Congratulations to the Winners of Raspberry Pi’s Astro Pi Mission Space Lab Challenge!
In a recent article, we shared the news announcing this year’s European Astro Pi Challenge, a joint program from the Raspberry Pi Foundation and ESA Education that connects students with computer learning opportunities featuring the International Space Station (ISS).
With the Mission Space Lab Challenge, students got to create scientific experiments and run programs for a total of three hours on one of two Pi computers out in space. In the final phase of the program, the student teams analyzed the data captured from space and submitted a report discussing their hypotheses, methods, and results.
154 teams submitted reports, but only 10 could be chosen as official winners. Now, it’s time to announce and celebrate this year’s winners!
Announcing the Winners
- Team Zeus – this team from Romania developed a forecasting system with weather predictions for Earth based on photos and data captured from the Pi computers in space.
- Team Mag-AZ – these Portuguese students worked to design an algorithm to determine the magnetic poles of any planet by using the sensors aboard the outer space Pi to understand Earth’s magnetic fields.
- Team Atlantes – a music-loving team from Spain who transposed data captured by the Astro Pi sensor into a song. They were inspired by a 2013 performance of “Space Oddity” aboard the ISS.
- Team Mateii – another team from Romania who investigated mold growth on the ISS. Specifically, they were considered with molds like Penicillium that have potential major impact for life on Earth. This team created a simulation model and used data from the Astro Pi sensor to compare mold growth from space vs on Earth.
- Team Juno – this team from Spain was curious about heat effects for astronauts aboard the ISS. They measured temperature, humidity, and pressure data from the Pi sensors and performed calculations to determine atmospheric humidity.
- Team Albedo – this French team true to their name was interested in albedo, which is a measurement of the surface reflection of solar energy. Albedo is often described as the “whiteness” of a surface. This team used photos captured from the Pi computers on the ISS to observe land, cloud, and sea coverage on earth and analyzed the albedo values.
- Team SpaceRad – similar to the French team above, this Polish team was also interested in albedo. Specifically, they measured the efficacy of solar farms to impact the climate.
- Team Magtrix – this UK-based team used the Astro Pi magnetometer sensor, GPS data, and photos to analyze how geographical entities like mountains affect Earth’s magnetic field.
- Team Mechabot – a team from Germany interested in the correlation of climate and magnetic fields on earth. They investigated how this correlation would affect the behavior of different object in low-Earth orbit.
- Team SpacePi2 – this Greek team explored the effects of urbanization on earth by comparing photos from the Astro Pi with historical photos. They also conducted a NDVI analysis to measure plant health based on the plant’s light reflection at certain frequencies.
The panel of judges also awarded “high commendations” to 5 runner-up teams, including Team Ultrafly from Canada, who were the youngest team to gain recognition. (The average age of Team Ultrafly is just 8 years old!). In their experiment, they explored whether the environmental conditions aboard the ISS might trigger allergies.
We hope you join all of us here at Vilros in congratulating these diligent young scientists in their winning efforts! In case you’re curious, the prize for all the winners is a chance to participate in a special exclusive webinar with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and learn more about what it’s like to live on board the Space Station.
And if you can’t wait to see what’s next from Raspberry Pi and Arduino, you can always find out the latest updates by following our Vilros blog here!