About Event

Tue 13 Feb 2024


Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218


10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EST


This multi-semester engineering project focuses on researching, designing, developing, and innovating a low budget ground station for use by Capitol Technology University (CTU) students. The project began in Fall 2021 when the team researched the Mach 30 project, an idea for a low budget HAM radio system for students to talk to the ISS. The team decided to research if the setup described in the Mach 30 project could be used to talk to CubeSATs, with the result being a negative. The next major iteration was in spring of 2022, when a preliminary low-budget setup dubbed the Ground Sphere Project was established at CTU, consisting of $100 of equipment and free-to-use software. This setup has since been utilized to collect LEO science broadcasts from the NOAA-xx constellation. Since the last presentation in 2022, progress has been made on organizing the information into a cohesive tutorial, collecting passes with a higher rate of success, and creating link budgets for the system. Upon gaining a better understanding of the system’s capabilities, the team began to hypothesize about the ground station’s ability to acquire GEO science broadcasts, running link budget calculations to determine where the gaps fell and how they could be offset. The current semester is building upon the work of past semesters to further update documentation and quantify geographical and environmental variables, including noise levels and losses. Future possible developments include connecting the Ground Sphere to the CTU’s Space Flight Operations Training Center (SFOTC), modifying the current system with better electronics suited to the noise environment around CTU and the projected losses the system will face, and successfully collecting GEO science broadcasts. Progress will also be continued on refining procedures and the link budget software. 

Speakers: R. Anastasia Ericson & Timothy Gooding (Capitol Technology University)


You may join in person at STScI’s John N. Bahcall Auditorium or virtually. To stream the colloquium, please click the Webcast button above. 

The goal of STScI Engineering and Technology Colloquia is to provide speakers for our community of the highest caliber from leading-edge engineering and technology disciplines and promote collaboration with professionals across the Institute. The steering committee invites speakers not only from conventional engineering disciplines, but from across business, academia, and government. Obtaining speakers with perspectives and knowledge that can enrich the understanding of our staff and simultaneously enhance their connections with other professionals across the nation is fundamental to ensuring STScI remains at the forefront of its mission.

Please direct questions or comments to The 2024 committee members are Melody Easton, Sherita Hanna, Ian Jordan, Donald McLean, Lauretta Nagel (Chair), Michael Register, Modhumita Sabata, and Eliza Wojtaszek.