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Joseph Fronczek, New Mexico State University

Bio-Inspired Sensor Swarms to Detect Leaks in Pressurized Systems

Big challenges for space vehicles include problems caused by orbiting debris, and locating and repairing that damage before it becomes life or mission threatening.

Joseph proposes a system aimed at quickly locating and repairing leaks in the pressurized environment of the International Space Station. In the face of a leak, crew must quickly identify the source of the leak, a task made difficult by the unpredictability of air-flow patterns that arise in this situation. Joseph proposes to deploy a sensor swarm which uses rules similar to those observed in bee colonies. He will simulate leaks in a laboratory setup having a number of sensors. The architecture of the sensory array will be improved to obtain maximize accuracy of detection.

Joseph is a member of the RioRoboLab under the directorship of Professor Ram Prasad at New Mexico State. A Chemical Engineering major, Joe has worked in NASA-funded laboratories, completed a tour as a co-op at NASA Johnson Space Center, and completed an internship training astronauts in emergency scenarios.