Princeton Satellite Systems attended the Young Women’s Conference in STEM in at the Frick Laboratory on the Princeton University campus again this year. We had an exhibit with spacecraft hardware and software. This include 3D printed models of our fusion reactor core and a 2 stage to orbit launch vehicle, star and navigation cameras, a circuit board for driving a fusion reactor and a 3U CubeSat frame . We were also running a simulation of a Lunar Landing simulation.
We met many enthusiastic students this year! It seemed that there were more high school students than in past years. A budding plasma physicist asked how we fuel the Direct Fusion Drive engine. Another student, looking at our Lunar Lander simulation display, asked what is a quaternion! The disassembled reaction wheel was very popular. Some students wanted a detailed explanation about how the motor worked. One student wanted to know the electrical details of our RF board. Several were interested in our Army iPhone app. One wanted to know if she could get it from the App Store.
Other attendees included Lockheed Martin, the FBI and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Click on this image to see a video about the event.
It was a fun event, albeit exhausting given the four hours of continuous conversations. We do hope that we inspired some of the attendees to pursue careers in science, math and engineering!
Princeton Satellite Systems had a booth at the PPPL’s Young Women’s Conference at Princeton University. Stephanie Thomas and Gary Pajer talked with students about our work in aerospace and energy.
Our booth featured a CubeSat frame designed by our mechanical engineers, a simulation of a lunar lander which could be controlled via a joystick, a copy of our new textbook MATLAB Recipes, and a Lego model of our Space Rapid Transit space plane.
The girls were divided into three large groups that rotated through the various attractions available to them, so every hour or so the the attendees changed. And every hour or so we had a fresh cohort of faces to meet. Many of the girls were very interested in what we are doing, and asked insightful questions. For example, one girl asked “What happens when a satellite loses track of where it is? Does it just get lost?” Of course, that’s an important issue, one that we at PSS have spent considerable time addressing.
Some girls were very interested to learn about tiny CubeSats (“This isn’t a model, this is the actual size of the satellite!”), and still others were interested in horizontal launch possibilities as shown by the Lego model – i.e. most rockets launch vertically, but this could take off at any airport. Both of these are examples of systems that we regularly model using our commercial software packages.
For more information see the 2016 Young Womens’ Conference