EDWARD L. WILLS, Research Associate Professor

(205) 934-5347, wills@uab.phy.edu

Instrumentation for Space Exploration

In collaboration with Physics colleague David Agresti and NASA Johnson Space Center, our work involves hardware development for a backscatter Má”ássbauer spectrometer/x-ray fluorescence analyzer (BaMS/XRF). This extraterrestrial prospector will analyze the surface of such distant bodies as mars and the moon. Since spaceflight requires the minimization of volume, mass, and energy consumption, our efforts are aimed at modifying the 10 kg laboratory spectrometer to meet these restrictive specifications. So far we have managed to reduce the spectrometer to the size of a soft-drink can and have reduced power requirements to less than two watts. Our future work in this area will focus on producing a flight ready instrument from the prototype. In addition to my research, my responsibilities in the graduate program include the supervision of graduate teaching assistants and recitation instructors. Many beginning graduate students will serve as laboratory instructors for introductory courses and/or lead problem solving sessions for students enrolled in the calculus and non-calculus based physics courses.



Recent Publications: