WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - West Lafayette High School's DevilTech Engineering won second place Jan. 11 in the Zero Robotics National tournament held at MIT in conjunction with the International Space Station.
In the competition, students from more than 140 teams across the U.S. and European Union designed and implemented satellite controllers during a five-month period culminating in a final tournament at MIT.
West Lafayette's team was one of the 27 teams that qualified for the MIT finals via preliminary simulation contests. DevilTechEngineering sent a satellite controller package to the International Space Station, where it autonomously operated a real MIT/NASA SPHERES satellite in a micro-gravity environment to perform space debris removal and navigation tasks.
The team advanced to the top three after winning in previous rounds with the highest total score among all teams, and was awarded second place after a close final championship match.
The team was led by Jerry Ma (team captain), Albert Hwang (software engineer) and John McDougall (communications), and was advised by West Lafayette High School teacher Steve Florence.
The team had to create complex software systems throughout the fall of 2012 to solve this year's technically demanding challenge. Other members include Adam Anderson, Anand Hastak, Cade Kane, Ben Tally and Nick Birkhimer, responsible for simulate n-based quality assurance.
This year the team was sponsored by West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation, CSS-Dynamac and Prism Tie-Dye.
To learn more about the Zero Robotics program head to its website.
You can view video of the fall 2012 competition here.
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