MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech has received three grants totaling more than $60,000 from the NASA/Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) and Space Florida.
The university was among five Florida universities and a technical training group to receive 17 NASA/FSGC awards in June.
The 2007 grants were made to Florida Tech faculty for three projects.
One award funded Alan Brown and Clayton Baum, associate professors of chemistry, and Aliea Hernberg, a chemistry graduate student, to work on a
second-generation sensor tool to detect the presence of hydrazines. Used as rocket fuels, hydrazines are effective propellants and, although they do not
persist in the environment, they are highly toxic. This project will help monitor the safety of work spaces where hydrazines are used.
Another grant supports Sam Durrance, professor of physics and space sciences. His project will culminate in a series of experiments conducted on
Starfighters F-104 aircraft, at supersonic speeds, which simulate the high-gravity and high-altitude conditions of launch and reentry to and from
Third, Daniel Kirk, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, received a grant to study the dynamics of sloshing propellants inside
rockets during orbital maneuvers. The project will culminate in a series of experiments conducted on aircraft flying in parabolic flight paths, which
simulate the low-gravity conditions of space.
The consortium is administered by the University of Central Florida. The intent of the annual program of NASA/FSGC and Space Florida is to combine federal
and state funds for projects that diversify Florida’s space industry and research as well as support aerospace workforce developments statewide.