Study trip Space Campus
News | June 28, 2021
High-tech systems are all around us, even above us. When we look at the starry sky in the evening, we see not only the Milky Way but often also satellites flashing past. Sometimes in a train one after the other, such as Elon Musk's microsatellites, which will bring Wi-Fi worldwide. But also, for example, the GPS and Galileo satellite navigation systems that help us day and night to determine our position on the globe and are indispensable. And then there are the high-tech instruments that we take outside the atmosphere and that observe and measure the Earth and the universe, such as those of SRON and Astron.
That is why a digital study trip to the Space Campus Noordwijk is more than worthwhile. The presence of ESA makes Noordwijk the center of a cluster that extends to the universities of Delft and Leiden. Contact with Space Campus was established through Jan Rijpstra, mayor of Smallingerland and formerly of Noordwijk, who also took part in the digital study trip. After an introduction to the development of the Space Campus, a new activity emerged; the GNSS Global Navigation Space Systems Service Center that advises companies on the optimal use of the GNSS signal: a kind of KNMI but for GNSS users.
The lectures on technology were about digital twinning in the design phase of space systems, whereby the manufacturing and use phase can be simulated by means of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and digital design reviews can take place. This is mainly done to avoid errors. If something gets stuck in the room, you can't just send a service technician to it.
The Space Campus also hosts startups. The second lecture was therefore given by a young company that develops agrorobots for weeding in organic crops. Weeds greatly hinder the growth or yield of crops and doing it by hand is a tough job. By sending the robot into the field with so-called waypoints, or fixed navigation points, this job can be greatly improved. The third and final lecture was given by a renowned company from Warmond that specializes in sensor development and standard satellite development (turnkey software solutions). It was interesting how new applications are being developed here on the edge of physics, while successful trade is being conducted at the same time.