Talking with BBC Radio Sheffield
Outreach at “Get up to Speed” event
Welcome to the third generation of SunbYte, aptly named SunbYte III, where our intention is to improve upon the successes achieved in SunbYte I’s participation in Bexus, and SunbYte II’s participation in NASA’s highly acclaimed HASP program.
Our focus is still the same; to take high quality images of the sun at a lower cost. High quality is achieved by elevating the payload to an altitude where pressure is low and atmospheric distortion is scarce. Lower cost (than space based telescopes), because the payload does not require a launch into space and for this reason is lighter because the payload does not have to withstand a rocket launch or the much more unforgiving environment of space.
Today, in the age of high technology, the ramifications of solar flares and changing solar weather are immense. It is possible for these events to negatively effect the technologies supported by satellites such as communications and navigation.
Secondary to this is supporting the learning of more than 30 engineering students. The many disciplines this project supports; Control systems engineers that guarantee the functionality of attitude and determination of the telescope, the electronics team connects their algorithms to to the hardware designed by our structures, optics and thermal teams which themselves house multiple engineering fields.