Emma is a former member of the U of MN – Twin Cities’ Space Grant High-Altitude Ballooning Team and has worked on many different projects. Her of her main focus areas was experimenting with mock-CubeSats to fly on high-altitude balloon missions; she helped to design a mock-P-POD (the deployment method used in near-space to deploy mock-CubeSats) that can fly on a balloon stack and simulate an actual CubeSat deployment, exposing mock-CubeSats while still keeping them safely attached to the stack. The design allows actual CubeSats to be tested in near-space environments prior to being launched into space, where the designers can no longer retrieve their projects to make improvements. Emma also worked to improve ballooning programs that utilize weather data to predict the landing locations of balloon launches. She has also worked with different ballooning radio systems: the FreeWave radio, which beacons data from a balloon stack to a ground station, and an APRS iGate, which retrieves GPS data from the balloon stack and uplinks the location to the internet in real time. Emma has served as a team seamstress as well, helping to make multi-layer insulation “blankets” that aid payloads in retaining heat and reflecting excess solar energy. She has also been involved in many outreach programs for the MN Space Grant, including balloon launches, hovercraft activities, plus parachute activities with elementary and middle schools and the Eureka program on campus for high school girls interested in STEM careers.
Emma is a senior in the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Along with her major in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, she is pursuing a minor in Astrophysics. Outside of her schoolwork and ballooning projects, she is also the lead of the Simulations subteam of the Minnesota Rocket Team and is involved in the University of Minnesota’s Society of Women in Engineering. She is highly interested in the exploration of space and, when she graduates, hopes to work on the mechanical design of satellites and probes that will further knowledge of the universe. In her free time, Emma enjoys reading (science fiction being one of her favorite genres), baking sugary desserts, hiking and camping, photography, and playing board games with her friends and family.