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Announcements of Opportunity

SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program.

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. Click here for more tips on finding a mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

New for 2021: Students applying for JPL projects should complete a SURF@JPL application instead of a "regular" SURF application.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Simulating Molecular and Particulate Transport in Spacecraft Environments
Disciplines:  Aerospace Engineering, Mathematical Modeling
Mentor:  William Hoey, (JPL), william.a.hoey@jpl.nasa.gov, Phone: (818) 354-9986
Background:  Contamination Control is a critical discipline for space missions: molecular and particulate contamination can affect the performance of both spacecraft systems and science instrumentation. Missions attempting to detect organics and life signatures - like the recently-launched Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover or the proposed Europa Lander - require particularly stringent levels of contamination control in support of their science objectives. Solving such challenges requires the development and use of complex, predictive mathematical models that combine theory with experimentally-collected data.
Description:  JPL Contamination Control develops and deploys a variety of computational physics codes to simulate physical transport processes of gas and particles in vacuum and in atmospheres. In 2021, JPL CC has several opportunities available for a skilled intern to apply and develop these codes. Examples of past internship projects in this vein include: the development of direct simulation Monte Carlo algorithms in application to thruster plume flows; the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques in simulating rocket fairing depressurization during launch; and the application of machine learning algorithms to synthesize large, experimentally-derived datasets of spacecraft hardware and materials outgassing properties.
References:  https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2568127 ; https://doi.org/10.1109/AERO47225.2020.9172679 ; https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/europa-clipper/ ; https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/europa-lander
Student Requirements:  A science or engineering major is ideal, with relevant coursework in chemistry and mathematical modeling preferred. All projects will require some experience with scripting in MATLAB or Python. An intern will need both the ability to learn a scientific programming language and the ability to use a command-line interface to access high-performance computing resources.
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: .
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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