Our employee Naylynn Tañón participated in a NASA program that proposed the use of GroundMetrics’ technology to find water on Mars. The NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program comprises five weeks of online classes then culminates in a four-day on-site event at a NASA Center. While at NASA, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team is responsible for developing and testing a prototype rover, forming company infrastructure, managing a budget, and developing communications and outreach.
Naylynn, who attends San Diego Mesa College, applied to the NCAS program with a project based on GroundMetrics’ eQubeTM sensors. Her proposed project was called the Mars Electromagnetic Geophysical Survey. The mission goals included designing and landing a rover on Mars that would use magnetotellurics (MT), which is a passive, low frequency subsurface sounding method that uses natural electromagnetic signals, to find groundwater. The natural sources to be used included lightning, the ionosphere, and the magnetosphere. The project proposed to put two pairs of eQubeTM sensors adapted for solar power on the rover. The rover would then deploy them on the ground and transmit the data back to Earth for analysis.
Naylynn was invited to the Johnson Space Center for the on-site event. While there, participants were assigned a NASA mentor and worked on their rover for the upcoming competitions. They also had to prepare for a final group presentation, as a company, that was judged by NASA employees. Between working on the project and rover they were also able to tour the facilities, attend lectures, and have lunch with NASA scientists.
One facility the students toured was The Neutral Buoyancy Lab, which contains full-scale mock-ups of International Space Station (ISS) modules in a large pool. Trainees spend hours practicing for in-space conditions. They also got to see the Small Pressurized Rover, which consists of a habitat that could be used to explore the moon’s surface. Astronauts can live in the rover for three days.
GroundMetrics is proud of Naylynn and is thrilled to have our technology featured at NASA!