What makes this project so ambitious and unique is the fact that in order to achieve our goal, we are truly designing, building and launching our own satellite. In order to achieve this incredible goal we have our engineering team of over 30 dedicated engineers solely focused on bringing our own satellite into orbit.
The design of the satellite will be completely and exclusively done by our student team. The initial design was made during the Design Synthesis Exercise (DSE) of the bachelor Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft in Summer 2019. A group of 10 students designed a preliminary design in a 10-week period under supervision of dr.ir. Chris Verhoeven. In June 2019, the design was presented to a group of experts from the Dutch space industry. After this a new team was set up to work out this design in detail. They are currently in the final design stages of the project, preparing for the testing stage.
With this project we try to give as many students as possible a chance to get hands on experience with this project. We collaborated with the Leidse Instrumentenmakers School and one of their master students for the design and production of one of our payloads.
During this design process we collaborate a lot with industry. Designing the satellite would not be possible without the help we receive from the companies. Thanks to the knowledge and resources that they make available to us, we can literally and figuratively elevate this project to a higher level. Click here for the list of companies that support us.
The construction process of the satellite is one that will also be performed entirely by students, the modules are partially produced by us from scratch, others are obtained from our partners. The overall construction into the stack is one of the learning opportunities that we offer to our engineering team. The physical process of integrating the satellite will also be done by our student team.
After the satellite is built, various tests will be performed. Starting with a flatbed testing process that will be conducted at the TU Delft in order to verify the functioning of each individual module. Afterwards there will be many forms of integrated testing also conducted at the TU Delft. Finally, a number of integrated environmental testing will be conducted. Vibrational and thermovacuum testing will be conducted at an external company, and zero-g testing will be conducted at a location that is yet to be confirmed.
We are currently in the process of finalizing our launch provider. We will be purchasing a piggyback launch with a professional launch provider, the launch will most likely occur in Q1 of 2022. This will bring us to a Low Earth, Polar, Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500-600 km.
After launch, our satellite should remain active in orbit, providing a direct engaging experience for students of all ages, for a bare minimum of 3 years. With a maximum lifetime of 25 years of active functioning.