Press "Enter" to skip to content

NASA grant takes student projects out of this world

With the help of a grant from NASA, senior game design major Quentin Young is taking a new satellite project to infinity and beyond.

Young is a member of one of three teams working on the satellite projects, called CAPSat (Cooling, Annealing and Pointing Satellite) and SpaceICE Satellite. His project will involve designing a game in which players create their own satellites to launch into space.

“Currently, my team and I are in the concept [and] design phase,” Young said. “When we sit down to work on the game, we are really bouncing ideas off of each other and saying what we think will or won’t work.”

Three different teams at Bradley will be working on separate projects. One team, led by junior web and application design major Dan Anderson, will focus on creating a mobile app to control satellites. Another team, led by junior game design and computer science double major Kevin Adams, is working on creating an augmented reality tool for the satellites. Young’s team is focusing on a gamification of the satellites.

Three faculty advisors are aiding the students: Monica McGill, associate professor of game design; Scott Cavanah, assistant professor of animation; and Ethan Ham, chairman of the interactive media department.

Young and his team – consisting of juniors Zachary Abbott and Arwen Boyer – are also working in collaboration with engineering and game design students at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois.

“University of Illinois students are more focused on the process of launching CubeSats into space, and half of the game will allow players to build a satellite and launch it into orbit,” Young said. “Northwestern students are more focused on the science of freeze-casting materials, allowing for higher quality bonds between particles in materials such as steel or dirt. The other half of the game will then be related to this process, and players will be able to improve their satellite’s components and overall durability.”

Production on the satellite projects is expected to last for another two years, and the satellites will be launched into space in spring of 2018.