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NASA JET PROPULSION LABORATORY

Electronics Engineer

At JPL I worked as an electronics engineer on two missions: the Mars Rover, launching this Summer, and on the Psyche asteroid orbiter, planned launch in 2020. During my time there, I solved problems on flight electronics in a class 10000 cleanroom, designed electronic systems, was awarded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Discovery Award, and served as Deputy Motor Control Hardware Test Lead.

M2020 Motor Control

Hardware Integration & Test

In 2020, NASA is sending a rover back to Mars... this time searching for signs of past microbial life and collecting samples of the Martian surface in a cache for possible return to Earth in a future mission. As a Flight Hardware Test Engineer for the Mars 2020 mission, it was my job to validate the motor control electronics which operate the thrusters that will bring the rover close to the Mars surface safely as well as control the rover motors and sensors for mobility, the robotic arm, and instrument deployment. I spent most of my time in a class 10000 cleanroom carefully handling Flight electronics and solving problems, whether looking for logical errors in hundreds of lines of code or shorts between components in complex circuitry. I was awarded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Discovery Award and grew into the role of Deputy Motor Control Hardware Test Lead by taking on a large portion of testing, automating procedures, leading debug activities, and training new team members.

Psyche Command & Data Handling

Electronics Design

The Psyche discovery mission aims to observe a metal asteroid that could give insight to Earth’s formation. As an electronics designer, I modified existing multi-mission hardware designs and developed new circuitry for the Compute Element electronics to meet mission requirements of commanding instruments, smart battery trays, and more onboard the spacecraft, as well as storing instrument observations and transferring the data back to Earth via deep space optical communication.  The Psyche Compute Element is comprised of modular electronic cards including the System Interface Assembly, Telecom Interface, Nonvolatile Memory, Power Control Units, and Backplane hardware, and my work included collaboration with the Product Delivery Lead, Cognizant Engineer, systems and packaging engineers, board test team, and manufacturing contractors.

M2020 Descent Stage rendering

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech