NORMAN — Researchers at the University of Oklahoma are partnering with NASA on a project that would enhance the agency's radar capability.
OU recently received a three-year, $750,000 grant to develop algorithms for a multi-antenna radar system. Officials said the digital signal processing algorithms would allow radar systems to take finer two- and three-dimensional measurements.
The grant is a part of NASA's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, which seeks to develop partnerships between NASA programs and colleges and universities, as well as private industry. Out of 52 proposals, OU was one of 17 institutions to receive a grant.
The radar system would have a number of applications, said OU professor Mark Yeary, the principal investigator. It will be mounted on a NASA spacecraft, he said, and could be used to measure forestation, soil moisture and crop growth on earth.
The project will begin in the spring, Yeary said, and is a good opportunity to get students involved in major research.
“The biggest impact is to have an ability to offer advanced training to students in areas of national need,” he said.
One of the chief components of the project is outreach, said Victoria Snowden, director of the Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium. As the project progresses, Snowden said, researchers will be developing programs that work with science teachers, who will then incorporate portions of the program into their classroom lessons.