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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 2019 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:  Cubesat technology innovations in launch and constellation applications
Disciplines:  Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Mentor:  Shahrouz Alimo, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 354-2818
Background:  The Innovation to Flight (I2F) Program seeks to facilitate a rapid maturation of new concepts, and their test and validation in flight demonstrations. The program advances both mechanisms for rapid insertion of innovation into the flight (i.e. development and operation of flight platforms) and technology concepts which are to be validated in flight demos.
Description:  2019 projects focus on fast development and prototyping. Platforms for the test include High altitude balloons (HAB), UAV, and cubesats.
Student Requirements:  The candidates will assist in preparing technology for flight platforms, avionics and embedded systems, flight tests and validation, software development for autonomy, onboard machine intelligence, and machine learning. Examples of projects during 2019 I2F include: Balloon auto-launcher; Launching rocket from the balloon. A robotic arm from multi-rotor/cubesat; formation flying with HAB, UAVs, and cubesats, unfolding large apertures from cubesat, onboard processing of scientific data including AI algorithms and machine learning, formation flying control.
The applicants should be familiar with commercial off the shelf hardware such as Nvidia Jetson, Intel Neural Compute Stick, Qualcomm: Snap-Dragon, etc.
Skills in the areas of systems engineering, mechanical, electrical, power, communications and/or computer engineering software development. Prior experience with HAB, UAVs or cubsats is desired. For computer/avionics/SW development prior experience in programming embedded systems and flight platforms is desired. Exposure/experience with control algorithms, machine learning, computer vision. Ability to work in teams and at a fast pace.

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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