Space

SpaceX deploys TU Dresden satellite into the Space

Summary

On 22nd January 2021, fingers were crossed for a successful launch of theTU Dresden satellite. SpaceX lifted TU Dresden’s SOMP2b satellite into orbit. The satellites would be used to evaluate the residual atmosphere around the satellite, test systems that convert […]

On 22nd January 2021, fingers were crossed for a successful launch of theTU Dresden satellite. SpaceX lifted TU Dresden’s SOMP2b satellite into orbit. The satellites would be used to evaluate the residual atmosphere around the satellite, test systems that convert the sun’s heat into electricity and explore emerging nanomaterials under the Space’s extreme conditions. SOMP2b started its trip, an altitude of about 500 kilometres across the Earth, which is a bit high than the ISS space facility. The satellite is expected to orbit the Earth in a unique artic and fly over the TU Dresden ground facility around the same day time while sending data that it has measured.

SOMP2b is a research satellite, which was developed by students, scientists, and Ph.D. candidates from the Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering of the TU Dresden. The initials SOMP2b represent Student On-Orbit Measurement Project 2b. The satellite’s dimensions are 20 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm, and it weighs less than 2 kilograms. Its orbiting speed would be so high it will watch the sunrise as well as sunset sixteen times a day. This was accompanied by very high-temperature changes, making it to be challenging for electronics and materials. Low pressures, particle radiation from Space, and atmosphere residual particles that surround SOMP2b caused more stress on a nanosatellite.

Dr. Tino Schmiel, who works at the Institute of Aerospace Engineering as the head in charge of Satellite Systems and Space Sciences investigative area, said that the mission’s primary purpose is to evaluate revolutionary nanomaterials under Space’s harsh conditions. He added that the knowledge earned will help them comprehend the attributes of materials as well as their future use applications. Schmiel said that they are in the process of producing new kinds of protective films for electromagnetic radiation safety in medical technology and motor vehicles.  

In addition, scientists are tirelessly working to offer more electrical power in the nanosatellite. They will use the persistent temperature change to produce electrical power using thermoelectric materials, even without the sun. The thermoelectric materials are also used in terrestrial applications. SOMP2b has a small FIPEXnano sensor program that is used to measure residual oxygen molecules in the Space at 600-degree C. FiPEXnano is known for its significant contribution to climate and atmospheric modelling.

SOMPb2 is an educational project that is financed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Many students participated in the development of this satellite and other scientific experiments. They encountered many challenges since the systems had to work in harsh Space to survive the launch.

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