Research diary

The first step: the idea

Even before environmental sustainability was “fashionable”, Fede, Luca, Dumi e Giovanni, some aerospace engineering students, wondered if there was a way to intervene directly in the protection of the planet. 

What most intrigued us was to make available to everyone a concrete service with our skills and with the intention of improving those skills.

One day we said to ourselves: “Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to clean the air of the dirt that polluted it?”.

 It was clear that before we could take action we should at least know what the pollutants were and what the their effects. 

The second step: the support

After the course of Chemistry for Aerospace Engineering, held by Professor Roberta Bertani, we were able to deepen all these aspects and then develop a possible sampling tool. 

So we decided to participate in a call for proposals proposed by the Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Padua.

They liked the idea and we received some funds.

August 2019: Bexus Proposal

Some months later Professor Alessandro Francesconi told us about the BEXUS competition. We formed a compact team to think more practically about how to bring our ideas to life.

We were exited to send our ideas to European Space Agency!

So we Prepared everything and some weeks later we received a very positive response! We were invited in ESTEC (Noordwijk – The Nederlands) to present our project!

November 2019: Selection Workshop

With some advice from ESA we wrote the new proposal and we prepare a presentation. We were a little bit scared but everything was good!

The panel judges were very interested in our project!

During the selection workshop we learned a lot and we meet a lot of friends from all Europe!

Photo by ESA Education – Selection Workshop group photo

After two (very long 🙂 ) weeks ESA confirmed the participation of the O-Zone team to the cycle 13 of the Rexus/Bexus project! Our experiment will be launched in October 2020!!!

January 2020: A new amazing team!

In the last few months there were quite a lot of changes in our team. Some joined and started to work hard. Some others, unfortunately, left but nonetheless, we feel grateful for the precious help they gave us. We are now 16 but we hope to find someone else (like an electrician). We are like a big family: sometimes we fight but we work really well together.

Photo of the entire new team!

February 2020: Training week

A lot of happy feelings but also lot of things to do! Everything has to be ok for the PDR (Preliminary Design Review) In Kiruna (Sweden).

We are now working to prepare ourselves for this amazing trip!

February/March 2020: COVID-19 Situation

This period was unexpected for everyone. But we’ve managed in a good manner and we’ve stayed on our trails. The project is going smooth but with constance.

March 2020: delta-PDR and PDR

The PDR has been pretty hard also during the COVID-19. We had to recover more than we’ve expected. The examinators did found more flaws than we’ve thought.

Due to this we’ve developed a better strategy in order to make the PDR better. This situation has been critical in this stadium. But we’ve been more focused on the mistakes than ever.

Jul/Aug 2020: IPR (Integration Progress Review) Preparation

We’re now going to make the next step. Stay tuned for more updates!

it doesn’t finish here!

May 2020: CDR (Critical Design Review)

Jul/Aug 2020: IPR (Integration Progress Review)

Aug/Sep 2020: EAR (Experiment Acceptance Review)

Oct 2020: BEXUS Flight Campaign

Jan 2021: Report

Advice from our professors 🙂

There is a time to be guided by the heart and a time to understand the feasibility of our ideas

Alessandro Francesconi

Any chemical substance is potentially harmful or harmless, what you need to understand is the amount that makes them dangerous

Roberta Bertani

Any analysis can have quantitative results, do you think that on Mars they sample air for hours?

Stefano Debei