13th of February 2014 is the second anniversary of launch of the first Polish student-made satellite PW-Sat. Currently Students’ Space Association on Warsaw University of Technology is working on another satellite – PW-Sat2. Despite the lost communication with the satellite, the team has not forgotten about its predecessor and regularly monitors its status. Orbital parameters are analyzed to determine the satellites altitude, the time it takes to fully rotate around Earth as well as shape and size of the orbit. For this purpose, we use the data provided by NORAD (North American Aerospace called Defense Command) – the entity controlling the air space over North America and the space around the Earth.
After Phase “0” Workshop and finalizing Phase “0” documentation we were able to create first teams for our satellite project. Previously we were working all together for prepare the very beginning assumptions for the project. Now when the amount of tasks are growing and the topics became more specified it is necessary to impart in smaller groups.
Group of Astrodynamics for the Use of Space Systems (GAUSS srl)was organized 2nd IAA Conference on University Satellites Missions and Cubesat Winter Workshop.
The conference took place in Rome (Italy), from the 3rd to the 9th of February 2013 , under the main sponsorship of IAA, GAUSS Srl, ESA, ASI, Italian Air Force, Sapienza University of Roma, Morehead State University (Kentucky), Von Karman Institute, FILAS, BCC Roma.
Pierwsza transmisja z PW-Sata / The first transmission form PW-Sat (Fot: Grzegorz Woźniak, CAMK)
Ground station at the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Centre of Polish Academy of Sciences successfully cquired the first signal from the PW-Sat at 13:15 CET (12:15 UTC). It was the first PW-Sat’s pass over Europe after the launch of Vega rocket. The satellite is in perfect shape and operate as expected! That’s right: PW-Sat mission is successful!
While PW-Sat waits for the launch (planned for February 9, 2012, 11:00-13:00 hours Polish time), we suggest to have a quick look at the process of rocket assembly. The animation above summarize a weeks-long process at ESA’s space port in Guiana just in a tenth of second. Assembly was held on the launch pad from which Vega will begin its travel into orbit. The individual elements – stages – arrived separately, including the highest part of the Vega launcher – platform with satellites and fairing.
To design and build a satellite is a great challenge. Requires the deep knowledge of mechanics, electronics and understanding of the space environment. If it’s too much for you, perhaps you woluld like to try with paper model of a satellite? Visit http://www.astronautilus.pl/model.pdf website to find a PW-Sat paper model, prepared to be made in 1:1 scale. It’s very rare occasion to have in your hands model of the satellite, that is identical in shape and size to the original object. All you need is a printer, scissors, glue and a half an hour of great fun. What you get, is a your own PW-Sat satellite. Can you imagine the model hanging on your Christmas Tree?
PW-Sat is on orbit – so far only in a virtual meaning. Satellite in space environment can be seen in the animation prepared by Paweł Sańczyk. We can watch how PW-Sat looks like and how it deploys his tail covered with an experimental solar cells (in the same time the satellite increases in length to over a meter). The first, who watched the movie, were participants of the plenary session of the Committee on Space Research of Polish Academy of Sciences. The meeting took place last Friday. If you missed that event you can still watch the animation as it is attached above.
» Platform with the payload (satellites) of the first Vega mission. In the following weeks tha platform will be put on the last stage of the launcher. And then... only the flight to the space remains. Photo: ESA, CSG, Arianespace, Optique Video du CSG, J.M. Guillon
PW-Sat and other CubeSats are one step closer to the launch! The European Space Agency has just announced the completion of the next, important step of the preparation: all satellites of the first Vega flight have already been integrated with the platform, which will be placed on the last stage of rocket at the beginning of next year.
In the center of the platform we can see a spherical LARES satellite, the main payload of the rocket. Behind LARES (not visible in the photo above) is ALMASat-1, a smaller companion of Italian cargo. CubeSats – in the number of seven, each 10x10x10 cm – can be found in three containers, the P-PODs. Two of them we can see on the right side of the platform, third one is on the left. Yes, you guessed it right – the oblong silver boxes!
The countdown continues. As shown in the schedule, launch will take place in late January or early February. The launch window – the time the rocket should take off – opens January 26, closes in the first week of February.
Do you consider PW-Sat as the most important scientific event of 2011? If so, visit the Focus magazine web-page and vote for the PW-Sat in the “Soczewki Focusa 2011″ contest. The first Polish satellite has been nominated in the category of “Nadzieja” (“Hope” in Polish), which includes research and technology development, that may lead to innovative solutions in the future. You can vote from 24 November 2011 to 16 January 2012. The results of the plebiscite will be announced in March 2012. PW-Sat is waiting for your vote! For details visit: http://www.focus.pl/informacje/soczewki11/ [the page is in Polish]
» 3U Cubesat is being inserted into a P-POD (black, metal box). The photo shows the Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses satellite, which was launched into orbit a year ago. Photo: NASA.
In recent days, the PW-Sat has been transported from ESTEC (Netherlands) to Toulouse (France), where the final integration of all satellites will take place. Yesterday the official measurement of the satellites were performed. PW-Sat dimensions fulfilled the ESA requirements perfectly, thus placing the satellite in the P-POD should be nothing more than just a formality.
Design and construction of satellites so that the dimensions correspond to the expectations is not a trivial task, as it may seem at a first glance. During yesterday’s measurements it turned out that one of the cubesat teams has built a satellite which is… a slightly to big – now it does not fit a P-POD. This unfortunately eliminated the satellite from participating in the mission.
The final list of satellites to be flown aboard Vega will be announced soon.
Satelitarna Lista Przebojów notowanie 9-te.
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Dzisiaj o 18:50 będziemy w Wydarzeniach na Polsacie!
Zapraszamy do oglądania :-)
„Wydarzenia” są flagowym programem Telewizji POLSAT i kanału informacyjnego POLSAT NEWS. Główne wydanie „Wydarzeń” o godz. 18.50 prowadzą Jarosław Gugała, Dorota Gawryluk, Magda Sakowska, Joanna Wrześniewska-Zygier oraz Maciej Stroiński. Wydanie popołudniowe (15.50) natomiast Agni...