Brandon Dudley, Online Editor
Following in the footsteps of their father satellite program EagleSat 1, EagleSat 2 rises to bring further involvement and experience in project engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. With the original project being finalized before its launch date, the new program seeks to improve upon its predecessor’s work.
Team lead and sophomore Hilly Paige spoke in an interview of his expectations for EagleSat 2 and their current status with the project. Chosen from the remnants of EagleSat 1, Paige talked about how his leadership position “took a lot of work and I wasn’t experienced in leadership prior to this assignment”, yet his dedication and work ethic spoke well to his ascension for the position.
One of the first things established was the need for more Mechanical and Electrical engineers on the project in order to get them going. With so many Aeronautical/Astronautical engineers already working for EagleSat 2 they face the issue of lacking people experienced in the other fields.
Another issue present is the challenge of costs for the new project going higher than the old program worked with originally. This requires extreme redesigning and ingenuity on the engineer’s part in order to meet operating costs as well as requirements for the satellite.
Dr. Gary Yale, the faculty advisor for the whole EagleSat Program, spoke highly of the future for the program with the students, encouraging diversity among the degrees presently working on the project. In terms of the commitment of the students and their work ethic, Yale commented that “Education above all else is what this project does. [Students] are teaching themselves how to do a great majority of the work.” EagleSat is entirely extracurricular.
While a date and time of completion for EagleSat 2 is too early in the design stage to be given, Paige does hope to have the satellite fully designed and ready for production by the time he graduates and hands control down to the next person. Much excitement is also held for the completion of the new Academic Complex 2, which will include a room specifically built for EagleSat.
A great asset coming to assist the EagleSat Program will be the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) later in the spring to offer their assistance. The outreach was proposed by Dr. Martin earlier with the members of the program visiting JPL, later developing to include JPL visiting ERAU for networking and design help.
“This is a very unique opportunity and a very special program most schools do not have access to, let alone a school of our size,” said Yale on EagleSat 2. Taking a different approach for the project, total design before production, the group is ready to take on the challenge of making their own satellite to be actually launched into Earth’s orbit.
For those wanting to join the program, or have more questions on it, Hilly Paige can be contacted at [PAIGEH@my.erau.edu].