SunRISE Ground Radio Lab



High schools across the United States are participating in a radio science campaign, in collaboration with the University of Michigan and NASA’s Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE) mission, which is due to launch in 2025. The SunRISE Ground Radio Lab (GRL) invites people on Earth to observe radio emissions from Jupiter, the Sun, the Milky Way Galaxy, and Earth, using a multi-frequency radio telescope to complement the data collection being done by this new satellite mission.

The SunRISE GRL aims to complement SunRISE’s measurements in space, and to engage the public and educate the next generations of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) scholars through hands-on citizen science campaigns. The SunRISE GRL gives high school students a chance to learn by doing the work of science alongside scientists and a NASA research mission. Together, we will answer research questions such as:

  1. What are the mechanisms behind solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), and how do they manifest in radio emissions?
  2. What processes accelerate Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) during solar eruptions, and how are they detected through radio observations?
  3. What are the mechanisms behind various types of radio bursts observed on the Sun, and how do they relate to space weather phenomena?
  4. How do radio observations help in understanding the structure and dynamics of the solar atmosphere, including the chromosphere, transition region, and corona?
  5. How do solar radio emissions influence space weather and terrestrial phenomena, such as geomagnetic storms and ionospheric disturbances?

There are many benefits to high school students and the science community:

  • Inspire students to become citizen scientists (lifelong science participants)
  • Increase science literacy and understanding of the scientific process
  • Provide a hands-on experience in radio astronomy
  • Expand a network of radio telescopes for advanced projects in radio astronomy
  • Enable access to online observatories and real data for researchers
  • Facilitate the exchange of data and ideas among participants to work on our research goals.

Our team at the University of Michigan College of Engineering will support the deployment of a dual-dipole antenna (free of charge), as well as the training of the host high school staff and student teams.

About the Program

Upon acceptance, high school staff in the SunRISE Ground Radio Lab will receive the antenna kit, which is expected to ship by summer 2023. Our team will also make training modules available to students and mentors on a range of topics, including radio astronomy, space physics, and science data collection and analysis.

Upon successful completion of the training modules, students will receive certificates of completion for their participation in this project, approved by the University of Michigan College of Engineering and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Office of Education.

The high school teams will host the antenna system, as well as collect and upload data (once/twice a week). Upon completing the training modules, the teams will have the opportunity to further participate in science studies by radio science experts to identify events, such as solar radio bursts, auroral disruptions, and Jovian radio emissions. The teams will have the opportunity to participate in monthly webinars and Q&A sessions with the SunRISE leadership team, and other space physics and engineering experts.

Participating High Schools

Join this list of participating high schools and organizations in fostering citizen science.

  • Ann Arbor Huron High School, Michigan
  • Ann Arbor Skyline High School, Michigan
  • Saline High School, Michigan
  • Hamtramck High School, Michigan
  • Trinity Christian School, West Virginia
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Florida
  • The Residential Center of Educational Opportunities of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
  • Belmont High School, Massachusetts
  • CROEM High School, Boqueron
  • Coral Reef High School, Miami, Florida
  • Morrison High School Centennial High School, Illinois
  • Central Magnet School Marquette Senior High School, Minnesota
  • MMSD Planetarium Vel Phillips Memorial High School, Wisconsin
  • Franklin High School, New Hampshire

Are you involved in an organization or high school that is interested in participating in the SunRISE Ground Radio Lab? Contact us to register for GRL.