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How to talk to a satellite

Date and Time:

Raven Landing Center, 1222 Cowles Street, Fairbanks, Alaska

Portrait of speaker Denise Thorsen
Denise Thorsen
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engingeering

Almost everyone today uses electronic devices to communicate. We video chat, text, send email and download movies through cell phones, tablets and computers. How do our voices, images and ideas go from Alaska to the other side of the world? In a word: satellites. Scientists also use satellites and the data they collect to study the phenomena that significantly affect life on Earth. Researchers at the Geophysical Institute, and universities around the world, study sea ice, volcanoes, earthquakes, weather, solar activity and wildfires using a vast amount of information. The Space Systems Engineering Program in the UAF College of Engineering and Mines is developing a satellite to test communication protocols to help manage this flood of data. This talk will describe how satellites “talk” to each other and the ground, and research underway to maximize that conversation.