The satellite manufacturing sector has been in the spotlight in recent times, with new experiments being held every other week. Now, scientists are set to launch the world’s first wooden satellite into space. It is referred to as WISA Woodsat, which is a Cubesat with its dimensions as 10x10x10 cm. The success of the launch would be an extremely interesting development in the Satellite Manufacturing and Launch Market as the nanosatellite is built by nothing but standardized boxes with panels made from plywood. Its only non-wood part is corner aluminium rails essential for deployment into space along with a metal selfie stick.
The first item that will be sent within the satellite is a pressure sensor that would allow researchers to identify local pressure on-board cavities in the coming days and hours after the launch has occurred. This is a crucial factor for the turn-on of high power systems as well as radio-frequency antennas. This is because small amounts of molecules within the cavity can lead to severe harm. Besides, the sensor would be a straightforward LED plus photo resistor that has the ability to sense as it lights up. It is important to note that LEDs will be powered by a 3-D printed electrically conductive plastic known as PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone). Thus, the opening up the idea of printing power directly inside the bodies of upcoming space missions.
It was revealed that the base material for plywood in the satellite was birch. The unique aspect was that since ordinary plywood is quite humid for space use, it was placed in a thermal vacuum chamber for drying. After which, atomic layer deposition was performed by adding an extremely thin aluminum oxide layer. This was done to minimize any unwanted vapors from the wood and also as protection against erosive effects of atomic oxygen.
The satellite also has a pair of cameras on board, and wherein one is extended on a selfie stick so that there would be a picture of plywood and how it is behaving, in addition to all the color changes, cracking, etc. Moreover, there would also be an amateur radio payload to allow amateurs to communicate radio signals and images worldwide.
The research team stated that Woodsat is a beautiful object when it comes to traditional Nordic design and simplicity, and it would be very interesting to see it be launched into orbit. The only hope on the side of the team is that they can inspire people to take even more interest in satellite and space because it really affects all individual lives collectively.
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