NASA Student Trip Reports
The Summer Lecture at NASA Langley Base
by Edward Portela
On July 18, 2000, Dr. Jocelyn Harrison and Dr. Mia Siochi, gave an informative lecture at NASA Langley Base. They talked about emerging technologies and materials for Aerospace applications.

The first speaker was Dr. Jocelyn Harrison. She talked about smart materials. Smart materials are materials with inherent intelligence. She also talked about the Aircraft Morphing Program. These programs were designed to develop active component technologies which enable self-adapting flight for revolutionary improvement in aircraft safety.

The second speaker was Dr. Mia Siochi. She talked about a material that was able to heal itself after being punctured. This material was called Self-Healing Ionomer. She also showed us a video that showed the material in action.

After the lecture was finished we went to eat lunch. After lunch, we went for a tour around the base. In the tour they told us about a new material which helped improve circuits. The new material was called LaRC-SI. It was revolutionary because it did not need adhesives to glue various layers together.

With the new technologies that are emerging we can make a much safer world.
The Lecture Session at NASA Langley Research Center
by Rachael Perry
On July 18, 2000, the LINK 2000 Program visited NASA Langley Research Center. While there, we saw and experienced many interesting things. Upon our arrival, there was a lecture session on the various things that they are doing over there at NASA Langley. Next we had lunch in their cafeteria, followed by a miniature tour of some of their facilities. There was much to see and learn.

The information that they presented to us was done through a Power Point presentation. The first consisted of structural materials such as polymers, composites, refractory ceramics, adhesives, spacecraft materials, environmentally durable polymers, and radiation shielding materials. Dr. Joycelyn Harrison, the Assistant Branch Head of the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch of the Structures and Materials Competency, informed us that Biosant was an acronym for Biologically-Inspired Smart Nanotechnology. The five smart materials that they commonly use are Piezoelectricity, Pyroelectricity, lonomeric mobility, Electrostriction, and Potorefractivity. There are other types though, such as Magnetostriction and Shape Memory Effect. There was also a slide on Dipole that showed us the formula R-F, CN, CF3, SF5, CF2CH2, etc. In Piezoelectricity, Sensors and voltage output create applied pressure, whereas actuators and voltage input create dimensional expansion.

We were also notified about the Aircraft Morphing Program. This program funds the program at NASA. With the money, they create things such as THUNDER. This is an acronym for Piezoelectric Actuation. One LaRC actuator produces a large synthetic jet velocity (-60m/sec at 4000Hz). There was a slide demonstrating a Piezo-Actuated muUAV Testbed. This is used for automotive research. The NASA Researchers are currently working on a project called Rover Wipers. The objective is to create a craft the size of a coke can, send it into space, and have it expand into an almost living piece of machinery. It will be made of electrostrictive polymers, which are lightweight, low power, wiper mechanisms for nanorover explorations. This was inspired by Feyman's Vision in 1959. He was able to store data from 24 volumes of Encyclopedia Britanica on the head of a pin.

We also learned that Biomimetics is a tool using the problem solving approaches involving looking to biological systems for solutions. It adapts the designs that biological systems have evolved and apply to solve. Some of the NASA researchers are working on self-healing lonomers. This is a project where a new material that they are trying to patent can be punctured, but also heal itself. At the end of the slide, there was a quote from Albert Einstein stating that "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it." I really liked that statement because it will help me to accept any mistakes that I might make in future experiments.

There was a slide giving various reasons as to why we should consider going to grad school. The reasons were to have more in depth knowledge of principals, research is challenging and gratifying, there is a, more career flexibilty and chance for advancement, its free, and higher salaries. They showed us possible college education payment. B.S. - $47,000, M.S. - $53,000, Ph.D. - $69,000. Dr. Harrison and Dr. Siochi, a Materials Scientist in the Advanced materials and Processing Branch, Structures and materials Competency, did a very good job of explaining what it was that they do over at NASA Langley. They ended their presentation by showing us the Top 10 Lessons from Noah's Ark.

Don't miss the boat.
Remember we're all in the same boat.
Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
Stay fit.
Don't listen to critics, just get on with the job.
Build your future on high ground.
Speed isn't always an advantage.
When you're stressed, float a while.
Remember the ark was build by amateurs, whereas the Titanic was build by professionals.
No matter the storm, there's always a rainbow at the end.

The trip, for me was very interesting. I am always hearing about the different things that they do over at NASA Langley, but that day, I got to see it first hand. I'm happy to have had the experience.
My Field Trip to NASA
by TaShawna Moore
On Tuesday, July 18, 2000, the LINK (Learning Internet and Networking Knowledge) program took a field trip to NASA(National Aeronautics Space Administration) Langley Research Center. The field trip was interesting and informative. We began with a lecture. Dr. Joycely S. Harrison and Dr. Emilie (MIA) J. Soichi presented a power point presentation titled "Emerging Materials Technologies for Aerospace Applications". The lecture discussed the advanced materials and processing branches that deal with polymers, composities, and radiation shielding materials. The role of actuators in producing a desired response was also explained.

The most important part of the lecture was the discussion about "smart" material. Smart materials are defined as a class of inherent and intelligent materials that respond to external stimuli in a controlled experiment. This particular project was given the name BIOSANT (Biologically-Inspired Smart Nanotechnology). One of the creations that struck me the most was "self-healing" materials. They are materials that reform their shape once disfigured by any outside force. Researchers are trying to incorporate what they have learned and found into the field of biomimetics so that it can be used in the medical field to help the skin resume its normal standing once it has been damaged. We also discussed the properties of piezoelectricty and Feyman's vision to store 24 volumes of encyclopedic information on the head of a pin.

The lecture was closed with "The Top Ten Lessons from Noah's Ark" which were tips from Dr. Harrison and Dr. Siochi on how to prepare yourself for your future careers. After the lecture, we went to eat in the cafeteria. Once we left the cafeteria we were taken on a tour. We watched the scientist work and was able to go into a laboratory to see where objects of different kinds are copper-headed. We discussed projects that NASA is currently endorsing such as the scratch-resistant eyeglass lens at Lens Crafters. As a result of this field trip, I have gained more respect for researchers and scientists at NASA and their endeavors.
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