by Charley Locke
April 16, 2015 in Edsurge
Next time you look up at the sky and spot one of the 1,100 satellites in orbit, it might be capturing data for your kids’ science project.
In August 2014, US students submitted proposals for projects which would use two weeks of data collected by Ardusat satellites. The 15 winning teams, selected by astronauts at the Association of Space Explorers, range from middle- and high-school classes to Boy Scout troops and after-school science clubs. Ardusat then sent the winners Space Kits, which contain a range of sensors, including a magnetometer, accelerometer and infrared light sensor. Students wrote experiment code for these Arduino sensors, which are the same as those on Ardusat’s satellites, to measure the data needed for their experiments.
The satellite won’t launch into space until this October. But on April 4, Ardusat launched a high-altitude balloon to let students conduct a trial of their experiments. The students, who designed and coded their experiments in schools from Tennessee to Washington, watched a live broadcast as the balloon and its sensors rose 85,891 feet in the air, landing an hour and a half later.
“We wanted to give them a chance to test it on a high-altitude balloon first, like NASA’s readiness test,” explained Sunny Washington, CEO of Ardusat.