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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.

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.

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

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Project:  Analysis and Algorithms for Deep Space Optical Communication
Disciplines:  Electrical Engineering, Computer Science
Mentor:  Ryan Rogalin, (JPL), Ryan.Rogalin@jpl.nasa.gov, Phone: (818) 354-3426
Background:  Deep Space Optical Communication promises to bring broadband-internet-like speeds to missions exploring the inner solar system. This optical channel poses challenges not yet encountered in terrestrial wireless communication, and necessitates novel signal processing and communication architecture development to realize the full potential of this technology. Our group is developing the electronics, software, and firmware for the first ground station capable of receiving deep space optical signals.
Description:  Novel algorithms are needed to acquire, track, and decode the optical signals from a deep space probe. The student will aid in the development of statistical signal processing algorithms and analysis, as well as provide input to firmware developers for the implementation of such algorithms. Analysis of these algorithms will necessitate strong mathematical and programming skills. The student may also investigate error modes in captured laboratory data.
References:  https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/tdm/feature/Deep_Space_Communications

Meera Srinivasan, Ryan Rogalin, Norman Lay, Matthew Shaw, Andre Tkacenko, "Downlink receiver algorithms for deep space optical communications," Proc. SPIE 10096, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXIX, 100960A (24 February 2017).

Ryan Rogalin, Meera Srinivasan. "Maximum likelihood synchronization for pulse position modulation with inter-symbol guard times." Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), 2016 IEEE.
Student Requirements:  Skillsets from Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics backgrounds are the most likely match. Students should have a strong background in one or more of: signal processing, statistical inference, random processes, and communication theory. Students should be proficient in one or more high-level programming languages (MATLAB, Python, etc.) and one or more low-level languages (C/C++, CUDA, Verilog, etc.).
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: No.
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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