2022 Sim Smackdown Lunar Base

The Sim SmackDown, or Simulation Exploration Experience, is a long running, international cooperative event combining Industry, Academia and Government to simulate future Lunar and Martian settlement concepts.  NASA provides mentors, tools, architectures and challenges; Industry provides tools and standards; and Academia provides technologies and students from around the world.  The UCF team is responsible for both the Lunar Base and the complete computing infrastructure for the entire simulation.   

2022 Re-Rassor Software Competition

NASA created an indoor robotics arena for the their Lunabotics Competition.  The desire was to run small rovers in smaller competitions for middle and high school students.  The team ported the EZ-RASSOR software to the NASA hardware platform and developed competition management tools for use by the Education team.  The Software was complete on time, the NASA hardware is still in development.

2022 Marsupial Rover

The Marsupial Rover is student developed and based on a NASA SwampWorks challenge.  The goal is to leverage EZ-RASSOR software, NASA concepts, RE-RASSOR and Phoenix (small and large rovers) to create an autonomous resource harvesting system for the Moon or Mars. 

2022 EZ-Rassor ROS 2.0 Migration

EZ-RASSOR is student developed, NASA Sponsored, open sources software for rover management and operation; details are available on the GitHub. The goal is to create a generalized rover management system suitable for remote control use, but extendable to autonomous navigation, swarm operation and local decision making. EZ-RASSOR began as a ROS 1.0 project. The 2021/22 team converted the code base to work in the ROS 2.0 environment while addressing ROS shortfalls in areas that impacted overall performance and RE-RASSOR goals.

Discovering the Composition of Trans-Neptunian Objects

Observing the farthest reaches of our solar system takes some time — literally. It takes 4.6 hours for light to travel from this extreme range that houses some of the farthest and coldest places in our solar system. Dr. Noemi Pinilla-Alonso, planetary scientist at the Florida Space Institute at the University of Central Florida in …

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UCF Researchers to Conduct Research Using First James Webb Space Telescope Images

With the first images from the telescope released this morning, here is a round-up of the many research projects UCF is working on. By Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | July 11, 2022 UCF physics graduate student Olga Harrington Pinto counted down the minutes until today. She is one of eight UCF researchers and one alumna who will be …

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Arecibo Observatory Scientists Help Unravel Surprise Asteroid Mystery 

A team from the observatory publish their findings ahead of Asteroid Day, a U.N. designation aimed at increasing awareness about the threats some asteroids pose. By Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | June 23, 2022 When asteroid 2019 OK suddenly appeared barreling toward Earth on July 25, 2019, Luisa Fernanda Zambrano-Marin and the team at the Arecibo Observatory in …

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NASA Selects UCF for $35 Million Mission to the Moon’s Mysterious Gruithuisen Domes

The mission will explore a region of the moon never before visited and may identify minerals and chemical resources available for future exploration. By Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | June 2, 2022 NASA today tapped UCF’s dynamic duo, planetary scientists Kerri Donaldson Hanna and Adrienne Dove, to lead a $35 million science mission that will land a spacecraft on …

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National Engineering Association Honors UCF’s Space Dirt Expert

The American Society of Civil Engineers recognized Pegasus Professor of Physics Dan Britt with the Aerospace Division’s Outstanding Technical Contribution Award, one of the organization’s top honors. By Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala | May 6, 2022 UCF Pegasus Professor of Physics Dan Britt became the second UCF space researcher in university history to earn one of the American …

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