Physics Student Studies Rocket Payloads

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Dr. DeLaney and Andrew Tiffin

The NASA-WV Space Grant Consortium selected Andrew Tiffin of North East, MD, to develop a rocket payload to measure greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

The fourth-year physics major will fly the payloads on weather balloons as part of testing for actual rocket and/or satellite flights. Tiffin’s project was included in the Space Flight Design Challenge, sponsored by the Consortium and NASA’s IV&V Facility in Fairmont. Technical support is provided by Assistant Professor of Physical Science Dr. Tracey DeLaney at WVWC, Research Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Dr. Dimitris Vassiliadis at WVU, and Steven Hard at NASA IV&V.

Tiffin will receive a $5,000 stipend for the project and $1,000 for supplies and equipment. He will attend the Aircraft Readiness Engineering Workshop in Havelock, NC, from June 22-27, where he will learn about helicopters with aerospace engineers from the Department of Defense.

Also sponsored by the consortium are Wesleyan students Josh Hiett, a senior from Bloomery, and Jacob Coleman, a sophomore from Belington. Hiett will measure the earth’s magnetic field using a sounding rocket flight to be launched from Wallops Island this June, and Coleman’s project involves measuring radiation in the upper atmosphere.

For more information on the Physics & Engineering program, contact Dr. Bert Popson at Popson@wvwc.edu.