The SERC fosters hands-on satellite communications training and active research projects using two large antennas on the USC main campus and a dedicated control room with constantly evolving hardware.
One antenna is a 4.5 meter dish that is a fully Azimuth/Elevation tracking-capable through computer control and able to track LEO/MEO/GEO satellites at a variety of frequencies from L-C Band. The other set of antennas are Yagii's that support UHF and VHF frequencies, and are also Az/El capable and computer controlled from a central control room. The SERC ground control room provides spectrum analysis and spectrographic output for various RF signals, and provides students and researchers a lab level environment to test algorithms for orbital ephemeris updates, satellite communications research, and orbital track analysis.
We are constantly trying to upgrade our capabilities and equipment, and the Ground Station is featured in a hands-on course taught out of the Department of Astronautical Engineering (ASTE 566). Offered classes for the semester can be viewed here.
The SERC Communication has come along way since its early days. The control room capability has grown substantially, and with students help we installed a modern antenna and weatherproof box for sophisticated communications hardware!