College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Webb awarded NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship

Kyle Webb
Kyle Webb

Aerospace engineering doctoral student Kyle Webb has been awarded a competitive NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship for 2015. Webb’s research project is entitled, “Optimal Aerocapture Guidance”.

His research will focus on optimal aerocapture guidance for spacecraft. Aerocapture is a maneuver by a spacecraft at hyperbolic speed to fly through the atmosphere of a planet (e. g., Mars) and enter a specified orbit around the planet with little consumption of propellant. Optimal aerocapture guidance is concerned with accurately steering the spacecraft during the atmospheric flight with the least amount of propellant consumption to insert into the specified orbit. Aerocapture guidance is an enabling technology in planetary exploration. Webb’s major professor is Dr. Ping Lu.

Selected candidates will perform research at their respective campuses and at NASA Centers and/or at nonprofit U.S. Research and Development (R&D) laboratories. In addition to his or her faculty advisor, each student will be matched with a technically relevant and community-engaged researcher who will serve as the students research collaborator. Through this collaboration, students will be able to take advantage of broader and/or deeper space technology research opportunities directly related to their educational and career objectives, acquire a more detailed understanding of the potential end applications of their space technology efforts, directly disseminate their research results within the NASA/nonprofit U.S. R&D lab community, and enhance their understanding of the research process.

For more information about the NASA fellowship, click here.