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Student gives presentations at international conference


NDSU undergraduate student Brandon Rudisel, a computer science major from Fargo, gave presentations at the prestigious SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2017 Symposium held April 9-13 in Anaheim, California. SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, and the symposium hosts multiple conferences focused on technologies from numerous disciplines that advance national security and remote sensing.

An estimated 5,000 people attended the symposium.

In addition to his talk that focused on enabling software to run safely on a spacecraft, Rudisel also presented the work of fellow NDSU student and colleague Jacob Reimers dealing with fused filament fabrication 3D printing in space. This presentation was featured on the SPIE website. The work provides a practical solution for reducing the mass and volume required for bringing materials into orbit.

Reimers’ research concentrated on an alloy made from aluminum, nickel and yttrium for use by 3D printers in space.

“In FFF 3D printing,” Rudisel explained in the website article, “the element needs to hit a ‘Goldilocks zone’ of not too hot or cold.” The point, called the “glass transition temperature,” causes the filament to exhibit pseudo-solid properties.

“The ability to 3D print in space is significant, as it enables lower-cost missions,” noted Jeremy Straub, assistant professor of computer science. “With this approach, spacecraft can be designed to support only the microgravity environment of space, instead of having to be designed to withstand Earth gravity during construction and launch forces. Having lower structural requirements means less mass and volume required and, thus, less cost – or more capable missions at the same cost level. The presentation at the SPIE conference allowed us to share this development with several communities that may be able to make use of this technology under development.”

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