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Ten Graduate Students from the Asian Institute of Technology Given the Opportunity to Design and Build a Microsatellite-Mounted Apparatus as Part of the JST-led 'Sakura Exchange Program in Science'
For ten days from July 23rd to August 1st, ten graduate students and one faculty member from the Asian Institute of Technology were given the opportunity, with the assistance of the JST-led 'Sakura Exchange Program in Science,' to participate in the design and construction of a microsatellite-mounted apparatus at the Kimura Laboratory in the Tokyo University of Science (TUS) Department of Electrical Engineering.
The Kimura Laboratory has developed a number of low-cost, advanced aerospace equipment that have been put to use in various space missions, including the IKAROS and Hayabusa 2 missions. The aim for the participants in the Sakura Exchange Program was to provide them with an opportunity to learn about aerospace development firsthand. This was done by having them first take part in the creation, environmental testing, etc., of a satellite-mounted apparatus, after which the group was divided up and tasked with designing the satellite's mission.
During the first half of the program, the participants used a space camera development kit to each build their own camera for use in space. They then performed thermal vacuum testing, temperature testing and other environment testing of their cameras.
On July 28th, with the cooperation of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the participants were given a tour of the Tsukuba Space Center and other aerospace facilities. While at the Tsukuba Space Center, the participants had the rare opportunity to see the Kibo Control Facilities, which afforded them with an incredibly special experience.
During the latter half of the program, the participants were divided into two groups to undertake system design for a mock satellite. The participants delivered their presentations on July 31st, with each offering their own truly unique mission proposal.
Although the Asian Institute of Technology is located in Thailand, it is an international university and this was reflected in the diverse nationalities, cultures, religions, etc., of the program participant group, which was comprised of three Thai, four Sri Lankan, one Bangaledeshi and one Nepalese member. The participants were also extremely enthusiastic about engaging in discussion and exchange; thus, the program experience proved to be a valuable international exchange opportunity for the TUS students as well. In addition, participants expressed keen interest in enrolling in the TUS doctoral program, raising hopes of further and more varied opportunities for exchange in the future. TUS is truly grateful to the JST Sakura Exchange Program in Science for making exchange opportunities such as these possible.
Professor Kimura (during camera construction)
Professor Kimura (during environmental testing)