Ziggy-PIMS Space Launch Instrumentation

2017 ~ Present

Ziggy-PIMS Space Launch Instrumentation


This team presents a chance to join an exciting research group that has been selected by NASA to provide particle instruments for the next flagship mission to the icy Jovian moon Europa. It has recently been shown that Europa has more liquid water than Earth, and is the most likely location for life in the solar system after Earth. The team’s instrument will measure charged particles around Europa to determine the depth and salinity of the ocean. The team’s immediate objective is to complete a real time imaging system for diagnosing the performance of three high flux particle accelerators that will be used to test the Europa instruments and other instruments for space missions under development by the group. The particle beams produced by these accelerators are too strong for standard diagnostic equipment, so the team is working on a novel instrument for detecting and displaying the currents produced by these accelerators. The successful imaging system will be used to support several upcoming missions including our instruments for the Europa spacecraft, which will be used to confirm that there is more liquid water under the ice layer covering Europa than in all Oceans on Earth.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Methods and Technologies

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Applied Statistics

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Interest in project material, willingness to develop skills

Team Advisors

Prof. Jason Kasper