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Parker R

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate


Space propulsion, space exploration, plasma physics, optics and lasers

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

1. (Beginner Engineering Paper) Analysis of Low-Thrust Trajectories for Space Exploration

In this project, your goal would be to investigate the trade-off between thrust and specific impulse (fuel efficiency) for propulsion on different space missions. After learning to perform a literature review of the relevant types and key physics of spacecraft propulsion, you could develop a computational simulation of spacecraft trajectories to a given target in the solar system for different propulsion architectures. This work could consider the benefits and drawbacks of various space power systems, including solar and nuclear power. The final article would include analysis of the trade-offs between required fuel mass, travel time, and other relevant factors.

2. (Advanced Plasma Physics Experiment) Development of a

Coding skills

matlab, python, Arduino

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