Torsdag d. 24. marts drog 4 studerende og en lektor fra Aarhus Universitet til DTU for at deltage i National Space Conference. Her hørte de en hel del om hvad fremtiden for Danmark i rummet bringer, hvilket var meget relevant for DISCOs arbejde. Blandt andet handlede et af panelerne om hvordan man kan bruge satellitter til at optimere vanding af marker. Dette bunder i nogle af de samme klima mål som vi også har.
De studerende var så heldige at overvære annonceringen af Andreas Mogensens næste mission, hvilket vi jo synes lyder super spændende! Da Andreas deltog var vi også så heldige at han havde lidt tid til at snakke med os, og så fik vi også taget et billede!
Sidst på dagen blev det sidste panel skippet til fordel for en rundtur på DTU Space, givet af selve institutlederen. Vi fik her mødt nogle medstuderende fra AAU! På rundvisningen så vi bl.a. deres kontrolrum, der får AUs kontrolrum til at blegne i sammenligning, vi fik set deres vakuumkamre, hvor de tester nogle af de ting de udvikler, og et af de rum, hvor de udvikler udstyr til fremtidige missioner. Dette var en enormt spændende tur, og vi følte os som VIP gæster!
Mandag d. 14. marts var der workshop om jordstationer på ITU i København. Det var en spændende dag, med deltagere fra ITU, AU og SDU. Udover alt det faglige fik de studerende mulighed for endelig at mødes på tværs af universiteterne. Dette har været tiltrængt, da på trods af at programmet har været i gang i over et år, så har COVID-19 sat en stopper for meget fysik fremmøde.
Workshoppen gav mulighed for at arbejde på tværs af de forskellige universiteter og institutter, hvilket de studerende udnyttes til fulde. Hos alle de forskellige sessions i workshoppen stod de studerende sammen for at løse de udfordringer der opstod i løbet af dagen.
De forskellige sessions havde til formål at få de studerende til bedre at forstå hvordan man generelt kommunikerer med en satellit, hvordan antennerne bygges, og hvilket software der skal til selve kommunikationen. Der var mange praktiske elementer, da de studerende fik lov til selv at bygge en S-båndsparabol. Derudover var der noget lidt mere ‘kodetungt’, da de arbejdede både med pointing af en antenne og med at hente et signal ned, og afkode dette.
Alt i alt var det en super spændende og produktiv workshop.
Monday the 14th of March students from the DISCO team had a workshop on the ITU, with the theme of groundstations. It was a really exiting day with participants from ITU, AU and SDU! Other than the scientific cases that was presented, was it also an opportunity for the students to chat and meet one another across universities. This was much-needed as even though the program has been running for over a year, the meeting in person has been limited by Covid-19.
During the workshop the opportunity to work together across universities and instituts arose, this was something the students enjoyed! The different sessions of the workshop called for cooperation, so the studentes solved the different assignment and problems together.
The different sessions had the goal for the students to better understand how to communicate with the satellites, how an antenna is build and what software is used for the communication. There were practical elements, such as building a S-band parabola antenna, but also more computational task, both when working with the pointing of the antenna and how to download a signal and decode the signal.
All in all it was a great day that the students and lecturers will look back at fondly.
Danish students will launch their own satellite next summer
The Danish Students CubeSat Program DISCO will, in collaboration with the Danish company Space Inventer, launch its first satellite with a Falcon-9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center next summer. The satellite will include a number of smaller student experiments as well as serve as a communication station for radio amateurs around the world.
The DISCO program has been created by Aalborg University, Aarhus University, University of Southern Denmark, IT University, the House of Natural Science and the Danish Industry Foundation as well as a number of space companies including GomSpace and Space Inventor to give students the opportunity to work with science and space technology in a practical way.
The launch of the first satellite has now been ordered from the company Momentus to take place next summer with a Falcon-9 rocket. The satellite will be a so-called CubeSat of 10x10x10 cm and with a mass of 1 kg. The satellite will contain a series of small experiments that the students are currently working on defining. One of the ideas is to investigate the possibility of using the same frequency as a regular wireless network, i.e. 2.4 GHz, to communicate between satellites. This could allow some of the subsequent DISCO satellites to send much larger amounts of data down to Earth. The data could e.g. be a picture that shows the development in the use of the Arctic regions as the ice around Greenland disappears.
To be used for teaching in both the universities and in high schools
“It is quite wild that I now, as part of my studies, am sitting and developing a communication unit for a satellite that I will help launching already next year,” says Aleksander Brøndum Bille, who is currently doing a bachelor project at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Aarhus University. In his bachelor project, Aleksander will make a prototype of the ground stations that will be lent to Danish high schools after launch and thus give Danish high school students the opportunity to talk to the DISCO satellites.
Mission patch competition
All satellite missions have a cool mission patch and so must DISCO. We are therefore giving away an Astro Pi kit for the coolest mission patch for the DISCO program. For inspiration try the google mission patch. Astro Pi is a small Raspberry Pi computer developed by The Raspberry Pi Foundation in collaboration with the European Space Agency ESA. The Astro Pi kit consists of a Raspberry Pi 3, a Sence HAT card with a number of built-in measuring instruments, a camera and a power supply. The Astro Pi Kit enables you to develop experiments as they could be performed on a CubeSat.
Proposals for a mission patch for the DISCO program must be uploaded to the DISCO Facebook page before April 1 to enter the competition. https://www.facebook.com/DanishStudentCubeSatProgram
“On DISCO 2, the second satellite in the DISCO project, we want to include 3 cameras, 2 optical and 1 infrared as well as momentum wheels to precisely control the orientation and pointing of the satellite.
Once this satellite is launched in 2023, we will be able top photograph chosen areas of Greenland’s East coast (and other places on Earth) and therefore contribute to climate change research through our collaboration with the Arctic Research Centre at Aarhus University.
For this ambitous project to become a reality, we need your help!
The DISCO project will launch 3 satellites into Low Earth Orbit over the next three years. To communicate with the satellites we need to have ground stations that manage the radio communications links for telemetry and data transfer.
The DISCO project is building both fixed ground stations at the participating universities, as well as mobile ground stations that can be loaned to schools in the program.
In this workshop we cover the basics of ground station operation and building including demos and a chance to get hands on experience with a range of equipment, both mobile and fixed equipment that will be later installed at ITU.
For the last months, the Danish Student CubeSat Program (DISCO) has been running a competition for students to design the most awesome mission patch and we are now very excited to announce the winner. The winning mission patch was created by Marc Breiner Sørensen.
Marc’s winning mission patch shows some of the important aspects of the DISCO project, such as the launch with the Falcon 9 rocket and a CubeSat. Another nice twist to the design is that the Earth below is a giant disco ball. DISCO is a collaboration between four Danish universities – Aalborg University, Aarhus University, University of Southern Denmark and the IT University of Copenhagen – and their initials have also found their way to the mission patch.
Last Friday, Marc, who studies physics and astronomy at Aarhus University, received his award for the most awesome mission patch: an Astro Pi kit consisting of a Raspberry Pi 3, a Sense HAT card with a number of built-in measuring instruments, a camera and a power supply. Photo: CK
The first three CubeSats in DISCO are funded by the Danish Industry Foundation and the first of these will be launched by Momentus next summer. The mission patch designed by Marc is for the overall DISCO program. Later, it is foreseen that the individual CubeSats in the DISCO program will get their own mission patches in addition to the DISCO patch.