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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2018 can be found here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

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Project:  Europa Clipper Project Software Systems Engineering
Disciplines:  Computer Science, Systems Engineering
Mentor:  Michel Ingham, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 393-6426
Background:  The Europa Clipper Project is a Flagship mission under development at JPL, intended to investigate the composition and habitability of Jupiter's icy moon Europa, and characterize the vast ocean expected to exist under its kilometers-think ice crust.

The Europa Clipper project is JPL's largest application of Model-Based Systems Engineering. The architecture and design of the Europa Clipper mission is being rigorously captured in a System Model.

The Europa Clipper Project Software Systems Engineer (PSSE) is responsible for the overall behavior and software architecture for the project, and establishing the software development processes across the project. The PSSE is looking for assistance in modeling the software-related aspects of the project, developing/extending existing software tools for behavior modeling, and integrating the behavior modeling tools with the Europa Clipper System Model.
Description:  Software developer and modeler to support the Europa Clipper PSSE / Behavior Architect. Tasks will include project software-related modeling, such as capturing content from the Project Software Management Plan in the Europa Clipper System Model; functional modeling of the Europa Clipper spacecraft; testing and extending our institutional behavior modeling software capabilities, including adding features and fixing bugs in the user interface; and working with JPL software engineers to develop software to import/export behavior model content from/to the broader Europa Clipper System Model.
References:  Overview of Europa Clipper mission:

Castet, J. F., Rozek, M., et al., "Ontology and Modeling Patterns for State-Based Behavior Representation," Infotech@Aerospace 2015 Conference, Kissimmee, FL, January 59 2015, doi: 10.2514/6.2015-1115.

Ingham, M. D., et al., A Model-Based Approach to Engineering Behavior of Complex Aerospace Systems, Infotech@Aerospace 2012 Conference, Santa Ana, CA, June 1921 2012.

Overview of MagicDraw tool:
and its SysML Plugin:
Student Requirements:  Required Skills:
* Understanding of state machines and state-based modeling of dynamic systems
* Strong programming skills (Python and/or Java and/or Javascript programming)
* Good communication skills - written and verbal
* Ability to work within guidelines, but also be creative when applicable

Desired Skills:
* GUI and/or database software development
* SysML/UML modeling
* NoMagic MagicDraw SysML/UML modeling tool

Suggested Coursework Topics:
* Software Architecture, Software Engineering
* Systems Engineering
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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