Engineering at Nebraska, Spring 2008
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NASA EPSCoR Grant Promotes Collaborative Research on Satellite Contaminant Materials

Working collaboratively is a powerful approach, as evidenced in a $750,000 research grant to NASA's Nebraska EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research).

The funded project, to study satellite contaminant materials, includes principal investigator Daniel Thompson and Ned Ianno, both with the UNL electrical engineering department. They are joined by Scott Darveau and Christopher Exstrom from the chemistry department at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK).

They will explore how ultraviolet light helps generate a thin layer of substance on a satellite's exterior, affecting the satellite's thermal controls, Thompson explains.

This team's work not only spans electrical engineering and chemistry faculty at multiple NU campuses, but also connects with NASA's Goddard and Glenn space centers. Tools for the research include Raman spectroscopy and an insitu ellipsometer, produced by the J.A. Woollam Company, Inc., a Lincoln business with roots in the UNL electrical engineering department.