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Spring NASA Internships

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The Idaho Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) has made us aware of a couple of NASA internship opportunities during the Spring 2020 semester in Cleveland, OH. This would involve being physically away from Boise State University but it could be a great experience if your interests are in aerospace. These are paid internships; undergraduates receive $730 per week, graduate students receive $900 per week.

  • U.S. citizenship is required.
  • Interested students should contact isgc@uidaho.edu
  • Though the deadline to apply is November 5th,  we strongly encourage students to apply before November 1

Internship # 1: Reduced Gravity Cryogenic Transfer Project

Type: Internship
Session: Spring 2020
Center: Glenn Research Center

Description

NASA maintains a strong desire to develop technology that will enable future in-space cryogenic propulsion systems. Of interest in the current project is the role of boiling heat transfer during cryogenic propellant storage and transfer. Due to the low normal boiling point of all cryogens, they are particularly susceptible to boiling heat transfer. For example, during propellant tank chilldown, fluid that comes in contact with the hot tank walls will boil vigorously. Meanwhile, in microgravity where the liquid vapor interface inside the tank is unknown, tank fill must be done with the vent valve closed to avoid venting liquid. The combination of cryogenic fluid and large temperature differences between liquid and tank imply that there will be complex flow boiling, heat transfer, and two-phase flow patterns. Accurate, reliable cryogenic pool boiling heat transfer correlations are thus required to design, size, and analyze NASA’s future cryogenic propulsion system architectures. The penalty for poor models results in higher safety margin (size depot larger to carry more propellant), higher safety factor (more insulation needed, which increases launch vehicle mass), and higher cost. Current models used in thermal design codes are based on room temperature fluids, and not backed by cryogenic data. It has been shown that cryogenic pool and flow boiling data deviates substantially from room temperature-based boiling models. Furthermore, NASA is developing a testbed to prove out tank chilldown and fill injection methods and chilldown methods. This flight rig is currently being designed. Selected student will be assisting lead cryogenic propulsion scientists to: 1. Develop and validate a so-called thermal nonequilibrium universal no-vent fill model, anchored to data, capable of modeling any fluid injector (spray bar, diffuser, jet, etc.), any fluid, and any fill method. 2. Analyze new reduced gravity cryogenic two-phase flow transfer data to determine gravitational sensitivities and trends. 3. Contribute to the design and analysis of an in-house built low-gravity tank-to-tank transfer experiment. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop accurate, low-error, data-anchored tools that can be used to size future cryogenic propellant based transfer systems. This internship is applicable to the GRC’s core competencies of: 1. In-space propulsion and cryogenic fluid management The expected outcomes are as follows: (1) Update Glenn’s database of cryogenic tank chilldown and fill data with the newest datasets, (2) Develop the universal no-vent fill model capable of modeling any fluid injector (spray bar, diffuser, jet, etc.), any fluid, and any fill method, (3) a high quality write up of the new reduced gravity line chilldown data analysis, along with uncertainty analysis on the data, (4) a high quality write up on the universal no-vent model.

Computer/Software Skills

It is preferred that the assigned student be of junior, senior, or graduate level and have already taken 1-2 semesters of undergraduate-level Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Heat Transfer. Transport Phenomena can be substituted. The student must be proficient with all basic Microsoft Office programs, specifically Powerpoint, Word, and Excel. Knowledge of Matlab (or equivalent data processing/numerical code like Python) is required. The student must have taken at least one semester in numerical techniques, or have a working knowledge of basic statistics, curve fitting techniques, basic optimization. A basic understanding of two-phase flow is also desirable but not required.

Academic Level(s):
College Junior; College Senior; Master’s; Doctorate

Major(s):
Engineering – Aerospace / Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering; Engineering – Chemical; Engineering – Mechanical; Engineering – Physics

Mission directorate(s) directly benefiting from the tasks involved in this internship:
Human Exploration and Operations Mission
Space Technology Mission


Internship # 2: Superconducting Coil Testing and Modeling for Future Electric Aircraft

Type: Internship
Session: Spring 2020
Center: Glenn Research Center

Description

NASA maintains a strong desire to develop technology that will enable future hybrid-electric aircraft. Why electric? There are fewer emissions, less atmospheric heat release, quieter flight, better energy conservation, and more reliable systems. Currently, the largest contributor to fuel consumption is the large single-aisle class. One particular electric aircraft vehicle concept of interest is the fully superconducting aircraft, which relies on high performing superconducting (SC) components such as wires and stator or rotor coils that are used to transfer power throughout the aircraft. Recently a test rig named ICE BOX was designed and built to test components at cryogenic temperatures without the use of a hazardous fluid, allowing rapid testing. ICE BOX uses cryocoolers to chill down an interface plate where samples can be mounted and tested at reduced temperature. Tests on various SC coils, under different thermal and magnetic conditions are required in order to provide data for researchers and designers of future SC aircraft. In addition to testing, time permitting, the student will help cryogenic researchers at NASA develop a set of equations fit to cryogenic pool boiling data. Accurate, reliable heat transfer correlations are needed to model film and nucleate boiling to understand how to effectively cool superconducting coils in-flight applications where the propellant such as liquid hydrogen might be used as a fuel and as a cooling medium. Appropriate non-dimensional numbers will be identified, statistical analysis will be carried out to find the best-fit equations to available, existing cryogenic pool boiling data. In short, the selected student will be assisting lead cryogenic scientists to conduct testing and develop fundamental models for superconducting aircraft technology development at a fundamental level. This internship is applicable to the GRC’s core competencies of: 1. Aeronautics 2. Cryogenic fluid management 3. Power, energy conversion 4. Green propellants There are two expected outcomes of this internship. One is a detailed report of test results, experimental methodology, uncertainty analysis, etc. Second outcome is the written results of the pool boiling correlation development and comparison to data.

Computer/Software Skills

It is preferred that the assigned student be of junior or senior status and have already taken 1-2 semesters of undergraduate-level Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, and Circuits and Control. The student must be proficient with all basic Microsoft Office programs, specifically Powerpoint, Word, and Excel. Knowledge of Matlab (or equivalent data processing/numerical code) is required. The student must have taken at least one semester in numerical techniques and have working knowledge of basic statistics, curve fitting techniques, and basic optimization. A basic understanding of two-phase flow is also desirable but not required.

Academic Level(s):
College Junior; College Senior; Master’s

Major(s):
Engineering – Aerospace / Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering; Engineering – Chemical; Engineering – Electrical / Electronics / Communications Engineering; Engineering – Mechanical; Engineering – Physics

Mission directorate(s) directly benefiting from the tasks involved in this internship:
Aeronautics Research Mission


Questions?

Contact isgc@uidaho.edu

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