From Waste to Innovation: 22-Year-Old Computer Engineer Converts Soda Can Into Mini-Satellite

By: | July 22nd, 2017


Back in school, we all created crafts using easily available, cheap, and recyclable materials in our art projects.

However, this 22-year-old computer engineer from Bengaluru, India, has taken that learning to another level.

Suraj Kumar uses Coke, Red Bull or even beer cans to make mini satellites. All the components of the satellite are picked from open source database hardware either from Arduino or RaspberryPi, all held within the can.

The mini-satellite can map several parameters of a city like pollution, temperature levels, water quality, traffic congestion levels, and ultra violet penetration to help decision-making.

The mini-satellite was launched from the Indian Air Force base at Yelahanka with the help of a parachute. As the can made its way to the ground, the data was quickly captured and transmitted to its ground station.

Suraj Kumar, the founder of OpenCube Labs, launched the “CanSat Development Programme” in 2014. The project aims to help students experiment with small scale space missions.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has also successfully launched the first ever rocket made from recycled materials into space this year.

But thanks to the innovative thinking of this 22-year-old Indian youth, Elon Musk is not the only one to use recyclable materials to probe space.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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