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Brian Sikkema, Michigan Technological University

Wind-Driven Power Generation on Titan

Where do we go after Mars? The gigantic moon of Saturn known as Titan may well be the most likely objective for the next long-range manned mission.

Brian believes that the properties which make Titan such a prime focus of exploration - a thick, moving atmosphere, solid ground, and reasonable temperatures- also make it a prime candidate for wind-generated power. By having power available locally and in plentiful supply, a major limiting factor for exploratory missions will be counteracted. Brian plans to thoroughly research all available data on Titan's atmosphere and surface, learn the kinds of science missions planned for the moon's exploration, and then begin to design the wind generator, its packaging and deployment.

Brian is a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace Studies. He has a long standing involvement in the Ion Space Propulsion Laboratory at Michigan Technology, directed by Professor Lyon B. King. Among his many projects has been the development of a Hall thruster for research use.