Build A Satellite

“To have good data, we need good satellites.” This itself tells us the importance of satellites. Space world is an interesting phenomenon to learn, grasp, understand and maybe worked on in the future. There are weather satellites, communications satellites, reconnaissance satellites, astronomy satellites and many other kinds that help us gather information related, increase our knowledge and make us more vigilant with the space world.





Introduction:


A satellite is an object that orbits another object. In space, satellites may be made by man, or they may be natural. The moon is a natural satellite that orbits the Earth. All the planets in our solar system have natural satellites except planets like Mercury and Venus.


Man-made satellites are machines made by people. These machines are launched into space and orbit Earth or another body in space. Man-made satellites are sent into space to gather information. Most are launched into space by rockets. Man-made satellites have several main uses like investigation related to science, observation of planets including weather forecasting, navigations including the Global Positioning

System (GPS), communications, etc.


Follow the below image to learn about the parts of a satellite. Commonly these are the components used.


Antennas & Transponders: are used to receive and transmit signals from and to Earth.


Thrusters: are used to position the satellites into the orbit.


Body: Contains operational heart of a satellite. that command & control every aspect.

Power Source/Solar Panels: most satellites use solar power as the main energy source to power itself. It converts sunlight into energy.



Requirements:

  • Small Square shaped cardboard box and cardboard rectangles

  • Aluminum Foil

  • Popsicle Stick and Toothpicks

  • Transparent Plastic Cup

  • Scissor and Glue





Steps:

  1. Take a small cardboard square-shaped box

  2. Cut out one side of this box

  3. Leaving the opposite side of the box that we cut, make small holes in the center of both the sides

  4. Slide a popsicle stick through the holes made on the two sides

  5. Wrap the box with aluminum foil

  6. Take a transparent plastic cup, cut it in half, and insert a colored chart paper in it, such that it surrounds the interior of the cup

  7. Insert the cup in the side of the box that you had cut initially. Make sure the closed side of the cup faces outside. It will act as the antenna of your satellite

  8. Cut cardboard rectangles which will act as flaps for the antenna

  9. Wrap the flaps with the aluminum foil as well, making the act as the solar panels and stick them on the popsicle sticks

  10. Take toothpicks and insert them at the top corner of the satellite


Bonus related activity - https://www.scprolab.com/activities-1/UNDERSTANDING-ROCKET-LAUNCH


Learning Opportunity:

  • The first man-made also called as an artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched in 1957

  • Modern satellites are much more complicated

  • Most of the man-made satellites are in a low Earth orbit (LEO) or a geostationary orbit

  • Most satellites are designed to be as strong and light as possible

  • Basic modeling of a Satellite:

  • A platform called a bus contains all systems, including the batteries, computer and thrusters

  • Attached to the bus are antennas, solar arrays and payload instruments such as cameras, telescopes and communications equipment

  • Satellites have to power themselves. This is usually done by using large solar arrays (wings) covered with light-sensitive solar cells

  • Man-made satellites have several main uses like investigation related to science, observation of planets including weather forecasting, navigations including the Global Positioning System (GPS), communications, etc.


Time Required: 20 minutes

Cost: < $2


#tech #science #nature #preschool #elementary #STEAMProjects

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