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Dr. Kurwitz and Students Test Advanced Radiator System for Future Spacecraft

May 18, 2016

    A student team of the Systems Engineering Initiative (SEI) program recently completed a set of test flights in support of a NASA Game Changing Technology Program. The DoVR (Demonstration of a Variable Radiator) Team consisting of three engineering undergraduate students designed, developed, and tested an experiment under zero gravity conditions as part of a larger program to test a novel spacecraft thermal management technology.

    Juan Duran (NUEN), Victor Ibarra (NUEN), and Aldo Sosa (ELEN) working with Dr. Cable Kurwitz designed a flight package for suborbital testing and were able to test onboard NASA's reduced gravity aircraft as part of the Flight Opportunities program. The students were responsible for the design, fabrication, and testing of the experimental hardware as well as developing the safety documentation and interfacing with NASA and industry personnel as part of the project.

    The SEI program operated by the Nuclear Power Institute is an engineering enrichment program that supports the development of very capable engineers through applied engineering practice. Student work on "real problems" supplied by industry (or research faculty) in an engineering-team environment. This experience, which SEI refers to as an externship, closely resembles the internship model and student teams are required to submit project deliverables such as reports, safety analyses, work breakdown structures, and more. SEI provides opportunities to engage students in real-world engineering team projects that are both interdisciplinary and multi-level (i.e., teams that involve freshmen through seniors from multiple engineering disciplines).

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