West Virginia Wesleyan College

Department of Physics and Engineering

NASA Board Member Visits Us

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Anne Barth visited West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Department of Physics and Engineering on April 17. Barth is Executive Director of TechConnect West Virginia, a statewide economic development organization dedicated to promoting innovation-based business and entrepreneurial activities. She serves on Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees and on the Board of the NASA WV Space Grant Consortium.

http://www.wvwc.edu/news/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Barth-Visit-300x225.jpgBarth spoke to several Wesleyan students with projects funded by the WV NASA Space Grant Consortium. Students included Lucas Greza of Morgantown who will perform NASA research at Wesleyan this summer. He will use a wind tunnel to measure vibrations in aircraft as they transition from subsonic to supersonic speeds.

Greza expressed, “I appreciate the confidence that the WV NASA Space Grant Consortium has placed in me.”

In addition, Barth met Mark Mattis of Alexandria, VA; Russell Gillespie of Lost Creek, WV; and Will George of Petersburg, WV, who won summer internships at NASA-Langley. Gillespie will be working at the Aeronautics Academy. His project involves designing continuous flaps for supersonic jets. While Mattis will analyze some of the data from the heatshield of the Mars Rover that landed last August. George stated, “NASA has provided me with a great opportunity to learn practical applications of my studies.”

NASA IV & V in Fairmont, WV, has enabled Assistant Professors of Physical Science, Dr. Tracey DeLaney and Dr. Trevor Stevens, to offer a special course in Space Systems Engineering by providing supplies and technical expertise. The students are constructing a picosatellite to be launched into orbit and collect useful data. Andrew Knotts of Spencer, WV, and Josh Hiett of Bloomery, WV, have funding to continue working on the project this summer.

They will be working on building miniaturized electronic circuits and writing computer programs to measure Earth’s magnetic field while the satellite orbits. They also will be developing circuitry to detect and control the satellite’s orientation in space.

“We plan to replace an existing magnetometer with a more advanced design that includes a tri-axial accelerometer and a gyroscope,” said Hiett. “We plan to use the accelerometer to map out the satellite’s exact orbital path. We want to have our project ready for launch next October.”

Jacob Poldruhi of North Royalton, OH, has an internship at NASA-Glenn in Cleveland as Logistics and Operations Manager for the NASA-Glenn Space Academy. He will be supervising the Academy’s student interns, arranging meetings with professionals in the industry, and planning trips to other NASA centers and companies such as Boeing and SpaceX. He is taking the Space Systems Engineering course at Wesleyan and is coordinating picosatellite launch with the NASA IV & V facility in Fairmont.

Cutline – front row: Dr. Trevor Stevens, Dr. Joseph Wiest, Dr. Bert Popson, Lucas Greza, Matt Stadelman, Thomas Bartleman, Anne Barth, Dr. Tracey DeLaney, Miranda Lincicome, Amy Hein; back row: Joel Izquierdo, Aitor Reparaz, Will George, Andrew Knotts, Travis Hanson, Mark Mattis, Conor Forrester, Jacob Wilson, Dillon Huffman, Josh Hiett, Russell Gillespie, Nick Jones, Matt Spicer.