Thesis Defense by Brian Badders on December 5th
Space Studies Master’s student, Brian Badders, will defend his thesis as follows. Please mark your calendars and show your support by attending.
When: Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. (Central)
Where: Ryan Hall, Room 111
Title: Developing Hybrid Near-Space Technologies for Affordable Access to Suborbital Space
High power rockets and high altitude balloons are two near-space technologies that could be combined in order to provide access to the upper mesosphere and eventually suborbital space. This "rockoon" technology has been used by several large budget space programs before being abandoned in favor of even more expensive, albeit more accurate, ground launch systems. With the increased development of nano-satellites and atmospheric sensors, combined with rising interest in global atmospheric data, there is a new need for affordable access to extreme altitudes that does not necessarily require the precision of ground launches.
Development of hybrid near-space technologies for access to over 200k ft. on a small budget brings many challenges within engineering, systems integration, cost analysis, market analysis, and business planning. This research includes the design and simulation testing of all the systems needed for a safe and reusable launch system, the cost analysis for initial production, the development of a business plan, and the development of a marketing plan. This project has both engineering and scientific significance in that it can prove the space readiness of new technologies, raise their technology readiness levels (TRLs), expedite the development process, and also provide new data to the scientific community. It also has the ability to stimulate university involvement in the aerospace industry and help to inspire the next generation of workers in the space sector.
Previous development of high altitude balloon/high power rocket hybrid systems have been undertaken by government funded military programs or large aerospace corporations with varying degrees of success. However, there has yet to be a successful flight with this type of system which provides access to the upper mesosphere in a university setting. This project will aim to design and analyze a viable system all while testing the engineering process under very heavy budget constraints.
The technical engineering and systems integration challenges that will be investigated are rocket design, launch platform design, communications and ignition systems, recovery systems, and stabilization methods. This will be done through utilizing rocket performance simulation software, computer-aided design software, and computational fluid dynamic analysis software.
The business planning is also an important part of this research. Through detailed market analysis, the needs for the proposed product/services being developed will be assessed. Through the combination of detailed cost analysis/comparisons and the market needs, the overall validity of the utilization of this effort will be determined.
About the Presenter: Brian Badders received Bachelor of Science degrees in both Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, in May of 2012. Throughout his undergraduate career, Badders completed internships at Lord Corporation working on the design and prototyping of new aerospace components for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. He also completed mechanical engineering work at SPX Flow Technologies aiding in the design and testing of next-generation valves for nuclear power plants. Badders was also involved in significant community outreach initiatives in Cleveland as a Collegiate Challenge Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity and a Donor Drive Coordinator for the Be the Match Foundation. Badders attended several leadership conferences and successfully served in leadership roles in the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, the Global Ethical Leaders Society, the Residential Housing Association, and as President of the Case Western Rock Climbing Club.
Badders joined the Space Studies Department in Summer 2012 and received a NASA Space Grant Graduate Research Fellowship for investigating portable life support systems for analog testing of experimental spacesuits. In January of 2013, Badders began work as a Graduate Research Assistant in Space Engineering on the Dakota Alpha CubeSat project. While at UND, Badders has volunteered his efforts to aerospace education development through becoming the Mechanical Team lead for the Open Orbiter CubeSat project, Team lead and Mentor for the UND Rocketry Team, volunteer for the NASA HASP and High-Altitude Ballooning efforts, and President of the Dakota Space Society.
Badders has most recently become a graduate of the NASA Academy for his work at NASA Ames Research Center on hybrid near-space technologies and the development of a universal bioreactor platform for advanced testing of biological tissues on the ISS. The later effort is now being continued by Biorbit, LLC, with Badders serving as Chief Operating Officer. Using his knowledge of aerospace technologies and expertise, Badders has become Co-Founder and President of Chimera Space Technologies Corporation. This educational nonprofit provides aerospace technologies and expertise to students and educators for the advancement of experiential learning opportunities.
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