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Project TitleNon-Impulsive Trajectory Modeling for Interplanetary Cargo Missions
SummaryThe undergraduate student intern will work with the mentor and his research team at The University of Texas at Austin to assist with the research of trajectory modeling in cases of low thrust/high burn time maneuvers used for interplanetary cargo missions, specifically to Mars. This study is a subset within a larger mission design study in delineating a human-crewed mission to Mars.
Job DescriptionThe overreaching study is detailing a human-crewed mission to Mars in the next few decades. Part of the study centers on low-thrust and high specific impulse engines to propel a large cargo spacecraft. The intern will assist the mentor’s research team by using high accuracy models to calculate these non-impulsive trajectories. The intern will use n-body solvers (via ODE solvers like Runge-Kutta, Euler) and account for fuel consumption, moments of inertia, thruster positioning, thrust centroid offsetting, and changes in center of mass in the finite engine burns at small time intervals. After the study is complete, the intern will prepare a computational method based paper on the study while presenting their findings to the research team to be used in the general mission design study.
Conditions/QualificationsUndergraduate aerospace engineering major (junior or higher), spacecraft dynamics/orbital mechanics knowledge, programming experience in MATLAB, C++, or Java, experience in Microsoft Word, technical paper writing
Start Date06/08/2015
End Date05/31/2016
LocationAustin, Texas. Mars Mission Research Group, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Texas at Austin
Wesley Yu