IDENTIFYING NEAR EARTH ASTEROID HAZARDS
In addition to learning about the tools astronomers use, interns will learn about the Solar System, its small bodies, and the hazards these bodies could pose to Earth. They will search for unmeasured asteroids on archive images taken at McDonald Observatory, determine and report their positions. Interns will measure brightness variation for some of these bodies to find the rotation period and make conclusions about their shape. In the process they will be introduced to the digital image toolkit of astronomers.
DISASTER RESEARCH WITH MAGIC (MID-AMERICAN GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION CENTER)
DISASTER MAP: USING SATELLITES FOR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Interns will focus on a recent flood, wildfire, or tropical storm event, review satellite image datasets from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the US Geological Survey (USGS) collected before, during and after the event, and test best practices for rapid information extraction from these data. We will use image analysis and investigate related geospatial information resources with the goal of creating and distributing products for emergency response applications and societal benefit.
Interns will compare National Weather Service Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE) products derived from Radar with rainfall gauge values collected in the same time and space. This will provide ground truth evidence of estimations compared to captured rain totals. Interns will also develop Python scripts to automate the transformation of QPE point data into an interpolated gridded surface that can be tiled for rapid consumption by web-based mapping applications via rest endpoints. Activities will simulate recent flood events with the goal of improving future flood response scenarios.
CLIMATE RESEARCH WITH CSR (CENTER FOR SPACE RESEARCH)
WEIGHING WHERE THE WATER GOES
Interns will analyze data from GRACE (Gravity Recover and Climate Experiment), twin satellites launched in March 2002, that are making detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field changes and revolutionizing investigations about Earth’s water resources over land, ice, and oceans, as well as earthquakes and crustal deformations. These discoveries are having far-reaching benefits to society and the world's population.
MEASURING ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES WITH ALTIMETRY
Interns will examine altimetry measurements over ice caps, forests, and other areas of the Earth using data from ICESat (2003-2009), ICESat-2 (2018-), and other satellites. Analyses will include data visualization, satellite calibration, and comparisons with complementary measurements and may include ice sheets (Greenland, Antarctica), sea ice, land, vegetation, and ocean/water surfaces. Investigations of some primary questions surrounding the missions include how to link the data from the missions and how to optimally compute changes over time.
OBSERVING EARTH FROM SPACE
This engineering project will immerse interns in NASA content and activities while learning about rockets, spacecraft trajectories, and observing the Earth from space. While tackling this engineering project, interns will learn about the Sun-Earth-Moon system dynamics, power systems, and communication while designing the mission. Students will design student payloads for the CANDEL satellite system. The students will also have the opportunity to suggest improvements to the CANDEL system itself. Each participating student will, as part of their work, will design an experiment for the CANDEL system.
EXPLORE THE MOON
Interns will study the spectral effects of space weathering and impact gardening on the evolution of the lunar soil using remote sensing data. Understanding the effects from these processes improves the ability to map the true composition of planetary crusts.
NASA is committed to the human exploration of Mars. Many of the technologies are already in place, and the rocket boosters and some of the spacecraft required are currently being built. The small nuclear reactors required to provide the necessary power have already been designed and tested by the Department of Energy. But prior to sending humans to Mars, there needs to be the infrastructure on the planet surface that is necessary to sustain the first crews to visit. This includes power, habitation, water, food, health maintenance, mobility (space suits and rovers), emergency care, and scientific support functions. Using basic engineering design principles, interns will design a Mars village that will allow people to live and work productively and safely for up to 1000 days on the Mars surface. Small scale prototypes will be built by 3D printing.
ROVING MARS AND MARS 2020
As the newest NASA rover prepares for its trip to the red planet, scientists have begun to plan for returning the first ever surface samples from Mars. This project will explore how the Mars 2020 rover will traverse the landing site of Jezero Crater and students will come up with a sampling strategy. We will learn how geologist on Earth prioritize samples and develop a plan to return the most valuable samples from Mars.
VIRTUAL MOSQUITO MAPPER
Scientists working with GLOBE Observer are leading a Virtual High School Summer Research Internship in 2020. Participants will meet regularly with mentor scientists online and complete a guided 8 week research experience that engages participants in all aspects of the scientific process, while building familiarity with the GLOBE Observer data collection app, NASA Worldview satellite data portal, and data analysis and mapping tools, including Google Earth and ArcGIS. Interns in this program will contribute to both an individual and a team research product focused on GeoHealth, contributing to our understanding of many aspects of science including mosquito population dynamics, environmental change and human health.