National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Week 6

Monday – July 8 2013

This morning the Aero Academites greeted the shining sun with bleary eyes and a weary resignation to start the week. As they shuffled around the lobby, getting oatmeal and coffee, mumbling “good mornings,” Kyle brightly came out of the elevator, cheerfully reminding everyone about the RAP session as he grabbed his daily muffin and headed to work. But Kyle and his happy demeanor weren’t enough to overwhelm the knowledge that the midterm presentations were looming. Rebecca, Nomita, Mike and Raul got to work and sat down at their computers to see what they could accomplish before that Friday’s presentation. Working closely with Jim, Rebecca managed to correct her NPSS code and actually generate results! Raul and Mike made progress with their code and Nomita was able to sketch a beautiful model of their electric plane in openVSP, giving the whole team hope that maybe this presentation wouldn’t be that bad. After a hard day’s work, Kyle consented to take Rebecca’s guest, whose flight the previous day was cancelled, to the airport. Everyone then met at the hotel for a quick RAP session. Following that, the Aero Academy RAs met in Danny and Peter’s room to arrange slides for the presentation, at which time Rebecca learned that her boyfriend’s flight was cancelled yet again, “forcing” him to stay one more night until leaving the following morning. Rebecca and Kyle ran out to pick up her guest with Kyle while everyone else worked on their slides. When Rebecca returned, the group was finally able to complete a single run through filled with constructive criticism as well as positive feedback. After allotting individual section times, everyone separated for the night with ideas of what to fix firmly in their minds.

Tuesday – July 9 2013

The week continued with tours and group project work. While Rebecca saw a Burner Rig tour, Mike and Raul ventured to the back side of Glenn to see the Telescience Support Center where some ISS experiments were run. Between tours, the all-electric team worked hard to prepare for their midterm presentations which were due the next night, but not being presented until Friday! As a break from this work, Mike and Raul attended another tour after lunch and walked all across the Glenn campus in the sweltering heat to learn about propulsion testing. After work, the day went by quietly as we all individually continued work on both our group and team midterm presentations.

Wednesday – July 10 2013

The deadline was approaching!! The slides for presentations due to be handed in the next morning, all of the Glennterns worked their tails off to polish everything. During the day, Nomita, Rebecca, Mike and Raul put together their entire presentation and started worrying about its length. After walking through what they wanted to say for each section and getting their mentor’s stamp of approval, they agreed to meet up after group work to finish the formatting their presentation. Back at the hotel, nine minds once again clamored to speak for themselves as the Aero Academy put together the final draft of their presentation, Kyle quietly sitting in a corner to observe their progress while working on his thesis. As they waited for Danny to complete his complicated code flow chart, Rebecca and Andrew had an excited discussion about their engine code where they discovered a bug and eagerly talked about what future work could be done for sizing the engine. After timing the entire run-through and individual sections, they realized that some fat trimming was in order. Several painstaking hours were spent going through each slide and cleaning up content, while ensuring a nice flow. Around 10pm, the group decided to call it a night, as Max volunteered to do the final formatting with Raul, Mike, Peter and Andrew after finishing team presentations. Mike, Raul, Rebecca and Nomita headed to Nomita and Rebecca’s room to finish putting together their presentation and to send it off to Bernice. Mike then joined the other boys, staying up until 3:30am and sending off a beautiful group presentation.

Thursday – July 11 2013

Thursday marked some relief for the Academites, as they all submitted midterm presentations last night, so at least that work was done and squared away. For most of the Academites, it seemed like the work day went by in a blur. Some work was completed, presentations were practiced, and tours were occasionally attended. Nomita, on the other hand, was on top of the world as it was her birthday, and not just any birthday, but her 21st birthday! She received many calls from friends and family congratulating her throughout the day, and received perhaps the best gift of all at work: a tour of the supersonic 10×10 wind tunnel! Immediately following work, the Academites trekked to the Glenn picnic grounds for a picnic with the other interns. Everyone was impressed by the large and extremely well organized bank of BBQ grills that were available at the picnic grounds. About five too many grills were fired up for the picnic, but nearly all of them had a chance at grilling our own burgers and hotdogs. Back at the hotel, everyone frantically prepared for their 8pm practice midterm presentations in the hotel. For Mike, this meant taking a preparatory nap! They all filed into what the hotel still claimed was a conference room, and hammered away with mock runs through our group presentation until they were all happy. Afterwards, some groups split up to further practice their own team presentations before finally calling it a day and heading off to bed.

Friday – July 12 2013

This marked the day of the midterm presentations! Everyone filled with anticipation, and a few with nerves, the Glennterns headed off to work for an hour before the presentations. After using this time for a final run-through, everyone met in the Building 49 conference room to await the mentors who would be observing them. Max, Peter and Andrew presented their team projects first, giving the audience an interesting and clear rundown of everything they had been doing that summer. However, if their post-work talk was any indication, that presentation only covered a portion of their work! They were followed by GaRam and Danny who gave a comprehensive overview of CFD uses for ice accretion, and they were able to expertly field most questions thrown at them. Then it was the electric plane team’s turn. Without their mentor to cheer them on, Raul, Mike, Nomita and Rebecca calmly gave the presentation they had rehearsed tirelessly and pulled it off neatly within the time limit. Other people in the room seemed interested in their work and asked questions that the group was able to answer easily. With the team presentations out of the way, the Aero academy sat through the Space presentations with interest and anticipation. After some photo ops, directed by the no-nonsense, camera-wielding Bernice, they were herded back inside to finish the day. Lined up in a predetermined order, the group delivered their presentation with only minor hitches. They answered most questions thoroughly, though one question about the validity of one of their sources threw them into a panic as it made the team question their assumption of the methane levels below 8km, something that could potentially throw their entire project into jeopardy. Relieved that it was over, they sat down and listened to the space presentation before heading off to lunch and then work. In Rebecca and Nomita’s office, Mike, Raul and Rebecca had a nice discussion about their respective colleges while Nomita attended a talk at the Ohio Institute of Aerospace with some other Academites. Everyone from Aero and Space then met for a tour of the TVC in building 133 before heading home. In celebration of the end of midterms as well as Nomita’s birthday, both academies went out for dinner at The Wild Mango, where they ate a delicious, if slightly pricey meal. Nomita, Rebecca, Raul and some Space Academites went out salsa dancing in Pepper Pike. Some others drove over to the airport and tried to take some long exposure photography of jets landing, but were turned away by a police officer for some not too convincing reasons. All had a good time and fell exhausted into bed, ready to enjoy the weekend.

Saturday – July 13 2013

With their midterm presentations finished after a Herculean effort the past week, and with their Cedar point trip the next day, most Academites took Saturday as a well-deserved rest day. Some spent the day at the beach while others went to the gym or just rested at the hotel and got caught up with other work that was neglected this past week. Max, Rebecca, Raul, Mike and Andrew met to plan their Cedar Point excursion for the following day. The departure time was set at 7:30 a.m. to make it to the park by 9 a.m. to get in with their early passes, coming up with a detailed initial coaster hit list. In the evening, Mike and Max tried once again tried to go to the airport to shoot some long exposure night photography after Friday’s failure, but failed again when Mike had to perform surgery on one of his lenses.

Sunday – July 14 2013

Today was the day that the Academites were able to visit Cedar Point. Waking up early, the Aero Academy RAs left the hotel around 7:30am so they could take advantage of their early entry passes. Running into the park, they started off with the Millennium Force, which they knew would quickly have the longest line in the park. Walking off dizzily, they hit the Gatekeeper next, then the Top Thrill Dragster where Rebecca gfgave up and went off to find the Space Academy. Soon joined by Nomita, the group wandered around the park trying various rides, dictated by an excited Jacob. Rebecca fretted over the fact that none of the boys in either group noticed her new hair color while the other girls admonished her for expecting males to be observant.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Aero Academy continued finding thrill rides, hitting Magnum XL-200, which both Mike and Max found hilarious while others thought it was far too rickety. Afterwards, the group further split when Max and Mike did not want to wait in the long line for Maverick. Instead, they went off to find some water rides to cool off. They first got on the modest looking Shoot the Rapids log flume and sat in the back, where they thought they would get the least wet. With every drop, however, a wave of water swept over the back and ended up soaking them. After the ride, Mike and Max sacrificed a dollar to shoot unsuspecting log flume riders with the 25 cent remote water jets. A friendly stranger encouraged them on, and eventually joined in with them as they fired three jets off in quick succession at another set of riders. The Maverick riders joined with Mike and Max, and everyone went on the monstrous looking Snake River Falls water ride, which created a huge wave of water with its single drop. This soaked everyone to the bone, but at least they weren’t hot anymore. After discussing plans for lunch and the rest of the day, most of the Aero Academy ended their day with a Ferris wheel ride, or one more coaster, Corkscrew.

Quickly getting hungry from walking everywhere, the Space Academy (plus Rebecca and Nomita) split up to find lunch. The girls went to an all-you-can-eat buffet where Elizabeth surprised all with her tiny body’s capacity to hold large amounts of food. The Aero Academy then announced their intention of leaving somewhat early to eat outside of the park so they wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money. Nomita, Raul and Danny decided to stay longer, hitching rides from various other interns. The rest of Aero went to an “Authentic Mexican restaurant” (in Ohio) for lunch and then sleepily drove the rest of the way to the hotel, still damp from their water rides. After cheating the system to win a minion at a carnival game (Nomita and Elizabeth were the only ones competing so that they would be sure to win a prize), Nomita and the Space Academy got back to the hotel around 6 p.m., and the girls decided to watch a Bollywood movie in Rebecca and Nomita’s room, complete with pizza and candy. Danny and Raul stayed at the park until about 9:30 p.m., fully enjoying their $30 worth of fun. The rest of the Academites relaxed and enjoyed the evening before work.