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FIRST Global Challenge 2021 Team Seychelles receive Cubesat kit

The handover ceremony (Photo: Louis Toussaint)

Team Seychelles 2021, comprising a group of students from different schools, were yesterday presented with the Cube Satellite Kit, a project which is essential to their participation in the fifth FIRST Global Challenge.

The group which include ten members, namely, Tahani Malbrook from Anse Boileau school, Rebecca Talma from Beau Vallon school, Yannick Hollanda, Mikhail Rudchenko, Ronan Varsani and Sakthi Guhan Alexander from the International School, Wayne Lesperance from the Independent School, Genario Banane from Perseverance school, and Chris Lucas from Anse Royale school, were presented with the kit by head of the Division of Science, Technology and Innovation within the Ministry of Investment, Entrepreneurship and Industry Xavier Estico.

The tenth member of the group, Mitch Loze, is the only one at primary school level, and hails from the La Retraite school.

During the handover ceremony, Mr Estico noted that with the pandemic, the focus of this year’s challenges is to develop solutions to problems the Covid-19 pandemic presented, ranging from social projects to miniature satellites, and robot design. As such, new activities have been added to the challenge, including the CubeSat Prototype Challenge, which requires teams to design and build a CubeSat miniature satellite prototype and launch it into the lower layers of Earth’s atmosphere.

“Satellite technology for Seychelles, considering the vastness of our oceans, and stakeholders will come to the realisation is very important for air traffic navigation, disaster management, and maritime surveillance and such,” Mr Estico noted.

FIRST Global is a non-profit organisation established in 2017, which ignites a passion for STEM in youth worldwide to inspire the next generation of problem solvers and innovators. For this years’ event, the theme is ‘Discover & Recover’ with the focus on overcoming the pandemic by discovering opportunities for innovative recovery.

As with previous editions, the 2021 FIRST Global Challenge is bringing together high school students, mentors, volunteers and supporters from all over the world in virtual collaboration to empower youth to advance new ways that Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) can counter the effects of the pandemic and mitigate the impact of future catastrophic events.

With the kit safely in the hands of Team Seychelles, the group now has to work together to assemble to Arduino-based CubeSat prototype kit. Teams will define a mission of importance to their community, and then use the kit to create their own CubeSat prototypes to provide a tangible solution to that local need. Teams will design, build, program, and test their CubeSat prototypes, and then deploy them into the lower layers of Earth’s atmosphere.

CubeSats are a class of nano-satellites with a standardised size of 10cm3. They are launched into space using rocket-powered launch vehicles, or can be deployed from International Space Stations. On the other hand, CubeSat prototypes are modelled after space-ready CubeSats. They are launched into the lower layers of Earth’s atmosphere using methods such as high altitude balloons and hobbyist rockets.

Along with other teams, Team Seychelles has up until the remainder of the season on September 18 to complete the challenge. The team is being managed by Mr Estico himself, and are being mentored by mechanical engineer Fabien Adrienne, civil engineering student Scott Thomas Morin, research officers Chindhuja Kamalraj, Manfred Laporte and Joseph Raj, and professor at the John Hopkins University Ralph Etienne-Cummings.

This years’ challenge kicked off earlier this year on June 27 and will officially come to an end on September 18. It must be noted that over 160 countries are participating in the global challenges, and Seychelles is presently ranked 46th on the challenge’s global leader board. 

The handing over ceremony was held at the Regional and Law Enforcement Centre for Safety and Security at Sea (REFLECS3) National Information Sharing and Coordination Centre. Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship and Industry Devika Vidot was also present.

Article Source : Seychelles Nation Newspaper

Link : https://www.nation.sc/articles/10160/first-global-challenge-2021–team-seychelles-receive-cubesat-kit-



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