University Of Tulsa Developing Satellite Through Partnership With NASA

The University of Tulsa is conducting research and developing a satellite that they hope to have orbiting the Earth for continued research.

Friday, December 22nd 2023, 10:03 pm



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The University of Tulsa is broadening communication networks for future space missions through a partnership with NASA.

The school is doing research and developing a satellite that they hope to put into orbit.

Some of the greatest mysteries are beyond the edge of the skies.

The reignition of space exploration brings many opportunities for research and developing technology to orbit where few have gone before.

The University of Tulsa is joining in on NASA's mission to create a more efficient form of communication by becoming the pioneers of Oklahoma’s first CubeSat.

“One of the biggest problems existing is space communication right now,” Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Peter LoPresti said. 

Before it all comes together, LoPresti, along with his students, must discover a way to send infrared laser signals between the Earth’s surface and space.

“The two biggest struggles are the atmosphere. When a laser beam travels through the atmosphere, the turbulence scatters the light in all different directions. You can’t just put a little detector right in front of the beam because it will wander all over the place. The second part is literally the distance,” LoPresti said. 

The CubeSat is a modular satellite, which means three cubes, about the size of a box a computer mouse comes in, will be stacked together with all the components to make it work inside.

“It’s like a children’s toy almost in the sense that you’re just building it out of blocks,” LoPresti said. 

He says the CubeSat will be able to be tested by researchers worldwide as the satellite orbits the earth.

The team is drafting a funding proposal to support final testing and the CubeSat's launch, adding to Oklahoma's list of space accomplishments.

“Oklahoma has a lot of really well-kept secrets. There are two or three companies right here in the Tulsa area that are doing a lot of space-based work that I don’t know that they get the attention. There is a lot of opportunities here available for people to get involved,” LoPresti said.

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