Student-Faculty Programs Office
Summer 2017 Announcements of Opportunity

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Project:  Design, Fabrication, and Test of a Multi-Segmented Neutral Buoyancy Robot
Discipline:  Physics/Applied Physics
Mentor:  William West, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 354-5474
Background:  A segmented eel-like robot (Eel-Bot) concept has been proposed that uses liquid methane from Titans oceans that is vaporized over a radioisotope heat source for both power generation and propulsion. The Eel-Bot could generate electrical power and take mechanical advantage of rejected heat for vapor-driven propulsion to perform long-lived science studies of Titans oceans. The internally heated and pressurized gas would provide segmented, articulated thrust for swimming and diving while the co-generated electrical power is used to carry out the mission objectives of imaging the surface and undersea topology, "hydrology", and chemistry of Titans oceans.
Description:  This project calls for the rapid design, build, and test of a segmented robotic prototype towards the goal of achieving proof of concept for several aspects of the technology in a terrestrial (water-borne) environment. The system will use conventional heaters to generate water vapor ejected from the segmented bladders to demonstrate two key aspects of the system: buoyancy control and mobility.
Student Requirements:  The student should have a strong background in physics (including mechanics and fluid dynamics), control theory, and programming. The student should have an interest in rapid prototyping and robotics.
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: Yes.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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Problems with or questions about submitting an AO?  Call Jen Manglos of the Student-Faculty Programs Office at (626) 395-2885.
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