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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

PI: Demoz Gebre-Egziabher

University Nanosat Program

The University Nanosat Program is a student satellite competition sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The mission of the program is to design, construct, and validate a Global Positioning System (GPS) bistatic radar for remote sensing applications on board small satellites in earth orbit. The GPS bistatic radar measures ocean conditions such as wind speed and wave height. It utilizes novel algorithms created by University of Minnesota students to extract the ocean data from GPS signals that are reflected off the earth’s ocean into space. This type of radar can replace more expensive scatterometer systems on board vital satellites. In addition, the GPS bistatic radar can augment other data collection systems such as those on board unmanned aerial vehicles, which can be affected by weather.

The group is performing a structural and thermal finite element analysis of the satellite using ANSYS software. The structural and thermal analysis must satisfy Air Force Research Laboratory requirements, including generation of a finite element model of the satellite consisting of at least 100,000 nodes. This necessitates the use of Supercomputing Institute resources.

Group Members

Elliot Bishop, Undergraduate Student
Robert Cacic, Undergraduate Student
Ellie Field, Undergraduate Student
Mark Fjosne, Undergraduate Student
Chuck Hisamoto, Undergraduate Student
Karl Kaess, Undergraduate Student
Cole Kazemba, Undergraduate Student
Phil Kusler, Undergraduate Student
Der Lee, Undergraduate Student
Jason Legatt, Undergraduate Student
Mike Legatt, Undergraduate Student
Jonah White, Undergraduate Student
Kyle Zakrzewski, Undergraduate Student