William Enrique Lopez-Cordero

William Enrique Lopez-Cordero

Scholar Title

MIT AeroAstro Lincoln Labs Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Replication of the REXIS Radiation Cover




Aeronautics and Astronautics

Research Areas
  • Aerospace

Rebecca Masterson


The REgolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is the student collaboration instrument aboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. REXIS uses a 4×4 array of CCDs to collect X-ray fluoresced from the surface of Bennu. The REXIS CCDs are sensitive to radiation and need to be protected during the 2.5 year cruise to the asteroid. To this end there is a radiation cover that sits on top of the instrument and is opened with a custom TiNi Frangibolt actuator upon arrival at Bennu. If the power to the Frangibolt is not cut as soon as it actuates there is a risk of overheating the actuator outgassing and contaminating the spacecraft. Thus ground experiments need to be designed and performed using REXIS spare hardware to provide confidence of the flight hardware aboard OSIRIS-REx.


My name is William Lopez-Cordero and I’m a current Junior studying Aerospace Engineering at MIT. Most of my knowledge for the REXIS Cover SuperUROP comes from Unified Engineering which I obtained from my sophomore year. I hope to learn technical skills that revolve around satellite engineering and important research skills such as creating a poster presentation an oral presentation and a journal-style paper.

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