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Mission Defintion Document

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Bird Migration Mystery wins the DTUsat Call for Payload competition.

Kasper Thorup from Zoological Museum at University of Copenhagen won
the payload proposal competition with his contribution:

Solving the Mystery of Bird Migration: Tracking Small Birds from Space.

Since Kasper is not a student he could not - according to the rules of the conference - win the check of 10.000 DKKr. Instead, the jury unanimously decided that the 9th-semester DTU student Jonas B. BjarnÝ should receive the check. The justification for this decision is that he suggested a thoroughly prepared proposal without supervision from supervisors or space professionals.

Cuckoo birds lay their eggs in nests of other bird species leaving the upbringing of the next cuckoo generation to the foster parents. As a consequence the nidifogous young cuckoo's have never seen their parents when migrating from northern Europe to Africa. The migratory route is several thousand kilometres long. It remains unclear how the young birds manages to navigate flawless alone and at night.

The DTUsat project aims to shed light on this mystery.


PI of DTUsat is Kasper Thorup from Zoological Museum at University of Copenhagen winner of the payload proposal competition.


Top image to the right shows jury member Divya Das Andersen congratulating Kasper Thorup (PI) and Jonas B. BjarnÝ (best student contribution).

Bottom image shows possible migratory routes.