GreenSat – Space Agriculture Project

BLUEsat UNSW’s GreenSat program aims to use CubeSats to develop and test new technologies and techniques in orbital agriculture. Our vision is to develop methods and technologies to grow food in the harsh, unforgiving conditions of orbit or an alien planet (read more about it here). The satellite payload is designed to be simple and disposable with an emphasis on minimising size and costs. We will be starting with nitrogen fixing bacteria, giving us our first step towards fertilising sterile regoliths (soil on other planets). Over the next 6 years, we will build, test, iterate and improve the GreenSat satellite’s payload with ground test models and hosted payloads until we are confident in launching an agricultural payload on a CubeSat.

Greensat member Ben Koschnick presenting the GreenSat project and the International Astronautics Congress in 2017.
Ben Koschnick presenting the GreenSat project at the International Aeronautics Congress (IAC).

GreenSat is looking for UNSW Sydney engineering students interested in satellite engineering to take part in a variety of hands-on and research based projects from payload prototyping, subsystem development, sensing technologies and experimental design. While there are many challenges along the way, the opportunities and exposure to satellite engineering are invaluable to any aspiring engineer.

GreenSat also offers the unique opportunity for UNSW science students from many fields to work with BLUEsat on our project. Students of microbiology might be interested in joining our biology team. We are currently planning our first experiments for 2018. Particularly driven students interested in astrogeology, astronomy, ecology, chemistry, particle physics and ecology will also find we have many exciting opportunities for research as part of our multi-disciplinary team.

The research and experiments performed at GreenSat are at the cutting edge of space agriculture. As such, GreenSat has generated much interest from local and international parties. After presenting the project at the 68th International Astronautics Congress (IAC), BLUEsat’s GreenSat team will be spending 2018 working on building and testing our first prototype. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you and working towards the lofty goal of feeding the final frontier.

Interested in getting involved? Check out the join us page for more details.