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YUAA Speaker Series: David Maass

Maass poster

Today, Mr. David Maass gave a talk on the Aerospace industry as a part of the YUAA Speaker Series. Mr. Maass provided us with an overview of the Aerospace industry and some of
his experiences. He also talked about what is special about the industry and how it differs from others, primarily to provide insight to those members who may be considering a career in the industry. In addition, Mr. Maass described a few interesting projects he was involved with as an undergraduate, such as a human powered aircraft, inspiring some ideas for future projects for YUAA!

David Maass is President of Flightware, a consulting firm that provides expertise to aerospace and defense firms and the US government. Mr. Maass is an Aeronautical Engineer with BS and MS degrees from MIT. He started his career working for Sikorsky Aircraft in 1977 shortly after they won the contract to produce the Black Hawk helicopter. Four years later he started his own firm, Advanced Composite Products, in Connecticut to design and manufacture parts made from composite materials for a wide variety of applications from the B2 Stealth bomber to guitars. His company merged with another firm and in 1994 he went out on his own again as an independent consultant with Flightware. His clients are mainly in the aerospace industry but he also worked on wind energy and transportation projects. David has also been a Private pilot for 43 years and is a member of Yale Aviation (though now inactive).

YUAA Speaker Series: Kari Love

Kari Love Soft Robotics Poster

YUAA’s first speaker event took place today, October 6th, from 5pm – 6pm in the CEID Lecture Hall.

We hosted Kari Love, who gave a talk on soft robotics for space exploration. The emerging field of soft robotics represents a significant opportunity for novel solutions in the demanding environments of space. Ms. Love’s talk featured a brief overview of the domain of soft robotics, its suitability to space exploration applications, and a survey of NASA funded projects involving soft and/or hybrid robotics. There was also an interesting discussion of the interpretation of next-generation space suits as wearable soft robots, and the exciting potential mechanical counter-pressure presents.

Ms. Kari Love is an administrator and a soft roboticist with a specialty in wearable technology for Super-Releaser, a Brooklyn-based soft robotics R&D consultancy. She worked with Final Frontier Design, a commercial space suit company, from 2013-2016 as Lead Patternmaker and Fabricator. In that role Ms. Love worked as a technical expert on 3 NASA SBIR contracts, a Space Act Agreement, and a contract on Mechanical Counter-Pressure gloves. She also served as a Test Director for hardware validation in parabolic flight conducted with NRC-Canda. Prior to her career in commercial space tech, Ms. Love developed costumes for Broadway for more than a decade, including her Spider-Man:Turn Off The Dark costume which was inducted into the Smithsonian collection. She was also a bridesmaid on the first documented weightless wedding in parabolic flight.

IREC 2016

IREC2016 FRONT PAGE

This past week, the Yale Payload Rocket Team traveled to Green River, Utah to compete in the annual Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition. For the competition, the team built a rocket called Ziggy Stardust, which was actually launched once before, successfully, at Red Glare in Maryland. Ziggy was designed to carry a special biological payload: the team designed and constructed an air-sampling system that would sample and trap any microbes in the air at 10,000ft in a robust liquid impinger.

Post-launch search for Ziggy was successful!
Post-launch search for Ziggy was successful!


Ziggy launched successfully and the air-sampling system activated as intended. Afterwards, the team worked hard in processing the bacteria collected using a handmade, portable laminar flow-hood, a DIY PCR set-up, and patience.

UV-C lamp and sample with special dye.
UV-C lamp and sample with special dye.


Portable laminar flow hood used to evaluate the samples.
Portable laminar flow hood used to evaluate the samples.


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DIY PCR set-up with (from left to right) Gerardo Carranza '17 (co-president), Devin Cody '17 (co-president), and Brian Beitler '18 (team leader).
DIY PCR set-up with (from left to right) Gerardo Carranza ’17 (co-president), Devin Cody ’17 (co-president), and Brian Beitler ’18 (team leader).


The competition ended in success, as the team placed 2nd in the payload category out of 60+ teams from around the world.

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The competition ran from Wednesday, June 15 to Saturday June 18th.

Red Glare: Rocket Team’s First Launch of the Year!

This past Saturday, 9th April, members of our rocket team travelled down to Maryland to participate in the Red Glare launch hosted by the Maryland Delaware Rocket Association (MDRA). Along with over a hundred other groups, our team wished to launch the rocket they have been working on all year, affectionately named “Ziggy Stardust”, in order to test the launch, recovery, and payload systems before the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition to be held this summer in Utah.

Although bad weather conditions prevented them from launching on Saturday, the team was able to successfully launch Ziggy on Sunday.

 

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Ziggy being prepped for launch

 

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Final assembly before launch. Ziggy is ready to go!

 

The final launch went off extremely smoothly – the rocket went up straight as an arrow and achieved a maximum altitude of 8,500 feet at apogee, exactly as predicted by simulations. This also marks the highest apogee achieved by any of the single stage rockets YUAA has ever built! Parachute deployment also went off without a hitch, and the team was able to recover the rocket without any damage to it during the landing.

 

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Coasting down to earth after a successful launch!

 

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Team members packing up the parachutes after recovering the rocket.

 

In one of YUAA’s most successful launches to date, the rocket team reaped the rewards of all the hard work they have been putting in all year. Now they will move on to analysing the air samples collected by the payload to test for the presence of microorganisms in the atmosphere and to make sure their PCR and DNA sequencing systems are in place for the summer.

Looking onward to IREC and Utah in the summer!

YUAA Receives Quanergy and Alcoa Funding!

YUAA is proud to announce 2 major additional funding awards!

We received a combined total of over $10,000 from Quanergy Systems and Alcoa Inc. – money that shall prove invaluable in the continuation of our 4 projects.

YUAA would like to extend our gratitude to both Quanergy and Alcoa for their continued help and support over the years.
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Quanergy Logo

SpaceVision Conference 2015

This November YUAA traveled to Boston University, to attend the annual national SpaceVision conference for the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS). YUAA representatives included Co-Presidents Devin Cody and Gerardo Carranza, Director of Project Management Lucia Korpas, Advanced UAV Project Leader Andrew Arkebauer,  Optical Telescope Team members Raul Monraz Echeverria and Gray Newfield, and Rocket Team and PR Team members Olivia Scharfman and Huy Truong.

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SEDS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering students, helping them achieve their goals by connecting students with the aerospace industry and each other. Each year, their annual national conference, dubbed SpaceVision, brings students together from across the nation to meet each other and listen to relevant speakers from around the world.

At the conference, YUAA representatives were thrilled to meet and converse with peers and industry giants alike. This year, their impressive guests included Chris Lewicki, the President and Chief Engineer at Planetary Resources, William Pomerantz, the Vice President for Special Projects at Virgin Galactic, Bob Richards, the CEO of Moon Express, Inc. and distinguished professors from Harvard, MIT, and CalTech. Each gave inspiring talks on the future of space exploration, development, and technology.

YUAA hopes to continue its relationship with SEDS in the future!

YUAA at the CT Space Grant Expo 2015

On 25th September, YUAA members visited the annual CT Space Grant Expo in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Co-President Devin Cody, Rocket team leader Brian Beitler and UAV project second Yerin Kim drove down for an afternoon of lectures, presentation and networking with some of the leading individuals in the CT aerospace circle.

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YUAA had won $3000 as grant money from the CT Space Grant Consortium (a NASA initiative) in 2014-15, which it used to fund its projects. During the expo, Devin, Brian, and Yerin presented the details and successes of the various YUAA projects from last year.

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YUAA is re-applying for CT Space Grant funds for its current projects, which include an Optical Telescope, a CubeSat, a high performance UAV, and a Competition Rocket.

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YUAA Speaker Panel: Careers and Opportunities in Aerospace

Earlier in September, Yale Aerospace hosted a Speaker Panel titled “Careers and Opportunities in Aerospace” for the Yale community. For this event, we invited 3 distinguished Yale alums to talk to interested students about life in the aerospace industry:

Jason Rabinovitch (BS Mechanical Engineering, 2008): NASA Jet Propulsion Lab
Morgan Dwyer (BS Astronomy and Physics, 2008): Aerospace Corporation
Stephen Hall (BS Mechanical Engineering, 2008): Trinity Mobile Networks

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The event, sponsored by Yale’s Traphagen Grant, was held at the Watson Center (formerly the Yale School of Management) and attracted a number of undergraduate students interested in aerospace.

To kick things off, Jason spoke about his work at JPL and some of their current projects, including an exciting new helicopter prototype to be used to assist the Mars Planetary Rover. He highlighted the importance of graduate school in his career, and also spoke about some technicalities he had to work through as an international citizen (he is Canadian) working for NASA.

The talk was furthered by Morgan who talked about her experiences working under the US government within the Aerospace Corporation. She stressed upon the key role that systems engineering plays in the work that the United States Department of Defence carries out in the aerospace sector. She also provided a different perspective, as unlike Jason, she entered the workforce straight after completing her bachelor’s degree.

As the final panelist, Stephen spoke about his experiences co-founding the startup Trinity Mobile Networks, and the triumphs and struggles associated with being a young entrepreneur. Being one of the former Co-Presidents of YUAA, he reminisced about his experiences with the organisation, and the projects he worked on during his undergraduate career at Yale.

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To cap off a great afternoon, YUAA members had dinner with Jason, Morgan, and Stephen, where the conversation ranged from graduate school to classes at Yale, working in the industry to watching the movies “The Martian” and “Interstellar”.

YUAA hopes to continue collaborating with these 3 alums and to use their knowledge and expertise in hosting workshops, lectures, and connecting better with Yale alumni and the aerospace industry.

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YUAA Info Session: September 9th, 2015

Interested in building rockets, rovers, telescopes, satellites and aircraft? Interested in joining one of the largest student-run engineering organizations on campus? Come to the first info session of the Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association (YUAA)!

Date: Wednesday, September 9th, 2015
Time: 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Location: Mann Engineering Centre, Dunham Lab

Meet project leaders of YUAA and talk to them about the various projects that you could be a part of, including a payload-carrying rocket, a CubeSat, an optical telescope, and a UAV. YUAA members work in teams on our projects, which are entirely student-run. Since 2010, YUAA has helped foster a culture of engineering and innovation on campus through aerospace projects. We welcome students of any background, interest, and level of experience!

Rocketry at Yale Summer SPLASH

Earlier this summer, in the last week of July, members of YUAA taught a class on rocketry at the Yale SPLASH summer session. SPLASH is a student-run program conducted once every semester, in which undergraduates teach hour-long classes to middle and high school students on the topic of their choice.

Rebecca Beilinson, Bolun Liu, and Thomas Ryan taught a class on the basics of rocketry to participating students from the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. The class began with an overview of the fundamentals of rocket design and also touched upon the efforts of NASA and YUAA in the field of rocketry. The students were then guided through the process of building their own mini-rockets using water bottles, which they then launched from the Becton Plaza  behind the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID).

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