SEMINAR: Astrodynamics Research
October 26 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
The interest in smaller satellites continues to increase, being driven by technological advances that enable the manufacturing of smaller space hardware and by the desire to lower the cost of space initiatives. ‘Cubesat’ defines a specification for the construction of a very small, low mass satellite that can be easily integrated into a p-pod launch support device. Experience in the founding of a Cubesat program at the University of Illinois will be discussed. Next, an overview of research into the design of large space aperture mirrors for NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concept program will be provided. The presentation will conclude with preliminary work into developing a concept to magnetically shield a human colony on Mars from space radiation.
In 2017, Dr. Victoria Coverstone joined the University of Miami as department chair and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Before 2017, Professor Coverstone was a professor and associate head of undergraduate programs in aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the director of the center for Advanced Research for the Exploration of Space. Within the center, students perform research in all things space–related. Specific areas include space mission design using both NASA and custom built software and multi-disciplinary aerospace systems engineering. Under her supervision, three cubesat spacecraft have been built and delivered for launch as auxiliary payloads in the NASA ELaNa program. Two of the cubesats provide remote sensing of the earth and the third is a flight demonstration and validation of a solar sail deployment concept.
Prof. Coverstone has worked for TRW (now Northrop-Grumman) as a space systems engineer and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in their Mission Design Group. She served as Associate Dean for Graduate and Professional Programs in the College of Engineering at Illinois from 2008-2014. She is a fellow in AIAA and has received the NASA Space Act Award for technical innovation “Ultra-Large Solar Sail Technology” (MFS-32524-1) in 2008.