SpaceX Internships, our own Mission Control

Apr 03, 2013 Written by FIRST Staff

SpaceX Internships

Did you see the last email blast? SpaceX is offering exclusive internship opportunities to students in FIRST!  If you are a senior this year, and participating in FRC or FTC, you can apply for an internship that would likely take place after you complete your sophomore year in college.  It took us some time to put this together, and we want to select winners by Championship, so the clock is ticking! The application deadline is Monday, April 15th  Monday, May 6th. Check out the details on this exciting opportunity.

Mission Control

FRC Mission Control

(LEFT: Kevin O'Connor, FRC Engineer & Lead CSA; RIGHT: Ryan Foley, FRC Software Engineer)

Many folks probably don’t realize it but FRC has its own version of ‘Mission Control’. Anytime an event is going on during the regular FRC Season, anywhere in the world, that event is being monitored and supported remotely by one or more folks from FIRST headquarters.  In these photos, you can see the area from which this usually happens, on the 5th Floor of 200 Bedford Street in Manchester, NH.  We have a fully operational FMS, along with all the scoring panels,  indicator lights, e-stops and other equipment that are part of every competition field.  We also have Classmates acting as Driver Stations, and just outside the door to this area, a fully assembled field-end, complete with goals.  This full set-up allows us to evaluate and respond to any potential issues that arise during events, as well as test potential system enhancements between events.  Just like teams do with their robots, we use what we learn during events to continuously improve.

In addition to monitoring the FMS systems in use at events electronically, and keeping in regular contact with FTAs and Scorekeepers via Skype, our crew watches the events through webcasts when they are available.  This lets us tie what we are seeing through the system directly with action on the field.  Also, we can see all support tickets entered through National Instrument’s Parkway system, which is used to track support requests to CSAs at most of our events.  This lets us provide additional support directly, or pull in more resources if required.

FRC MIssion Control

(Matt Pilotte, Electrical Engineering Manager)

I’m hoping we didn’t leave anything visible in these photos that would be a clue to next year’s game.  It’s far too early to start the community speculating about that.

Note To Self:  Next time, wait until after Championship before mentioning next year’s game.

I’ll blog again soon.


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