Tuesday at U Design

Another great day at U Design.

In the morning, students started by working on their Cadet Balsa planes.  They needed to prepare their wings to and tail pieces to be glued together.  I then gave a brief lecture on my NASA experiment. The following link will allow you to view the presentation which is a Flash file made with prezi .

Later in the morning we had a lecture/activity where the students investigated Hyperspectral Imaging with Professor Josh Semeter . For our activity, the students looked at the optical spectrum using a diffraction grating of sunlight and the light from fluorescent fixtures.  Hyperspectral imaging is looking at the spectrum of different points in an image, which will be useful for looking for atmospheres around planets in other solar systems.  Prof. Semester is also the Director of the BU Center for Space Physics .

Professor Semeter explains Hyperspectral Imaging

Professor Semeter explains Hyperspectral Imaging

Back in the lab, I presented a brief lecture on camber, angle of attack, and the factors that affect lift and drag in airfoil design.  I used several simulations from the NASA Aerodynamics Index. The particular Java simulation which nicely demonstrates these concepts is the FoilSim III simulator.

The rest of the morning was spend gluing the paper onto the Cadet airplanes.  After lunch, students started working on building Estes rockets.  Some students chose an easy Estes rocket to build.  I would like to thank the New England Chapter of the AFCEA (The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association) for donating the rockets to our camp.   Some students took on the challenge of building their own rocket from scratch, which includes building and cutting your own launch tube and fins for the rockets. I am hoping that we will launch the Estes rockets Thursday morning.  During the afternoon, students finished their rockets and those who built successful Cadets were given the Balsa Skylaunchers to build.

During the afternoon we also received a tour from Professor Ted Fritz. Professor Fritz is building a satellite to analyze the Aurora Borealis (the Norther Lights), and we saw this work on the 7th floor of the Photonics Center.  Even more exciting, Ted is the advisor for the Boston University Student Satellite project, BUSAT. This is an satellite which is being built by a team of over 20 undergraduate students as part of an Air Force competition.  Two of my BU Academy students, Nima B. and Alex B. are part of the team which is building this satellite.  Nima is working with software and Alex is working with the power systems.  During our tour I got to observe them at work which is a treat.

Another highlight of the day was several other BU Academy students who stopped by and tell me about their summer research.  I saw Perry H. who is doing some work with metamaterials in the Averitt lab and I believe he is examining liquid ammonia with some metal in it.  I will let Perry correct me.  Matt R. is working with robotics helicopters in the Belta lab.   Andrew C. is working with graphene in the Goldberg Lab.