Students and faculty in the physics and space sciences department are the Research Grand Prize winners of the ARKYD Space Telescope education and research competition. Planetary Resources Inc. of Seattle will operate the ARKYD Space Telescope, named after the fictional droid manufacturer Arakyd Industries in the Star Wars universe.
Launch of ARKYD, the world’s first crowd-funded space telescope, is scheduled for August 2015. Its 200mm aperture will be used to hunt for and characterize asteroids for future mining missions.
Participants were asked to produce a video about how the ARKYD telescope would enhance education and research at their institute. Daniel Batcheldor, physics and space sciences, led production of the Florida Tech entry with the help of 2013 alumnus Perry Bird, graduate students Sayali Avachat and Trisha Mizusawa, and Eric Perlman, physics and space sciences.
As a result of this competition, Florida Tech students may access up to 25 hours of observing time. More information about the ARKYD Space Telescope is available at: http://www.planetaryresources.com/technology. The video can be viewed at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1458134548/arkyd-a-space-telescope-for-everyone-0/posts/523967.