2006 HEP Award Recipient
Helen Reed (Texas A&M University)
Prior to joining Texas A&M, Dr. Reed established and headed a student satellite program at Arizona State University (ASU). Dr. Reed brings 11+ years of significant heritage in space flight, nanosatellite design, and student education from ASU, where she provided educational, research, and service experiences for over 700 (mostly undergraduate) students through the provision of various real aerospace projects including a sounding rocket launch out of Wallops Island in 2000, several high-altitude balloon launches, and two major satellite programs launched with the Air Force. Now at Texas A&M, Dr. Reed has established AggieSat Lab in March 2005. The goal of AggieSat Lab is to demonstrate and develop modern technologies by utilizing a nanosatellite platform while educating students and enriching the undergraduate experience. The AggieSat Lab currently consists of 60 engineering students (freshmen through graduate students, 4 graduate students) and 19 undergraduate business majors. AggieSat1 is part of the Air Force's University Nanosat IV Program and features a NASA URETI "CMISE" bio-fuel cell, a NASA URETI "TiiMS" shape memory alloy deployment mechanism, and an Air Force micropropulsion system. AggieSat2 is in collaboration with NASA JSC and UT Austin and is an 8-year campaign to develop autonomous rendezvous and docking capability.
Through the TSGC Higher Education Program, our objective is to further enhance a new Boeing-supported interdisciplinary senior capstone class in satellite design. Students from Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Computer Science (Texas A&M and Prairie View) all take the class together. BalloonSat and CanSat payloads developed relevant to AggieSat payloads are designed, built, tested, and flown on high-altitude balloons and amateur rockets as the culmination of this course. Students in a complementary senior capstone class in rocket design work closely with the satellite class to provide the rocket and the interfaces. Students learn program management techniques, and are taught business practices by professors from the College of Business. Industry and NASA personnel review and assess the students' experience at the end of each semester.