ChargerSat-1 boosted into space by Minotaur rocket Tuesday night

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Members of the Space Hardware Club (SHC) at UAH were still attempting Wednesday to contact ChargerSat-1, the university's first student-built cubesat to be rocketed into space.

"We did get some indications that a number of the other satellites deployed and so it is very likely that ours also deployed," said SHC team lead Eric Becnel Wednesday morning from the launch site at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore. "The odds are that we will hear it. It's just a matter of locating it."


UAH students’ message to younger girls who like science: It’s OK!


Somewhere out there, there's a young girl in grade school who finds she has a burning interest in building things. Maybe she finds herself more drawn to math, science experiments and mechanical devices than dolls. She wonders how things work, and how they could work better.

Amy Parlett and Carolyn Boos want to say some things to that youngster, and to the thousands of grade school-age girls like her - the girls who find that they are drawn to the so-called "boy interests" of engineering, science and technology:


UAH researcher helping solve moon’s water puzzles

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One of the things Dr. Richard Miller thinks is coolest about working as part of a team investigating the origin and mapping of water on the lunar poles is that he can look up at night or when the moon rises during the day and see the object of his research.

Making a visual connection with his subject is usually not an option for the professor at UAH, who specializes in high-energy astrophysics. Now, after having been part of the discovery of surface water at Shackleton Crater at the moon's south pole, Dr. Miller finds himself on a team investigating questions that have been raised by that discovery.

"I remember as a little kid watching the Apollo missions to the moon and the lunar landings," he said. "As a little kid, I watched and daydreamed about this, and then through a series of almost random events in life to find myself working as a part of the team on this is really pretty awesome."


Warming since 1950s partly caused by El Niño


A natural shift to stronger warm El Niño events in the Pacific Ocean might be responsible for a substantial portion of the global warming recorded during the past 50 years, according to new research at UAH.

"Our modeling shows that natural climate cycles explain at least part of the ocean warming we've seen since the 1950s," said Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in UAH's Earth System Science Center and the new study's lead author. "But we also found that because the globe has had more frequent La Niña cooling events in the past 10 or 15 years, they are canceling out some of the effects of global warming."

The paper detailing this research, "The Role of ENSO in Global Ocean Temperature Changes During 1955-2011 Simulated with a 1D Climate Model," is scheduled for publication in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Science, and is available online at:


UAH students plan to launch themselves into cubesat business

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Two students soon to earn their master's degrees in aerospace engineering at UAH see so much opportunity in small satellites that they have formed a company to develop the technologies.

Mark and Eric Becnel are aiming their company Radiobro at providing turnkey cube satellite services to researchers who have experiments they'd like to fly, but who don't have the resources to build their own satellites to fly them.

"There's an unfilled niche there in supplying a need if a scientist wants to take an experiment and fly it in space," Eric Becnel said. "The idea is to provide that researcher with an off-the-shelf solution."


Health24 video explains UAH team’s winning concept


Check out this video about Health24 made by six computer programmers from UAH whose team won the grand prize at America's Datafest in Auburn.

The team earned $1,000 from Alabama Media Group and the opportunity to compete for the global prize. Team members Josh Jones, Jarrod Parkes, James Parkes, Mini Zeng, Prabhash Jha and Ha Giang built a set of products they call Health24 that can translate medical labels and information. It includes a list of popular medicines sorted by common symptoms, translatable into any language; a searchable database of medicines that lists interactions; and a translation tool that works from photos of medicine instructions.


UAH ranks fifth nationally in federally funded aeronautical/astronautical research

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UAH ranked fifth nationally in federally financed aeronautical/astronautical engineering research and second in Alabama in federally funded research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) fiscal year 2011 data, which are the most recent available.

Only Johns Hopkins University, Utah State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Colorado-Boulder were listed ahead of UAH in the national aeronautical/astronautical engineering research expenditure ranking. Following UAH were MIT, the University of Maryland and Texas A&M.

"The National Science Foundation research expenditure rankings clearly show the strengths of UAH in science and engineering disciplines," said UAH Vice President for Research Ray Vaughn. "This is a also a sign of a very healthy research program and a hard-working research faculty. I am continually amazed at the high level of research performance of a small university like UAH and very proud of our accomplishments."


Reed earns first UAH modeling and simulation program doctorate


By successfully defending his dissertation, Gregory Reed will in December become the first doctoral graduate of the Modeling and Simulation (M&S) degree program at UAH.

The UAH M&S degree program, approved by the Board of Trustees in 2010, is one of only three in the nation that awards doctoral degrees. It has so far graduated three students with master's degrees in M&S. The first master's graduates of the M&S program were Retonya L. Dunning and Frederick M. Segrest, both of whom received their degrees in fall 2012.


UAH students win RAM VI scholarships


Students from the Reliability and Failure Analysis Laboratory (RFAL) at UAH won awards for the best graduate and undergraduate presentations at the Huntsville chapter of the Society of Reliability Engineers (SRE) annual Reliability and Maintainability VI (RAM VI) workshop.

In his talk, graduate student Greg Doud reviewed on-going testing with RFAL's shaker table. Later, undergraduate Hunter Bray informed the group of the lab's new cellulose-based carbon fiber research. Both students received scholarship checks for $750.


UAH professors, masters graduate patent new rocket configuration

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A UAH aerospace engineering undergraduate student's idea for a new, more efficient way to package rocket engines has won him and two UAH professors a recent patent.

Sean Entrekin, now a UAH graduate with a master's degree in aerospace engineering, is an experimental flight test engineer at Redstone Testing Center. He joined with Dr. James Blackmon, a research professor at the UAH Propulsion Research Center, and Dr. Brian Landrum, an associate professor of aerospace engineering, in the patent award.