In the second episode of this docu series, we take a closer look into what it took to build ESA’s Young Professional Satellite (YPSat). YPSat’s mission objectives are to capture the key moments of Ariane 6’s inaugural flight and take in-orbit pictures of Earth and space. To achieve this, the satellite requires the multiple sub-systems to work in harmony and adhere to a pre-defined mission sequence.

This episode zooms in four of the sub-systems: the Wake-Up System (WUS), Battery, On-Board Computer (OBC) and Telecommunications.

Running at ultra low power, the WUS circuit board was designed, tested and manufactured specifically for YPSat. Created to meet Arianespace’s requirement to be operational on the launchpad for 45 days, its function is to wake up the satellite during the launch to record the fairing separation.

Once the WUS detects the launch, it will signal to the battery to turn on the rest of the satellite. The battery has the challenge to maintain enough charge to power the remainder of the components.

The On-Board Computer (OBC) then takes the lead to orchestrate the rest of the mission. The OBC acts as the brain of the satellites; it sends commands to all the other sub-systems, including sending the commands to record the videos and pictures.

Once these are captured, the Telecommunications team takes over to coordinate with the ground stations to send the data back on Earth so it can be decoded into clear images. The challenge is to ensure enough communication between the satellite and Earth so the data is properly retrieved before the YPSat disintegrates upon re-entry.

One day prior launch, YPSat is now sitting in Ariane 6’s capsule. To get there, the satellite was subject to rigorous tests and certifications to meet the stringent standards of the European Space Agency and Arianespace. Will YPSat accomplish its mission objectives? We’ll find out in the next episode.



Directed and produced by Chilled Winston: and Emma de Cocker

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Music from Epidemic Sound

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