• Question: what is your research about ?

    Asked by Megan to Stephen, Sita, Rory, Hannah, Brian, Alison on 5 Mar 2019. This question was also asked by 874speq52, arnas.
    • Photo: Brian OConnor

      Brian OConnor answered on 5 Mar 2019:

      Looking down at the Earth from space, what kind of change in the natural world can satellites take images of and measure? It turns out they are brilliant tools to see lots of things happening on the Earth’s surface and atmosphere as they keep coming back to the same point over the Earth on a regular basis and measuring the same thing so you can see changes happening every day, week , month and year.

    • Photo: Hannah Currivan

      Hannah Currivan answered on 5 Mar 2019:

      I am currently building a Tupper Sat which is a lunchbox which contains an experiment detecting Carbon Dioxide concentrations up to 38km altitude. We are expecting to see a rise in Carbon Dioxide (sadly) at these altitudes when comparing it to previous results.
      As our goal is to measure how CO2 levels increase or decrease as a function of altitude. The levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are at an all time high, and are continuing to rise at an alarming rate due to human reliance on fossil fuels.
      Our Tupper Sat will be launched by the end of April, so soon we will have results. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Photo: Alison Dufresne

      Alison Dufresne answered on 5 Mar 2019:

      We aren’t a research institute (we’re a future asteroid mining company!) but we do do research here. For example, today I’m doing a bunch of math to compare different chemical additives ins earch of one that ‘s going to make our engine perform even better! We generally research the easiest, cheapest and quickest way to build spacecrafts.

    • Photo: Sita Karki

      Sita Karki answered on 6 Mar 2019:

      My research is about processing satellite data to find out water quality in Ireland in the lakes at the moment.

    • Photo: Stephen O'Connor

      Stephen O'Connor answered on 6 Mar 2019: last edited 6 Mar 2019 8:50 pm

      My research is about the effect of the space environment on materials that are used on satellites.
      Above Earth’s atmosphere, or in space, we have low pressure (vacuum), extreme temperatures and high energy radiation coming from the Sun.
      These conditions can change the physical and chemical properties of materials and result in them not working properly.
      To understand what are the best materials, I test them by exposing them to space-like conditions for days, and sometimes even months.
      During and after each experiment, I analyse the materials using different instruments to see how they have reacted to the space-like conditions.
      If they pass the test, we can use them on our satellites.