WATCH: Satellites recycled for science

Dave Foster


There are many students on Kent State’s campus who recycle, but most would have no idea what to do with an old satellite dish.

But, not junior physics major Aaron Slodov, he’s putting old dishes back to work as scientific radio telescopes.

“Instead of using this to watch television, were going to be using it to watch stellar phenomenon,” Slodov said.

Radio telescopes were made famous in the 1997 movie, “Contact,” with Jodi Foster. In the movie, Foster’s character uses massive land-based radio telescopes to make contact with extraterrestrial life.

“Contact will not happen at Kent State,” Slodov said. “The grade of technology that we would need is just way beyond our reach.”

To conduct his research project Aaron’s goal is to get up to three radio telescopes on the Kent State campus. Aaron’s advisor for the project, Doctor Bryon Anderson, is helping get the project up and running.

“I think it’s just the ideal project for undergraduate physics students to get involved in; to begin to learn how to design something and to learn what all is involved, finding the support to do it, and then actually implementing it and seeing what you get out of it,” Anderson said.

Aaron gained much of his knowledge of radio telescopes through a summer internship he had with the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.)

The project can’t fully get off the ground until enough funding is found, but that’s not keeping him from sending proposals and continuing the design.

“There is more out there that can easily be done, I think this is a good first step.” Slodov said.