Not your everyday summer job
This summer, I've been working for NASA as an intern in the Langley Aerospace Research Summer Scholars Program. In a one-sentence summary, I'm working with a systems engineering team to develop and integrate the software and hardware needed for both indoor and outdoor tests of autonomous, unmanned multi-vehicle flight control.
But what does that mean, in terms of what I actually do?
It means the past seven weeks have been spent laboring over keyboards, switching between C, C++, Java, and Processing. I've carried my lab's miniature Parking Lot Exploration Rover outside in 105ºF weather to test a navigation algorithm. I've learned about PID controls, GPS sensors, and radio communication. I've evaluated ground control station software, delved into the depths of an open source flight simulator, and discovered how tricky network protocols can be. I've written software for 3D data display programs, data parsers, and communication links. I've learned that when you're one of a team of ten interns, all tackling pieces of the same large project, communication is crucial.
I'm enjoying this internship immensely. Vassar News just released an ego-boosting article about me and my summer, which I suggest you check out.
You’ll be hearing more from me on this subject. Stay tuned.