University gets $110,000 to build satellite
It’s not every day students get the opportunity to build a satellite. With the help of the CU Discovery Learning Center, they can.
CU and ten other universities nationwide received a $110,000 grant to begin production on a satellite through the University Nanoset V Competition.
Chris Koehler, director of the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, said CU’s proposal presented the grant committee a plan to develop a student-built 50 kilogram satellite.
These small spacecrafts, known as Distributed Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorers or DANDE for short, will help us understand the atmosphere of space to a higher degree.
“Once in orbit, the satellite would release two smaller satellites into space, Koehler said. “These satellites, backed by Air Force command, would help give us a better understanding of the atmospheric density at that altitude.”
Marcin Pilinski, a graduate aerospace engineering student and DANDE program manager, said this will help us better determine the positions of spacecrafts while in orbit. He said it will also better determine when a spacecraft can re-enter the atmosphere.
In January 2009 the satellite most prepared for flight gets selected for launch approximately one year later.
“Any engineering major or any interested student could have an opportunity to work on it,” Koehler said. “All disciplines of learning are needed to complete it.”
Pilinski said this valuable experience can only help students.
“It presents a great opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students,” Pilinski said. “In fact, the number of undergrad students involved exceeds the number of grad students. It is an opportunity for both groups to get hands-on with design and space hardware. It is also chance for students to apply what is learned in class, to help compliment their education.”
Campus Press Staff Writer Alexandria Bath at firstname.lastname@example.org.