Honors Summer Internship

Honors Scholars group

About the Program

The Honors Summer Internship program is a competitive, invitation-only program that consists of a summer internship for undergraduate students at UT Austin with potential for continued part-time student employment. The purpose of this program is to expose the students to sponsored research and development dedicated to improving our national security, and to provide incentive for further academic development. During the spring semester, potential candidates are selected by the university's Deans of Engineering and Natural Sciences and invited to apply for the internship.
Each student is supervised by a research scientist or engineer and given a project they can complete during the apprenticeship. In addition to these projects, the program offers students opportunities to learn more about the different types of research done at ARL:UT. These activities include presentations from ARL:UT staff, and a tour of ARL:UT's Lake Travis Test Station.

2017 Student Projects

Pulsars are rotating neutron stars that emit beams of radiation in a direction that may not be aligned with the rotational axis. As the neutron star rotates, the beam swings past the observer, creating a brief pulse of observable energy. These pulses can be extremely regular and extremely predictable - which makes pulsars potentially useful for timekeeping. However, the signals are expected to be weak, and dispersed over a wide frequency range (due to the ionosphere). We would like to examine the possibility of observing pulsars through low gain antennas, specifically GNSS antennas. The High Rate Tracking Receiver (HRTR) is a broadband direct sample receiver that is primarily used for GNSS applications. We are interested in determining whether using the HRTR, a GNSS antenna, and potentially a small dish antenna we can observe pulsar signals. The student will be expected to do some theoretical calculations, as well as collect and process data.
Space and Geophysics Laboratory
The fundamental goal of the NExUS project is to take native data outputs produced from the OMeGA API and repackage those data into ZF common data containers for downstream ZF processing and thereby establish an end-to- end ZF processing chain. Additional objectives for consideration include:
  • Portability (C++ code)
  • Performance (parallelized multi-core and/or distributed decoding design)
  • Usability (optimizing the ability for end-users to consume ZF data for processing/analysis)

 This work would include an initial research phase to determine/review the correct NExUS application design approach that would address the noted objectives and other requirements. Once an application design has been specified, development of a NExUS application would begin starting with the highest priority OMeGA-to-ZF mapping translations (e.g. from native CDF/DDCS) and then continue to extend the use cases to other native format translations (e.g. from native CASDE, FDS, etc.) as deemed appropriate or within development time available.
Environmental Sciences Laboratory
In this task, the student will support analysis of distributed learning methods and tools in support of the Army’s Next Generation Gaming System. The Army currently uses ‘serious games' like the VBS3 first-person shooter game to augment individual and collective (team) training, but have not fulfilled requirements for those games to integrate with distributed learning and training/learning management systems. The Army has tasked ARL:UT with designing the future gaming systems architecture (as a systems engineering specification for other contractors to implement, not for ARL:UT to implement directly); that architecture must the various training use cases that will utilize gaming, among them being distributed learning with Interactive Multimedia Instruction courseware and other training products as a means of enabling experiential learning.
The student will survey existing distributed learning methods and learning management systems—particularly those currently utilized by the Army—and collaborate with ARL:UT systems architects on how to incorporate those solutions with the future gaming architecture.
Signal & Information Sciences Laboratory