Follow minute by minute: Danish students send a satellite into space
Danish space history will be written when the first satellite in the student satellite program DISCO is sent up in collaboration between four universities. The satellite contains a microcomputer and must, among other things, test artificial intelligence in space. Help send it off on Tuesday, April 11, when AU and SDU broadcast live.
For the past two years, students from Aarhus University, University of Southern Denmark, Aalborg University and IT University have been working on getting the first DISCO satellite ready for launch - and now it's happening. On April 11, the work and excitement will culminate when the student satellite is launched with a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg in the USA at 8:48 Danish time.
Aarhus University and the University of Southern Denmark livestream when the satellite starts its journey and invites the press and other interested parties to join. There will be unique live images, and in Aarhus, there will be, among other things, an opportunity to meet students and researchers behind the project.
"We are writing a new chapter in Danish space history with the launch. It is the first time that students from four Danish universities are collaborating on an innovative, national space programme," says Christoffer Karoff, who leads the project and is an associate professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Aarhus University.
Forerunner of larger climate satellite
It is a CubeSat satellite that measures 10 x 10 x 10 cm and weighs approx. 1 kg. On board is a microcomputer developed by Google to create artificial intelligence. It will now fly in space for the first time with DISCO-1.
DISCO-1 is a precursor that will test the technology ahead of the subsequent climate satellite DISCO-2, which will be sent up next summer. DISCO-2 will make us more aware of climate change by providing multidimensional images of glaciers melting in Greenland.
Educates future talents for the space sector
Nikolaj Forskov Eriksen is one of the students who put the satellite into the rocket in the USA, and he has gained a lot from the project:
"DISCO is an obvious opportunity to get excited about your profession. You can test your skills on a real task with the real consequences of your decisions. At the same time, DISCO has helped me get an internship in a company where I had already been in contact with some employees through the project. And it's just great to share a project with students from different programs and universities," says Nikolaj Forskov Eriksen, who studies electrical engineering at the University of Southern Denmark.
In the longer term, associate Professor Christoffer Karoff hopes that the project can help deliver qualified candidates to the space sector, which lacks a workforce:
"The Danish space sector is growing strongly, and in a few years, it will, among other things, be former DISCO students who will set the direction for the sector," he says.
In addition, he hopes that it can help to create a budding interest in the field among high school students who, among other things, must try to communicate with the satellite.
DISCO-1 will pass Denmark twice a day and is planned to be in orbit for approximately three years.
Industriens Fond finances the satellite program, and the satellite is produced in collaboration with Space Inventor, while Momentus and SpaceX are responsible for the launch.
Note: There may be changes in time and programme. Stay updated on the websites below.
See the program for AU: https://geo.au.dk/profil/aktuelt/arrangementer/artikel/artikel/opsendesfest-for-disco-1
Read more about DISCO here: https://discosat.dk/
Christoffer Karoff, lecturer, Aarhus University
Mads Toudal Frandsen, professor, University of Southern Denmark