
199798 NEW MEXICO HIGH SCHOOL SUPERCOMPUTING CHALLENGE
Interim Report 
Our project is to optimize the design and trajectory of a space
probe designed to fly to Mars. The way we have decided to solve this
problem is by setting up five subroutines that deal with the following:
Input, Aerodynamics, Trajectory, Heat Transfer, and Interpolating. Our
programming language of choice is C++, since we are most familiar with
that language. We have only thoroughly discussed the Interpolating
subroutine, which will approximate values from known values. For example,
we know what the density of air is at sea level (0 feet) and at 16,000
feet. If we wanted to know the density of air at 10,000 feet, we would
interpolate the value using this Interpolating subroutine. The number we
receive will only be an approximation, but will be accurate enough for
this project. The Input subroutine will be a subroutine dealing with the
information the program will be asked to return. For example, if density
of air at 30,000 feet was needed, the Input subroutine would call the
Interpolating subroutine and ask for the density of air at 30,000 feet.
The Aerodynamics subroutine will deal with all the aerodynamic equations
and conversions needed for this project. For example, the drag equation,
which is Drag = 1/2 * density * velocity * velocity * surface area * drag
coefficient, will be contained in this subroutine and will be called when
needed. The Trajectory subroutine, the most important subroutine, will
deal with the different trajectories our vehicle may experience, the
result of those trajectories, and finding the optimum trajectory for
entering Mars' atmosphere. If our trajectory is incorrect, our vehicle
will not survive. This subroutine, in conjunction with the other
subroutines, will determine how successful our vehicle will be in entering
the Martian atmosphere. Our final subroutine will be our Heat Transfer
subroutine. Here we will discover the immense temperatures our probe will
experience upon landing on Mars and will find out ways to minimize these
severe temperatures, reaching 5000 degrees F and above. The Heat Transfer
and Aerodynamics subroutines will be our last subroutines, as we can make
them as detailed as we want to, determined mostly by the amount of time
left when we begin those subroutines.
Thus far our progress is satisfactory. We haven't been speed
demons, but we will definitely be ready to turn in a professional and
impressive Final Report and Poster when the time arrives. Using the
program described above, we plan on receiving great data from the
supercomputer and should be able to use that data to create the ideal
probe. Our team has been cooperative to each other and our advisors are
fantastic at guiding us and giving us aerodynamic information. I feel
confident that our project will be finished and will be very successful.
Mars, here we come!
Team Members:
Sponsoring Teacher(s):
Project Advisor(s):
 Marc W Kniskern
 Todd M Sterk
New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge
http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us