June 5, 2014

Graduate student receives recognition from NASA

Tushar Sharma honoured for amateur radio astronomy outreach project

Tushar Sharma, a graduate student at iRadio Lab in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Schulich School of Engineering, has received an international recognition given by National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. National Science foundation (NSF), the United Nations IHY, International Space Weather Initiative, Stanford Solar Center and Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers. In May 2014, Sharma was honoured for his contribution in education outreach in amateur radio astronomy and science popularization including use of electronics in solar science.

Sharma, a second year Masters student working with Professor Fadhel Ghannouchi, developed his radio astronomy project nearly five years ago in India. Originally from New Delhi, Sharma’s aim is to inspire students in India and Calgary.

“The purpose is to introduce high school, college and university students to the field of radio astronomy and motivate them to get involved with further study and research.”

The amateur radio astronomy project enables students to set up radio receivers and antennas to receive emissions from the sun, tracking solar activity. The data is then sent to NASA for analysis.

“It is a simple set up, but it shows amateur astronomers how they can contribute and have a role in research,” says Sharma.

Sharma developed his own antenna for the project and has given over a 100 talks about amateur radio astronomy at colleges and universities in India as well as the University of Calgary.

This NASA award is given to young professionals who are working towards science popularization and ensuring development of earth and space sciences.