Outreach Workshop, Mexico



29th-2nd November 2016

The main purpose of the UBO PocketQube workshop in Mexico was to provide hands on experience of real satellite hardware and educate people around satellite applications and mission concepts in advance of the subsequent training on the ClydeSpace Nanobed flatsat. The PocketQube is smaller than the average satellite. However, the kits remain fully representative of a full size satellite system for a fraction of the cost. This allows individuals to develop on our kits, while ensuring all skills developed in the processes are fully transferable to larger cube satellite missions, or indeed any satellite as all will contain the same basic subsystems.

The day started with assembly of the satellites, an important aspect and one largely uncovered by other training programs. Although the construction has been designed to be as intuitive as possible, the assembly process forces participants to consider design restraints that might affect payloads and mission selections such as the weight and physical dimensions.

What We Did

– Introduced Clydespace Nanobed using what had been learnt from building and coding UBO

– Educated participants on how orbit simulation is an important way of testing satellite payloads

– Inspired new mission concepts from individuals after introducing missions made for UBO

As part of the day students took photos with the camera payload on their completed UBO’s. To do this they needed to convert hexadecimal data from the camera payload to something view able (an jpeg image). Results can be seen on the right.

In later workshops we hope to use the camera payload differently and use its infra-red capabilities. The infra-red part of the spectrum via satellite imagery is used heavily for Agriculture to monitor the global food supply. This is done by creating an Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Near-infrared radiation is used to detect healthy vegetation. Healthy vegetation reflects green light and absorbs red and blue light. The green light that our eyes see is chlorophyll created by plants during photosynthesis. Chlorophyll will reflect more light in the green and near infrared spectrum compared to other wavelengths. This is why near infrared radiation in combination with NDVI is one of the primary remote sensing applications in agriculture and the environment.