Monthly Archives: April 2012

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Space Weather Workshop

Whitney Lohmeyer presented some of the initial findings of her analysis of geostationary communication satellite health data at the 2012 NOAA Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colorado. This work involves analyzing satellite health data from Inmarsat as well as space weather observational data. The preliminary work showed that there were correlations between the satellite health data (even in cases where there were no anomalies) and space weather events. We appreciate the support from the SWW organizers for our participation in this event and look forward to next year!

S-band Antenna on the Green Building

Prof. Sara Seager is leading an effort to renovate the old S-band weather radar on the roof of the tall Green Building (54) at MIT, which we also support. This group met in the spring to talk about options for improving its mechanical operation and modifying its RF front end to be compatible with the desired frequencies. It would be great if the dish could support tracking and communication of university-class CubeSats. Some of the ideas for it include implementation of a software-defined radio system. The MIT amateur radio club is also helping to guide the effort, as they have been the most frequent users of the equipment recently. There is already an MIT-affiliated set of three equatorial S-band ground stations (the Open System of Agile Ground Stations, or OSAGS) and it would be great to have another station at higher latitudes to improve coverage.


The MIT Trapped Energetic Radiation Satellite (TERSat) completed its Critical Design Review for the University Nanosatellite Program-7 competition, managed by the Air Force Office of Sponsored Research (AFOSR). Many thanks to the dedicated reviewers who contributed valuable comments and feedback and to the organizers, Dr. Voss and Ms. Mandy Pietruszewski. Also, a “job well done!” to the MIT students who presented and hosted the lab tours.

In the picture above, our reviewers include: David Voss – UNP Program Manager, Mandy Pietruszewski – UNP Principal Systems Engineer, Stan Straight- Flight Programs Branch Chief Engineer, Christina Doolittle- ANGELS Lead Flight Director, Greg Ginet – Senior Analyst to Space Systems Analysis Group, Dave Cooke – Tech Advisor Space Weather COE, Apoorva Bhopale- Project Manager for IRIS, Capt. Rob Small – Program Manager CubeSat Flight Series

TERSat MIT students in the picture include: Anne Marinan
Prof. Kerri Cahoy, Emily Clements, Julian Lemus (mostly hidden, sorry Julian), Brian Coffee, Christian Valledor, Eric Peters (mostly hidden), Leonard Tampkins, and Bruno Alvisio. The complete class 16.831 MIT TERSat students include: Naomi Lynch, Julian Lemus, Mary Zhuang, Zachary Casas, Christian Valledor, Sydney Giblin, Emily Clements (grad mentor, lead engineer), Lionel Sotomayor, Michael Leaman, Leonard Tampkins, Elizabeth Qian (UROP), Kristopher Weaver, Brian Coffee, Megan Tadge, Evan Wise (grad mentor), Maria de Soria Santacruz-Pich (grad mentor), Anne Marinan (grad mentor), Eric Peters (grad mentor), Gregory Esligner (grad mentor), Bruno Alvisio (grad mentor).

Dr. Bodo Reinisch Visit

The 16.831 Space Systems Development class invited Dr. Reinisch to come visit and give a lecture to the Trapped Energetic Radiation Satellite (TERSat) class team on remote sensing of space weather. The visit was right after the team had received our STACER 2.5 m deployable antenna and did our first test deployments. The team really enjoyed hearing about Dr. Reinisch’s experiences with IMAGE, the Digisonde projects, and getting his advice on building the VLF transmitter for TERSat, such as grounding and tuning strategies.