Nano-satellite flying high

To celebrate the Day of Cosmonautics (April 12th), students have created first university satellite, to be launched into orbit already next year

To celebrate the Day of Cosmonautics (April 12th), students have created first university satellite, to be launched into orbit already next year
To celebrate the Day of Cosmonautics (April 12th), students have created first university satellite, to be launched into orbit already next year


Brain storm in action: Professor Vladimir Saechnikov (centre) commands ‘space parade’

Weighing little more than Thumbelina, the nano-satellite created by BeKaSS (from Belarusian language ‘Belarusian Students’ Space Satellite’) incorporates algorithms developed by the Belarusian State University’s Aerospace Education Centre. As the Head of the Physics and Aerospace Technologies Chair, Professor Vladimir Saechnikov, notes, “The smaller an object — the more difficult it is to manage its path of travel. If it waivers off course, it won’t collect the relevant data to send back to Earth.” Prof. Saechnikov, who also works as Scientific Head of the Belarusian State University’s Aerospace Education Centre, tells us that his team has employed magnetic fields to solve the problem.


The orbital ‘bird’ will transform into a true ‘eagle’ after assembly, sending valuable information on Earth and its atmosphere
“Our software is managing the ‘vestibular system’,” explains Sergey Vasilenko — a fifth year student with the Radiophysics Department. He notes, “Using special impulses, we’re connecting the magnetic fields of the Earth and the satellite, to avoid whirling. This will enable the satellite to pause in a set position, to transmit a signal.”

Sergey has tested his developments on an engineering model, which is an exact copy of the satellite, made from cheap materials. The model is swirled on a fishing line inside a cube with a constant magnetic field. “If we can stop the model in our laboratory, there’s a chance that we can repeat this in orbit,” the young man is convinced.

The team incorporates not only physics students but the honoured professor. Other departments have also offered ideas, suggesting that BeKaSS will be equipped with a camera and a navigation system, or a device to read magnetic fields and catch high-energy particles and heat emission.

A GPS-GLONASS navigator is to be installed on the Belarusian nano-satellite, to show its position and compile maps. The location of sites with interesting phenomena can then be detected and recorded, for scientists to observe from Earth. This is the first use of the unique navigation module, which is the latest development by Belarusian NTLab.

Rector commentary

Sergei Ablameiko, an academician and Rector of the Belarusian State University:

This satellite will help us solve many educational, scientific and practical tasks. Moscow State University is our example, having launched three satellites. Ours should join those orbiting near-Earth soon, adding a new brick in our common mastery of the cosmos.

BSU scientific subdivisions have great experience of participating in Soviet and Russian-Belarusian space projects. For example, equipment developed by our University scientists is being used in research conducted by cosmonauts on board the International Space Station.

MT reference:

Two Belarusian satellites are already in orbit. BKA, at almost 500kg, was launched in 2012 from Baikonur cosmodrome, as was Russia’s Kanopus, which is exploring the Earth. The 5.2-tonne Belintersat-1 was launched this January, to transmit TV and radio broadcast signals, as well as satellite Internet, covering not only Belarus but parts of Europe, Africa and Asia.  

By Yevgeny Bogomazov
Заметили ошибку? Пожалуйста, выделите её и нажмите Ctrl+Enter
Версия для печати
Заполните форму или Авторизуйтесь
 
*
 
 
 
*
 
Написать сообщение …Загрузить файлы?