs. Beverly Pike (firstname.lastname@example.org) Follow us on Facebook: NASA/Alabama Space Grant Consortium