Deputy Editor Jack Corban sits down with the Orbit Society in the first of our new series finding out a bit more about student-led societies on campus.
A new society on campus aims to bring students closer to space by providing students with valuable experience in space systems. GU Orbit aims to develop and launch a micro-satellite and recently I was able to talk with the society’s founders about their mission and how people can get involved.
The Glasgow Guardian: How did the idea for GU Orbit begin?
GU Orbit: GU Orbit is basically a student-led society focused around designing and fabricating CubeSats. The basic idea is that we will research different types of problems in the space industry and try to overcome these and address these problems by innovating new technologies and testing them in a real-life environment, so basically by using our CubeSats. It’s also a means for academic professionals, such as professors or PhD students, to be able to test their own research; up until now, it’s been too expensive to test their research in space. So, they can reach out to us and we can agree to put their payloads on our CubeSats to get them sent up into orbit.
GG: Your society has a STEM focus, but are there ways other people, such as art students, can get involved?
GU Orbit: Yeah, there’s a position for everyone! We’ve tried to open a legal department which would be great for law students. It is mainly engineering, due to the nature of the project. But the way we see the society and the team, it’s not just that we need to make a product and that’s that: we need to find a way to make it marketable. We go beyond the engineering scope and look at how this can be advertised, and how we can put it on the market later on. It also helps students who are engineers get used to what the market is like, they can develop their skills so they can move onto a career in the space industry.
GG: We’ve touched on it slightly in earlier questions but what would be the exact purpose of the satellite?
GU Orbit: So, once we have our payload and our mission established, and the satellites been made and launched, it will exchange data with us. We can send commands to it, such as take pictures or take measurements and it’s going to send those results down. We can use this data to understand how the mechanisms of the payload react to these conditions and verify some predictions that we’ve made, or we can use this data to model other things, such as mathematical models, and this can help us in future missions or help the industry as a whole in future mission.
GG: What would be the best way for people to get involved with your society?
GU Orbit: Basically we have a lot of social media pages you can reach out to our team, we also plan to host quite a few events, workshops and what not to reach out to students more, and they’re not just for engineering, they can be based on other things such as media design, and even for the marketing side of things, how do you properly do your market research or reach out to sponsors.
Follow @GUOrbit online for more information.
If you're interested in having your society featured in this series get in touch at [email protected]