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Team Phoenicia

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Team Phoenicia’s lander/rover combination will piggyback on a communications satellite launch to geosynchronous orbit as a “hosted payload.” From there, the lander will separate from the parent craft and make a burn to insert itself into a transit orbit to a direct landing on the lunar South Pole. The descent will be rocket braked, but will deploy airbags in a manner for final landing. Once the lander has righted, the vehicle will deploy a multi wheeled rover and a large fan shaped placard.

The rover will traverse the required 500m while sending back competition specification quality video. Once the first goal is finished, the rover will position to fully spin-up its flywheels. At that point, the vehicle will aim to traverse the remaining 4.5 km for the secondary prize and then function during the lunar night. The intent is to make it through a lunar night without halting operations.

Once the Google Lunar XPRIZE priorities have been accomplished, the rover will be made available for scientific work on a for-pay basis. While the scientific instruments will be relatively simple, it will be the first on the ground survey near the lunar pole.

Team Phoenicia’s lander/rover combination will piggyback on a communications satellite launch to geosynchronous orbit as a “hosted payload.” From there, the lander will separate from the parent craft and make a burn to insert itself into a transit orbit to a direct landing on the lunar South Pole. The descent will be rocket braked, but will deploy airbags in a manner for final landing. Once the lander has righted, the vehicle will deploy a multi wheeled rover and a large fan shaped placard.

The rover will traverse the required 500m while sending back competition specification quality video. Once the first goal is finished, the rover will position to fully spin-up its flywheels. At that point, the vehicle will aim to traverse the remaining 4.5 km for the secondary prize and then function during the lunar night. The intent is to make it through a lunar night without halting operations.

Once the Google Lunar XPRIZE priorities have been accomplished, the rover will be made available for scientific work on a for-pay basis. While the scientific instruments will be relatively simple, it will be the first on the ground survey near the lunar pole.

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Key Team Member Biographies:

William Baird – Team Leader. William Baird is noted for being something of a computing and science generalist with a knack for finding fascinating projects, assembling the necessary resources, and bringing them to a successful fruition. He has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range's High Energy Laser System Test Facility, and currently with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. He has run Crays, managed data acquisition for megawatt class lasers, seamlessly tied together HPC assets over thousands of miles apart, programmed simulations on HPC monsters to real-time DAQ systems with everything between, and sought out numerous very challenging computing projects. Over the years he has recieved multiple awards and most recently he was noted for his work in participating in the StorCloud Challenge at Supercomputing 2005 in Seattle leading a team to win the "Best Prototype in Support of a Scientific Application" for NERSC. When faced with the great and fascinating opportunity of the Google Lunar XPRIZE, William couldn't resist.

Kelly Brodie – Team Operations. Kelly has extensive experience in operations development, financial management and start up consultation. She is well versed in business strategy development, corporate growth planning and managing the execution and sustainment of these plans. In her tenure she has been instrumental at building and maintaining corporate partner relationships.

Kelly’s life long fascination with space made joining Team Phoenicia and their pursuit of attaining the Google Lunar XPRIZE a dream realized. Her others passions inside our atmosphere include Pilates, cooking, and managing her two energetic and inquisitive young children. Kelly earned her degree in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University.

Melquiades Olivares, Team Promotion.

Dr Brandon Rohrer, Rover Lead. Machines that think and move as if alive have fascinated Brandon since the advent of the Transformers. He has pursued this interest through mechanical engineering degrees at BYU (BS '97) and MIT (MS '99, PhD '02) and through his research in the Cybernetic Systems Integration Group at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. Current research topics include high-performance prosthetic sockets, biomimetic machine learning, and automated exploratory robots.

Wesley Pickens, Telemetry Lead. Wesley Pickens is an electrical engineer currently working in the Special Radars and Communications Systems group at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He received his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University in 2002. Mr. Pickens professional career began as a student with Raytheon Electronic Systems at White Sands Missile Range in 1998. It was at Raytheon WSMR where he found his calling in radar systems and electromagnetics. Immediately following graduate school Mr. Pickens worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. During his time at JPL Mr. Pickens worked in both the Ground and Spacecraft Antenna groups designing, developing and measuring antennas for deep space communications systems. Family necessity and the opportunity to work in defense again brought Mr. Pickens back to New Mexico to work for 3 years in the Directed Energy Special Applications group at Sandia. Outside of the office Mr. Pickens enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his wife and two sons. The prospect of developing and deploying a space craft communications system is an exciting undertaking in any event and an irresistible challenge that Mr. Pickens eagerly awaits taking on.

James Erd, Manufacturing Lead.

Earl Powell, Manufacturing. Earl started his professional career on the Physics staff at Southern Illinois University. He then joined the project teams for the Magnetic Fusion Test Facility (MFTF) and the Advanced Test Accelerator at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He later accepted a position on the research staff at the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California Berkeley. He managed and directed the members of the extreme ultraviolet space telescope projects: FAUST (flown on Space Shuttle STS 45 Mar 25 1992), ORFEUS (flown on STS 51 12 September 1993). He was the fabrication manager for The Extreme-Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE), flown June 7, 1992 through January 30, 2002, part of NASA's Explorer spacecraft series. He later became involved in new product development in the semiconductor manufacturing equipment industry at Applied Materials. He was also the founder or Co-founder of Solar Factor Research Center, Cost Reduction Inc. and Tigo Energy Inc. Earl is currently working on entrepreneurial activities at the TechShop in Menlo Park, Ca.

Team Members

  1. William P. Baird
  2. Mel Olivares
  3. Brandon Rohrer
Team Leader:
William P. Baird
Location:
United States

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