CubeSat Mission cultivates young STEAM talent
To promote STEAM education and cultivate the interest of the young in space science and technology research and development, the Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering (AAE) of PolyU partnered with the Orion Astropreneur Space Academy (OASA) to host the PolyU CubeSat Mission – Space Debris Removal competition.
The Competition attracted 100 participants from different secondary schools in Hong Kong. In order to strengthen students' understanding of CubeSats (microsatellites), PolyU and OASA organised a series of training programmes, lectures and workshops. Students also visited PolyU laboratories specialised in space science research including the Aerodynamics Laboratory, Aviation Engineering Laboratory and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory. With the guidance of OASA instructors and AAE doctoral students, they were able to design and build their own CubeSat model that can remove space debris.
Following three months of hard work by the students, the Competition was concluded in late April. A team from St. Paul’s College won the championship with a video elaborating their notion of launching a 6U* CubeSat into space, orbiting to locate debris, and deploying 1U of the CubeSat and a graphene net to capture objects with the help of AI. Their meticulous design even proposed how the CubeSat would de-orbit and return to Earth while the debris burned up in the atmosphere.
“We see limitless potential in these students to become future youth scientists and look forward to having such talents in our research teams,” said Prof. Chih-Yung Wen, Head of AAE and Chair Professor of Aeronautical Engineering.
* “U” stands for a unit for measuring the CubeSat’s size, with 1U being a cube with a length, width and height of 10 cm.
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