P09571: Space Weather Observatory to Monitor Ionosphere

P09571 Summary

Table of Contents

Project Description

Project Background

Motivation for this project is to develop and implement a space weather monitoring system on the RIT campus which gives a 3-dimensional view of the ionosphere. The images created will aide in the early detection of storms in the ionosphere and ample warning would then be given to all parties affected in order to avoid major power outages and communication failures.

NASA has recently announced that there are magnetic portals which span across the Earths ionosphere. These portals are responsible for transporting ions from the sun in a random fashion through the ionosphere which in turn creates space weather. The more radiation the sun emits, the larger the potential of storm brewing in the ionosphere.

Problem Statement

The main goal of the team is to design and implement a Command Center which will communicate with the antennas on the RIT campus. After data collection and analysis, the team will begin communication with other space weather monitoring systems for a more expansive look at the affect the magnetic portals and particles have on space weather.


  1. Create a weather-resistant covers for antennas
  2. Install 3 antennas throughout campus
  3. Design and construct the Command Center
  4. Collect data and perform analysis that will aid in forming predictions of space weather storms and in turn give sufficient warning to affected parties.


Expected Project Benefits

Core Team Members:

* Dr. Roger Dube - Faculty Guide
* Kimberly Doyle - Project Manager (ISE)
* Galen Doser - Lead Engineer (ME)
* Matthew Marsh (EE)
* Soham Ghosh (ISE)

Strategy and Approach

Assumption and Constraints

The team must first recognize what space weather is and what effects it could potentially have on the Earth. After understanding this, the team needs to mount antennas on rooftops around campus. Dr. Dube has posession of the roof keys. No one is allowed on the roof alone. Diligent work with the software and existing data will facilitate the team's data collection and analysis effort.

Project Issues/Risks and Constraints

* New Project
* Unfamiliar Topic of Study
* Working together as a newly formed team
* Placement of antenna on rooftop
* Cable run between antenna and Command Center
* Learning Software
* Linking Command Center with other Observatories