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UVI Physics Department to Develop Satellite: UVI-BurstCube

The University of the Virgin Islands will soon have its own satellite. The University's Physics Program is developing the UVI-BurstCube satellite. It is being developed at UVI by UVI faculty and students.

This project is supported by the UVI NASA-EPSCoR collaboration. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration - Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NASA-EPSCoR) is the program that first funded the revitalization of the Etelman Observatory under Dr. David Morris' directorship some six years ago and which allowed the physics group to hire its first-ever full-time astronomer at UVI, Dr. Bruce Gendre. Dr. Antonino Cucchiara, assistant professor of Physics, and Dr. David Morris, assistant professor of Physics and director of the Etelman Observatory, developed this new NASA-EPSCoR project soon after Dr. Cucchiara arrived in the 2016-17 academic year. The project is intended to offer a next-level of hands-on engineering projects that students in the physics program as well as students in the 3-2 engineering program can take part in.

“We will soon be starting a hiring search for a new satellite-scientist who will be based in UVI's physics group. The satellite scientist will also collaborate closely with colleagues at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) who are also building versions of the same Gamma-Ray Burst detection satellite that we have here at UVI (BurstCube),” said Dr. Morris.

The synergistic collaboration between UVI and GSFC provides scientific expertise to UVI through the collaboration with the scientists there and provides a host of exciting opportunities for UVI’s physics and engineering students to travel to NASA-GSFC during the year and over the summer to work on the project.

“We are incredibly excited about the educational opportunities this program will provide for our students, the research opportunities it will provide for our faculty, and the industrial opportunities it will offer for scientists and researchers working at UVI to pursue commercial sector aerospace contracts,” said Dr. Morris.

For more information, contact Dr. David Morris at

More information is available in a news release on the Media Section of the UVI website – - and from this direct link.