The satellite, DISCO-2, will be part of the Danish Student CubeSat Program (DISCO), which is a collaboration between Aarhus University, Aalborg University, University of Southern Denmark, the IT University and the European Space Education Resource Office. The collaboration is led by Aarhus University and funded by the Danish Industry Foundation. DISCO will launch its first satellite early 2023 which will carry a number of satellite communication experiments. DISCO-2 which is the second satellite in the program will be launched in mid-2024.
Our climate is changing with an accelerating rate and this has severe consequences for especially the polar regions which reacts quickly to specially temperature changes. Higher temperatures of the oceans increase the melting rate of ice and glaciers in the polar regions and thus accelerate the sea level rise. This is recognised by most scientists and by our students.
The students working on designing and building Aarhus University’s second satellite therefore decided that it should be the main science case for this mission. They have thus designed a satellite capable of measuring the structure and dynamics of glaciers in Greenland, including the temperature of the glaciers and the water in front of them. These are important parameters for understanding the dynamics and feedback with which climate changes affect the melting of the glaciers (Wood et al. 2021, Science Advances 7, 1, 7282).
DISCO 2 mission patch