S&T in space

All across campus, Missouri S&T professors — and their students — are conducting research that could have implications for future space travel.

Space microwave

Reza Zoughi, center, and Tayeb Ghasr, right, pictured here with Jeffrey Birt, technical assistant in electrical and computer engineering, have developed a microwave camera you can hold in your hand and use to noninvasively capture 3-D images of the interior of structures.

Researchers in Missouri S&T’s Applied Microwave Nondestructive Testing Laboratory (amntl) have developed a handheld microwave camera that noninvasively captures high-resolution 3-D images of the interior of structures in real time, like a video camera.

The device was developed by Reza Zoughi, the Schlumberger Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and amntl director, and Mohammad Tayeb Ghasr, MS EE’04, PhD EE’09, associate research professor in electrical and computer engineering.

The camera can be used to inspect composite structures and thermal insulating materials used in aerospace and space vehicles, or in space habitats. It also has more down-to-earth potential applications, such as detecting and monitoring a variety of skin conditions and screening in airports and sports venues.

Into orbit

Hank Pernicka, right, and his research team is working with the U.S. Air Force to launch two student-designed microsatellites into orbit.

Launching soon from a NASA space station near you: an experimental satellite designed and built by Missouri S&T students.

Research teams supervised by Hank Pernicka, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, are working on three spacecraft projects with both the federal space agency and the U.S. Air Force.

The most promising effort consists of two microsatellites and is expected to launch from the International Space Station as soon as late 2018 after winning a 2015 Air Force competition.

Faster than sound

Bill Fahrenholtz, left, and Greg Hilmas examine a sample of ceramic material capable of withstanding extreme temperatures.

Hypersonic vehicles like the U.S. Falcon, which is capable of flying 13,000 mph through the upper levels of the atmosphere, must be able to withstand ultra-high temperatures over longer periods of time than retired space shuttles or Apollo-style capsules.

Developing materials to withstand those kinds of temperature extremes is one project in the Enabling Materials for Extreme Environments signature area, led by Greg Hilmas, interim chair of materials science and engineering, and Bill Fahrenholtz, director of the Materials Research Center. The two Curators’ Distinguished Professors of ceramic engineering are testing the thermal and mechanical properties of ceramics while developing methods to improve their performance.

Rabbit ears reinvented

S&T researchers believe this spiral antenna will be a more reliable link between small satellites and ground stations.

Building more reliable antennas linking small satellites to ground stations is the aim of Ali Foudazi and Atieh Talebzadeh, husband-and-wife Ph.D. students in electrical and computer engineering.

The couple, joined by Matthew Dvorsky, EE’17, of Peoria, Ill., were finalists in a student design contest sponsored by IEEE. They developed a spiral antenna with a broad frequency range and the widest possible bandwidth that can be folded into a balloon attached to the satellite. Once in space, the hemispherical antenna unfolds to its full size upon release.

Around the Puck

Generous partners complete ACML fundraising

Thanks to an investment from the University of Missouri System, major gifts from industry partners and alumni support, S&T will break ground on the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML) on Oct. 12, during Homecoming weekend.

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Alumni help with sesquicentennial planning

Seven alumni, including three Miner Alumni Association board members, have been named to Missouri S&T’s sesquicentennial advisory committee. The group is made up of graduates, students, faculty, staff and community members who are involved in planning the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebration.

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Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

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Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

Missouri State Capitol muralist Thomas Hart Benton wrote in his memoir about being called into then-Gov. Guy Park’s office and told that a prominent St. Louis politician objected to Benton’s portrayal of black people, especially depictions of slavery.

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Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

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