Let’s Make a Satellite!
1957 was a great revolutionary year and a shifting point in the history which declared a great event, probably without you wouldn’t be able to surf the internet that fast, nor be able to read this article right now!
In October 1957 during the cold, Russia has declared the human-space invasion by sending the first earth-orbiting satellite (Sputnik 1), the mission of that satellite simply was to prove the Earth-orbiting concept, take some atmospheric data and send them to the ground, as the technology at that time was so old relative to the current, it couldn’t help much, Sputnik was very heavy and enormous with regard to its mission as to measure some atmospheric data using the atmospheric effects on waves submitted from its antenna. Actually, Sputnik used most of its non-rechargeable battery energy for communicating the ground station sending (Peep…) saying I’m alive….
People were watching Sputnik from all over around the world and the radio amateurs were enjoying its sound every time it comes to the horizon.
After that date world started sending satellite after satellite and covered the Earth with thousands of those bodies, for sure those bodies are much more advanced and have more complex missions than the first satellite.
Now you might ask yourself what would happen if engineers tried to reproduce Sputnik using the current advanced technology, how would be its size, mass and efficiency? Fortunately, Engineers answered your question.
By the beginning of the 21th century the definition of CanSat started to arise, simply its goal is to produce a half kilo or less and 350 milliliter satellite which nearly has an equivalent volume to a Pepsi can. In most of the simplest CanSats you have to see processor (Brain), energy source, communication system, atmospheric and dynamic sensors and payload which can vary.
CanSats around the world have inspired students and pushed them to their limits to break their own records. Actually, CanSats varies very much according to their missions, day by day students started to add great improvements and ideas to the common systems; some have used a green energy source like solar cells or wind energy with a tiny wind turbines, some have added new missions to the atmospheric data logging such as returning back to a specific target, releasing payload, carrying a sensitive structures that need over protection and even missions beyond Earth orbit such as Mars orbit CanSats to apply some measurements to its atmosphere.
Actually, no CanSat has ever left the atmosphere, nor orbited the earth. However, it stills an inspiration source for students and for the more advanced Pico Satellite version “CubeSat”.
Now, it’s the time, pickup your stuff we are going to make a satellite!