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New York City Research Initiative

Research Projects at Medgar Evers College

Go to projects in: 2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2006-2007 | 2005 | 2004

Medgar Evers College — 2015

Intelligent Software Control For Nano Satellites
Team Members

Principal Investigator/Mentor: Dr. Shermane Austin

Co-Principal Investigator/Mentor: Dr. Rosa Gutierrez

Educator: Yuhang Michael Jiang

Research Assistant: Bulat Filin

Interns: Jarmal Johnny, Edouard Michel, Valina Maitland, Tania Nelzy

Final Research Presentation
Summary

NASA's CubeSat launch initiative provides opportunities for students to get exposure to NASA activities and gain interest in STEM careers. CubeSats are nanosatellites and software development plays an important role in control. The software for controlling, tracking, and communicating with the satellite has to be developed following best practices and ensuring that it is robust and able to tolerate and recover from the unexpected.
Software engineering best practices and tools (e.g. for example, specification requirements, agile development, change control, extreme programming, etc.) can be used to achieve software of quality. In addition, artificial intelligence techniques can be used to help automate or improve the software development process. Example cases include automated tools for program modeling, verification and validation, automated generation of test units, and automated verification of unit test coverage and adequacy. AI techniques can help even beyond the development phase.
Despite following best practices, when the software is used in critical missions, it might be very risky to assume that the software is free of faults. Further, if the system is to be used in a dynamic and complex environment, it might face unexpected situations not considered during its design.
Autonomic Computing (AC), a vision and architecture proposed by IBM, relies on the use of AI techniques to build computing systems with self-managing characteristics so that they are able to adapt to unpredictable changes while hiding intrinsic complexity to operators and users. An AC system makes decisions on its own, using high-level policies. It has sensors for self-monitoring, effectors for self-adjustment, and knowledge and planner adapters for exploiting policies based on self- and environment awareness.

View Presentation (PDF)

Medgar Evers College — 2013

Kinetics of His-tagged PQQ-Dependent Aldehyde Dehydrogenase tethered to Graphene Oxide Nanosheets
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Michele Vittadello

Team Members:
Nicholas Hoffman, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) dependent aldehyde dehydrogenases (PQQALDH) carry out the oxidation of aliphatic aldehydes to carboxylic acids.1 They serve as the secondary oxidative steps after the initial oxidative fermentation of aliphatic alcohols by related alcohol dehydrogenases.1 The oxidation leads to the concurrent reduction of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) in vivo.1 A great deal of effort has been undertaken to implement these enzymes in a wide variety of applications. Shelley Minteer's research group (University of Utah) has successfully deployed both PQQ alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases as key components in fuels cells and in biobatteries.2-6 The Minteer group generated bioanodes contain one or both of the aforementioned enzymes immobilized on electrode supports.3 These bioanodes use ethanol and generated acetaldehydes as fuel to drive the anodic process.4,6 Minteer's group is at the forefront in developing devices that employ these dehydrogenases.2,5

Graphene oxide (GO) is the oxidized form of graphene nanosheets.7 GO nanosheets possess a distribution of oxygen-containing functional groups on the faces and at the edges, including hydroxyl groups, epoxide groups, and carboxylic groups.7 GO nanosheets are laterally micrometric in size and atomically thick. A wide variety of applications for this are currently being undertaken in academic and industrial settings.8-11 We are currently conducting experiments with graphene oxide in the areas of biohybrid photosynthesis, and enzyme purification. Herein we further expand these studies to a new type of redox enzymes: Aldehyde dehydrogenases.

Medgar Evers College — 2012

Boundary Layer Ozone Concentrations Downwind of NYC
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Shermane

Team Members:
Anfal Boussayoud, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: To determine why ozone concentrations may differ between Summer and Fall. I will focus on concentrations in the boundary layer, from ground level to about 10 km. The variables that are being tested for their affect on ozone concentration are temperature, pressure, relative humidity, wind speed, and direction. The urban heat island effect is also said to have a substantial impact on these factors, so research was done in that area as well. There are several factors for variability, such as the vegetation nearby, which displaces heat and reduces the formation of NOx and VOCs, and the weather during the days the data was collected, as inclement weather could scramble it.

Mechanical Design for Pico Satellite Integration
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Shermane

Team Members:
Salih Shamseldin, Undergraduate Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: The project focused on creating a mechanical design for a Picosatellite (Cubesat). The designing procedure started by gathering the CAD files for all standard components in the cubesat from Pumpkin INC (Cubesat Kit) and Clyde space Ltd. The next step was to design all custom components like the Antenna Deployment Mechanism and the Beacon Board using SOLIDWORKS®, a computer aided design software used to create the Mechanical design.
For testing all accurate masses and correct materials had to be documented in SOLIDWORKS®. SOLIDWORKS® will also be used for testing and simulations.

Medgar Evers College — 2011

Ozone Investigations on the Lower Troposphere
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Shermane

Team Members:
Farhana Nabi, High School Student
Karina Alventosa, Undergraduate Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: Continuing investigations of ozone concentrations in the lower troposphere are underway to  ozone concentrations in New York City. The objective of these experiments is to determine factors related to the variability on the concentrations of ozone in the atmosphere. The emphasis of this investigation is on the relationship between the urban heat island effect and ozone concentrations in the New York City metropolitan. Relevant parameters include ozone partial pressure, temperature, humidity, pressure, ozone mixing ratio, wind direction, and wind speed. The data is retrieved from sounding launches at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. The two main instruments for the soundings are a radiosonde and an ozonesonde.  The ozone data is also being correlated with satellite imagery and surface ozone observations from the EPA.

Influence of Meteorological Factors on Ozone in the Lower Troposphere Downwind of New York City
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Shermane

Team Members:
Karina Alventosa, Undergraduate Student
Farhana Nabi, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: The research was focused on the ozone concentrations found downwind of New York City at the National Weather Service facility at Brookhaven National Lab. The experiment was conducted to create an understanding of the unpredictability of ozone in the different layers of the atmosphere. The project was focused on the troposphere. The identified variables of the experiment include the ozone partial pressure and the ozone mixing ratio, as well as the temperature, humidity and pressure. These values were used to create ozone profiles that were compared to other ozone samples. The ozone levels are significantly influenced by the Urban Climatology and the meteorological attributes of a specific area. The research was conducted to identify the causes for the different variations of the ozone in the atmosphere and its relationship to meteorology. Three important factors for variability were found to be winds (wind speed/direction), temperature and the height of the mixing layer of the ozone. Wind data was used to compare to the ozone profiles.

Medgar Evers College — 2010

Tropospheric and Stratospheric Ozone Investigation in Metropolitan New York City
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Shermane

Team Members:
Sydnee Cumberbatch, Undergraduate Student
Farhana Nabi, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: We are conducting observations of ozone concentrations downwind of NYC. The objective of these experiments is to understand ozone variability in the troposphere and stratosphere. Variables measured include the ozone mixing ratio (ppmv), ozone partial pressure, temperature, humidity and pressure. We describe features of selected ozone profiles by comparing selected samples taken at the National Weather Service sounding facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Medgar Evers College — 2009

Investigations of Tropospheric Ozone in the Northeast
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Shermane

Mentor:
Dr. Leon Johnson

Team Members:
Aaron Jones, Graduate Student
Gabriel Deceus, High School Student
Sydnee Cumberbatch, High School Student

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Abstract: This high altitude balloon project for near-space flight is part of an ongoing investigation of the concentration and distribution of ozone in the stratosphere and troposphere. The flight vehicle consists of a 600-1200 gram latex helium filled balloon which carries two separate instruments that measure the amount of ozone in the atmosphere and the temperature, humidity, altitude/pressure, and dewpoint/frostpoint. We do this because we want to find out how much tropospheric ozone there is in relation to stratospheric ozone. These experiments are used as a ground verification of the Aura satellite which takes the same readings but from a top to bottom perspective. Then this information will be used to assess the effects of global warming and surface pollution transport to develop a strategies to target these problems.

Medgar Evers College — 2006-2007

Urban Surface Ozone Investigation
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Shermane Austin

Mentor(s):
Dr. Leon Johnson

Kevin Braithwaite, High School Teacher
Dr. John Merrill

Deonca Renee

Researchers:
Aaron Jones, Graduate Student
Cathy Bernard, Undergraduate Student
Jessica Guerrero, SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

In order to take surface ozone samples, a sample test strip must be exposed for approximately 1 hour. After an hour is up, an instrument named the "Zikua" is used to determine the amount of surface ozone in parts per billion (PPB). While the sample strip is collecting surface ozone, data including cloud type and coverage, wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature, & start and end time must be collected.

Results: Surface ozone samples from Paradox, New York were taken in order to compare the different amounts of surface ozone concentration between a rural region, and an urban region.
Surface ozone concentration levels ranged from 17 to 38 parts per billion (PPB) in Paradox, New York. These samples were taken over a three day weekend and used to illustrate the differentiation between a rural area, and an urban one.
Surface ozone concentration ranged from 73 to 94 parts per billion (PPB) in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York. These samples, as seen on the chart, were taken over a course of approximately two weeks.

Medgar Evers College — 2005

MECSAT (Suborbital Satellite Program)
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Shermane Austin

Researchers:
Tiffany Walker, SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

MECSAT is a scientific balloon project intended to provide a small-scale vehicle for atmospheric and environmental investigations as well as technical issues related to data communications, data tranmission protocols, embedded controllers and mobile wireless networks. Participating students will work with faculty mentors and advanced students on the design and implementation of flight equipment for measurements of seabreeze circulations in the NYC/LI/NJ coastal areas, particulate-samplng as a function of altitude, and CO2 monitoring. The primary MECSAT flight vehicle ascends to heights of 100,000 feet or more and consists of a 1200 gram sounding balloon, parachute and payload modules including tracking and communications equipment for real-time telemetry updates, a flight computer to ingest and transmit sensor data, scientific sensors and imagers. A secondary flight vehicle will be kite-based for moored monitoring at altitudes of less than 10,000 feet. The MECSAT project is sponsored by the NASA/MUSPIN CUNY NRTS, the NASA/OSS NYCSSRA and the NASA/NY State Space Grant Consortium.
Research during the summer of 2005 will focus mostly on the development and use of thermocouples.

Radio JOVE: Decameter Observations of Jupiter & The Sun
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Leon Johnson

Mentor(s):
Mr. Kevin Brathewaite, High School Teacher

Researchers:
Makia Hughes, SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Radio JOVE is a student & amateur astronomy radio telescope project; students build a decametric radio telescope and receiver to observe and analyze natural radio emissions of Jupiter and the Sun. Students are involved in every aspect from construction of the radio receiver including soldering of circuits, testing the receiver, setting up the telescope antenna, collecting, reviewing and analyzing data. The basic tool for data analysis is the JoveChart software program. Data is recorded on a laptop by logging the signal intensities with the JoveChart software. Proper set up for data analysis will enable students make measurements and calculations based on their collected data and compare their results with those of other observers.

Medgar Evers College — 2004

Radio JOVE: Radio Emissions of Jupiter and the Sun
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Shermane Austin

Co-Principle Investigator(Co-PI):
Dr. Leon Johnson

Researchers:
Taran Tulsee, Undergraduate Student
Junior Soto, SHARP Apprentice
Melissa Feliciano, SHARP Apprentice
Tiffany Walker, SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

Radio JOVE students will build a decametric radio telescope (receive and antenna) to observe and analyze natural radio emissions of Jupiter and the Sun. The basic tool for data analysis is the JoveChart software program. Students will record data on audiocassette tape and/or by logging the signal intensities with the JoveChart software. The next step is to review and analyze the data. Data analysis will enable students make measurements and calculations based on their collected data and compare their results with those of other observers throughout the nation.

Lithium Transition Metal Oxides Using Electron Paramagnetic Spectroscopy (EPR)
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. John Flowers

Researchers:
Heather Germain, Undergraduate Student
Jonathan Spagnola SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

This research activity involves the study lithium transition metal oxides using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (EPR). The research is carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Steve Greenbaum Professor of Physics at Hunter College. These studies are part of a larger effort, including Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) studies, to study material, which show promise as lithium-ion battery cathodes. Major advances in lithium battery technology would have considerable impact on the electronics industry. The much more environmentally benign lithium batteries could replace the environmentally unfriendly Ni-Cd batteries. Students would be introduced to the principles of EPR and the physics and chemistry of lithium-ion battery materials. The students would also learn how to operate the EPR Spectrometer in Professor Greenbaum's laboratory.

Investigating Liquid Trap and Microfluidic System for Real Time Determination of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Ambient Air
Team Members

Principle Investigator (PI):
Dr. Wilbert Hope

Co-Principle Investigator(Co-PI):
Dr. Leon Johnson

Researchers:
Saico Carr, Undergraduate Student
Aubrey Campbell, SHARP Apprentice

Final Research Presentation
Summary

In order to take surface ozone samples, a sample test strip must be exposed for approx. 1 hour. After an shour, an instrument named "Zikua" is used to determin the amount of surface ozone in parts per billion (PPB). Whilethe sample strip is collection surface ozone, data including cloud type & coverage, wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature, & start and end time must be collected.

Results: Surface ozone samples from Paradox, New York were taken in order

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