. 24/7 Space News .
New 10-foot dish will connnect ASU researchers directly with satellites
by Staff Writers
Tempe AZ (SPX) Aug 26, 2016

Computer science junior Jeremy Jakubowski (right) is the project manager for the ASU Satellite Tracking Ground Station. Chris Marrs (left) an electrical engineering junior working on ASU's PhxSat mission, is helping with the station's set up. Image courtesy Charlie Leight and ASU Now.

We can hear them now... A new ground tracking station featuring a 10-foot diameter dish at Arizona State University's Tempe campus will allow researchers to communicate with satellites.

Installed on the roof of the School of Earth and Space Exploration building this summer, the station will be able to relay information with spacecraft in low Earth orbit, and maybe farther, according to Jim Bell, one of the faculty members playing a leading role in the development of the ground station.

"Part of the goal is to communicate with small satellites we launch and operate," said Bell, an astronomer, planetary scientist, professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and veteran of nine NASA missions. "The other part of the goal is student education."

The station also will be able to download data from the three satellites being developed at ASU. It's a research project that augments other research projects, said lead undergraduate student developer Jeremy Jakubowski, a junior majoring in computer science.

"None of the satellite proposals we have at ASU work without a ground station," Jakubowski said.

How far the station can reach remains in question, Bell said.

"It looks like it's a big dish, but it's not big enough to communicate with deep space," he said. "We'll try some tests with small satellites that go farther out."

One of those tests will be working with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to receive information from the MarCo mission in 2018. MarCo (an abbreviation of Mars Cube One) is a technology demonstration of CubeSats, the standardized small satellites developed by a former ASU researcher. The CubeSats flying on the next Mars mission will be 6Us: six standard 3- by 3- by 3-inch CubeSats stacked together. They will be the first to leave Earth's orbit and the smallest objects ever to fly across deep space to another planet.

The Mars mission, known as InSight, will consist of those CubeSats and a lander. They'll be launched on an Atlas V rocket, be deployed into space and then, like three siblings walking to the bus stop before going their own ways, fly separately to Mars.

The CubeSats will relay radio signals from the stationary lander deployed to the Red Planet's surface, confirming a successful landing. Chief engineer on the mission is Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer Andy Klesh, an adjunct professor at the School of Earth and Space Exploration. Klesh also worked on the ground station project.

"JPL has been a huge help as well," Bell said. "Hopefully, sometime this semester or next semester we'll be doing tests, listening to satellites already up there."

They will also attempt to transmit to the LunaH-Map mission in 2018. An entirely ASU-led effort, that mission will send a cutting edge nanosatellite smaller than a piece of carry-on luggage to the moon, orbit around the poles 141 times during 60 days sniffing for hydrogen, transmit what it finds back to Earth, and then, having done its job, crash (be "disposed" of, in NASA parlance) into the south pole.

"Hopefully, we can talk to it some of the time," Jakubowski said about LunaH-Map. "The idea behind every satellite ground station is to get data down." Chris Marrs, electrical engineer on the project and a junior working on an electrical engineering degree, designed and built a circuit on the station. The large dish has a 360-degree azimuth, allowing it to pick up signals from any direction.

"It's a dish that tracks," Marrs said. "It opens up a much larger window for us to download data. ... The good thing about this is it's going to be a perpetual project. This is going to be in development for the rest of its life. We'll constantly be adding capabilities."

The dish will directly communicate with three satellite projects currently in the works at ASU:

+ Asteroid Origins Satellite (AOSAT) 1 will carry crushed meteorites and demonstrate a centrifuge laboratory in low Earth orbit. By spinning the spacecraft at 1 rpm, it will produce a centrifugal force that simulates the gravity of an asteroid. AOSAT 1 will launch in 2017 and be deployed from the International Space Station shortly thereafter.

+ PhxSat will monitor the effects of the urban heat island effect on cities such as Honolulu and New York, primarily focusing on Phoenix. Data collected over a year is expected to lead to insight on health effects of urban heat, external effects on the environment, and the extent of the consequences of climate change. The student-led project will launch in August of 2017.

+ The Space Weather and Impact Monitoring Satellite (SWIMSat) will be a shoebox-sized spacecraft designed and built by students under the guidance of Erik Asphaug, professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration (Ronald Greeley Chair of Planetary Science) and co-principal investigator Jekan Thanga, assistant professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and head of the Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration Laboratory. It is expected to launch in 2019.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Northrop Grumman to Provide Navigation System for German Satellite
Woodland Hills CA (SPX) Aug 26, 2016
Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract from OHB System AG to supply the space inertial reference system for Germany's SARah satellite-based radar reconnaissance system. Northrop Grumman will supply its Scalable Space Inertial Reference Unit-L (Scalable SIRU-L) for sensor pointing/stabilization and attitude control on the SARah satellite-based radar reconnaissance system. This c ... read more

Space tourists eye $150mln Soyuz lunar flyby

Roscosmos to spend $7.5Mln studying issues of manned lunar missions

Lockheed Martin, NASA Ink Deal for SkyFire Infrared Lunar Discovery Satellite

As dry as the moon

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Mars 2020 Rover Mission

Year-long simulation of humans living on Mars ends in Hawaii

Boredom was hardest part of yearlong dome isolation

Test for damp ground at Mars' seasonal streaks finds none

Grandpa astronaut breaks US space record

35 years later Voyager's legacy continues at Saturn

Chinese sci-fi prepares to master the universe

China opens longest glass bottom bridge in world

China Sends Country's Largest Carrier Rocket to Launch Base

China unveils Mars probe, rover for ambitious 2020 mission

China Ends Preparatory Work on Long March 5 Next-Generation Rocket Engine

China launches hi-res SAR imaging satellite

Space Station's orbit adjusted Wednesday

Astronauts Relaxing Before Pair of Spaceships Leave

'New port of call' installed at space station

US astronauts prepare spacewalk to install new docking port

Russian Carrier Rocket for Sea Launches Will Replace Ukraine's Zenit

SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship splashes down in Pacific

Intelsat "doubles down" with Arianespace for an Ariane 5 dual success

Kourou busy with upcoming Arianespace missions

Rocky planet found orbiting habitable zone of nearest star

A new Goldilocks for habitable planets

Venus-like Exoplanet Might Have Oxygen Atmosphere, but Not Life

Brown dwarfs reveal exoplanets' secrets

Why an uncanny crystal change could laser design

NIST's compact gyroscope may turn heads

New 10-foot dish will connnect ASU researchers directly with satellites

Northrop Grumman to Provide Navigation System for German Satellite

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.