UA Engineers Finalists in International Contest


Mike Finnegan

A team of students at The University of Alabama has been selected as one of the top six finalists to compete in a international engineering competition. The goal of the competition, formally called the Student Antenna Design Contest, which is organized by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, is for the students to create a better antenna for CubeSats, which are smaller satellites that are often tacked onto the launches of larger satellites.

The team is comprised of three undergraduate students and two graduate students advised by Yang-Ki Hong, an electrical and computer 
engineering professor.

According to UANews, the team is currently working to fix the problem that causes about half of all CubeSats failures to occur because of malfunctioning antennas. To resolve this problem, the team is utilizing flat, spiral antennas that will reduce the probability of antenna failure by eliminating the need for a mechanical deployment of the antenna.

“We are trying to do the equivalent of putting a car antenna in a window,” Nikolaus Luhrs, a doctoral student from Orangevale, California told UANews. “We are taking a technology and applying it to a specific application where it’s not used currently.”

The team will travel to San Diego in July to present their work in the contest.