The complexity of todayÝs space projects makes it extremely difficult for engineering students to grasp how the complete system works, or how it was designed. This results in more and more engineers becoming experts in just a small part of a project, with very limited insight in the overall system functions. With Munin, we intend to give students a possibility to be not only engaged in the mission, but also to gain a genuine knowledge about all parts of a space mission.
The Swedish Institute of Space Physics is engaged in two undergraduate space engineering programmes, the 3-year programme given by Ume┬ University, and the 4.5 year programme given by Lule┬ University of Technology. Students from these programmes are already contributing to the project, and the intention is to bring more students aboard as the project evolves. During the definition phase of the Munin project we have had several students performing their final project on parts of the satellite, and we anticipate many more such projects.
The Southwest Research Institute are involved in enrichment programs for high school and college students (mainly from minority groups). The intention with Munin is to have this kind of involvement in local education to give the students a truly international involvement in a space project, while promoting interest in science and technology.
In conclusion, a successful Munin could be the first of a new type of monitoring spacecraft. Using modern technology, a very small satellite can be built and still have the necessary functions needed to support a specific scientific mission such as the one we have described above. With Munin we could usher in a fleet of monitor spacecraft to cost-effectively provide global monitoring, and tie it to student involvement as a big synergistic plus.