UH Maui College Students Planning Mission to the Moon for Small Satellites
Four University of Hawai‘i Maui College students are planning a mission to the Moon…via small satellites called LunaSats.
Dr. Jung Park, Associate Professor of STEM, and four of his Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology students–Angelica Juarez, Delaun Prentice, Tishri Prentice, Christian Falcon–recently returned from a four-day workshop at the University of Colorado, Boulder appropriately titled, “GLEE.”
GLEE, which stands for the Great Lunar Expedition for Everyone, is a science and technology mission being conducted by students around the world to send 500 LunaSats to the moon by 2023.
“The LunaSat consists of a circuit board with various sensors and an Arduino-based microprocessor. Sensors and components included onboard the LunaSat include a temperature sensor, accelerometer, magnetometer, thermopile, and a capacitance sensor,” said Park.
The GLEE program was split into 12 modules introducing each group to the GLEE 2023 mission, analyzing every individual component of the satellites. It concluded with each team creating a unique science mission that will be performed on the moon using the collective knowledge of the LunaSats gained from the previous modules.
“Every module had a corresponding activity to test and familiarize students with each specific component,” Park said
“The GLEE workshop was incredibly inspiring and introduced our teams to a whole world of programming, circuits and sensors, and their applications on our planet and in space. I am grateful to have been a part of such an informative hands-on workshop, where we’ve been inspired to expand our knowledge in engineering,” said ECET student Christian Falcon.
Park said that he and the UHMC teams enjoyed sharing their love for astronomy and space exploration with dozens of like-minded students and faculty. They’re all excitedly looking forward to joining the worldwide workshop in April 2022.
“I loved meeting other students from around the county and working with my team,” said Angelica Juarez. “I feel that I learned a lot about coding and about different sensors and I’m excited to join the workshop again in April and hope to encourage others to join as well.”
Delaun Prentice said, “The GLEE workshop was a very interesting experience. I enjoyed how we were able to increases our knowledge on how their final mission will go down. And I hope we can be there when it happens.”
The workshop was organized and led by undergraduate students from the University of Colorado who guided participants in testing the first iteration of the LunaSat production. Nineteen student teams comprised of a total of 38 students from universities and colleges across the country, attended and participated in person. The UHMC teams were sponsored by NASA Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.