Glenn Research Center
January 11, 2021 – April 30, 2021
Goals of your project/s:
My project goals were to continue the development of the Electrical Modeling and Thermal Analysis Toolbox (EMTAT) by expanding the capabilities of the toolbox and reducing the learning curve for new users. EMTAT is a Simulink toolbox that uses graphical block-based models to represent electrical hardware components. An initial version of EMTAT has been released publicly, but libraries within the toolbox are still undergoing development
Describe what you did during the internship.
The work I did regarding the expansion of EMTAT capabilities included the addition of new blocks and features. Blocks were developed that model an electrical power transmission cable, an AC generator, and a rectifier. Each block was designed to interface with existing EMTAT libraries and incorporate the modeling standards used. These blocks also include a feature in which users can enter desired electrical properties in a field and the blocks will output physical parameters that can then be used to select real-life hardware components. This project required me to learn more about Simulink’s capabilities and to become familiar with the strategies used in creating other EMTAT blocks. My work underwent reviews with other engineers in the branch before being uploaded to the public repository. A set of examples and tutorials were created to introduce new users to EMTAT modeling concepts, block functions, and features. These examples start with simple models and then build up into more complex systems. A user guide document was created to accompany new users through these examples. This project tasked me with learning about how to build up Simulink models using EMTAT blocks. As I was a new user myself, it was important that I documented things that I found confusing or inconsistent and to either correct these issues or to make sure that they were addressed in the tutorial document. Finally, I did some general testing and troubleshooting work throughout the internship. Any bugs caught were corrected and uploaded to the EMTAT repository.
Did you achieve your goals? What were the results and conclusions?
Overall, the project goals were achieved. With the addition of the cable, generator, and rectifier blocks, there are only a few desired components remaining before the EMTAT library I was working on has the capabilities desired. The tutorials and user guide will help to bring new users up to speed, and some of the bug catches and updates will remove sources of confusion and errors that may otherwise be incurred.
Describe positive lessons learned from this experience:
Despite the remote work environment, this was an excellent experience. I learned a lot of technical skills regarding the software I was working with, but more importantly, I learned lessons about how to work remotely. In this environment, it was more important than ever to be proactive in reaching out to people about problems or questions. I learned how to effectively communicate these questions and how to work independently to implement the answers. I also learned that there is still a significant amount of teamwork and camaraderie that can occur in this environment, as connections were quickly developed with other interns and employees.
Describe negative lessons learned from this experience:
It’s difficult to think of any negative lessons learned during my internship. If I had to pick one, it would be the scale of the projects performed at NASA in relation to my time working at the agency. I had not fully realized how long some programs take from initial concept to final product. However, though my work was only a small piece in the much larger puzzle, I still feel that I was able to make some significant contributions to the project.