Polish team comes 2nd in US Air Force sat challenge

Coming second in the “Hack-a-Sat” challenge organised by the US Air Force (USAF), the “Poland Can Into Space” team has proven that it can truly reach the stars.

The goal of the competition was to regain control over a satellite that has been lost as a result of a simulated hack attack. The Polish team came second in this challenge, however, it excelled in an additional task.

The other challenge was to devise a mission plan that would result in a successful photograph of the moon’s surface. The Polish team prepared the most detailed plan and the only one that was carried out by a real satellite orbiting the Earth, the Polish Research and Academic Computer Network (NASK) institute reported.

As NASK reported, the challenge was fraught with adverse weather conditions. A couple of days before the finals, a tropical storm swept through the East Coast of the US, leaving hundreds of thousands of homes without power in its wake, including the accommodation of a Polish team member where the team’s satellite was located. Having no power to run on due to the power-cut, the Polish satellite had to be powered with a diesel generator.

In order to enter the finals, the Polish team had to solve several dozen tasks in ICT security and satellite technologies and surpass over 1,200 other teams from all over the world.

The “Poland Can Into Space” team consists of Polish ICT security teams “p4” and “Dragon Sector”, and also experts in the design of Polish students’ satellite missions. A large part of the team is formed from present and former specialists of the Computer Emergency Response Team Poland which operates within the structures of NASK.

Having come second in the Hack-A-Sat competition, the Polish team brought USD 45,000 home.

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