Satellite Data Exercises

  • Data Exercise 1: Satellite Orbits
    The polar orbit of our satellites means that the spacecraft continually move from night into day. By observing the variation in KITSAT's solar cell voltage, the orbital period of the satellite can be easily measured.
  • Data Exercise 2: Satellite Barbeque
    Yes, we BBQ our satellites! In this exercise you will study the controlled rotation of KITSAT by looking at the periodicity of the Earth's magnetic field sensed by the spacecraft. The satellite turns slowly in the sun to maintain an even surface temperature.
  • Data Exercise 3: Inclination Angle
    At the equator the sun's rays are not exactly perpendicular to the surface of the Earth. In this exercise you can measure this angle directly from the intensity of light incident on the satellite.
  • Data Exercise 4: Solar Proton Activity
    What can we learn from PoSat's observations of solar protons?

Use of the Messages from Space graphing tool:

All the exercises listed here use real satellite data which have been previously downloaded from one of Surrey's spacecraft. Within each exercise click on the
icon to display the data and a plot window will automatically open within your browser. If you have a slow network connection you may have to wait a few
seconds for the data file to be transferred.

The graphing window initially shows the complete data set, for which the Y-axis is already scaled into meaningful units described in the axis label. If you want to
zoom in on one region of the data simply left-click and drag the mouse over the region of interest. You can repeatedly zoom into a region to look more closely
at the plot - or right-click to zoom back out. Several zoom buttons are provided at the bottom of the graph to allow other zoom options.

To export the visible graph data to your own file, click on the View Visible Data button. This opens a new window containing the data that you can then Select
and Copy (control-C under Windows) into Wordpad or your own favourite text editor. From your text editor, save the file to disk and you can then import it
into Excel or any other graphing package for off-line analysis.


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