Jamey and I were having a discussion after tonight's meeting and we hit
upon the idea of investigating ballute recovery systems as being a project
potentially big enough to justify the grant-writing undertaking. It's
mostly uncharted waters, so it heads in the "primary research" direction,
but there are several large components (deployment, bag design, physics
stuff?) that might have significant hardware requirements, up to and
including several capstones.

Erin knows much more about this than me. Is this potentially viable?

Other notes:
We're gravitating towards the conclusion that only a few projects on our
list is really large enough in terms of hardware costs to justify going for
a grant, those being the CubeSat or rocket as a system, the liquid motor,
and possibly CubeSat deployables. If it's just a few thousand dollars of
hardware cost, it's much easier just to try to find funding elsewhere, so
we need to look at projects with a total hardware cost more in the $10,000+

We may also want to rule out Space Environmental Impacts and Mitigation.
None of the projects really require that level of hardware expenditure, and
we're not all that interested in the fundamental science, as a group - we'd
much rather piggyback on work other people have done than do the basic
physics stuff ourselves.

This is me and Jamey's preliminary assessment of what the shortlist ought
to look like:

Electric turbopump liquid motor
Cubesat (as a system)
Rocket (as a system)
CubeSat deployables

 Are there any objections to this? Are there any other projects that belong
on the shortlist?

On Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 10:08 PM Aaron Baker <bitmapve...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Per our discussion on Tuesday night, we're planning on applying for the
> Air Force Research Labs Space Vehicles University Grants Program (very
> elegant name). The link is here
> <http://www.grants.gov/custom/viewOppDetails.jsp?oppId=249084> if you'd
> like to read the full application package to read.
> A quick overview is that the Air Force wants to provide funds for hands-on
> STEM education for space technology because they see this as a critical
> national security need. This grant has a big budget and could be a big
> boost to one or more projects for the group.
> What we need from you is project ideas. The AFRL has four "Core Technology
> Competencies" (out of seven total) that seem like they would be a good fit
> for us as a group.
> *1. Space Electronics:*
> Description: "The Space Electronics CTC consists of a number of programs
> and projects whose purpose is to develop the space electronics technology
> base required to field the next generation of DoD space systems. These
> programs run the gamut from electronics materials to devices to components
> to boards to subsystems to systems to networks. They also include studying
> space radiation effects on various electronics components and providing
> space electronics components maximum failure tolerance for such effects.
> These programs all carry a common theme; provide the electronics
> capabilities required at an affordable cost with an acceptable level of
> risk that can survive the environment of space, both natural and man-made.
> Proposals that cover fundamental research into any of these topics will be
> considered."
> Projects: CubeSat, radiation testing, COTS in space, SDR GPS
> *2. Space Environmental Impacts and Mitigation:*
> Description: "The focus of the Space Environmental Impacts and Mitigation
> CTC is to enable four functions: (1) the design of systems robust to the
> space environment without requiring the expense of over designing for
> poorly understood environments; (2) the attribution of system anomalies or
> failure due to the space environment to definitively distinguish them from
> the actions of an adversary or other causes; (3) the effective forecasting
> of environmental system impacts to allow for planning and effective
> response; and (4) to actively modify the space environment in order to
> eliminate or produce specific effects."
> Projects: thermovac; vacuum welding; open-source environmental testing
> hardware
> *3. Space Platforms & Operations Technologies*
> Description: "The Space Platforms and Operations Technologies CTC develops
> space platform components for power generation; spacecraft structures;
> communication; and guidance, navigation, and control subsystems. It also
> validates components on small platforms and verifies performance
> improvement through subscale experiments and analysis. Finally it
> implements new capabilities by developing and contributing to space
> experiments, enabling new high performance missions, and implementing new
> operations paradigms. Proposals that cover fundamental research into any of
> these topics will be considered."
> Projects: flight computer stack; sensor fusion; deployables; DxWiFi
> *4. Strategic Systems and Responsive Launch Technologies*Description:
> "This includes developing technologies to support the strategic missions,
> including Conventional Prompt Global Strike and the Strategic Nuclear
> Mission. Technologies should address ways to enhance security, reliability,
> and availability while reducing cost of ownership and maintenance logistics
> for the entire weapon system. Proposals that cover fundamental research on
> these topics as well as enabling technologies for low-cost access to space
> will be considered."
> Projects: electric turbopump liquid motor
> Give those a read and put your collective noggins to work!
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