Education Program

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Prairie View A&M University
11.03.11
 
NASA Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration (CRESSE) joins graduate students Quincy Johnson, Ijette Foley and Jullian Norman for a NASA Student Leadership Series (SLS) Conference event at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.NASA Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration (CRESSE) joins graduate students Quincy Johnson, Ijette Foley and Jullian Norman for a NASA Student Leadership Series (SLS) Conference event at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
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Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration (CRESSE)
Award Period: October 2008 – September 2013

Center

The Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration (CRESSE), a NASA University Research Center (URC) at Prairie View A&M University, uses its core intellectual, academic and physical infrastructure to thoroughly investigate the scientific and engineering challenges of space radiation. Such radiation acutely impacts the national efforts to someday safely return scientists, engineers and explorers to such space destinations as near earth asteroids (NEAs), Mars and beyond.

The prime objective of CRESSE is to merge new materials and technology into innovative radiation shielding systems that will keep critical electronic and scientific instruments and astronauts safe from harmful radiation during future robotic and human missions in deep space.

Research Focus

Through September 2013, CRESSE research will focus on reliability issues during future NASA lunar and Martian missions relating to the dependability of space flight instrumentation and the health and safety of astronauts. Experimental and theoretical radiation modeling studies utilizing particle accelerators are performed at:
  • NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Port Jefferson, NY
  • Proton Synchrotron at Loma Linda Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA
  • Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM
Currently, the CRESSE research goal concentrates on the development of multiple testbeds designed to simulate planetary surfaces so that realistic space and radiation experiments can be created on Earth using these proton and neutron beam facilities.

CRESSE works to maximize the Technical Readiness Level (TRL) of radiation instrumentation for human and robotic missions, optimizing the return value of CRESSE for NASA exploration. The outcomes and knowledge enhance a variety of science and engineering disciplines vital for the safety and reliability of future space exploration missions that could be negatively impacted by various space radiation environments.

CRESSE research has the potential to significantly impact other high profile areas including medicine, national defense, homeland security and energy production. Studies and lessons learned hold promise for future collaborations with the National Institute of Health, the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Homeland Security.

Five core CRESSE researchers represent some of the nation's foremost scientists in the fields of:
  • Space Radiation Environment Modeling
  • Radiation Transport Modeling
  • Space Radiation Instrumentation and Dosimetry
  • Space Radiation Effects on Electronics
  • Micro-composite Fabrication Using In-Situ Materials
The educational goal of CRESSE is to train students in radiation engineering and science with the objective of increasing and contributing to the pipeline of underserved minorities qualified to step confidently into the aerospace workforce.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Richard Wilkins
Tel: (936) 261-9791, E-mail: rtwilkins@pvamu.edu

Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration (CRESSE)
Prairie View A&M University
Avenue A & 5th Street, S.R. Collins Building
Prairie View, TX 77446
http://www.cresse-pvamu.com