Thursday, 22 March 2012

Is it hazy in here....

I have been working on my thesis non-stop for the past 8 weeks and it is a mixture of fun, work, and rewarding results. When I say rewarding results, I mean for me. Though I have had worked with some programming before, to be able to work on my thesis required me to learn a new mathematical program from scratch. The end result...well see for yourself.
Now that isn't going to make sense to too many people but it is a result of measurements from the Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn. This is a Titan Flyby. I won't get into the gory details but it is a pretty I am creating a temperature distribution map around Titan for physicists and chemists who want to better understand its properties. It is too early for me to make any meaningful conclusions but the work keeps flowing in and I am actually enjoying it immensely. Which is why I say it is rewarding for me. I have learned new skills and am getting a better picture of how space physics works and it seems to be a great place to be. I am lucky to have found Uppsala University.

So let's take a moment and reflect back over the time since I last wrote. I mentioned that I had a presentation for my Space Mission Design class. That presentation went excellent. As a group, we gave a satisfactory oral presentation but we really shined after, during the question and answer session. It allowed each group member to answer questions about their specific portion of the project and we fielded all types of questions and preformed exceptionally well. In fact, as a result of the strength of our report, we actually submitted to a national call for ideas from the SNSB. There were 12 entries, with MINIONS being the best...naturally. You can see the other entries on the SNSB site here. We recently received our submission review, no decision has been made. Our review was better than expected. I even asked a few professors to take a look at our critiques and give their feedback on it as well. I mean, seriously, I just walked up to a professor and said, "Could you take a minute and tell me what you honestly think?" And that was it, they took the time to read through and give me feedback. Having access to these people and they are so generous with their time. It is definitely something that really increases the joy of being here.

Also, I have finished my lab work for NASA's MMS mission. All the probes have been measured, data analysis performed, and they were then ranked to select only the highest quality probes. I at first was under the impression that such small deviations would not be noticeable, but I was wrong. I am wrong a lot, but it's ok. It means I am learning. Anyway, after all the work was done, I got to sit down and pair the probes together in groups of two, then four. Yes, I actually got the opportunity to select which probes would fly in space. I inspected them, measured them, and then had the ability to say what does and what does not fly into space. There is nothing sweeter for me than the things I have done here just in the past three months. It is a real shame that I am almost finished.

Well now I am off to the wonderful world of Astronomy and Space Physics. There will be much more to say in the next week or so b/c my thesis is constantly evolving with time and the results will shed new light on our understanding of solar system bodies. Yeah, I am lucky....I already know.

No comments:

Post a Comment