Virginia Engineering Students Tackle Satellite, Ground Station Projects

The University of Virginia (UVA) reports that some of its engineering students are among those at other Commonwealth schools working on Amateur Radio satellites and matching ground stations to track them and collect data. UVA said its student-built satellite is set to go into space late next year aboard an International Space Station resupply vehicle for later deployment from the ISS. The UVA project will be part of a joint mission with other Virginia universities to conduct atmospheric density studies, to gain a better understanding regarding the rates at which low-orbiting spacecraft slow down and ultimately leave orbit when encountering the drag of the atmosphere’s outer edges.

“We’re building our own version of NASA’s Mission Control, to communicate with our own spacecraft,” said Christopher Goyne, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor who serves as faculty adviser for the project. “Our students have a lot of work to accomplish prior to launch, and during the 6- to 12-month flight mission.”

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