System design of a space telescope mission

Space Rendezvous Lab, Stanford University, USA. September 2014 – 2015

While there was no Master’s thesis requirement at Stanford, I have nevertheless conducted research, which culminated in a mission proposal for a Miniaturized Distributed Occulter Telescope (mDOT).

mDOT consists of a microsatellite carrying a 1 meter radius petal shaped occulter at a distance of 500 km from a 6U CubeSat carrying a 10 cm diameter aperture telescope designed to image extrasolar dust and exoplanets at short visible and ultraviolet wavelengths. Following a systems analysis, based on the definition of mission requirements and a survey of CubeSat capabilities, the telescope spacecraft provides 80 days of operation with 50 W solar cells, 31 m/s of delta-v capability using cold gas thrusters. The proposed mission has the capability to directly image the vicinity of nearby stars and, at the same time, prove that miniaturized space systems are capable of executing complex missions. mDOT is designed to serve as a precursor, paving the way for larger missions with higher scientific return.

The proposal was presented at the IEEE Aerospace conference in 2016. The paper in the conference proceedings was my inaugural first-author publication, and it can be downloaded here.


Life support subsystem design

De la Mora Lab, Yale University, USA. January 2014 – May 2014

To fulfill a requirement for my ABET Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, I spent a semester doing research on an amine regeneration reactor for a space life support system. I have built, improved and characterized the performance of a reactor based on a technology promising a high efficiency. Final report is here. My work was a fraction of a larger project, which was presented at the International Conference on Environmental Systems in 2015. You can download the paper here.


Small satellite reliability analysis

TU Delft, Netherlands, May 2013 – July 2013

I compiled a database of more than 150 failures of satellites under 50 kg on component level and used both statistical and non-statistical methods to determine which components are most likely to fail in a specific period of life of a satellite. Then, based on the findings, I wrote guidelines for satellite engineers. This research was presented at the 4S symposium in May 2014. Presentation is available here and final report here.


Colloidal space propulsion

de la Mora lab, Yale University, USA. May 2012 – July 2012

I have explored colloidal space propulsion by analyzing properties of ionic liquid solution electrosprays. I have also contributed to other experiments with data processing scripts and data acquisition systems. Final report can be found here.

17 EAN 20mM in 80-20 ACN-water, CO2_13 raw

Exoskeleton testing machine design

GRAB Lab, Yale University, USA. May 2011 – July 2011

I have used my design and analytical skills to finalize and secure a joint simulator for orthosis/exoskeleton testing. I have improved the simulation accuracy by introducing a PID feedback control mechanism. I have also contributed to the exoskeleton design. Report to the Perspectives on Science and Engineering program can be found here.