Dealing with heat during a space mission can make the difference between life or death. The response is thermal protection systems. University of Kentucky engineering students and professors will share a progress report on a system they’re developing at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky on Saturday, April 7, beginning with a buffet at 6 pm. The UK research has the acronym KRUPS or Kentucky Re-entry Universal Payload System. The project seeks to produce a low-cost, microsatellite spacecraft that can record data about heat during the entry, descent, and landings of space vehicles. The challenge is accurate real-time data in an environment of multiple variables like altitude, mass, velocity and even radius of the cone portion of the spacecraft. KRUPS accounts for these and has the potential for further experiments from the International Space Station.
The project is well beyond the design stage. A KRUPS satellite completed by UK students was successfully launched on March 25 from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, on the eastern shore of Virginia. Students will be reporting on this space flight.
The presentation on KRUPS will be preceded by a buffet, beginning at 6 pm. Admission is $15 for museum members and $20 for non-members. Guests may exercise their option to exclude the buffet and attend the 7 pm lecture separately.