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Learn from Biomimicry Design Cases

Putting Satellite
Into
Cereal Box

Cereal-box-size room for satellite

In a rocket, only a tiny cereal-box-size space is reserved for a satellite. Why is there so little space on such a giant rocket? Most of the rooms in a rocket are occupied by fuel. Because the Earth's gravity is so powerful, transporting a tiny satellite needs a lot of energy to get out of the Earth.

Space Satellite

Check how do we launch the things into space

Wide solar panels are more useful
Have you ever seen a satellite in a movie? Wide and glittering solar panels are very distinguishable. This glittering solar panel generates the necessary power for the satellite.

So? To provide enough energy, the size of solar panels is better to big.
But larger panels take up too much space on rockets, making transportation extremely expensive.

Here is the design dilemma: The smaller satellite is less expensive. However, the bigger solar panel is more useful.

Can we make it small?
This dilemma is tough to resolve. Can we make it small and make it large again?

Then we may launch large solar panel satellites into space.

Let's read the articles below and investigate the design problem.

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“Solar panels in space could be a huge deal. The energy they collect could be beamed down to Earth or used to power spacecraft. But like so many other space travel and space exploration issues, the problem has to do with size. For a solar panel array to be worth the trouble it takes to get it into space, it would have to be pretty big. And to get something pretty big into space, you have to use a whole lot of resources – and most space shuttles really don’t have the room to carry a huge apparatus.”

from https://gajitz.com/origami-solar-array-blooms-in-space-to-collect-sun-power/

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“he sad reality of space exploration is that it is very expensive to launch something into space. Prices go even further up when the satellites in question are bulky, as it is increasingly often the case. With the new solar arrays, spacecraft will be deployed farther from Earth, and still be able to produce electricity.”

from https://news.softpedia.com/news/Origami-Style-Solar-Arrays-to-Power-Up-Future-Satellites-and-Space-Stations-409705.shtml

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“Ah, simplicity… sometimes so complex to achieve.

Designing technology for launch into space is an exacting and ever evolving enterprise. And these engineers and designers face the same problem we have when trying to squeeze that extra pair of shoes into our carry-on, a large piece of technology must fit on board, and then be unpacked successfully when needed in space”

from https://whipplerussell.com/blog/modern-design-using-origami-in-space

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Which strategy do you want to choose for putting a satellite into a cereal box?

Here are strategies that you can choose to solve this problem. Think what strategy make you easy to put a satellite into a cereal box.
If you have chosen one, then why? Carefully explore the strategies and ideas listed below. You can check the scientific background of each idea if you click them.

Explore functional strategies and choose an   idea  that you want utilize! 

Share your ideas with your team!~

Ready

to

proceed?

Energy Efficient Solution derived from Nature

Lever

Winged Insects
Expand Wings
using Lever 

Meet the winged insects

You can find the winged insects from all around the world!

Most insects belonging to the Pterygota category have wings.
They have unique forms and mechanisms to utilize their wings.
Many of them can fold or expand their wings using hinge(lever) mechanisms. But, interestingly, the folding-patterns of the wings are mostly different by the species.

Lets' find the winged insects from a neighborhood and observe how they utilize their wings. How they fold and expand their wings?

Find Winged Insects
               from Neighborhood

What can we learn from the winged insects?

There are many things we can learn from the genius winged insects.

We may learn their flying pattern to design a small drone. Especially, their high maneuverability avoiding a predator's attack teach us aerodynamics more practically. And beautiful clearance of the wing surface has also guided scientists to develop new coating materials which are dust-repellant.

But here, if we remind our problem (putting a satellite in a cereal box), then the wings' expansion ratio can be considered very significantly. The expansion ratio stands for the ability that how much they fold the wings small. So the high expansion ratio means that the insect can fold the wings into very small size! We might get insights a folding mechanism from it that makes possible to put a satellite into a small cereal box! Then, who can fold the wings the smallest? Who has the highest expansion ratio?

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Grand Prize
for Winged Insects

Who can fold
       the wings
            the SMALLEST?

 Check the Answer
of Evolution!

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