Faculty Mentor: Paulo C. Lozano
Home University: Florida Institute of Technology
Major: Astrophysics, Physics, Mathematics
My name is Victor Calderon and I was born and raised in Guatemala City. I am currently a senior majoring in astrophysics, physics, and mathematics at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fl. Some of my research interests include the study black holes, supernovae, and cataclysmic variable stars, as well as the formation of galaxies and space plasma. After finishing my undergraduate studies, I plan to attend graduate school and work towards my Master and Ph.D. in either astrophysics, physics, or space plasma physics. My ultimate goal is to become a researcher and a professor so that I can be involved in both the education of future scientists and in the discovery of new science. In my spare time, I enjoy working out, reading, practicing martial arts, and learning more about nature.
Design and Fabrication of Electrospray System of Molten Glass
As the demand for small satellites continues to grow, there is a need for small, light-weight propulsion systems that can overcome the inefficiencies of mass and power that other propulsion systems present. Ion electrospray propulsion is ideal for this purpose due to its high specific impulse capability, high fuel efficiency, and miniaturized size. This propulsion system uses the electrospray technique, which is based on the extraction and acceleration of molecular ions using a strong electric field. Our approach was to use the electrospray technique to manufacture thrusters emitters from porous glass. This system will serve as a self-replicating machine since it will be using the same principles as those of electrospray propulsion systems. A mathematical model for the behavior of molten glass was designed, which allowed us to determine the dimensions of the system and other parameters, such as current, temperature, and viscosity of molten glass. After the different components of the electrospray system were built, glass spheres were put inside a stainless steel needle connected to a crucible in vacuum and were heated up using inductive heating. Next, an electric field will applied to the sub-micron droplets and the layer produced by this mechanism will be analyzed. The results of this study will be used to further design nano-structured emitters on planar surfaces.