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NASA Goddard Space Center Intern
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Joseph Watson SPS Presentation.pdfAbstract:
I have been working at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on the EXCLAIM team. EXCLAIM’s mission is to use a cryogenic balloon bourn telescope to record a three-dimensional intensity map in the microwave electromagnetic range corresponding to carbon monoxide and carbon ion emission to study galaxy evolution and star formation. My work focused on the spectrometer package and readout, taking a preliminary design meeting mission requirements to a complete mechanical design that has been sent to machine shops for fabrication. These tasks have involved challenging special, thermal, magnetic, and electrical constrains. After everything was verified, drawings of highly complex parts were produced and sent to machine shops for quotes and future purchase.
I have studied at McMurry University in Abilene TX, and I am a graduating physics major with an emphasis in mechanical engineering and minor in mathematics. I first became interested in engineering as I worked on my first vehicle which was a classic pickup truck. I enjoyed learning how things worked, and I learned how to repair and improve different mechanical components as I got it back on the road. Through McMurry’s physics program, I have learned about how to develop mechanical systems using engineering solutions, but I have also learned about the physics behind these solutions. This has increased my understanding of how and why engineering solutions work and how to use them better.
I have participated in SPS events since I was a freshman and I have served as our chapter’s president for two years. As president, I have enjoyed organizing and helping with multiple SPS projects including the repair of our trebuchet which we had a successful fundraiser with to raise money for disaster relief. Our chapter also built a model of the Da Vinci Helicopter which spins when a button is pressed. It is hoped that this model will intrigue McMurry students and the 5th graders in the McMurry McMagnet program and interest them in physics.
As I anticipate graduation, I am looking forward to working with NASA Goddard on the Experiment for Cryogenic Large-Aperture Intensity Mapping (EXCLAIM). I am very excited to work with new people, work on new projects, and continue to learn!