The first photograph of the Earth of the PW-Sat2 satellite
The PW-Sat2 student satellite, after launch, is working properly and transmitting telemetry data in real time. It even took a photograph of Earth, which will go down in history as the first picture of our planet taken by a Polish satellite.
PW-Sat2 was launched only during the third proby the launch. The previous two were canceled due to the need for additional inspections and poor atmospheric conditions in gornal layers of the atmosphere. But in the end it did. On December 3, a satellite built by Warsaw studentsow flew into space.
On December 4, contact was made with the satellite. The first telemetry data were received by ground stations at the Future Processing headquarters in Gliwice, the Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology at Warsaw University of Technology, and the radio amateurow. To date, 16 communication sessions have already been conducted.
During one of its sessions, PW-Sat2 was instructed to take a photograph of Earth, using one of the cameras installed on board the. „The photo will go down in history as the first Polish satellite image. It is not the first photograph of the Earth taken from orbit, as such, with a hand-held camera, was taken by cosmonaut General Hermaszewski. Thus, this is the first photograph of the Earth recorded by a Polish artificial satellite” – reads on the blog of the PW-Sat2 project.
PW-Sat2 orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 600 kilometersow. All components work as expected and there were no surprises. The data transmitted by the PW-Sat2 satellite is available at radio.pw-sat.pl.
The photo is taken at a fairly low resolution of 640×480 pixels, but the cameras on PW-Sat2 are not meant to be used for Earth observation, but for verification of headoIn an experiment conducted by studentsoIn space, that is, testing the deorbitation sail. The sail will open in mid-January.
The deorbitation sail is expected to improve the clearing of the orbit from so-called “deorbiters. space junk. The system proposed by Warsaw studentsow will enlarge the satellite’s surface area, allowing PW-Sat2 to increase swoj opor aerodynamic and will lower its orbit to eventually burn up in the atmosphere. Such a system allows to accelerate approx. 20-fold release of space in orbit after satellite mission ends – say the authors of the solution.
The 4m2 sail, whichory rolled up fits in a volume of about. 600 ml (i.e ¼ of the entire satellite), was tested under conditions of weightlessness and low pressure in a drop toweroin Bremen. The diameter of the rolled-up sail is about 8 cm, which is crucial for its applicability to microsatellites.
The arms of the deorbit sail are made of flat springs placed in mylar pockets. The stored elastic energy allows the sail to unfurl after it is ejected from the tray, and the shape of the springs allows it to remain rigid and stable even under normal Earth gravity conditions. PW-Sat2 is cuboid in shape, measuring 10x10x22 cm, and the sail takes up less than 25 percent of the. device volumes.
A solution designed by a studentoin the Student Astronautical Association (SKA) of the Warsaw University of Technology, has a chance to usher in a new era in space exploration, preventing satellites from remaining in orbit unnecessary and littering itow. Two cameras are placed on board the satellite, whichore will record the process of opening the deorbit sail.
To date, more than 8,000 satellites have gone into orbit around the Earthow of which wspoThe modern day operates around 1900. Amongod other objectsoin orbiting wokoł Earth – space junk – there are parts of rockets, pieces of the shuttle’s shellow, rocket members from the Apollo missions or 32 nuclear reactors, ktore powered by satellites. They all threaten active orbiters or the International Space Station.