Difference between revisions of "Find a Project"

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= Biology =
= Biology =
* Enzymatic DNA Synthesis Methods, '''Lead: Michael Uttmark''' {{slack-user|uttmark}}
* Enzymatic DNA Synthesis Methods with Blocking Groups, '''Lead: Michael Uttmark''' {{slack-user|uttmark}}
** Test commercial blocking groups for compatibility with [[Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase]]
** Test commercial blocking groups for compatibility with [[Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase]]
** Chemically synthesize nucleotides with different reversible blocking groups
** Chemically synthesize nucleotides with different reversible blocking groups
** Characterize and optimize [[Enzymatic Synthesis Methods | enzymatic DNA synthesis]] reaction efficiency
** Characterize and optimize [[Enzymatic Synthesis Methods | enzymatic DNA synthesis]] reaction efficiency
** Model DNA synthesis stochastically to optimize reaction parameters.
** Research purification methods for synthesized DNA  
** Research purification methods for synthesized DNA  
** Design and test your own synthesis method!
** Design and test your own synthesis method!

Revision as of 06:06, 25 September 2017

SSI Overload

So you've joined [1] Slack, maybe gone to a meeting or two, but you're not sure what you can do or what there even is to do with so many teams swirling around? Well you've come to right place! Below are all the projects each team is working on, what skills they utilize or where they're especially looking for help, and who you can contact to jump in! Think of this like a jobs listing page except that the jobs are always available and you apply by poking the person of contact and saying you want the job -- and it's probably yours.

As you can see from the length of this list, there will always be more SSI to do than you will have hours in a day, week, month, or year -- don't feel pressured to overextend yourself! If you have questions, are feeling overwhelmed, or just want to chat with someone, don't hesitate to reach out to a leadership member. SSI exists for, and because of, its members (that's you.) Your sanity, health, and overall well-being always come first.



HABMC has a request list a mile long, but here are a couple highlights. Feel free to slack SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  if you have ideas or questions

  • 3D visualizations using Cesium or Unity
  • Natural Language Processing for the commands module
  • Create a mobile app using React Native
  • Improved RF integrations
  • Overhaul security on websocket connections
  • Navigation algorithms



HABEES (High Altitude Balloon Electrical Engineering Systems) is the the umbrella project for all EE & CS projects outside of ValBal (that is, largely oriented at standard profile balloon launches). Because of this, there is a nearly limitless number of possibilities and projects to pursue within HABEES -- with that said, if you're new to EE or CS, or a veteran, and just generally want some ideas of what you can make, here's a bunch! Contact SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  to discuss working on any of these!

  • HONEY EE -- the primary electronics in HABEES revolve around the HONEY architecture. If you're interested in EE, you can test circuits and/or make PCB's for this architecture and have it fly with other boards. Head over to the HONEY page to understand more about it. Below are some project ideas for circuits/boards you can make for HONEY!
    • Motor/Servo Driver
    • External/Internal Payload Heaters
    • Atmospheric Gas Sensors
    • Wind Sensors
    • SSTV Radio Board
    • WinLink Radio Email Board
    • APRS Radio Board
    • 12V Battery Management System
    • General Purpose Radio Transceiver
    • Camera Board
    • CubeSat Mapping Board
    • Literally anything else
  • HONEY CS -- although there's a lot of electronics in HABEES, they all need some software; and, even better, that software always has room for improvement, so here's some possible projects!
    • Software for tracking something (with motors/servos)
    • Improving filtering/error checking for sensors
    • Compression algorithms for logged & transmitted data
    • Enhancing speed, quality, and throughput of CAN Bus
    • Enhancing TestBench (QueenBee) test software
    • Introducing/Developing radio encoding & decoding schemes
    • Developing forward & reverse error correction for radio links
    • Developing Point-To-Point radar link software


BUZZ is the umbrella subteam for balloons radio projects. It operated as part of HABEES, and works to develop/try/test new radio technologies within balloons. ValBal also develops independent and system-specific radio systems. Some ideas for possible projects, as well as ongoing projects, are below: Talk to SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  and SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  about them!

  • Improved ATV link quality
  • Teensy-native SSTV Transmission & Reception
  • APRS development
  • Native GFSK/FSK/OOK transceivers & software
  • WiFi downlink/uplink (2.4GHz / 5 GHz)
  • Stanford Ground Station (high gain, directional)
  • Portable Field Ground Station
  • Balloons National Ground Station Networ
  • WinLink Global Radio E-Mail
  • Digital Video/Image encoding




Daedalus is our suite of technology development projects. The work done here pushes forwards on our long-term plan for a space shot. Each project will involve some mechanical, electrical, programming and simulations work, so feel free to join any one of them - but each focuses on a different aspect of rocketry.

Icarus - Reefed Parachute, Lead: Saylor

  • Icarus is building a rocket with a reefed parachute - one which changes size during flight to adjust the rocket descent. This project will intimately involve:
    • Mechanics and mechanical engineering - designing, simulating and building a deployment mechanism.
    • Mechanics and aerodynamics - designing the parachute and its aerodynamic properties.
    • Electrical engineering - PCB design, electrical integration and programming. Focus on high reliability and low size & power.

Charybdis - Spin Stabilization Contact: William

  • Charybdis is building a rocket that spins like a rifle bullet, then stops spinning mid-air to deploy parachutes.
    • Mechanical engineering - designing reliable deployment mechanism.
    • Aerodynamics and simulation - designing fin system to create desired spin.

Argus - Distributed RF Camera System Lead: John

  • Argus is building a rocket equipped with a new camera system, allowing us to easily take video (and possibly stream live!) from the interior and exterior of rockets as they fly.
    • Electrical Engineering - circuit board design, electrical integration.
    • Signals - RF & transmission tech.

Competition (IREC/SA Cup)

  • Structures
  • Payload
  • Recovery
  • Avionics, Leads: Sharon, Julea SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}} 
    • Design, implement, and test all the hardware and software that goes into our flight computers
    • Design and manufacture structures for avionics bay and work with other subteams to implement interfaces and integration processes
    • Design and test radio communications system for our rocket to talk to the ground
    • Write software to parse and visualize data, build a protective cooling case for laptops & other electronics so they don't die in the blazing desert heat and dust (yes there's a story here)
  • Launch Operations, Lead: WANTED
    • Work with each subteam to coordinate and prepare launch materials
    • Plan & execute travel and launch logistics
    • Oversee launch procedures, checklists, and go/no calls
    • Many more additional projects for ground support designable around personal interests
  • Simulations



The Stanford Timing And Ranging –Cross-linking Optical Small Satellite Demonstration mission is an ambitious proposal seeking to place two cubesats in low Earth orbit and establish a laser-based data link between them across hundreds of kilometers. Such a mission has never before been attempted. If successful, the technology developed will enable a dramatic leap forward in the capabilities of both cubesats and larger satellitesto communicate high volumes of data across long distances.

Optical links using lasers are capable of dramatically higher data transmission speeds than existing radio systems, but have never been successfully demonstrated at the cubesat scale. A cubesat-sized optical communications system willenable high-speed links between cubesats, allowing for networks built from affordable satellites.Miniaturizing an optical communications system to fit in a cubesat would also make it far easier for larger satellites to add optical networking capabilities, an almost essential component of proposed internet satellite constellations.

Satellites with optical links can not only transmit data faster, but also better synchronize their timekeeping with each other and measure their separation distance, important features of boththe GPS system and groups of scientific satellites. With an optical network, satellites could conduct previously impossible scientific missions and significantly improve the accuracy of GPS

Now is the perfect time to get involved with STAR-CROSSD. A number of subsystems need to be analyzed, designed, built, and tested, with opportunities to learn about electrical, mechanical, and software engineering, satellite operations, and more.


Polar Orbiting INfrared Tracking Receiver (POINTR) has been Satellites’ primary focus since February. POINTR is an in flight demonstration of an optical receiver pointing, acquisition and tracking (PAT) system. The optical receiver payload hosted on Audacy’s 3U cubesat would be pointed to the ground to acquire and track a beacon laser sent from a suitable ground facility, currently proposed as NASA JPL’s OCTL facility. This mission would demonstrate the operational and technical requirements related to two satellites establishing an optical communications link with each other. The requirements include mission planning, command and execution of a pointing maneuver, acquisition of an incoming optical signal and tracking of the optical signal. This mission can be broken into four main goals:

  • Demonstrate a subset of technology for full bidirectional optical communications mission within the constraints placed by Audacy’s primary mission.
  • Increase chance of bidirectional optical communications mission success.
  • Develop experience within SSI designing and building space hardware.
  • Contribute to the cubesat and satellite optical communications technical fields.

Our Subteams

  • Avoinics
    • The JistThe Avionics group works on all of the core electrical systems for the Satellites team, including electrical power distribution, sensors, and computing. Learn how to design and reflow Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and work with signal-processing to understand light signals in the inky darkness of space!
    • The People To Talk to Sasha, Shi, Meera
  • GNC
    • The Jist The GNC group ("Guidance, Navigation, and Control") is responsible for determining and controlling the position and rotation of satellites in space even while hundreds or sometimes thousands of miles away. Join GNC to work with us on cutting-edge technologies and a system to control our satellites in orbit from the comfort of the SSI space bunker.
    • The People To Talk to Sasha
  • Optics
    • The Jist Optics is all about putting light to work - starting from simple laser pointers to finally sending a communications signal across 10 kilometers in space! We use lasers, lenses, filters, sensors and even moving mirrors to send light flying through space and catch it on the other side.
    • The People To Talk to Michael Taylor
  • Software
    • The Jist The software team tackles the many different challenges of software needed for satellites: from flight software to web development, we do it all. For flight software, we take advantage of parallel communications modules to manage real-time requirements on pointing control. For web development, we are partnering with the ground operations team to build thorough mission control software and web interface. If any of this seems daunting or complicated, don’t worry. We all started from scratch. Join software and get your code in space!
    • The People To Talk to Orien, Joan
  • Ground Ops
    • The Jist The Ground Operations team will build mission control software and web interface to analyze satellite behavior in-flight and react accordingly. Aside from software, physics and orbital mechanics are crucial parts of this team’s ability. This team is responsible for testing spacecraft stability, fault tolerance, and final mission success.
    • The People To Talk to Orien
  • Structures
    • The Jist The Structures team designs and builds all necessary flight mechanics, ranging from the overall structure to individual component mounts. We go through the full development process - whiteboard drawings, SolidWorks, and finally manufacturing.The Structures team is also responsible for many of the environmental considerations, such as the thermal and vacuum requirements of space, as well as the shock and vibration profile of launch.
    • The People To Talk to Anjali, Sandip


  • Enzymatic DNA Synthesis Methods with Blocking Groups, Lead: Michael Uttmark SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}} 
    • Test commercial blocking groups for compatibility with Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase
    • Chemically synthesize nucleotides with different reversible blocking groups
    • Characterize and optimize enzymatic DNA synthesis reaction efficiency
    • Model DNA synthesis stochastically to optimize reaction parameters.
    • Research purification methods for synthesized DNA
    • Design and test your own synthesis method!
  • Sequence Verification
  • Microfluidic Device Design
    • Design and program an Electrowetting on Dielectric microfluidic PCB
    • Simulate and test how a microfluidic system would work in microgravity
    • Port our DNA synthesis method to a solid substrate like controlled pore glass or streptavidin-biotin magnetic beads
    • Optimize an integrated microfluidic protocol for DNA synthesis and verification on the electrowetting PCB and on the Beckman Biomek 2000 liquid handling robot in lab
    • Research and test other automated fluid handling methods, like acoustic droplet ejection or optoelectrowetting.
    • Build a system for cooling and temperature control of the device, perhaps using Peltiers
    • Figure out how to power our PCB from a cubesat or other launch vehicle
    • Build testing rigs for DNA synthesis methods that are needed for experiments in lab




  • Come up with a theme for Special Dinner and make decorations (like a model Falcon 9!)
  • Help SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  run SSI general dinners
  • Plan and run general community events like Trivia Night, Pathfinder, and Movie Night


  • Build connections with engineering diversity groups on campus
  • Help SlackLogo.png@{{{display-name}}}  run workshops


  • Find an interesting company and arrange a tour or talk
  • Help handle logistics of an existing talk, like by meeting an astronaut and walking him to Durand 450
  • Give a CEO or Venture Capitalist a tour of ESIII


  • Complete reimbursements
  • Apply for grants & seek out new sponsors


  • Design awesome swag (t-shirts, jackets, posters)
  • Reach out to reporters
  • Social media guru! (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts)
  • Creating Snapchat filters for events
  • Designing flyers for upcoming talks
  • Going on launches to take pictures and videos


  • Start discussions with local highschools and their science clubs
  • Organize or join an existing trip to a local school


  • Pursue a sponsorship (we'll walk you through how!)
  • Compile a list of bay-area aerospace companies


  • Overhaul the budgeting system
  • Give the sponsors page dynamic content
  • Manage this very wiki
  • Manage our public and internal websites


  • Make space-themed artwork to decorate ESIII
  • Plant more herbs
  • Paint a mural
  • Track inventory of supplies and parts