High School Students Developing A Satellite? – by Filip Novotný

A team of high school students are currently working on building a satellite called SATIRA and it’s supposed to compete in a competition called CanSat organized by ESA. Their task is to measure certain quantities (like position, temperature) and some secondary experiment by which the teams are going to compete. The trickiest thing is that the participants have to fit their satellite in a small soda can. The most successful satellites will fly on sub-orbital flight. The team is composed of 4 students named Jakub Janoušek, Mirek Lžičař, Lukáš Sláma and Filip Novotný. We’ve made an exclusive interview with them.

Reporter: What is your secondary mission going to be?

Mirek: Our secondary mission based on idea that the satellite will not only measure important quantities during the flight, but after landing it opens a special mechanism, which will allow the satellite to move. Parts of satellite will be ejected creating wheels, which will allow us to gain more data. The whole satellite case is going to be 3D printed.

Jakub: It won’t be satellite for just one purpose. It will collect as much data as possible.

Reporter: What are the problems you are facing right now?

Jakub: We are currently fixing the transmission of data between the space probe and main computer. The satellite has problems with changing antenna polarization. We will probably have to implement a circular antenna polarization. We also have to make sure, that all components will survive the temperatures occurring during the flight. Also the energy consumption of the engines moving the whole satellite is quite high, which is also a problem we would like to solve.

Reporter: What is your motivation?

Lukáš: I’ve decided to do such a project because of gaining experience, I’ll learn a lot of new things from engineering, IT…

Filip: I’ve been interested in science and technology from very young age and this project was for me really interesting.

Mirek: I’m enjoying the satellite development and I’m enjoying working on something, that is not ordinary school problem and requires complex thinking.

Jakub: The vision of finished satellite, which will work and won’t be just theoretical is simply mesmerising.

Reporter: Where can readers learn more about the project?

Filip: We currently have a Facebook page and a web page (both in Czech), but we are definitely planning to have some page in English in the future.

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