Sunday, April 26, 2015

Madrid Mini Makers Faire

Yesterday Rosseta CanSat Team attended the Madrid Mini Makers Fair. It took place in the centre of Madrid from 12 pm to 8 pm.

                                               A time-lapse of the fair.

This Fair is an opportunity for inventors and entrepreneurs to share their ideas and inventions with everybody while interacting with each other. There are a lot of stands representing a wide variety of things; you can find things related to robotics, textile manufacturing, 3D printers, music, etc... Lots of people attended it for free going through the stands asking questions about the displays. There were three floors of stands and activities, buzzing with people exchanging experiences, ideas and inventions.

Team RossetaCan had their own display talking about their project and displaying lots of information about related topics. They also showed their progress of Philae and how it is advancing. The team also had a chance to talk at the end of the fair publicly, describing in detail the idea and where they are now progress wise. They had on display numerous prototypes of what Philae would look like, and numerous demonstrations of the flight were made in the middle of the fair. There were also some trophies from teams of previous years and CanSats used in previous years too. They had great time explaining the whole project to a wide range of people from small kids to adult engineers.

                                        The RosettaCan team stand.

It has been the first year of the Makers Fair in Madrid and a great success. It wasn't only techie people visiting as you would expect, because as well as being oriented to entrepreneurs there were some activities dedicated to small kids, in fact lots of them visited the fair and participated in numerous activities designed to show them more about the world of science and technology. And it wasn't just people that were told it was there that went, but also passers-by were told about it and went to take a look.

Two students in the Rosseta team from 10th grade, Jaime and myself, just got back on friday from Brussels participating in ESA's competition Asgard. Their project was to measure muons using a complicated circuit based of two fluorescent tubes. Both of them were at the fair explaining as well as the CanSat mission, the Asgard one.

                                          A video of some stands in the fair.

All in all it was a great experience for The team to connect with other people working on similar projects, and a great opportunity to share different experiences.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rosetta results: Comets 'did not bring water to Earth'

Results from Rosetta's mission show the water on the icy mass is unlike the water on our planet. The results were published in the journal science. The authors conclude it is more likely that the water came from asteroids, but other scientists say more data is needed before comets can be ruled out. Although Philae's batteries ran out, Rosetta keeps on analysing the "ice mountain".

This unprecedented, close-up look at a comet is helping scientist to answer the fundamental question of whether a bombardment of these primitive bodies brought water to earth billions of years ago. And the latest findings, gathered by Rosetta's instruments, which consists of two mass spectrometers that "sniff" the gas that streams out off the surface of comet 67P, suggests this may not be the case.

Water on Earth has a distinctive signature. While the vast majority of liquid on our planet is made up of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, very occasionally a hydrogen atom will be replaced with a deuterium atom. On Earth for every 10000 water molecules, three deuterium atoms can be found. This water has the same chemical properties as H2O, but is heavier on mass. Professor Altwegg, from the university of Bern in Switzerland, who is Rosetta's principal investigator said: "This ratio between heavy and light water is very characteristic. You cannot easily change it and it stays for a long time. If we compare the water in comets with the water we have on Earth, we can definitely say if the water on Earth is compatible with the water on comets".

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Launch of satellites Galileo

           This project is part from another mission of the ESA (European Spacial Agency). With the launch of a new pair of satellites, now they have 8 satellites in orbit.
            They were launched at the French Guiana, on top of a thrower Soyuz, which set free the satellites at a height of 23.500 km, just 4 hours after the launch.
            The new satellites are now being revise by some technicians at the ESA. They will join the other satellites in a couple of months.
             You might be asking it what consists Galileo?
              Galileo is the global system of satellite navegation, and will be formed by 30 different satellites and by the infraestructure on Earth.
               It is financiated by the ESA and also the European Comission.
               With the actual satellites they have cretaed a mini-constelation.
               The objective is to provide a combination of Inicial Services in 2016, which will include free Public Services, regulated Public Services and a system of Search and Rescue.
                It is expected that the complete set of satellites, 24 in operation and another 6 for reserve, will be ready in 2020 and offer Encripted Comercial Services.
                 The experts working on this project afirm that the whole mission is having succes.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Rosetta: comet wind mystery may be solved.

Scientists from the Rosetta mission may have solved the puzzle features on Comet 67P that look like they were produced by the wind.

Dust appears to be getting blown along the surface, a surprising finding on an 'airless' body like a comet. But the features could instead be created when cometary particles surrounding the nucleus fall back down again, disturbing the surface and leaving a mark. Dr Stefano Mottola outlined details to a major science meeting in Texas, USA. Some 17 different regions have been identified on the comet where materials appear ti be getting moved. These '' wind tails '' are seen around boulders, where the rock acts as a natural obstacle to some process - forming a streak of material "downwind" with it. All tails are aligned in the same direction: north to south. "it's amazing" said Dr Mottola, who is chief scientist on Rosetta's Rolis instrument.

Although, the team has come up with a formation mechanism. A process called splash saltation, invokes a stream of falling particles that cause surface dust grains to be ejected from their original positions. Another thing Dr Mottola told the audience at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) is: " We are postulating that particles that are falling, smash down... and they trigger the saltation of other particles, without the necessity of having some kind of wind".

He was addressing a special session on the Rosetta mission.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rosetta in the media

The last monday the spanish astronaut Pedro Duque, that works for the ESA went to a very popular show in Spain called "El Hormiguero" (which means the anthill in spanish).

In this show the astronaut explain to all the audience a little bit of the Rosetta´s space mission, talking about how the Satellite arrive to the comet, how Philae was originally supposed to work, why it did not work, his actual situation, their plans to reactivate it and what was doing Rosetta all that time.

With this the ESA had teach to a lot of people, that after this used to have any knowledge about Rosetta and  the space missions of the ESA, different aspects and uses of this important space mission and this could even lead to some people becoming interested in the space missions.

Astronaut Pedro Duque from the ESA

Friday, April 10, 2015

CanSat in Cairo University

Around 1994 the Aerospace Engineering Department of Cairo University began its space experience. A group of Aerospace engineers joined to the development of EgyptSat 1, Egypt's first Earth remote- sensing satellite. The project was carried out by Egypt's National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences in collaboration with the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau from Ukraine. It was finally launched on 17 April 2007 in the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakstan.

This served as an impetus to projects with students interested in the space, projects such as CanSat, which was held in 2011 with the participation of three teams, in total, 20 students. It lasted for ten days. Their CanSats were launched with an interesting water rocket. Some of the components of the hardware were the Micro-Controller, a GPS, temperature sensor, a barometric pressure sensor, RF Communication Modules, a gyroscope, an accelerometer and a wireless camera, all of this added to the parachute. The most studied part of the data were those related to the altitude and the acceleration.

Moreover, in acknowledgement of their excellent work the Egyptian CanSat won the prize of the Best  Mechanical Engineering Project of the Egyptian Engineering Day, held by IEEE GOLD on September of the same year.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

CanSat Madrid 2010

This type of competition launches were held in several countries with national character until a year ago, the Laboratory for Space and Microgravity (LEEM), an association of students of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, hosted the first international edition CanSat LEEM -UPM. Its success allowed it to take place in Madrid the second edition.

The days from 8 to 11 April the competition, which consists of a preview of the project and an argument of the conclusions at the end of the launches, will take place. The place is the South Campus UPM (where are located the School of Telecommunications Engineering and Computer Science College) the launches took place on April 9 at the aerodrome of Ayllon , the largest in Europe.

Novelties  and categories

As new, this second edition was expanded with a new category (Planetary Probe) and ejection height CanSat (using rockets designed and manufactured exclusively by the LEEM), which reached 1,500 meters, double the previous year.

The four categories in which you could  participate were:

- Category Comeback: the CanSat must navigate completely autonomously to a stop as close as possible to a target located on the ground in the field of release.

- Category Telemetry: the CanSat be sent to a ground station (GS) certain minimum real-time data on flight conditions.

- Category Planetary Probe: contestants must build a robot that must fulfill a mission of exploration in the scenario called Planet Ayllon.

- Scientific Experimentation Category: conceived with free character, for those who want to experience only certain subsystems in order to design a future CanSat.

The jury evaluated the actions of every CanSat in the field of launches , but there were points for originality and design.  They also took  into account the academic level of the team members , foreign aid received, working hours used and the total project budget . The top three finishers in each category received a trophy and all other teams received  a participation certificate .

All You Can Fly!

Parallel to the second edition of CanSat LEEM -UPM , was  held at the same time a competition Rocket (Rocket Master) and a competition of UAVs ( UAV Competition) , as well as various exhibits. The entire assembly was called All You Can Fly !, a contest that seeks to give a framework of competition at all passionate about these flying devices.