DayStar Engineering is a group of awesome people! We are four Aerospace Engineers, either recent or soon-to-be graduates of the University of Colorado Aerospace Engineering program. We operate as a consulting group, offering support engineering and design solutions. Our specialty is in star sensing and identification. Products and designs are particularly geared for high-altitude balloon astronomy missions. Our flagship project coincides with our name: DayStar. It is a daytime star tracker which is designed to operate diurnally at altitude, while providing sub-arcsecond pointing knowledge.

Between the four of us, we are a highly flexible and agile team of engineers. Whether it be software, optics, hardware, or systems level design, we are always the first to jump to the forefront of innovation. Open source software development, unconventional hardware choices, the use of COTS parts in ways the designer never anticipated; it is all fair game!

Jed Diller

Jed graduated with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2012. He is lead engineer on the SwRI Solar Instrument Pointing Platform (SSIPP) and controls lead on the UVVis Instrument (BRRISON payload) for the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, CO. His role on the DayStar project was primarily electrical engineering but this shifted during the flight readiness phase to include systems and test engineering as well as project management. His former professional work includes software engineering for geophysical software companies and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

You can also find him on LinkedIn.

Kevin Dinkel

Kevin is an Aerospace Engineering graduate student and a skillful software engineer at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has been a lead software systems engineer for 5 high-altitude balloon payloads, including BRRISON, DayStar, and BOWSER. He has also developed flight software for the DANDE nano-satellite and for an experimental payload aboard the Surrey Orbital Test Bed. Kevin previously worked on ground and thermal systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems and BITSystems Co., and currently works as a software and systems engineer at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) in Boulder, CO.

You can also find Kevin on his personal webspaceLinkedIn, or GitHub.

Zach Dischner

Zach graduated with a BS in Aerospace Engineering in 2012 from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Currently, he is a graduate student pursuing a MS in Aerospace Engineering Systems. He is a graduate data systems technician for the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).

Zach served as lead imaging electronics engineer for the DayStar Star Tracker project. Paired with Jed, he designed a custom imaging system around a sCMOS sensor. In post-processing, he was lead on building a MySQL based data processing system to analyze flight data.

For the BRRISON project, Zach served primarily as a software engineer. He built functionality around the two flight cameras-an Andor Zyla and a Princeton Instruements ProEM. In addition, he was responsible for building interfaces to stepper motors and a Sensoray card with digital and analog I/O. Zach and Kevin then were responsible with assembling and unifying all CDH and science code on the BRRISON UVIS payload. For flight, he was the payload operator and commander.

Zach is a fervent outdoorsman, whose main interests include skiing, kiteboarding, rock climbing, as well as freelance photography.

Photography sites: zachdischner.comZach Dischner PhotographyFlickr500px


Nick Truesdale

Nick is pursuing an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado. He was the Electrical Systems Lead for the BOWSER and DayStar balloon payloads, and the Power Lead for the ALL-STAR CubeSat. Through his work on these projects, Nick has gained experience in power systems, microcontrollers, PCB design and layout, and general electrical testing. He is also a skilled programmer, and combines his wide array of skills in system design. Nick has worked with Lockheed Martin, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and is now supplements his studies as an independent contractor in electrical and systems engineering. He is currently managing the OTCCD and ISON projects for Southwest Research Institute.


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