Benjamin Mayhew

Summer Researcher with Dr. Bennett Maruca

Physics, Concentration in Astronomy, Computer Science

University of Delaware

Over the summer, I continued my research and work on the CubeSat Ground Station for the University of Delaware, stationed at Mt Cuba Astronomical Observatory. I worked on developing the tracking system for the station as my main project, but also had
other duties over the summer. These duties included being the keeper of the documentation, making sure everything we do was
documented, and also working on developing the GUI (Graphical User Interface). The tracking system is a complex compilation of
multiple components developments. Developing the GUI and allowing the tracking to work through our GUI made the GroundStation more human friendly. The software that the GUI communicates with, our GSGSE as we call it, is where the true magic of the tracking happens, where an input from our GUI turns into our satellite dish tracking a satellite that is passing overhead. I worked with both of these giants of code in order to implement our tracking system.

This summer’s experience was a good change from last summer. This summer I felt as though my work was more in depth than last. I was able to be immersed in complex coding and threading, giving me a more detailed understanding of how the ground station operates, and how code even works for really all scientific or non-scientific projects. This summer was also very good because I was able to teach some of my younger co-workers things that I had been taught by my older co-workers. It was as though the torch was sort of being passed on, as I am now the most senior member of the undergraduates for this project. I really appreciate the continued support from the Delaware Space Grant, and I look forward to presenting in April.