Let’s get started!
The project began in January 2021. Due to the pandemic situation, we held several virtual meetings with our partners from the Valašské Meziříčí Observatory and the Hungarian Astronautical Society. During them, we agreed on a schedule of activities and also the tasks that we must fulfill during the project.
Three weeks later, the technical team met again in the online space. The engineers agreed on the technical specifications of SchoolSAT, the subcomponent suppliers, and the way they would work. A logo design was also presented at this meeting, which we will use after approval.
The first version showed hidden bugs
Since the end of February, we have been preparing the first version of SchoolSAT for four months. According to the agreement and schedule, we designed the components, ensured their production, delivery and built a pilot SchoolSAT, so far without solar panels. Of course, the prototype showed us certain problems that arose during design and construction. We have removed them and improved the original design. We performed a series of tests to monitor battery life, the functionality of solar cells and sensors.
After verifying the functionality, we started to work intensively on software development and also on the preparation of the manual. The aim of the project is to show young people the whole way from unpacking the components, through their correct assembly, the position of SchoolSAT, its launch, implementation of experiments. That is why we pay special attention to the preparation of the manual.
Almost at the finish!
At the end of July 2021, we managed to build a fully functional SchoolSAT. The cooperation between SOSA, the Valašské Meziříčí Observatory and the Hungarian Astronautical Society went beyond expectations. The technical team organized regular short meetings and each partner tried to promote the project in their country.
And we didn’t forget the typical “killswitch” in the form of a keychain with the project logo 🙂
Another meeting took place during July, but it was no longer online and we finally had the opportunity to meet together and live. Each partner was represented by two representatives and together we prepared a manual, visuals of promotional materials. We consulted which schools and institutions we would address and how we would present the project.
At the end of August, we also met with several teachers from selected schools. We presented the SchoolSAT project and offered school representatives educational presentations for students on their premises. The response was excellent!
Unfortunately, during September, the pandemic situation began to deteriorate again and the universities opted for distance learning, which significantly complicated the situation for us. We addressed several secondary schools in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, and we individually addressed the possibilities of presenting SchoolSAT to students.