The Thinsat Progarm
This NSE course is a low cost, short term program designed to increase student engagement and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related fields. This will be achieved using the ThinSat, a small satellite capable of transmitting data from low earth orbit.
The ThinSat Program sets a new standard for STEM related academics in the space industry. Students from middle school to the university level will develop satellite hardware, test sensor components with low and high altitude balloon flights, analyze data, and launch an actual payload into space.
On April 17, 2019, a 60 ThinSat constellation launched off the Antares NG-11 mission on route to International Space Station. Over 400 middle and high school students helped in developing and building the satellites.
How it works
Stage 1: Introduction of sensors and development of a sensor-board. Students conduct flight operations and launch a low-altitude balloon with the FlatSat attached as a data transmitting payload. Students collect and analyze data.
Phase 2: Students develop a payload similar of the final product and integrate it with a 3D printed Engineering Model of the Thinsat, which will allows for realistic ThinSat testing and verification of data transmission. The Engineering Models are sent to a centralized location for a high altitude balloon flight.
Phase 3: Students use data collected in phase 2 and work towards finshing a spaceworthy payload. This payload is then sent to Twiggs Space Lab for testing before being integration into a Containerized Satellite Dispenser (CSD) and prepared for launch. The ThinSats are deployed during a cargo resupply mission heading to the ISS. They are then released from the second stage of the Antares rocket into Extreme Low Earth Orbit (ELEO), transmitting data for approximately five days before deorbit and burning upon re-entry into Earth's atmosphere
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