Emma is a member of NASA’s Minnesota Space Grant High-Altitude Ballooning Team who is working on many different projects. Her main focus is experimenting with CubeSats and high-altitude ballooning; she has helped to design a P-POD (the deployment method used in space to deploy CubeSats) that can fly on a balloon stack and simulate a CubeSat deployment, exposing CubeSats while still keeping them safely attached to the stack. This design could allow CubeSat projects to be tested in near-space environments prior to being launched into space, where the designers can no longer retrieve their projects for improvements. Emma has also worked to improve ballooning programs that utilize weather data to predict the landing locations of balloon launches. She’s also worked on different ballooning radios: 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. Emma serves as the team seamstress as well, helping to make multi-layer insulation blankets that aid payloads in retaining heat. She has also been involved in many outreach programs for the MN Space Grant, including balloon launches, hovercraft activities, and parachute activities with elementary and middle schools, and the Eureka program on campus for high school girls interested in STEM careers.
Emma is a junior 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.