Communicate with satellites in geosynchronous orbit using radio signals to gather information about their orientation.
Satellite systems are subject to a large host of environmental perils, and as more satellites are placed into orbit, space situational awareness (SSA) is becoming even more important. This is why developing new methods to characterize resident space objects (RSOs) are necessary. This project seeks to expand the collective knowledge of SSA by determining the attitude of known broadcasting satellites in geosynchronous orbit.
Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) readings will be taken from multiple ground stations. From these readings, off boresight angles and line of sight estimates can be made. These line of sight estimates will be used to triangulate the position of broadcasting resident space objects. This will examine the viability of utilizing SNR and estimation-based algorithms to determine boresight and/or maneuver information from transmitting satellites.
An on-campus ground station will be built to track geostationary satellites. Students will learn how to design and set up experiments. The data collected will hopefully provide a proof of concept that will allow future classes to build satellites that use the new method of attitude determination. A poster will also be made to present this research.
|Length of commitment||Longer than a semester (6-9 months)|
|Level of collaboration||Large group collaboration (4+ students)|
|Benefits||Valuable experience and knowledge|
|Who is eligible||Undergraduates. Must be a permanent U.S. resident (as required by the Air Force Research Lab).|
Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.
If you are planning to use this project to satisfy program requirements for your academic major or minor, it is your responsibility to obtain approval from your academic department prior to beginning the project.
Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase.