SoVerA: Robyn Millan, PhD discusses new space technologies

June 11, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Whiting Library
117 Main St
Chester, VT 05143


Dr. Robyn Millan

The Southern Vermont Astronomy Group hosts Dr. Robyn Millan, Dartmouth College faculty at their June meeting. She will discuss how her research group uses old methods in new ways and also takes advantage of new technologies to advance science.

Balloons have been an important platform for scientific measurements dating back to the late 18th century when Jeffries and Blanchard flew their instruments across the English Channel. Dr. Millan’s group looks for ways to adapt balloon technologies in order to study the space environment around Earth.  Over the past few years, their flotillas of small balloons have carried instrumentation around Antarctica to make multi-point measurements of radiation belt particles as they enter Earth’s atmosphere from space. This year, they are flying their instrument on a new kind of balloon that enables ultra-long duration flights, lasting months.

The development of small spacecraft in the commercial sector is moving at a rapid pace. Companies (e.g., One Web, SpaceX Starlink, etc.) are launching small satellites to create mega-constellations of hundreds to thousands of satellites for Earth observation and the internet in space. Dr. Millan is interested in finding ways to leverage these developments for science and will talk about the current CubeSat project and ideas for future scientific missions that use satellite constellations.

SoVerA is an organization composed of amateur and professional astronomers, educators, students, and lots of members of the lay public. SoVerA is dedicated to making astronomy much more accessible to all. Talks and presentations are free and open to the public.  This venue is ADA accessible.

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