Ground Control Software
What do we do?
Lunar Lion’s Ground Control Software (GCS) subsystem allows our team to identify the virtual brain of our prototype terrestrial lander. Comprised of Penn State students and researchers from multiple disciplines, GCS selects and integrates sensors with hardware and programs the embedded systems. A large portion of their work consists of software programming, for example creating a ground control station.
Meet the Team
Dominick is a Junior majoring in Aerospace Engineering from Lancaster, PA. He discovered Lunar Lion in the fall of 2015, and joined in the spring of 2016 as part of the Power Subsystem before moving to Ground Control in the fall. He hopes to one day aid in the design of a craft which will take people to Mars. Before coming to Penn State, he served in the US Navy as a nuclear rated Machinist’s Mate, having been honorably discharged as a second class petty officer. While Dominick was in the Navy, he discovered a passion for programming, finding fun in the challenge of solving problems creatively. In his free time he enjoys learning new programming techniques, learning about new topics and fishing.
Vikas is an engineering science senior specializing in nanoelectronics and nano-scale devices. He is also pursuing minors in nanotechnology and physics. Previously, he was the software lead during the summer and fall leading up to the vertical flight test. He is currently developing a visual guidance system to help the lander avoid obstacles on the moon. Additionally, he is developing software using C# and XAML for collecting data from a test stand. Outside of Lunar Lion, Vikas is engaged in undergraduate research regarding nanoengineered thin films for optical applications. He has one journal publication in the Journal of Nanophotonics and has also delivered a poster presentation at the SPIE Optics + Photonics 2017 conference.
Danny is a senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Information Sciences and Technology. He grew up in Reading, PA and has always had an strong interest in space exploration. He became involved in Lunar Lion in the Spring of 2017 as part of the Command and Data Handling subsystem. In the Fall of 2017 he began working with the Ground Control subsystem and he enjoys solving challenging problems. His past work experiences include engineering internships at Rolls Royce North America and Deka Batteries. Aside from his work with Lunar Lion, he is a member of the Penn State Water Polo team and enjoys football games in Beaver Stadium.
Rory is a Junior majoring in Astronomy and Astrophysics. He is also majoring in Physics with a minor in Math. Raised in Kennett Square, PA, he decided to come to Penn State after learning about their excellent astronomy program. While at Penn State, he heard about the incredible and ambitious project, Lunar Lion. He joined in Spring 2016 and originally worked in GNC and STREG before entering GCS in Sophomore year. In addition to Lunar Lion, Rory works under Dr. Shannon and Dr. Dawson by studying exoplanet systems using simulations. He hopes to continue to work with simulations and instrumentation in his future.