dream of exploring near-Earth space, and our special Space Systems
Engineering course is designed to help students do exactly that. Technical support and supplies are
provided NASA WV Space Grant Consortium and the NASA Independent
Verification and Validation facility in Fairmont, WV.
Students are building a picosatellite to be launched into orbit to measure
Earth’s magnetic field under the guidance of Dr. DeLaney
and Dr. Stevens. Technical guidance
is provided by D. Vassiliadis at WVU and Steven
Hard at IV&V.
Physics/Engineering students Andrew Knotts of Martinsburg, WV, and Josh Hiett of Bloomery, WV, have funding to continue working on the
project this summer. They will build miniaturized electronic circuits and
write computer programs to map Earth’s magnetic field while the satellite
orbits. They also will develop 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.”
NASA’s goals are to enhance critical
systems education, to enhance the related tools and methods, and to enhance
space systems and software engineering.
Students will build, test, and launch operating flight systems in
near-Earth orbit through amateur radio operations.