Our Northwest

Budding engineer invents spacecraft gizmo

Tuesday, June 2, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

A Hillsboro resident has drawn NASA’s interest after conceiving a way to keep Martian dust off the Curiosity rover’s camera lens.
     When Ashwin Datta isn’t engineering rover repairs, he attends classes at Glencoe High School in Hillsboro.
     Datta is a 16-year-old sophomore who also competes nationally in speech and debate.
     Datta learned that NASA must color-correct Curiosity’s photos because red Martian dust settles on its lens. Noting that the dust has a slightly negative charge, he invented a positively charged lens ring that repels dust.
     After building a model of his device, Datta won first place at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh. Read The Oregonian story.

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