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Modeling of Space Weather Effects on REXIS


Term:

Summer

Department:

16: Aeronautics and Astronautics

Faculty Supervisor:

Rebecca Masterson

Faculty email:

becki@mit.edu

Apply by:

5/5/2020

Contact:

becki@mit.edu, rpb@mit.edu

Project Description

We are seeking an advanced undergraduate student with good C/C++ and python programming skills to participate in the analysis and interpretation of data collected with the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) for the investigation and modeling of space weather effects. Experience in the use of the GEANT4 toolkit, matplotlib, numpy and scipy is strongly preferred. REXIS is an X-ray imaging spectrometer that was launched on the 8th of September 2016 for observation and characterization of the elemental surface composition of the asteroid 101955 Bennu. Since launch multiple observations have been carried out for calibration of the instrument during transit to Bennu and while in orbit around the asteroid. During the course of these observations variation in the instrument internal background were observed and are currently hypothesized to be the result of the ebb and flow of energetic particles (cosmic rays and solar wind) which occurs due to variations in solar activity. The primary goal of the selected candidate will be to make use of the current instrument model together with inputs from other satellites currently in operation to investigate the origin of the REXIS internal background variation by comparison of the REXIS flight data.

Pre-requisites

solid C/C++ and python programming skills Experience in the use of the GEANT4 toolkit, matplotlib, numpy and scipy is strongly preferred.