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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 2017 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:  Electric thruster plume physics and instrumentation
Disciplines:  Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science
Mentor:  Lee Johnson, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 354-9878
Background:  Electric propulsion is one of the baselined enabling technologies for upcoming New Frontiers, Discovery, and Flagship mission studies. Several research efforts to model and experimentally characterize the ionized plasma plume from ion and Hall effect thrusters are underway at JPL. Some of these studies involve optical methods; others involve direct sampling and analysis of the plume ions, neutral atoms, and/or electrons to determine parameters associated with the physics of the plume and engineering of the associated thruster and spacecraft system.
Description:  A summer position is available to work with the JPL Advanced Propulsion Group, along with associated NASA, university and US Air Force researchers. Ion and Hall effect electric thrusters are typically used to provide propellant-efficient in-space propulsion, both for earth-orbiting and deep-space missions. The student will design experiments, develop specialized implementations of thrusters and diagnostics, perform analysis, operate thrusters and instruments, and compare results to other available information, utilizing thrusters operating in JPL and/or AFRL facilities.
Student Requirements:  This opportunity is open to U.S. citizens. The laboratory work environment may contain one or more environments (vacuum, cryogens, lasers, etc.) requiring appropriate safety training.
Sophomore level or greater science and engineering curriculum. Some experience with electrical circuits, mechanical fabrication, and computer programming is helpful.
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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