On Tuesday, May 4 LSU announced the Tiger Eye 1 Research Mission where a group of student researchers will be launching technology to the moon in 2022.
This would be the first time any university would be sending technology to space, as well as the first time the U.S. will be launching anything to the moon since 1972.
On Monday, May 10 a media conference was held with the Tiger Eye 1 team where they discussed more about their initiative.
Dr. Jeff Chancellor, head researcher of the project explains the purpose of the technology they will be sending.
" We are designing custom hardware that will be put on the intuitive machine Nova- C moonlander," Chancellor said. " It was scheduled to launch this year but now they're saying it could be on the first of 2022 to the lunar surface where it will operate on battery power for two weeks."
Chancellor mentions that the technology will be the first piece of equipment to measure radiation on the moon's surface.
" This will be the first instance of a U.S. institute actually measuring the radiation environment on the lunar surface since the space flight program at NASA so we're very excited about that," Chancellor said.
LSU Graphic Design Student Katie Hostetler expressed how honored she was to design the Tiger Eye 1 logo (as seen above).
" I really wanted to emphasize that this was an accomplishment of LSU," Hostetler said. " I think it turned out really awesome. It was an incredible honor to be able to design for such an important occasion for LSU."
Fellow researcher and LSU Medical Physics Graduate Haley Pellegrin explained what type of material the technology will be made of.
" This is material such as aluminum that's used to reflect or absorb cosmic rays during space flight in order to protect our human crew and our hardware as well," Pellegrin said.
Pellegrin also explained the importance of testing its strength to strong radiation waves.
" We're looking at how well will this material reduce the intensity of the radiation that's going to hit it," Pellegrin explained. " This data can also make advancements for means of designing and modeling radiation shielding itself for a space craft that can be used to minimize damage received by the human crew and hardware for future space travels."
LSU Electrical Engineering student and tech developer for Tiger Eye 1 Jacob Miller discusses the different requirements needed to make the technology safer to launch.
Miller said, " This radiation environment is very damaging to electronics and so we have to use very specific electronics that were designed specifically to handle the cosmic radiation of the space environment."
Miller goes on to express the difficulty of making the proper size for the technology.
" On top of all that, we have to meet all these different requirements while weighing in at less than 2/3 of a pound matching the power requirements of our vehicle provider and taking up about the same space as an iPhone 12," Miller explained.
The Tiger Eye 1 Research Mission will also be using a control room on campus to monitor the technology once launched into space.
" We'll actually be setting up our own control room here at LSU which will be able to use to send commands to the device and monitor its health status on the lander and receive and process data that lander sends back to Earth," Miller said.
Lastly, Miller expressed how he and the rest of the team felt honored as students to be taking on an important task.
" The fact that we as students get to tackle these problems and come up with our own solutions and have these solutions impact future space flights and research that's done here at LSU," Miller said. " It's really exciting to be in such a meaningful position while being a student here at LSU."