NASA Goddard Space Center Intern
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Aerospace technology has constantly moved towards efficiency and miniaturization. Efficiency is particularly important for deep space missions, where sunlight is lacking. The Mini Electron Probe Micro Analyzer (MiniEPMA) is a highly efficient flight concept capable of spatially mapping the elemental composition of a mineral target on an airless body (e.g. a comet, asteroid, or moon). The MiniEPMA’s efficiency is largely due to its use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which are extremely efficient at generating electrons compared to other materials commonly used as field emission sources, such as lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) and tungsten filaments. The instrument uses a 10 by 10 addressable array of CNT pillars approximately 100 µm in diameter. However, not all CNT arrays are alike. We have found very different field emission capabilities among CNT arrays that underwent different growth conditions, such as catalyst type, catalyst thickness, and the time and gas concentration used during the growth used. The effects of the growth conditions on field emission were studied with a focus on performance and longevity, as well as uniformity within the array.
I am a rising senior at Coe College studying to receive my Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Chemistry. With many thanks to the NSF, I have had the opportunity to participate in glass research with the Coe College Physics department. Through this research, I was able to spend a week using equipment in the UK to conduct research on my samples. Although being able to say you sent your samples to another country is extremely humbling, the idea that we may send something I worked on into space is just surreal. I grew up my whole life staring up at the stars and to think my work could contribute to a greater understanding of those stars fills me with bewilderment.
Outside of research I am captain of the Swimming & Diving team, an active member of Coe Student Senate, and Vice President of Mortar Board, Crescent Chapter. I also serve on a few budgetary committees: one which oversees the budgets for clubs on Coe’s campus and the other determines the college’s budget as a whole. In my free time I enjoy lifting weights, hitchhiking, and biking. I have been told “Collin, your life is just like one big adventure,” and I cannot wait to tell stories of my adventures in D.C., and with NASA.