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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:  Europa Clipper Flight System Behavior Specification
Disciplines:  Systems Engineering, Computer Science
Mentor:  Michel Ingham, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 393-6426
Background:  JPL's Europa Clipper Mission is planning to send a spacecraft to the Jovian moon of Europa, launching in the early-2020's. The project is now in Phase B (preliminary design), and is starting the process of defining the behavior of the flight hardware and software. There are two motivations for these behavior specifications (models):
* provide requirements / specifications for the hardware designers and software developers to work to as they are going through the design process
* allow the system engineers to perform analyses on the behavior specifications to validate the system-level requirements, and to catch potential behavioral design issues such as:
--> unsafe states
--> unreachable states
--> timing excursions
--> logic loops or holes
--> race conditions
These behavior specifications are captured in documents called Functional Design Descriptions (FDDs).
Description:  * Support system engineers and FDD authors in modeling behavior specifications for components of the Flight System
* Use both commercial and in-house developed tools to capture the intended behavior
* Perform analyses on the modeled intended behavior to ensure that it meets requirements, e.g.:
--> State reachability, and safety analyses
--> Monte Carlo timing analyses
--> Fault Protection Coverage analysis to ensure all faults are detected by fault monitors, and to ensure that each monitor triggers the correct response
References:  [1] 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.

[2] 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:

overview of Cameo Simulation Toolkit:
Student Requirements:  Required Skills:
* Understanding of state machines and state-based modeling of dynamic systems
* Ability to work within guidelines, but also be creative when applicable
* Good communication skills - written and verbal

Desired Skills:
* Python and/or Java programming
* NoMagic MagicDraw SysML/UML modeling tool
* NoMagic Cameo Simulation Toolkit

Suggested Coursework Topics:
* system dynamics / controls & dynamics
* graph theory
* engineering analysis & simulation
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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