August 2003 - June 2005

Soon after arriving at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I began volunteering with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium (COSGC). For a semester, I volunteered on the DINO nanosatellite designing algorithms to determine cloud heights from space.

Beginning in January 2004, I was hired as a paid student and promoted to managing the High Altitude Balloon Program at COSGC. I managed a team of about 15 students - we designed, built, and validated two 1.5 kg high altitude balloon payloads to validate technologies to be flown on DINO. In addition, I advised other Universities and teams on the use of high altitude balloon payloads to validate low-cost nanosatellite technology, both at COSGC conferences and as an invited speaker at a conference in Las Cruces, NM.

Both of our payloads performed very well, not only demonstrating technologies, but also gathering data to be used in updating models of the DINO subsystems. The photo above was taken from our payload and used to validate cloud height algorithms for DINO. I gained experience leading teams; designing and building high altitude balloon payloads; and supporting many high altitude balloon launches and recoveries.

Following my high altitude balloon program management, I moved to be the Mission Director for the Three Corner Satellite (3CS). This satellite was integrated at and planned to be operated from COSGC. I organized mission operations teams and helped ensure everyone got through training and was ready for operations. Unfortunately, 3CS was lost during ascent on the first Delta IV Heavy launch.