SPECTRE's Teams, and a Bit of History.
The SPECTRE Teams

The Original 5

The Orginial Proposal sent in to NASA.

The Summer 1997 ECE Team(No pictures are available)

The Fall 1997 ECE Team (No pictures are available)

The Spring 1998 ECE Team

The Summer 1998 ECE Team

The Fall 1998 ECE Team

The inception of SPECTRE was unsusual. 5 students, 1 junior and 4 freshman, 3 men and 2 women, wrote up a rocket proposal as a class project, hoping the proposal would give them enough leeway in the class to avoid a final. In addition, they would send it in to NASA. None of them were astronomy majors. The idea of it actually being accepted and funded hadn't really occurred to them, but the chance to avoid a final exam was too much to pass. Ironically, they still had to take the final. The original proposal was sent out to NASA in November 1996.

In March, 1997, after the annual Spring Break, the original 5 came back to an email from the Principle Investigator, Professor Supriya Chakrabarti, which quite simply stated, " Congratulations. We won. Now comes the hard part." For the next 3 years, "the hard part" was quite an understatement.

Through 1997 up till now, approximately 66 undergraduate students (including 1 summer high school student, Meredith McCarthy of the Randolph School, Huntsville Al, and 2 Wellesley students under Professor Glenn Stark: Janet Lee in the summer of 1997, and Achieng Reggy in the Fall of 1997) have participated in the project. The bulk of students were ECE (Electrical Computer Engineering) majors in the SC466 class, which was first administered by Professor Mark Horenstein in the summer of 1997, and then for the next 2 years by Professor Michael Ruane. Valerie Taylor, a staff member of the Space Physics Center, and the main mechanical engineer of the project, provided much valuable experience and insight, as well as a large percentage of the mechanical design. Professor Bill Oliver of the ECE dept. and Professor Thomas Bifano of the Aero/Mech dept. were among the co-investigators. Dr. Jim Vickers and Mike Bellino, former staff members of the Center for Space Physics, provided much guidance for the elctrical sections. Professor David Perrault, also of the ECE Department provided the emulator boards which were instrumental in developing many of the subsystems. David Nghiem, one of the original 5 who wrote the proposal, is the project manager. Professor Supriya Chakrabarti is the Principle Investigator.

The current team working on the project is SPECTRE's Tiger integration team, and they are currently putting the payload through its paces at Wallop's Island (see the launch page). They are: Jay Hancock, who has been critical to the final designs, construction, debugging, and has devoted much time to payload support, as well as other miscellaneous systems; Nicholas Veeser, who has been the lead programmer and circuit designer for the brains of the payload, as well as the instrument interfacing; Tibor Trunk, the main computer engineer for much of the telemetry (the transmission section of the payload), and for much of the hardware issues of the microcontroller; and Valerie Taylor leads the overall payload mechanics, as well as providing valuable guidance where professional rocket experience is required.

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David Nghiem
Last modified: Fri Aug 13 14:17:34 EDT 1999