MSU will get new antenna | Life & Artwork
A 12 meter antenna will be installed at Morehead State University.
The need for a second antenna arose after the 21-meter antenna responsible for radio astronomy was contracted by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems as a connected node in the Deep Space Network (DSN). Once dedicated to lunar missions, it can no longer research low-orbit LEOs, satellites, or train students.
“It gives us a skill that we would have lost because the great court is used exclusively for lunar work and it would have been very difficult to find time to train students,” said Ben Malphrus, executive director of the space research center. “When we have the 12 meters, we can continue the work we are pretty well known for and offer hands-on training to the students.”
There are currently only three DSN locations worldwide. This makes the 21-meter node of the MSU the fourth connected node.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory donated the 12 meters to complement the work of the great court. The dish came from the DSN complex in California after it was taken out of service.
According to President Dr. Jay Morgan’s multi-million dollar donation was combined with a $ 250,000 donation from the Kentucky General Assembly for antenna installation.
The new antenna will generate more revenue by offering more services, research and development. It will also allow the Space Science program to offer students more opportunities in the field.
“The intent is really research and development, but it also has a teaching component as our students will have the advantage of not only working on our antenna that we now have, but also on the additional antenna and gaining practical experience “said Morgan.
Students can operate the antennas, pilot spacecraft, get data and telemetry, and control the implementation of the subsystems.
“The students are not only involved in the operation of the instruments, but also in the development,” said Malphrus. “We’ll involve students not just when it’s done, but every step of the way.”
Only the foundation for the structure of the antenna has been completed, but it is expected to go online within two years.