Institutsleiter

Prof. Dr.-Ing.
Stefanos Fasoulas

Stellvertreter

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Klinkner

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Alfred Krabbe

Sekretariat
Prof. Fasoulas

Larissa Schunter

Sekretariat
Prof. Klinkner

Annegret Möller

Sekretariat
Prof. Krabbe

Barbara Klett

Administration

Dr. Thomas Wegmann

 


Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme
Pfaffenwaldring 29
70569 Stuttgart

Tel. +49 711 685-69604
Fax +49 711 685-63596

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KSat e.V. and Spacelab Launched MIRKA2 Capsule in South Africa

On July 21st, 2017, students from the University of Capetown's Spacelab and members of the University of Stuttgart's student group KSat e.V. launched a high-altitude research balloon in the desert in northern South Africa as part of the MIRKA2-ICV project.
August 16, 2017; Julia Dancer (dancer@irs.uni-stuttgart.de)

On July 21st, 2017, students from the University of Capetown's Spacelab and members of the University of Stuttgart's student group KSat e.V. launched a high-altitude research balloon in the desert in northern South Africa as part of the MIRKA2-ICV project. The project originated in a cooperation between the University of Stuttgart's Institute of Space Systems and the University of Capetown's Spacelab in South Africa.

MIRKA2-ICV_Logo

Image: MIRKA2-ICV mission logo (Micro Return Capsule 2 - In-flight Communication Verrification)

The goal of the MIRKA2-ICV project was to test the communication of the miniaturized return capsule MIRKA2 through a satellite connection during a free fall from a great height. The capsule sent GPS coordinates, rotation rates, temperature and pressure data until it reached a height of 22km. At 25km, the separation mechanism was activated. In the following minutes, however, no data packets were received from the capsule. The reason for this is still unclear. After the balloon burst and the balloon device landed with a parachute, the recovery process began. The device's last telemetry point was about 1.8 km above the ground. Due to the poor accessibility of the terrain and the early sunset (winter in the southern hemisphere), the device, the video of the drop, and the exact trajectory data of the device could not be recovered on the day of the launch. The search for the device continues and is being coordinated by Spacelab. The data from the balloon device will hopefully be able to clarify the capsule's location and the problem with the test.

Balloon_Launch

Image: high altitude research balloon with parachute (red), balloon device (styrofoam box) und MIRKA2-ICV capsule in the release shaft

The team is now actively working on a new version of the MIRKA2 capsule. This cooperation was a great opportunity for all involved students to work in a multinational team and gain valuable experience.

 

Team_Foto

Bild: members of the student club KSat e.V. (from the left: Markus Koller, Felix Schäfer, Florian Grabi, Valentin Starlinger) and Professor René Laufer (Baylor University, University of Capetown) with the MIRKA2-ICV capsule integrated with the balloon device

More about the project:
http://ksat-stuttgart.de/de/projekte/mirka2-icv

KSat e.V. Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/KSat.Stuttgart

KSat e.V. Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CD2cCjB70Y

KSat e.V. Twitter:
https://twitter.com/KSat_Stuttgart