Curriculum Development in Emerging Technologies in Geospatial Technologies

Principal Investigator: Ahmed Elaksher, Ph.D.

Affiliation/Dept.: New Mexico State University, Department of Engineering Technology and Survey Engineering

Description: Recent development in geospatial technologies has stimulated great interest in its application in large-scale mapping. Federal, state, and local agencies and the private industry have been using geospatial technologies to foster a better understanding of the dynamics of the earth system. This necessitates the need for an adequately educated, diverse, and skilled workforce that is capable of utilizing geospatial technologies. This course aims to provide students with the required theoretical background and the essential technical experience to effectively understand and utilize geospatial technologies. The ETSE department offers unique resources that would greatly facilitate the development of this material while offering abundant opportunities for student involvement (including traditionally underrepresented populations). ETSE strongly believes that the use of the proposed NMSGC resources to meet the above goals closely matches the letter and spirit of the four major objectives of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium as defined in their narrative. The current roster of faculty in the ETSE department has a wide range of backgrounds that will ensure the timely realization of the course toward its planned offering in Fall 2022.

NM PREP Academy: “To the Moon”

Principal Investigator: Clara Welles

Affiliation/Dept.: New Mexico State University, Engineering, Office of Outreach and Recruitment

Description: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) youth education programs play a critical role in preparing the next high-skilled workforce that will fuel America’s continued leadership in the global marketplace and solve some of the most pressing of society’s problems. Unfortunately, many school curriculums lack a strong STEM focus, leading to decreased STEM proficiency and interest. To assist in the process of increasing STEM awareness, proficiency, and interest, we propose to host the NM PREP Academy for high school students. Specifically, with this grant, we plan to host 25 junior and senior high school students in underserved populations in Southern New Mexico for a two-week summer day program. Each student will participate in several hands-on, project-based activities to explore numerous engineering fields and increase their proficiency in Math and Physics, two subjects necessary for success in STEM degrees. This camp and our involvement play a meaningful role in broadening access to STEM in diverse communities, generating enthusiasm, and increasing STEM proficiency.

Spaceport America Cup

Principal Investigator: Michael Hargather, Ph.D.

Affiliation/Dept.: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Description: Space exploration has become a very popular and pressing topic, however, improvement to space exploration and rocketry requires extensive education and foundation. For the past several years,

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMIMT, New Mexico Tech) Mechanical Engineering design students have participated in the Experimental Sounding Rocket Team (EXSR). This team has been launching experimental rockets with the goal of educating students on rocketry and is looking to do so again at the June 2022 Spaceport America Cup where the team will be competing alongside more than 100 universities from across the world. In pursuit of this goal, this year’s design team is specifically looking to implement a new payload system that will monitor the structural health of the rocket in flight and a propulsion system that will be completely made in-house.

Flight Experiments Professional Development Workshops for Teachers

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Kennick

Affiliation/Dept.: Teachers in Space, Inc.

Description: The Flight Experiments workshop for public school teachers offers hands-on, repeatable experience with suborbital and orbital experiment design and launch processes. Participants will build, launch, track, retrieve, and analyze data captured from orbital and suborbital flights, which can be recreated within a typical classroom budget.

Teachers will learn about suborbital rocket, glider, and high-altitude balloon flight; orbital satellite tracking and communications, satellite licensing, payload integration, payload testing, and simple, pre-made sensors. The workshop will include a flight in which teachers can take their sensors with them. Teachers will work with pressure, UV detection, accelerometers, and various other sensors. The experience culminates with teachers participating in a high-altitude sensor flight and recovery and analyzing the resulting data. After the workshop concludes, teachers will take the provided equipment and experience back to their classrooms and work with their students to build a flight ready experiment. We will provide regular sessions to troubleshoot problems and answer questions that teachers and students might have. We expect to launch 25% of flight ready experiments made by teachers and students on suborbital flights.

Deep-learning enabled remaining life-cycle prediction of Environmental Control System of Space Vehicle

Principal Investigator: Doeun Choe, Ph.D

Affiliation/Dept.: New Mexico State University, Department of Civil Engineering

Description: Space Launch System (SLS) is the largest and most powerful rocket in history under development by NASA, which first take-off is going to be completed by Artemis I. The rocket has an immense payload mass to be able to launch four humans into deep space using the Orion space capsule. Environmental Control System (ECS) provides controlled purge to SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft and provides mission-focused engineering products and services to a broad set of programs at NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC). ECS has been challenged to reduce or eliminate the possibility of a complete system failure. Due to the uncertainties in the space mission, early prediction of damage and its remaining lifetime prediction is critical for the safety of crews and systems. The purpose of the proposed research is to propose and test sequence-based modeling of deep learning (DL) that predicts the remaining life cycle of SLS ESC motors and blowers based on vibration, temperature, speed, and current data using Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) and Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU) neural networks. The complete framework will be developed with multiple different designs of deep networks using unidirectional or bidirectional layers of LSTM and GRU networks. These neural networks, specifically developed to learn long-term and short-term dependencies within sequential information such as time-series data, will be trained with NASA’s SLS ECS data provided by KSC. The framework can be applied to various types of other systems and structures developed at NASA. The sequence-based modeling enables engineers to harness vast amounts of digital information. Furthermore, this research initiation grant will lead to multiple grant proposals including NSF and NASA.

A Biomimetic Concept for the Design of Space-Flight Radiators

Principal Investigator: Ashok Ghosh, Ph.D

Affiliation/Dept.: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Description: Traditionally, NASA has relied primarily on pumped, single-phase liquid systems to collect, transport, and reject heat via single-phase radiators. The heat-rejection system used on the space shuttle orbiters consist of over 250 small, one-dimensional tubes embedded within a honeycomb structure. Heat is transferred by convection to the tube walls, conduction through the honeycomb structure, and finally, radiation to space. NASA is currently developing nuclear electric propulsion engines to power next generation spacecrafts to transit to Mars and beyond, and these spacecrafts need heat rejection systems with performance capabilities significantly better than those provided by current systems. The future radiators used in these systems will also notably operate in the radioactive environments. Thus, an effective thermal management system will have an effective heat dissipation and radiation hardened design.

A biomimetic, multi-function composite is developed at New Mexico Tech (NMT) that has an architecture consisting of interconnected pores graded radially to dissipate heat as fluid travels through it. Past experiments demonstrated that upon localized heating, there can be an induced convective transport of thermal energy as fluid passes through a closed-loop porous layer. Proposed investigation will focus on the design of a heat pipe radiator intended to evenly distribute heat throughout the radiator lateral surface during operation. This investigation will be completed in 12-month period. Successful convective flow will result in a novel thermal management system which, when implemented, will result in superior performance to contemporary technologies in terms of mass, reliability, and operational simplicity for deep space missions.

Pathway to Space 2022

Principal Investigator: Andrew Moralez

Affiliation/Dept.: 21st Century Academic Enrichment Programs

Description: The 21st CAEP was established as a non-profit 501(c)(3) to help bring a fun, hands-on approach to engaging students in STEM, literacy, and sports programs, as well as preparing students for college. The CAEP currently operates in Anthony, NM and has served more than 100 students through a variety of long and short-term programs. Our mission is to empower our New Mexican students to maximize their academic potential and create a path for their future in a STEM based professional career. We are aware of the many educational, economical, and social challenges that our local students face on a daily basis and therefore we are committed to our programs to help the students meet their needs and prosper in the STEM area.