Monthly Archives: June 2011

California Space Grant Sponsors Senior Design Rocket Project

With California Space Grant support, UCSD Aerospace Engineering Senior design students are able to integrate their coursework with practical hands-on applications, gain real world experience and systems engineering skills by launching individualized rocket experiments.

In groups of 4 or 5, the students are responsible for building, testing and flying a 50lb thrust solid rocket or hybrid rocket. Each group chooses two variables to measure such as stagnation pressure, stagnation temperature or propellant tank pressure. Then, each group predicts the expected values during their flight. They are graded on the accuracy of their predictions and the complexity of their experiment.

On June 6, 2011, the class launched their rockets in the desert of Plaster City, CA. After the launch, students analyzed the data obtained and prepared reports on the success of their experiments.

Photos courtesy of Colin Sheredy.

Student Microgravity Project on The Cephalic Fluid Shift and Intracranial Pressure

Sponsored in part by the California Space Grant Consortium under the UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program), UCSD and Grossmont Community College students are studying what happens when blood floods to the head in microgravity. They’ve designed experiments to measure intracranial pressures in microgravity with a machine that mimics fluid flow to the brain. In July 2011, the students will fly their experiments aboard a near-zero gravity parabolic flight in Houston, TX under the NASA “Grant Us Space” microgravity program. The students hope that their findings will teach us more about intracranial pressure in astronauts. Continue reading

Student Project on Plasma Actuated UAV

The California Space Grant is proud to announce updates on a student research project, sponsored in part under the California Space Grant’s UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) in 2009 and 2010. Ved Chirayath’s current research focuses on improving the efficiency of control surfaces on aircraft while reducing their total weight. Prior to his research, the application of single dielectric barrier discharge (SDBD) plasma actuators have never been applied to an aircraft or UAV. Continue reading