UAH students take on NASA project - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

UAH students take on NASA project

University of Alabama in Huntsville students are at the forefront of a project fully funded by NASA’s Undergraduate Student Instrument Project. (Source: Michael Mercier, UAH) University of Alabama in Huntsville students are at the forefront of a project fully funded by NASA’s Undergraduate Student Instrument Project. (Source: Michael Mercier, UAH)
(Source: NASA's Wallops Flight Facility) (Source: NASA's Wallops Flight Facility)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

University of Alabama in Huntsville students are at the forefront of a project fully funded by NASA’s Undergraduate Student Instrument Project.

Adam Bower is the president of the Space Hardware Club, the project’s student principal investigator, program manager and a senior at UAH.

Bower said he couldn’t be more excited about working on this project.

“I’m also doing a NASA internship right now. So I leave my NASA internship to go work on another NASA project after hours. It’s NASA all day for me, so it’s really great!” exclaimed Bower.

The focus of this new endeavor is protecting NASA’s balloon-born x-ray telescopes from stray x-rays that can spoil their view.

“Over the next 18 months we will be developing this active shielding for the NASA x-ray balloon telescopes,” explained Bower.

The team consists of 18 SHC members, with international and American students, all from different engineering and physics departments.

“This project was proposed for and written by students, with very minimal faculty input. We’re getting $50,000 from NASA to go build something. In many ways, we have a customer and its NASA. As students, that’s one of the coolest things I can think of to do while still in school,” said Bower.

Along the way, the group will have three NASA mentors guiding them in developing the shield but the project will be managed and designed by the students.

“I know it’s a big responsibility, especially handling this amount of money. As students, we have to do the budgeting and program management, stuff like that. A little nervous but I think overall it’ll work out just great,” said Bower.

He went on to say, he feels like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to space projects.

“The fact that we get to make this product for NASA and then go fly it, is just an incredible experience. It’s something I think we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives,” Bower said.

The team’s initial testing will be done locally. Their preliminary design will be done by January of next year. Then in August of 2017, they’ll have their big test flight in New Mexico.

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