made in hervanta


In 2006 physicist Pekka Janhunen from the Finnish Meteorological Institute invented a way to accelerate in space using charged particles from solar wind. His idea was to use long very thin leashes and to charge them electrically to reject the charge of the solar wind particles. Several kilometers wide structure, resembling bicycle wheel, you could theoretically reach over thirty times the speed of conventional rocket technologies. This new invention is called solar electric sail.

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Castor, the space hobby club of Tampere University of Technology built the university’s biggest and most powerful printer during 2015-2016. The working area of the printer is 500 x 500 x 1000 mm, and it is capable of printing all commonly used plastic materials. The project’s build team consisted of the members of Castor. The printer is available for general use of all club members. The costs of using the printer are going to be minimized by producing the plastic filament ourselves from granules with a separate extruding machine, that is being built by the club.

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In Itikka project 2008-2009 Castor designed and built an inertial measurement device equipped with a camera to a commercial REXUS 5 sounding rocket, which was launched into space at 87km. Itikka measured the rocket’s flight path more accurately than the rocket’s own devices and took the first Finnish pictures from Space. Project was implemented together with companies and TUT and with the Swedish, German and European Space Agencies.

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Supikoira is Castor’s hybrid rocket project, which was built in 2004-2008, culminating with a successful launch at Rovajärvi military test area in Lapland. Supikoira reached 1822m apogeee, measured from the ground level. Project was implemented together with TUT and many companies. Supikoira held the Finnish hobby rocket altitude record until 2010, when a rocket built by Aalto University / SATS flew to 2,3 km, breaking the previous record by Castor.

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A number of Castor members have side projects relating to quadcopters, most often building their own. Parts are usually acquired by printing or shipped from China. In case you are interested in making your own, we are happy to help!

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In Spring 2019, IT company Futurice challenged Castor to build a self-driving remote controlled car for their race in June. Futurice sponsored the chassis, and we fit it with a camera, a Jetson Nano single-board computer and the open-source Donkeycar software library. The car learns by mirroring what a human driver does on the track: we first manually drive the car on the track, and gather the camera images and throttle/steering data.

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