A Carlow man’s part of the team set to launch Ireland’s first satellite into orbit this week.
Aaron Empey from Tinryland is currently studying within the Star Formation group in the UCD School of Physics as a PhD student. He graduated with a BSc in Physics with Astronomy and Space Science from UCD in 2022. As part of the EIRSAT-1 team he is involved in the testing and operations of the satellite which tomorrow (Wednesday) will be launched by rocket into space.
It will carry three experiments into space and report data back to a command centre on the Irish campus.
Throughout the project, students involved in the EIRSAT-1 project have worked with UCD experts and the European Space Agency (ESA),’s ‘Fly Your Satellite program’, to receive outstanding training, space-expert mentoring and hands-on guidance. The development of the spacecraft at UCD has seen the introduction of space systems engineering and skills that have not previously existed in Irish industry or academia.
Aaron said; “This has been a truly amazing project to work on. Our team in UCD is the first in the country to design and build a satellite that will be launched into orbit and then operated from Ireland. Having started on this project as a student, and worked on it for so long, it is extremely exciting to now be this close to launch date!’ (Hear his conversation on The KCLR Daily below).
The satellite’s three experiments will test new space technologies developed in Ireland, including an advanced instrument that will probe the early Universe.
The project has received programmatic and educational support by the ESA Education Office, EIRSAT-1 has received funding from Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Research Council, Enterprise Ireland, UCD, Openet, and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
The Irish European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO), has also supported the engagement of school students with inspirational and educational activities around the EIRSAT-1 project.
A flagship project of UCD C-Space, the UCD Centre for Space Research, the UCD School of Physics and UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, EIRSAT-1 is carried out with the support of the Education Office of the European Space Agency, under the educational Fly your Satellite! Programme.
Aaron told our Brian Redmond about the project on The KCLR Daily earlier – hear that here;