Noosphere traditionally holds Star Track, an innovative tournament in rocketry and space technology, in November. On November 21, the fifth such tournament was held virtually, due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, 37 participants from Dnipro, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv and Cherkasy presented 13 projects at the event.
On November 21, students, scientists, engineers and enthusiastic innovators battled it out to become Star Track’s 5 best teams. The judges selected 6 projects to become this year’s winners. Teams received cash prizes and gifts from Association Noosphere, as well as the opportunity to continue their projects at the Noosphere Engineering School.
Judges convened at the Noosphere Engineering Schools in Dnipro and Kyiv to evauate projects. Industry experts made up the judging panel:
- Yevhen Kovalenko – PhD, Director of IT Department at Ukratomprilad, nanosatellite developer
- Serhii Kutovyi – Innovation Director with NGO “Association Noosphere”
- Oleh Marchenko – Deputy Dean, Faculty of Physics and Technology, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
- Ihor Homilko – PhD in Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Head of Robotics and Electronics Laboratory, Noosphere Engineering School
Dnipro schoolboy Makar Drobyshev’s project “Liquid rocket engine of small thrust LT-3B Stryzh” in particular caught the judges’ eye. The concept is to create an inexpensive RDD with the possibility of using it for educational purposes. Makar proposed a unique hybrid nozzle and combustion chamber cooling system. At 15 years old, he impressed the judges with his skill and knowledge of space technology.
No less interesting and high-tech is the “PancakeSat” project team from Cherkasy. Young engineers (also boasting 15 year old developers) presented the network of satellite vehicles and equipment. According to the inventors, “PancakeSat” will be a new type of small satellite, much cheaper and easier to operate than current market models. The project team’s next tasks will include developing the low price aspect of the space sphere and creating a simpler spacecraft construction cycle.
Other winners are:
- “Gravisat” a system for monitoring the Earth’s gravitational field from space, presented by representatives of National Aviation University, Kyiv;
- Two-stage meteorological rocket Meteo 40 000, presented by Physical and Technical Faculty students of Oles Honchar Dnipro National University;
- Geophysical suborbital rocket control system K300 Geo, which will minimize exclusion zones, presented by Physical and Technical Faculty students of Oles Honchar Dnipro National University;
- VRocket Constructor presented by the Demi team, who Dnipro citizens will recognize for developing VR games for Gagarin Park. “VRocket Constructor” is an educational VR game in which you can assemble space rockets yourself. Virtually, of course.
The first Star Track took place in 2017. Over the past three years, it has been established as an event that not only unites like-minded people, but also provides real opportunities for talented Ukrainian students, young scientists, and specialists in aerospace technology and related engineering fields.
This year, Noosphere’s space and engineering events are proof that young people are more and more interested and involved in developing science and technologies. Students 14-16 years old are joining every competition with real-life problems, and present competitive projects. This is the purpose of Noosphere, to continue organizing and supporting events to engage young people to study sciences and develop innovative solutions.