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Engineering: Current Students

NASA Microgravity University 2013

UNL Microgravity 2013


The UNL College of Engineering is proud to participate in NASA's Microgravity University. The program engages selected college and university teams in scientific research that helps our nation's space program to refine its efforts. Projects are conducted during a series of parabolic reduced-gravity flights in specially-equipped aircraft that reach 35,000 feet above the earth's surface.

2013 Project:

ARGOS and Microgravity Free Flyer Evaluation

UNL's Microgravity Team will evaluate the ability of the Active Response Gravity Offload System (ARGOS) to provide a microgravity environment for a free-flying vehicle. ARGOS is a robotic system that provides reduced gravity environments through a large motion-based platform. It is a facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) that has been used for human and robotic testing over the past three years. However, ARGOS has not yet been used for testing free flyers. The UNL team will need to develop a free flyer (probably a quad or hexa-copter) to fly a specific set of motion patterns in both ARGOS and plane-induced microgravity environments, and the team will need to devise a related data collection method. The data collection should involve a combination of data sources that may include motion capture camera system and inertial guidance unit aspects. Parabolic flight maneuvers during Microgravity Flight Week should allow collection of a data set for comparison to the data collected with ARGOS. Ultimately, the data should allow the ARGOS system to be evaluated and the control system to be tuned for optimal free flyer performance.

2013 UNL Microgravity University Team

VARSITY TEAM - Adviser: Carl Nelson, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor - UNL Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Name: Class: Major: Hometown:
Caleb Berggren Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Blair, Neb.
Nicholas Goeser Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Omaha, Neb.
Effie Greene Junior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Lincoln, Neb.
Taylor Noel Junior Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Lincoln, Neb.
Ethan Monhollon Junior Biochemistry (minors: Chemistry, Physics and Math) Roca, Neb.
Shawn Schumacher Junior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Columbus, Neb.
Eric Fritz Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Atkinson, Neb.
Kyle Wroblewski Senior Civil Engineering Kearney, Neb.
Jake Reher Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Omaha, Neb.
Joan Yule Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Bloomfield, Neb.
Tricia Foley Junior Electrical Engineering Blair, Neb.
Liu Peng Senior Civil Engineering Schuyler, Neb.
Bold type indicates returning team member.


2013 UNL Microgravity University Team

JUNIOR VARSITY TEAM - Adviser: Dustin Dam '08 B.S. ELEC

Name: Class: Major: Hometown:
Timothy Mastney Sophomore Electrical Engineering Norfolk, Neb.
Christian Laney Freshman Electrical Engineering Papillion, Neb.
Eli Van Boening Freshman Mechanical & Materials Engineering Blue Hill, Neb.
Brad Steiner Freshman Electrical Engineering Columbus, Neb.
Ryan Wood Sophomore Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Sioux Falls, S.D.
Parise Reynolds Sophomore Mechanical & Materials Engineering Birmingham, Ala.
Brendan Byal Sophomore Mechanical & Materials Engineering Omaha, Neb.
Maggie Clay Sophomore Biological Systems Engineering Fort Collins, Colo.
Blake Stewart Sophomore Mechanical & Materials Engineering Bellevue, Neb.
Hunter Severin Junior Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Bellevue, Neb.
Bold type indicates returning team member.