Born in New York and raised on Maui, Dylan¬†Schwarzmeier is currently working toward a¬†Bachelor of Applied Science in the field of¬†Engineering Technology at the University of¬†Hawaii Maui College. Dylan’s ultimate goal is¬†to work in a cutting-edge technical career on¬†Maui that would support a comfortable¬†lifestyle. When he is not busy with school or¬†work, Dylan can be found windsurfing¬†somewhere on the north shore of Maui.

Home Island: Maui
Institute when accepted:  University of Hawaii Maui College

Detection of GEO Satellites Through Shadow Imaging
Project Site: Pacific Defense Solutions, LLC
Mentor: Riki Maeda

Project Abstract:

Due to the spatial resolution limits of current satellite-tracking systems, successful imaging of¬†satellites within a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) has never knowingly been performed. The¬†scenario of a malfunctioning GEO satellite, prompting a long costly damage assessment, could¬†be mitigated by a visual assessment of the satellite. Shadow imaging proposes an inexpensive¬†solution to this problem by capturing the diffraction pattern created from a satellite occultation.¬†When a satellite passes between the Earth and a specific star, a shadow of the satellite¬†can be observed from Earth in the form of a diffraction pattern. By utilizing an array of inexpensive¬†mobile 14-inch-diameter telescopes equipped with rapid readout photon counting detectors,¬†the diffraction pattern created by a satellite’s occultation can be measured and¬†mapped. The diffracted silhouette of the satellite can then be processed in an algorithm that¬†corrects for diffraction to produce a high-resolution silhouette of the satellite.