A University of Missouri-Rolla graduate student’s research on a guidance system for the next generation of space shuttles won first place nationally in the graduate student competition of the 2003 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) National Student Conference. The conference was held Jan. 7 in Reno, Nev.
Katie Grantham of Caruthersville, Mo., a graduate student in aerospace engineering at UMR, won with her presentation titled "Adaptive Critic Neural Network Based Terminal Area Energy Management/Entry Guidance," which discusses guidance architecture that is being developed for the next generation of reusable launch vehicles such as space shuttles.
"UMR students have won several second and third places in the past, but never a first place," says Dr. H.F. Nelson, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics and faculty advisor for the UMR chapter of AIAA.
"Her presentation was fantastic," says Dr. David Riggins, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UMR, who attended the conference. "In my opinion, this is the top award in our business for graduate students."
Grantham’s research was funded in part by the NASA-Missouri Space Grant Consortium and the NASA Graduate Student Resarchers Program (NASA-GSRP).