STEM Education

DarkStar Aerospace are dedicated to providing STEM educational materials and access to research grade scientific equipment to schools, independent educators, and educational organisations.

We are offering access to the world’s first publicly accessible radio telescope spectral-line interferometer and optical telescope interferometer arrays. Both include supporting material to enable students to experience advanced research and educational criteria, similar to that used by professional scientists, but designed for variation in their age range and comprehension level.

Radio telescopes are used to study radio waves and microwaves between wavelengths of metres to millimetres, signals larger than this are reflected back by the Earth’s atmosphere. As a result of the sizes of these wavelengths, radio telescopes must have a very large aperture or angular resolution, larger than that of an optical telescope, in order to observe the radio and microwave signals that we can detect from the ground.

Radio Interferometry is used to increase the angular resolution and signal detection capability of radio telescopes. By taking multiple radio telescopes, even those of smaller dish sizes, and spacing them some distance apart (metres to kilometres) in a baseline and aligning their focus on the same object, we can combine the angular resolution of these smaller dishes so that they uniformly act as one large radio telescope.

This will enable students to explore the universe in a manner that has never been accessible to them before, radio wavelengths and multiple wavebands. This enables them to study objects they have never had the ability to, such as the planets of our solar system in a new way, to observe the different properties of our sun, pulsars and black holes like the black hole at the centre of our galaxy Sgr A*,  to study energy and physics, and explore science through methods used by professional scientists.

DarkStar Array

The DarkStar Aerospace optical telescope interferometer is equipped with broadband, narrowband, and our specially designed scientific filters which enable comprehensive scientific measurements through all fields of astronomical study. To further their capability, they are equipped with large frame CCDs, spectrographs and adaptive optics. Together this enables a wide area of scientific research and imaging to be accomplished.

 

The DarkStar telescope arrays are research equipment that can be used during class time, integrated through technological accessibility, to be used with educational lesson plans or student research projects.