citizen science http://michiganradio.org en Giving DIY satellites a push in space http://michiganradio.org/post/giving-diy-satellites-push-space <p></p><p>Technology has opened the doors in recent years for do-it-yourselfers to complete scientific projects without help from universities or government agencies. But space exploration is one field that has remained largely out of reach for amateur scientists who don’t have NASA-sized budgets.</p><p>One way space enthusiasts have found to get more involved in the last few years is by building little satellites themselves, called cubesats.</p><p>Basically just metal boxes about the size of a loaf of bread, cubesats are popular in the DIY space community because they can be built cheaply with off-the-shelf parts and can be stuffed with cameras and all sorts of other instruments depending on the builders’ interests.</p><p>They’re usually put together by groups of amateurs or classes who pay to have their cubesat catch a ride on bigger rocket missions and once they’re dropped off, they stay in orbit and transmit pictures or other data back down to Earth.</p><p>Now, <a href="http://www.goblueplasma.com/">researchers at the University of </a><a href="http://www.goblueplasma.com/">Michigan</a>&nbsp;say they are working to expand the scientific capabilities of cubesats by giving them a push in new directions, literally.</p><p>They want to take the plasma propulsion systems that power big spacecraft, like communication satellites, and shrink them down so that amateurs can send their cubesats into new orbits or even off into the solar system.</p><p></p><p><em>*Listen to the full story above</em></p><p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 21:37:17 +0000 Stateside Staff 16141 at http://michiganradio.org Giving DIY satellites a push in space Michigan Tech builds phone apps to connect researchers with citizen scientists http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-tech-builds-phone-apps-connect-researchers-citizen-scientists <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There’s a new project out of </span><a href="http://www.mtu.edu/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan Technological University</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in Houghton that involves phone apps.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The idea is to use apps to share information with professional researchers.</span></p><p>So far the team of professors and students have made four web apps.</p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 14:00:00 +0000 Kyle Norris 15261 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Tech builds phone apps to connect researchers with citizen scientists