Space Telescope Optical-Mechanical Design/Analysis Assistant | NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

Date Posted: 
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Position Level: 
Position Location: 
Huntsville AL
Job Description: 
  • Fall Internship
  • Space Telescope Optical-Mechanical Design/Analysis Assistant
  • NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville AL
  • Apply at: 
  • NOTE:  Application Closing Date is 31 May 2017

Opportunity Description/Objective (specific student assignment):

Student will contribute to structural design of potential large space telescope systems for the HabEx Program and analyze the dynamics responses of candidate telescope designs to vibratory input such as a reaction wheel assembly’s vibration.  Design modifications will be proposed and assessed to determine their effect on stability.  Also, the student will likely perform high level stress analyses of the designs under consideration being subjected to launch loads.   

HabEx is a potential 2030 mission to detect, image and spectroscopically characterize exoplanets in their star’s habitable zone.  MSFC is currently studying two baseline telescope architectures: 4-meter monolithic and 6.5-meter segmented.  Such systems have a multitude of technical challenges such as: how to deploy in space a large-aperture mechanically/thermally-stable optically-precise telescopes; model and control the dynamic stability/jitter of large telescope systems to maintain milli-arc-second pointing stability and diffraction limited wavefront; model and characterize the thermal response of large telescope systems to changing slew and role attitude.  

Candidate Eligibility:  Junior or Senior Undergraduate US Citizen.

Required Student's Computer and/or Special Skills:

Ideal candidate has ability to design truss structures and analyze their dynamic response to vibrations and thermal loads.  Our team makes extensive use of finite element software such as NASTRAN, PATRAN, FEMAP, ANSYS, Thermal Desktop, Solid Edge, Solid Works, etc. Experience with astronomical telescopes is desired but not required.

Expected opportunity outcome (i.e. research, final report, poster presentation, etc.):

Student will be expected to write a final report documenting analytical models created and analyses performed; prepare a project poster presentation; and if appropriate write one or more journal papers.  Student is also expected to provide pro-active interaction with the team in efforts to evolve pertinent engineering/analytical tools and capabilities.

Dates and Compensation: 

Fall and Spring Internships are for 16 weeks.  Undergraduate interns receive $600 per week.  Notification of Selection is by 30 June 2017.


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