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CSU students take honors at space symposium

April 30, 2012

CSU's NASA Laser Sensor team recently won a demonstration award at the Colorado Undergraduate Space Research Symposium for their project.

Presenting space industry research

This year CSU had several teams participate in the Colorado Undergraduate Space Research Symposium held in Boulder, Colo. April 21. One team of students, with a project on a Laser Sensor for Carbon Dioxide Isotope Detection won a demonstration award.

The project featured a laser sensor based on Near-Infrared Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy. The laser sensor uses very high reflectivity mirrors to pass light back and forth many thousands of times through the sample to achieve very high sensitivity. The reduction in light intensity is then related to the amount of carbon dioxide present providing a very sensitive measurement technique useful for atmospheric science. The sensor may also have medical applications for diagnosing diseases based on exhaled breath.

Team of students

The NASA Laser Sensor team consists of Michael Finch, Adam Friss, Andrew Kustas, and Jason Slavik. The team members are students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and will be graduating this May. Finch and Slavik will be pursuing careers in industry while Kustas and Friss will be attending Gradute School at Purdue University and CSU respectively. The project was advised by Azer Yalin and Brian Lee, a doctoral candidate.

The CSU student teams are supported by the CSU affiliate of the NASA Space Grant – a NASA program to support student training and education for aerospace students.

Colorado Undergraduate Space Research Symposium

The annual event is organized by the Colorado NASA Space Grant and provides a venue for undergraduate students to present their space industry related research. Awards are given to the top teams of each presentation and demo session.