Academic Projects

Blue Origin partnered Cosmic Particle Detector

A Blue Origin New Shepard rocket-borne payload designed to detect and log cosmic particles as they pass through custom-built sensor blocks.

This project was conceived of and completed by a multi-year team of DigiPen computer engineers. In total, the team went through three major management changes, with my team leading the completed design and subsequent space launch.

The payload was designed to collect cosmic particle data during a sounding rocket launch, and would fit inside the small rectangular chassis seen above. Power and flight data were provided by Blue Origin, and certain flight events would trigger software interrupts, beginning the particle data collection.

The sensors in our payload were designed to detect secondary cosmic ray particles: namely muons, but also kaons, pions, and protons. 

The actual sensor tech used was a plastic scintillating material, which would convert energetic cosmic particles to visible photons as they pass through the block. These photons were then detected by a SiPM (Silicon Photomultiplier), generating a current which is then boosted, and fed into the microcontroller's ADCs. 


Our payload was successfully launched inside a Blue Origin New Shepard Rocket in September 2022!

Hydrometeor Classification Probe (CloudRipper)

A balloon-borne probe designed to flown directly into atmospheric storms, collecting and classifying high-resolution image data of hydrometeors.

Autonomous Ant Followers

A small fleet of 3 autonomous robotic carts driven by servo motors, wireless UART communication, and IR/Ultrasonic sensors.

Stratosphere Solar Array (Sunbeam)

A payload of photovoltaic cells and an RF communication circuit designed to transmit live voltage readings as the solar cells increase in altitude.