Cooperation between TAMK and NASA continues with focus on drones

Cooperation between TAMK and NASA continues with focus on drones

The Epic Challenge programme of Tampere University of Applied Sciences and the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA, which started last academic year, will continue. The programme focuses on solving colonisation challenges of Mars. This year a new research subject is drones.

NASA's cooperation with TAMK and a number of other Finnish organisations started three years ago when it started to develop new innovations to make manned Mars flights possible.

The project results of last academic year were presented to NASA astronauts Charles Camarda and Timothy Kopra in the spring when they visited the Finnish Science Centre Heureka and the town of Joensuu.

– The NASA experts were satisfied with the students' work and our project was continued, tell Principal Lecturer Antti Perttula and Lecturer Tomi Salo, who are in charge of the NASA cooperation at TAMK.

At TAMK the work is done in three teams. One of them studies food production in Mars, mostly algae. The two other teams study drone concepts applicable to Mars and what they can be used for in space. The initiative came from Astronaut Camarda who knew about TAMK's drone research.

– We have agreed on with the air force that the drone concepts will be tested in their low-pressure chambers, Perttula tells.

Approximately 20 TAMK students from different fields participate in this year's NASA project. The project lasts till May 2018 when the teams' work should be ready.

– Our aim is however to present the prototypes to Astronaut Camarda when he visits TAMK on 28 March.

In the Epic Challenge programme, students solve extreme challenges related to Mars colonisation and learn to use NASA's innovation processes and methods (Innovative Concept and Engineering Design - ICED).

In addition to TAMK, the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Karelia University of Applied Sciences, North Karelia College, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Town of Vaasa, Town of Kuopio, Town of Joensuu, and Savo Consortium for Education participate in NASA's Epic Challenge programme.

Further information: 
Principal Lecturer Antti Perttula,, tel. 050 464 4550
Lecturer Tomi Salo,, tel. 040 668 3313


Published 06.02.2018