It’s time for the ultimate selfie from space!
As outlined by the Australian Space Agency, the growth of Australia’s infrastructure for capturing and analysing satellite imagery is crucial, given how critical it has become to both government and the private sector. The ACRUX program is dedicated to addressing this need by equipping members with the skill-sets necessary to ensure a resilient space ready workforce.The ACRUX-2 mission will specifically aim to take an RGB photo of Melbourne from low Earth orbit!
To accomplish this, our student-based team will design, build and launch a 3U CubeSat bus, as well as construct a dedicated ground station. Future missions will make use of this foundation, ultimately enabling the deployment of a hyperspectral camera; technology that is on the cutting edge of Earth observation.
In a post-pandemic world, we have seen the way technology helped guide us through the uncertainties of remote learning, working from home and social distancing – potentially opening the door for virtual assistants or robot attendants to be involved even further in our day-to-day lives.
Here at MSP, we’re developing our very own humanoid. Not only will it be able to walk and dance, but also be able to give out long-lost hugs and hand out near-forgotten handshakes. Beyond the physical actions it will have conversational and decision-making skills, as well as image recognition for the ability to classify different objects and faces.
The project requires a range of skills providing a unique and exciting opportunity for our student members - the dedicated team will be creating the physical form of the humanoid using CAD and 3D printing, bringing this to life through programming microcontrollers integrated with electronic hardware, and developing a wide range of software utilising artificial intelligence and machine learning to create an overall human-like experience.
After seeing the devastating effects of the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, MSP decided to look into ways we could create something that could have a large impact on bushfire season. The team found that there’s a lot of research into reactive solutions such as real-time fire detection, but saw a gap in the field of proactive responses to bushfires.
The aim for this project is to use predictive modelling to identify potential high-risk locations and anticipate how a fire could behave if ignited in such an area. Our team is developing a machine learning based model that uses data from satellite imagery and elevation maps, assesses the temperature in the area, and looks at historical data in order to establish patterns. This information will help calculate the risk-level of a fire and determine what level of response is needed. A tool like this could prove invaluable when approaching firefighting, and could be an important inclusion in the discussion around fire management.
29th June 2019 marks the first time MSP went into space. ACRUX-1 was the effort of a dedicated multi-disciplinary team and one of the first completely student-led satellite development and launch initiatives in Australia. After three years in the making, ACRUX-1 was launched into orbit on Rocket Lab’s Make It Rain mission on their rocket, Electron. The CubeSat powered up and established two-way communication to our ground station back on Earth - mission success!
ACRUX-1 was not only a technical endeavour, but an educational one too. By providing unique and complex opportunities such as ACRUX-1, MSP is advancing our overarching goal of developing students into pioneers and changemakers.