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by Esteban Soto (@esoe03)
The Sky Is Not The Limit
In a historic event Aalto University has signed the contract to launch Aalto-1 satellite at the end of this year by the Falcon 9 rocket.
The launch agreement is with Dutch company Innovative Solutions in Space which collaborates with the American space transportation provider, SpaceX.
When you think about a satellite, you probably have in mind a huge metallic box with extended solar panels. Aalto-1 will differ from that stereotype. It is an amazing piece of technology which takes Finnish design to a whole new level and atmosphere layer.
The Finnish creation weights only 4kg (8.8lb), so small that it is called a nano-satellite. Its tiny size allows to cut production and launch costs but that doesn’t sacrifice power and built-in tools.
Three key devices will be on board
The world’s smallest spectrometer produced by VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland, will be used for remote environmental sensing like measuring water quality on Earth.
A radiation meter built by students from University of Helsinki and University of Turku will be included to provide information about space weather.
An electrostatic plasma brake for satellites out of orbit developed by the Finnish Meteorological Institute will be on it too.
More than 80 students from many different backgrounds and universities around Finland contributed to the project.
In an unprecedented teamwork, all these students developed parts such as the structure, thermoregulators, solar power systems, computer systems and the ground control system. Dozens of thesis were written for and because of this project. Certainly, the launch is the cherry on top after years of development.
“We are very proud of this project. Completion of the satellite demonstrates a high level of education, as the quality requirements for space electronics are very strict. After working on this masterpiece, the future experts who were and continue to be involved in the project have an extensive knowledge of the entire range of electrical engineering,” expressed Aalto University’s Dean of the School of Electrical Engineering, Keijo Nikoskinen, in the press release.
Their efforts don’t stop here, tests are on their way and more details on its launch will be revealed by summer. Of course Techbacker will let you know all about it.
Here Aalto-1 satellite’s official video: