The fine fellows over in the Labs of our very own UCD have been on that non-stop grind to develop a Satellite with not one, not two, but three experiments that will be popped onto a satellite (also home-grown by UCD) and shot into Space.

But what exactly will these experiments do?

I’m glad you asked…

The EIRSAT-1 team receiving the runner up prize at last years Research Impact Competition. From left to right: Assoc Prof Sheila McBreen, Lana Salmon, Jessica Erkal, Seyedmasoud Emam, Derek O’Callaghan, Dr Ronan Wall, Dr David Murphy, Fergal Marshall, Jack Reilly, Rachel Dunwoody, Joe Thompson, Favour Okosun, Sarah Walsh, Assoc Prof Willi O’Connor, Joe Mangan, Rakhi Rajagopalan, Maeve Doyle, Asst Prof David McKeown, Prof Lorraine Hanlon. Photo: UCD School of Physics

Firstly, we have the GMOD which will be detecting gamma-rays from “both cosmic and atmospheric phenomena”. Meaning: when two stars collide or even if a star dies, this not-so-little gizmo is going to tell us all about it and leave no details out.

Next on the lineup is the EMOD, which was designed by the Irish Company ‘ENBIO LTD’. This part of the satellite was contrived to measure the performance of the Solar White and SolarBlack thermal protection systems (also developed by ENBIO LTD) which protect aerospace projects orbiting the Earth from the unforgiving radiation in space.

Lastly, we see “Wave Based Control” (WBC) strutting the runway. This experiment was engineered with the aim of testing a “wave-based control algorithm” and comparing it to Attitude Determination and Control Methods used today. Basically, the team over at UCD are testing a new and improved way of making sure the satellites and their luggage are pointing in the right direction.

Not only are The Team ambitious to take on such a challenge, but they have proven themselves diligent too as they toil on despite the Pandemic. With a simple addition of facemasks to their lab coats, the show goes on for the EIRSAT-1 Team as they adapt their work ethic to meet the launch date, which is being kept mysteriously broad to sometime this year.

The Team is comprised of PhD students from the UCD School Physics and Engineering and are of comparable calibre to those of a modern renaissance, where the painters are now scientists, and the commissioning aristocracy are now government organisations and sponsoring companies.

ESA – the main motivator behind the EIRSAT-1 mission – is seeking to grow the space industry within Ireland, and so, is encouraging the pursual of STEM and Space subjects by third-level students wherever possible. As a result, we can see them striving to bridge the gaps between students and industry in the space sector with EIRSAT-1 being a fine example of this.

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Thus, we can conclude that this Satellite Endeavor being undertaken by our fine fellows of UCD is only the beginning of an exciting development in Ireland’s career sector. Not only is this expansion a welcome breath of fresh air to our stale economy, but even an inspiring feat of the country’s daring ambition to put a literal sense on the quote:

“To Infinity and Beyond”

Rhoen Eate – Campus Correspondent