Engineering

Internships

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Mission Design and Navigation Group (392K) (09/2019 – 12/2019)

    • Learning about Europa Clipper maneuver design and flight path control
      • Assisting the MDNav group by helping to develop a new visualization application for maneuver design
      • Learning MONTE, LAMBIC, and COSMIC for statistical maneuvers and basic trajectory design

       

Aerovironment

GNC/Aeromechanical Group (05/2019 – 08/2019)

      • Worked on creating UAV navigation algorithms for efficient flight plan generation
      • Involved with concept of operations, multidisciplinary design optimization, and performance estimations

Research

CPP/JPL Mission Analysis – Low Thrust Optimization (MALTO)

Researcher (02/2019 – Present)

  • Learning Mission Analysis – Low Thrust Optimization (MALTO) and low thrust trajectory design
  • Conducting internal testing for the new graphical user interface being developed in MATLAB App Designer
  • Creating documentation and tutorial missions for the new GUI release which will be available to CPP students and JPL employees
  • Helping with SI sessions and on-campus demonstrations

 

Reinforcement Learning for Trajectory Design

(Capstone Project)

Researcher (11/2019 – Present)

  • Using reinforcement learning to design flyby sequences of either planets or moons in the Jovian system.
  • Learning about Q and Deep-Q learning methods.
  • Exploring the Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) method for trajectory search convergence.
  • (More information will follow as the project continues)

On Campus

FAR1030-5R Competition

Aerodynamics Team Lead (10/2018 – 06/2019)

  • Managed aerodynamics and flight simulation team
  • Taught group members how do basic aerodynamic stability evaluation and to use related programs
  • Applied high speed aerodynamics to predict flow properties and pressure coefficients around the vehicle
  • Worked on vehicle design (internal and external) and helped with the CAD model of the vehicle
  • Placed 1st in the competition sending a 130 lb, 1300 lbf thrust rocket to 23,400 feet at a peak velocity of Mach 1.78 (LAUNCH) (STATIC FIRE) (PICTURES)

Liquid Rocket Lab

Launch Vehicle Aerodynamics (06/2018 – 06/2019)

  • Involved in Launch Vehicle Design
  • Working on vehicle stability MATLAB code
  • Working on 3-DOF MATLAB simulation code
  • Using CFD to analyze flow properties and to design fin configurations suitable for flight
  • Developed a USAF Missile DATCOM configuration to generate aerodynamic properties of the vehicle and integrated the results in MATLAB.

 

 

Spaceport America IREC 2018

Aerodynamics Team and CAD Member (10/2017 – 06/2018)

  • Learned about the fundamentals of aerodynamics of high powered rockets
  • Worked on launch vehicle design, stability, and flight performance
  • Hands on work with rocket assembly gaining experience with with composites and 3D printing
  • Used Solidworks and Flow Simulation to design parts, assemblies, and do basic CFD analysis of shock-wave formation, pressures, and flow velocities.

 

 

Academic

Space Vehicle Design Laboratory (ARO4811L)

Trajectory Design Lead (08/2019 – Present)

  • Responding to a JPL proposal for an interstellar solar gravitational lensing telescope intended to pass 550 AU
  • Researching and developing possible trajectories to the interstellar medium (ISM) using multi-planetary flybys
  • Utilizing JPL’s MALTO and NASA GMAT to create and verify trajectory
  • Involved in vehicle design, component selection, and systems engineering for the project

Kinetic Impactor Preliminary Trajectory Design (ARO309)

Project Lead (01/2018 – 03/2018)

  • Learned about Lambert Transfers and basics regarding the space mission design process
  • Created MATLAB code that imports ephemeris data, runs a trajectory search under specified conditions, and generates porkchop plots for launch and arrival data.
  • Lead team to successful completion of the project and with even participation. (Highest project grade in all sections of the course)

 

Taylor-Maccoll Equation (Supersonic Flow Past a Cone) (ARO3111)

Individual Project (03/2019 – 04/2019)

  • Used the non-dimensionalized version of the Taylor-Maccoll Equation to find the flow properties behind a supersonic cone with an oblique shockwave.
  • Took the T-M PDE and broke it down into 2 ODE’s for use with the Runge-Kutta 4th Order ODE algorithm.
  • Analyzed flow properties behind the shock for pressure, temperature, and density until the cone surface.

Numerical Lifting Line Theory (ARO3011)

Individual Project (11/2018 – 12/2018)

  • Learned about the Numerical lifting line theory and the Kutta-Joukowski Lift Equation.
  • Created MATLAB code takes user input for three different wing geometries and calculates chord wise circulation, downwash, and lift coefficient.
  • Analyzed different geometries and how lift and drag vary.

 

 

 

Personal

Modeling NASA InSight on MATLAB and GMAT

Individual Project (12/2018 – 01/2019)

  • Modeled the NASA InSight Mission from Centaur burns to the EDL Phase.
  • Learned about the NASA open source program GMAT for trajectory modeling.
  • Created MATLAB code that compares launch dates and trajectory conditions
  • Used MATLAB to write a simple visualization of the Lambert transfer trajectory.

 

 

Orbital Mechanics Library for MATLAB & Python

Individual Project (ongoing)

  • Collection of orbital mechanics related code I have created in undergrad.
  • Requires: NAIF SPICE (CSPICE and Spiceypy)
  • Uses several community available libraries
  • Includes: execution error analysis, porkchop plotting (MATLAB and Python), 2BP, visualization, Launch Vehicle performance, and others.
  • Available here: github.com/rohanpatel747/orbitalmechanics_rp