From Video Games to Satellites:
The Evolution of a Career and a CubeSat Program
Engage with scientists, scholars, and artists every Tuesday in March, at the Montshire. Discussions will cover topics that range from our quest to visit Mars or build satellites in Vermont to a pop culture look at how space influences film and music, featuring an out-of-this-world musical performance.
For years, Dr. Carl Brandon at Vermont Technical College, his colleague, Dr. Peter Chapin and their students have been working on miniaturized satellites called CubeSats for use in space research. In fact, they launched a CubeSat that is considered the only successful satellite of any kind launched by a college on the East coast of the United States. Dr. Brandon’s work has spanned the sciences, from developing video games to studying bat flight aerodynamics. How does a career in science evolve, from physicist to rocket scientist? And how do you use this rich and varied experience to cultivate a successful CubeSat program?
Dr. Carl Brandon’s diverse background — from working on a cyclotron and early video games, to flying airplanes and launching satellites — has led him from IBM to Vermont Technical College. With a PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dr. Brandon has been teaching at Vermont Tech since 1977. Having received 30 NASA grants for their projects, Dr. Brandon and team constructed a CubeSat that was launched in an Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket in November, 2013. It was in orbit and operational for 2 years it the only successful satellite of any kind launched by a college on the East coast of the United States.