Students Assist in “Far-Reaching” Communications Project


Wallops Island Based Exercise Provided Valuable Experience

This past November, Eastern Shore Community College students were afforded a unique learning experience participating in a demonstration with Sentinel Robotic Solutions (SRS). This demo provided video, voice and data from a ship (nearly 90 miles away) to a land-based Navy Operations Center at Wallops Island. Chris Del Rossi and James Johnson were able to transition what they learned at ESCC into a real-world scenario.

“As someone with a passion for all things technical, I jumped at the opportunity to join an internship,” Del Rossi said.  He went on to explain more about the project: “The network is a solution to the problem of communication between entities that are over the horizon and therefore not able to use conventional line of sight radio networks and have traditionally been forced to use very expensive and technically cumbersome satellite communications. Using a series of GPS tracked radio relays and an autonomous tracking focused beam base station, the system can provide full voice, video, and data communications for a fraction of the cost and complexity of a satellite system.”

Like Del Rossi, James Johnson immediately saw the value of an opportunity like this working against the backdrop of Wallops Island and alongside the knowledgeable team at SRS.  “The people we worked with were great and we learned so much.  Being exposed to how a project like this works will be so helpful moving forward in our careers.”  Johnson went on to say that “the networking we were able to do with these professionals means a great deal when it comes to taking the next steps of using the skills we’ve gained in Mr. Floyd’s program at ESCC.”

James Johnson, (along with Chris Del Rossi) were student interns on the project.

John Floyd is an Assistant Professor of Electronics at Eastern Shore Community College and has watched a considerable number of his students grow internship opportunities into careers at NASA Wallops Island and associated entities.  “Partnerships with local employers like SRS strengthen the electronics program by providing experiences that go beyond the classroom.”

ESCC Career Coach Debbie Daniels first heard about this opportunity through Scott Hall at Workforce Development Services. “I had previously worked with SRS and knew they had hired several of our student interns. I saw this as a great opportunity for both students to gain some experience using and applying their electronics training in a real-world setting. “

“This internship packed an awful lot of experience into that short period and will aid me greatly in future endeavors,” Del Rossi said. He added, “taking classroom learning into the field and working hands-on with a cutting-edge technology is something not easily replicated. It aims directly at many of the growing careers that are becoming available in this area.”  

Peter Bale, CEO of SRS, stated, “We are pleased to continue and expand our relationship with the Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC) and the great talent consistently being produced here on the Shore.  Both Mr. Christopher Del Rossi and Mr. James Johnson were outstanding additions to the team and worked, collectively, under the leadership of Mr. Chase Riley, SRS’s lead engineer at the company and an ESCC graduate, himself.  SRS is proud to team with local academic institutions and has been doing so for many years.  As the company grows, we will continue to be good stewards to the professional growth of interns who aspire to joining small companies, like SRS, or have interned at SRS and then gone onto positions with large Federal Agencies or smaller State Agencies”. Bale added, “We are proud to be part of the “YES” at Eastern Shore Community College.”