In less than one year, students from Universidad del Valle de México (UVM) Campus Saltillo have launched two satellites into space. The primary goal of these satellites is to obtain information on the climate and climate change over time in the Comarca Lagunera region.
The members of the Phoenix II team are Edgar Serrano Escobar, José Alfredo Rodríguez Ramos and Nadia Hernández Ríos, students from the 5th and 7th semesters of UVM’s Mechatronics Engineering program. The students’ work was led by Luis Arellano and Arturo Guzmán Carballido, the Coordinator of Engineering programs at UVM Campus Saltillo.
The goal of Phoenix II is to continue to track the impact of climate change in the city of Saltillo and gather additional information on the extended draught being suffered by the region that can be shared with the corresponding governmental leaders.
The experiment also seeks to help regional agriculture. "At UVM, we want to leverage technology to have a positive economic impact through showing what is happening to our environment, which is having a huge impact on the local population," explained Guzmán.
In comparison with Phoenix I, which was launched in May 2013, Phoenix II was "more attractive" and lighter, "we included LEDs because we thought it would be more interesting to the young people if it was better designed from a visual perspective. The dimensions of this satellite are 10 x 15 x 8 centimeters and it weighs 900 grams. It uses a balloon with a diameter of 1.5 meters.
Phoenix II has a number of different gauges including an accelerator, a gyroscope, two temperature sensors (one internal and one external), an altimeter and active memory to store information.
Another of Professor Guzmán’s goals with this second launch is to open more doors at NASA for UVM students. Luis Arellano from the Saltillo Astronomical Society (la Sociedad Astronómica de Saltillo) is helping with this work.
"We want to create direct connections for our students with NASA so they can see our work, so we can share technology and to hopefully secure some internships and scholarships for our students. We are going to look for resources for projects and infrastructure that can support the work being done by these young students and continue to expand their knowledge."
Arturo Guzmán added that he is also in direct contact with the German Aerospace Center (DLR by its acronym in German) to help gain access to DLR’s advanced programming and telemetry algorithms. According to Guzmán, they will look for help and support for this important work from all potential partners.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.