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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:  Developing a new instrument to understand origin and distribution of water in the solar system
Disciplines:  Physics/Applied Physics, Chemical engineering
Mentor:  Max Coleman, (JPL),, Phone: (818) 393-6353
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen characterize water. Obdervations throughout the solar system, mainly of H, measured remotely spectroscopically show large variations. There are two points of view about water on Earth: it was there at the time of formation; or a major amount arrived a few hundred million years later from the outer solar system. This is important to understand habitabiity of Earth and its relevance as a model for habitability of extrasolar planets.
Description:  An emerging new analytical technology, Capillary Absorption Technology (CAS), which we are developing into a low mass, low volume planetary instrument, offers four order of magnitude more sensitivity than the state of the art it is tuneable laser spectrometry (TLS) on steroids. This super-sensitive sensor is coupled to a sampling module, a laser used to release water from ice or hydrated minerals. However, we have only just received funding from NASA and so the project is in its first year.
The Summer Intern would be involved in testing the sampling module and, depending on progress, possibly coupling it to the sensor.
References:  Water in the solar system: Altwegg K, Balsiger HA et al. (2015) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a Jupiter family comet with a high D/H ratio. Science v 347 (6220) DOI: 10.1126/science.1261952
TLS: Tunable Laser Spectrometer on NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover
CAS: Kelly JF, Sams RL, Blake TA and Kriesel JM (2013) Further developments of capillary absorption spectrometers using small hollow-waveguide fibers. Proc. SPIE 8993, . and Nanophotonic Devices XI, 89931O. DOI: 10.1117/12.2042734
Student Requirements:  The most relevant skill/course ideally would be Instrument development and fabrication, but I don't think it exists. Therefore, like most of us involved in this area, the main skill is willingness to learn new skills to couple with what you know already: practical laboratory experimentation in physics or engineering or chemical engineering.
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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