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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:  Controls and Autonomy Software for Planetary Body Sampling and Manipulation
Disciplines:  Mechanical Engineering, Robotics
Mentor:  Paul Backes, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 354-3850
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Future exploration of solar system icy bodies such as Europa and Enceladus will utilize autonomous robotic sample acquisition and handling.
Description:  Controls and autonomy software will be implemented to operate a sampling tool and the robotic arm that carries the tool. Tests will be conducted to assess the performance of the sample acquisition and handling system in various operational conditions.
References:  P. Backes, et al., BiBlade Sampling Tool Validation for Comet Surface Environments. IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, 2017.

K. Edelberg, et al., Software System for the Mars 2020 Mission Sampling and Caching Testbeds. IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, 2018.
Student Requirements:  Required: experience implementing real-time controls software in an embedded Linux environment; foundational robotics coursework such as frame transformations and kinematics; candidate in a robotics related engineering field.
Desired: robotic controls and autonomy academic knowledge.
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    Caltech students only 

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

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