Since its beginnings in the early 1950ies, exploration in Space has always been extremely expensive and this will not change until breakthrough technology will be invented. For, a typical five tons communications or research satellite, typical launch costs of current missions in space are quite expensive and that there is an imminent need to provide technology which would lower the costs in order to enable research in space at an affordable level for public as well for private institutions. With its new Project named “Wren”, the STADOKO UG, has dedicated its outstanding engineering knowledge and innovative power to the development of the miniaturization of artificial celestial devices in order to provide next generation space probes at severely reduced weight, dimensions and in consequence at considerably lowered costs for the benefit of future unmanned space and earth exploration research missions for the commonwealth.
Thus, Project Wren’s primary goal is to provide a PocketQub femto satellite that can fit in a trousers pocket filled up with state of the art technology, reframing satellite science, and providing valuable data for the performance of next generation scientific earth and space explorations in the near future.
PocketQub satellites commonly have a feed size of about 10cm with a total weight not exceeding the 500 gram mark. In contrast to the current state of the art, our development will provide a fully operational satellite but downsized to the dimensions of a tennis ball (5cm of feed size), which will have a complete bunch of highly integrated subsystems, including controllable thruster engines and mission specific research equipment without having to deal with the inconvenience of functionality lags and shortcomings despite the constrains of miniaturization.
The project name has been inspired by the bird family of the troglotytidae. The Wren commonly a small, brownish passerine bird is according to the fable of Aisōpos (greek poet, c. 620–564 BC) the King of the Birds. The fable tells the story about a contest that the birds held long time ago where the bird who would have flown the highest should become the King of the Birds. At first it looked as though the Eagle would win easily. But just as the Eagle began to tire, the Wren, which had hidden himself under the Eagle’s tail feathers, crept out, soared far above and shouted: “I’m the King!” Thus the Wren proved that cleverness is better than strength.
WREN, the first prototype of our current Project will be equipped with a camera system in order to remotely take pictures of the earth, the sun and deep space objects. The camera will also be connected to the board computer. In this way the implemented artificial intelligence will evaluate the pictures in order to detect the earth’s nadir relative to the sun. Together with the conventional gyro- and magnetic field feedback controllers, those three components will constitute an adaptive feedback guidance system which could precisely navigate the satellite on its own into the specified orbit by using its four micro-PPT thrusters. The guidance system will be the main part of our mission as this could not be investigated in a non-micro-gravitational environment.
An Additional feedback position controller will be installed in order to optimally adjust the direction of the high transfer rate antenna, through which Wren will obtain mission orders to be executed. In return, Wren will send back the collected pictures, scientific and telemetric data to mission control. Due to the flexible and highly modular design we will also be able to uplink software updates to the Wren board computer while our knowledge will grow during the experience obtained during the ongoing mission.
STADOKO is closely associated together with the amateur radio association of the RWTH Aachen and the Institute Of Aeronautics of the University Of Applied Sciences Of Aachen (FH Aachen). Further details and project updates will be continuously communicated. The Wren project is open to everyone interested. You can actively (e.g. as an amateur radio operator if you own the necessary license and the equipment) or passively (via the web) follow the telemetry data and camera shots during the WREN Mission! We will try to incorporate a treat for amateur radio operators (e.g. active messaging). The frequency and radio intercommunication protocols will be published as soon as possible. If you are interested in being updated feel free to subscribe to our newsfeed or (and!) to our newsletter.
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