Throwback Thursday with Boom Brigade

Happy Throwback Thursday! This week we interviewed Jenny Wang of Boom Brigade. The team set out to design an adaptable and easily reconfigurable Deployable Boom Assembly (DBA) Offloader to simulate the zero-g environment.

Q: Could you give us a brief description of your project for those who may not know about it?

A: The objective of the project was to design and build a machine for the deployment testing of spacecraft which simulated the zero gravity conditions it would experience inflight. The system was to be scalable for a large range of force and motion with the ability to interface with different types of satellite booms.


Q: Where did you first draw inspiration for the idea of the “Universal Offloading System,” for your Capstone Design Project?

A: During a spacecraft deployment test, the mechanism is operated using an offload structure which counteracts its weight. These offload structures are typically designed and built to accommodate each specific test article. Ball wanted us to design a versatile, reconfigurable offloader compatible with a variety of mechanisms.


Q: What was the design process like and how did you and your teammates come together to finish your project?

A: Our design process was very collaborative. We brainstormed ideas and solutions as a group. We each had our own role in the group and worked on different things, but we always made significant design decisions together.


Q: What were some of the problems that you faced along the way and how did you overcome those obstacles?

A: There were a few times when parts of our physical prototype weren’t functioning as we intended, but we kept an open mindset and made changes to our design when we had to. We also asked our connections at Ball for help when we got stuck.


Q: How did it feel to work with Ball Aerospace and how did they help you with the creation of your project? 

A: Ball Aerospace was extremely supportive of our project. They allowed us the freedom to develop our own design solutions but gave us guidance when we needed it. Additionally, they provided us with the majority of the materials we used to build the machine.


Q: What do you think made your team successful in creating your project? 

A: I think our group had great chemistry. My teammates were all very intelligent and motivated, and always maintained a positive attitude towards the project. We worked together very well in a manner that utilized each member’s strengths and capabilities.


Q: Do you have any advice for future teams?

A: Take the time to get to know your team and be sure to communicate well. Morale is very important. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your sponsor or faculty advisor for advice if you need it. Sometimes when you’ve been immersed in a problem for so long, an outside perspective can really help.

Thank you Jenny for sharing your project with us!


Author: Garrett Joyce

Rising second-year Industrial Engineering Student from Jersey City, NJ.

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