Sreeja Nag, MIT graduate student in the AeroAstro Department and summer BAER Institute employee is the winner of the 22nd Annual Frank J. Redd Student Competition held at the Commerce of Small Satellites conference in Logan, UT, Aug. 2-7. This contest gives students an opportunity to share their work on small satellite concepts and missions. Sreeja is working jointly with NASA Ames Earth Science Division and the Mission Design Center.
Her presentation, “Satellite Constellation Mission Design Using Model Based Systems Engineering and Observing System Simulation Experiments,” is based on her previous work at NASA Goddard, which she is continuing to extend while at NASA Ames, and is part of her Ph.D. thesis at MIT. Her advisor is Prof. Olivier de Weck, and Prof. David Miller, NASA’s Chief Technologist, is on her thesis committee.
Sreeja’s presentation discussed calculating the optimal number and configuration of a group of small satellites to observe important climate parameters. These groups of satellites called Distributed Space Missions (DSMs) are increasingly seen as a cost effective way to increase earth observation sampling in spatial, angular, and temporal dimensions simultaneously and provide complementary data to big, flagship missions. She preformed her calculations using a new software tool that generates multiple DSM architectures based on pre-designed variable ranges. These different architectures are then analyzed using the concepts of observing system simulation experiments (OSSE) and Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) to find the optimal number and configuration.
Sreeja was among six finalists invited to present at the conference. She was judged not only on the technical content in her paper, but also on her presentation skill and responses to questions from the panel of expert judges.
Congratulations to Sreeja. We look forward to what she will accomplish in the future.