Jason Williams founded EAARO in 2011 and has assembled a team of science and engineering specialists including Chief Engineer Jeff Lashley, a radio astronomy author and technical officer formerly at the UK’s National Space Centre. Since inception EAARO has been supported by many leading industry experts and including Professor Paul Davies, Cosmologist at Arizona State University, Dr Megan Argo, Astrophysicist at the University of Manchester, Dr Mark Galloway from the University of Hertfordshire's Bayfordbury Observatory, Prof. Mike Garrett, Director of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Dr Alexander Kraus, Divisional Director for the Effelsberg 100M Telescope at Max Plank Institute for Radio Astronomy, and Seth Shostak, Director of the SETI Institute California.
EAARO has a a growing estate with a Space Operations Centre (SOC) near Cambridge, a fully operational radio observatory and satellite ground station in Hertfordshire and an on-going meteor radar system project on the Orkney Islands.
The first major project for EAARO was to function as the primary UK ground-station for the crowd-funded KickSat satellite mission which launched in April 2014 from Cape Canaveral. Working in partnership with Zac Manchester, NASA, the University of Cornell Spacecraft Design Laboratory, and the British Interplanetary Society, EAARO built a satellite ground station to track the KickSat Cubesat and hundreds of chip-sized Sprite micro-satellites that it was due to deploy into Low Earth Orbit using a novel ejection system. Due to a fault with KickSat's on-board computer the sprites were not deployed and the mission was not entirely successful. Recently NASA agreed to fund another launch and EAARO will be ready to bring their ground station on line for the second attempt.
EAARO’s current research into the behaviour of meteors as they enter earth's atmosphere includes forward scatter observations using GRAVES, a French radar-based space surveillance system, and the BRAMS transmitter operated by the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy. These observations are carried out across all their observatory sites and the team have recently hosted public open observations at their SOC in Alconbury.
Since 2016 EAARO has been planning to build the UK’s first permanent Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Facility and are currently in the design stage for a 30m telescope inspired by the former Ohio State University ‘Big Ear’ telescope built by Dr John Kraus and his team which detected the legendary Wow Signal back in 1977.
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