Dr. Mike Durbin

Satellite Engineer

Satellite Engineer,

Dr. Durbin received his undergraduate degree from Texas A & M University and his Ph.D. from University of Texas at Dallas, where he specialized in communications, electronics and mathematics. He currently is a telecommunications engineer for MCI in Dallas Texas. MCI is providing the satellite and terrestrial interconnect from the ship to the University of Rhode Island.

One of Mike's many jobs is to figure out just what type of equipment is needed to get the broadcast accomplished. He tabulates the amount of power, the height of the signal antennas, and the type of satellite needed to cover the "footprint," or receiving area. During the actual broadcasts he makes sure that all the communications are operational, that the data is moving back and forth over satellite link. Much of his time is spent in earth stations, where he monitors the various technologies. Mike and Bob Ballard have known each other since the first JASON project in 1989. Mike’s off time is spent with his horses which are at his ranch in Texas. Dr. of Technology, as he is called, has some very technical horses.

JASON Learning: A Partnership of Sea Research Foundation and National Geographic