Student CubeSats Ready For Flight

Vega Artist ImpressionThe first student built amateur radio CubeSats to be sponsored by ESA’s Education Office have passed their Final Acceptance Review and have been declared ready for launch on board the maiden flight of Vega, the new ESA launcher.

The launch window for this historic lift-off opens on 26 January and ends in the first week of February 2012.

The seven university-built picosatellites, each weighing only 1 kilogram, were integrated with the devices that will carry them during launch – the P-PODs, or Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployers – between late October and mid November. Before they could be cleared for launch, they had to pass a detailed technical examination known as the Final Acceptance Review.

The single-unit CubeSats, whose development represented a highly valuable, if not unique hands-on learning experience for the university students that were involved – were developed by teams from 6 different European countries:

  • Xatcobeo (a collaboration of the University of Vigo and INTA, Spain)
  • Robusta (University of Montpellier 2, France)
  • E-St@r (Politecnico di Torino, Italy)
  • Goliat (University of Bucharest, Romania)
  • PW-Sat (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland)
  • MaSat-1 (Budapest University of Technology & Economics, Hungary)
  • UniCubeSat GG (Universitá di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Italy)
  • As well as the CubeSats Vega will also carry the Amateur Radio microsatellite ALMASat-1

Frequencies and links for the satellites can be found in the following article from JE9PEL.

Read the article of the full ESA story.

STARS-II Amateur Radio Satellite

Stars II Orbit ModelThe amateur radio satellite STARS-II is being developed by students at Kagawa University and consists of Mother satellite and Daughter satellite connected by tether.

STARS stands for Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite.
The mission will include formation flight, tether deployment, attitude control and the mother and daughter satellites will take pictures of each other.

It is porposed to fly a 80mW CW beacon and a 800mW AX25 1200bps telemetry downlink. Total mass is 8 kg.

Coordinated frequencies for CW 437.245 MHz (mother) and 437.255 MHz (daughter). FM downlinks 437.405 MHz (mother) and 437.425 MHz (daughter).

Communication Link:

STARS-II Communication link

Kagawa satellite development project STARS-II webpage

Proposal to NASA for Fox-1 Launch

NASA LogoAMSAT submitted a proposal to NASA for their CubeSat Launch Initiative, also known as the ‘Educational Launch of NanoSat’ (ELaNa) program. NASA selects projects that they deem to have merit in support of their strategic and educational goals. Projects that are selected will be able to enter into a collaboration agreement where NASA will cover the integration and launch costs of the satellite.

AMSAT, working with ARRL, highlighted the educational merit of the project including the incorporation of Fox-1 into the ARRL Teacher Institute seminars. ARRL also provided a letter of support for the project that was a key component of our proposal.

The Clay Center for Science and Technology at the Dexter and Southfield schools in Brookline MA, also provided a letter of support that was an important part of our proposal. The Clay Center noted that they use AMSAT satellites such as ARISSat-1 in their educational activities for K-12 students and that they look forward to making use of Fox-1. The completed proposal, at 159 total pages, required a significant effort that was all done by volunteers. NASA will select from all of the submissions and announce the winning projects by January 30, 2012.

Tony Monteiro, AA2TX
AMSAT Vice-President of Engineering

Lecture Cubesats Veron Breda

Veron LogoHot off the press – Lecture Cubesats Veron Breda (R07)

Wouter Weggelaar (PA3WEG) will give a lecture on cubsats including Delfi-C3, Delfi-n3Xt and FUNcube on March 6, 2012. The lecture will take place during one of the club nights of Veron Breda (R07). For details, see the website from Veron Breda.

A CubeSat is a type of miniaturized satellite for space research that usually has a volume of exactly one liter (10 cm cube), has a mass of no more than 1.33 kilograms, and typically uses commercial off-the-shelf electronics components. Beginning in 1999, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) and Stanford University developed the CubeSat specifications to help P-Pod Launcheruniversities worldwide to perform space science and exploration. Since CubeSats are all 10×10 cm (regardless of length) they can all be launched and deployed using a common deployment system. CubeSats are typically launched and deployed from a mechanism called a Poly-PicoSatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD), also developed and built by Cal Poly. P-PODs are mounted to a launch vehicle and carry CubeSats into orbit and deploy them once the proper signal is received from the launch vehicle. P-PODs have deployed over 90% of all CubeSats launched to date (including un-successful launches), and 100% of all CubeSats launched since 2006.

AubieSat-1 Designated AO-71

AubieSat-1 Designated AO-71

AubieSat-1OSCAR Number Administrator, Bill Tynan, W3XO reports that he has ad- vised
J. M. Wersinger, PhD, KI4YAU, Professor Emeritus and Director of Auburn
University’s Student Space Program, that following the successful NASA ELaNa
III launch on October 28, 2011 of AubieSat-1, and by the request of the
AubieSat-1 team, the new satellite has been assigned an OSCAR number. Professor Wersinger documented that telemetry has been received from the satellite. The IARU-Sat Website states that AubieSat-1 was fully coordinated with the IARU. Bill wrote, “Therefore, by the authority vested in me by the AMSAT-NA President, I hereby designate AubieSat-1 as AubieSat Oscar 71 or AO-71 and welcome this newest OSCAR into the Amateur Radio satellite commun- ity. On behalf of AMSAT-NA and the world’s amateur radio satellite community, I congratulate Professor Wersinger, Auburn University and all of those responsible for building, testing and launching this new CubeSat. May its mission meet with success.”

[Thanks OSCAR Number Administrator, Bill Tynan, W3XO for the above

E1P-U2 is Alive

During the second passage there where again signals from E1P-U2 and because we now switched to LSB modulation, we heard recognizable signals. These where decoded with the use of MixW and the Explorer-1 telemetry decoding software by G3VZV. We now know that there are two active satellites which were launched this morning. E1P-U2 Explorer-1 [PRIME] and RAX-2 both are received.

E1P Telemetry Data