NASA Internship Summer 2017

Project Description

I interned for the summer in NASA Goddard's Control Systems Engineering branch. Over the course of the summer, my partner Gabe Maymon and I, under the direction of Gerardo Cruz-Ortiz, designed and prototyped reaction wheels for use in CubeSats, which are small satellites on the order of 10cm per side. Reaction wheels are mechanical flywheels that adjust the spacecraft's attitude by adjusting their angular velocity. We focused a lot initially on building the theoretical basis for our design while we coordinated with experts on manufacturing and testing. We ended up prototyping two designs with two different motors, which you can read about more in the poster below (full PDF available here). Learning about the unique challenges of spacecraft and CubeSats really intrigued me, and I am proud of the development work we did. We focused on a design different from available reaction wheels, and hopefully our work will help to expand the variety of components available for CubeSat designers.