AZ Space Grant Research Interns come from all colleges at the Prescott Campus and work on a diversity of aspects that align with and move NASA's Mission, "Drive advances in science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration to enhance knowledge, education, innovation, economic vitality and stewardship of Earth" forward.   

Here, Space Grant Research Interns share their research stories:     

Heuristic Optimization Applied to Orbital Transfers in the Three-Body Problem

Geometry of the CR3BP
Geometry of the Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem
Phobos DRO's in Rotating Reference Frame
Phobos DRO's in Rotating Reference Frame

Amber Scarbrough headshotResearch for my topic covers mathematical optimization methods and their purpose in spaceflight mechanics. With an example problem tested on orbital transfers in the Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem, such as a transfer from Low-Martian Orbit to a Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit. The optimization will prove the minimum design variables of a direct 2-burn maneuver for a spacecraft. Design parameters that optimize the desired orbital transfer will be simulated in a software application such as MATLAB for verification through numerical evaluation.

Amber Scarbrough, Software Engineering - May 2021

Investigation of Asteroid Deflection Strategies for 99942 Apophis

chart showing Deltav required in km/sec for Earth-Apophis transfer
Deltav required in km/sec for Earth-Apophis transfer
chart showing trajectories of Earth and Apophis
Departure April 14, 2029. Transfer time: 316 Days
Carly VeNard headshot

This project studies the asteroid 99942 Apophis and its threat towards Earth. The project quantitatively examines the effectiveness of performing a kinematic impact maneuver on the asteroid during a close Earth approach in 2029.

Carly VeNard


Contact Us

  • Dr. Elliott Bryner, Director and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, 928-777-3869)
  • Dr. Anne Boettcher, Assistant Director and Director of Undergraduate Research Institute, 928-777-3825)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
3700 Willow Creek Rd
Prescott, AZ 86301