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CubeRRT space research featured during Columbus Clippers games

The Columbus Clippers featured NASA satellite research from The Ohio State University during its recent National Space Weekend campaign.

Located at Huntington Park over May 6 and 7, the events featured interactive displays of space suits, moon rocks, rockets and an appearance by NASA Astronaut Tom Henricks

Ohio State Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) research scientist Christopher Ball, research associates Mark Andrews and Christa McKelvey, as well as research assistant professor Graeme Smith, also presented their work on the development of NASA’s CubeSat Radiometer Radio Frequency Interference Technology Validation (CubeRRT) project over the two day event. The faculty are primary based out of the ElectroScience Laboratory at Ohio State.

Research Scientist Chris Ball leads interested pedestrians through the basics of Ohio State's CubeRRT research.

Ohio State ECE Department Chair and Professor, Joel Johnson, leads the CubeRRT program, which received $5.6 million from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in 2015. 

Ohio State's efforts are part of a larger NASA CubeSat initiative. CubeSats are satellites small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, or as big as a large shoebox, designed to test new technologies in space. NASA is exploring new launch options through the commercial small spacecraft industry in order to fast track many of these technologies.

A previous story on the project and CubeRRT's technologies is outlined in the article, “Navigating the Noise.

Research Associate Mark Andrews talks CubeRRT at the Clippers game.

Ball said the people who stopped by to learn about their CubeRRT research project during the Clippers games "overwhelmingly seemed to think that our work is very cool and fascinating."

According to their research, as humans expand their technological presence across the globe, the growth of manmade radio transmissions is making it increasingly difficult to detect Earth's microwave radiation used for studying atmospheric water vapor or soil moisture from space. This has required new advancements in radio frequency interference (RFI) technology to help separate the manmade signals from the natural.

Johnson and his team at Ohio State specialize in such technology. Ohio State is the only national university leading one of the four selected projects for NASA’s In-Space Validation of Earth Science Technologies, or InVEST, and is working in partnership with investigators from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Johnson said the Clipper's event featured the Cubesat 3-D model with poster information and a video, as well as a NASA activity sheet to allow children to build their own cardboard models.