Category Archives: Education

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Oct.13.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs (find previous smallsat roundups here):

** High school students learn spacecraft engineering in the Irvine Cubesat program in Irvine, California: IPSF CubeSat Program | Beckman Foundation

The Irvine CubeSat Program is composed of six public high schools from the Tustin and Irvine School Districts. All schools are given specific roles and functions for each CubeSat Mission, to include Avionics, Communication, Propulsion, Power, BioTech, and Prime Contractor.

Mimicking a real-world engineering firm approach to large, complex projects, each team is responsible for communicating their plans and achievements to the rest of the group to ensure that the overall mission is successful.

Irvine01 and Irvine02 Cubesats
Cubesats Irvine01 (left), launched by Rocket Labin November 2018. and Irvine02 (right), launched by SpaceX in December of 2018, were both built by high school students. Credits: Irvine CubeSat

** Polish universities to build CubeSat for Mars mission launched by Virgin Orbit:  SatRevolution, Virgin Orbit and Polish Universities Establish Mars Consortium | Virgin Orbit

Scientists and engineers from nearly a dozen Polish universities have teamed up with Poland-based satellite company SatRevolution and Sir Richard Branson’s small satellite launch company Virgin Orbit to establish a new consortium to design and carry out the world’s first dedicated commercial small satellite mission to Mars. The parties established the consortium at a formal signing ceremony during the Impact Mobility’19 rEVolution conference in Katowice, Poland.

The consortium will jointly develop the first in a series of up to three Mars missions, with the initial launch expected as early as three years from now.

At the core of the consortium are many of the top technical universities in Poland. AGH University of Science and Technology, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Poznań University of Technology, Gdańsk University of Technology Lódz University of Technology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, and Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences have each signed on to take part in the collaborative program. Leadership from these universities see the consortium and the missions it will conduct as an unprecedented opportunity for growth and development across many technical disciplines, in addition to creating opportunities for commercialization.

** Rocket Lab Electron rocket to launch seven PocketQubes, including a university project, in 2019 in a cluster deployment system built by Alba Orbital.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-286 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • 2019 37th AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting
  • 2019 37th AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting Schedule
  • September/October 2019 Apogee View
  • W3ZM – 50 States in Our 50th Year
  • ITU Magazine Reports on IARU Agenda Items for WRC-19
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Introduction to CubeSat Technology and Subsystem:
Orbit Design, Debris Impact, and Orbital Decay Prediction

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Oct.7.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs (find previous smallsat roundups here):

**  University of Tokyo’s AQT-D: AQUA Thruster-Demonstrator was delivered to the ISS in the HTV-8 cargo module launched by a H-IIB rocket on Sept.24th. The student built CubeSat will be deployed from the station later this year. The goal is to demonstrate the AQUARIUS (AQUA ResIstojet propUlsion System)  water micro-propulsion system, which is suitable for smallsats.

AQT-D AQUA Thruster DemonstratorFind more about AQUA and other water based propulsion systems in Water propulsion technologies picking up steam – SpaceNews.com.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-279 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AO-7 to Enter Full Illumination Period October 9, 2019
  • 2019 AMSAT Symposium On-line Registration Open Until October 11
  • New ARISS Proposal Window is October 1, 2019 to November 30, 2019
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for September 2019
  • Amateur Radio Gets Temporary Use of 2400 MHz in Spain
  • AMSAT-SA to Fly Cubesat Transponders on Balloon Flight
  • SSTV Event Planned for ARISS on October 9, 2019
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS Activities & Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Introduction to CubeSat Technology and Subsystem:
Orbit Design, Debris Impact, and Orbital Decay Prediction

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Sept.29.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs (find previous smallsat roundups here):

** ESA hosts CubeSats Hands-On Training Week for university students: Students experience of miniature satellites with CubeSats Hands-On training – ESA

CubeSats are highly versatile satellites built up by 1 or more units measuring just 10cm along each side. Learning how to best use these tools is a valuable skill, so ESA Academy has hosted the CubeSats Hands-On Training Week 2019. Running from 16 – 20 September 2019 at ESA Academy’s Training and Learning Centre, ESEC-Galaxia, Belgium, the event was attended by 26 university students from 15 different ESA Member States and Canada.

The Training Week had a clear objective: transfer hands-on knowledge to university students who are keen to start their own educational CubeSat initiatives, or who are already at the conceptual or preliminary design stage of a CubeSat project at university. To achieve this aim, ESA Academy assembled a team of experienced tutors to lead the course. These included ESA experts, the Fly Your Satellite! (ESA’s educational CubeSat initiative) team, and two engineers from Theia Space (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid) delivering laboratory sessions with high-grade model CubeSats, called Educational Satellite models (ESATs).

ESA CubeSat training

** MeznSat CubeSat in development by two UAE university student teams with UAE Space Agency support: Inspiring students to reach for the stars  – Gulf News

One of the main objectives of the UAE Space Agency is to build capabilities in the space sector, in space engineering and sciences, especially within the university community. MeznSat, initiated in 2017, began as an education programme to design, build and operate a satellite, but at an educational level.

There is a global trend in space education programmes, encouraging the use of CubeSats or nanosatellites to engage students in satellite and space research. However, what started as an educational trend is now slowly turning commercial with private agencies and companies using satellites built by student bodies for commercial purposes.

The UAE Space Agency followed up on this trend with the founding of the MeznSat programme, a 3U CubeSat that will be used to study the environment and also look at greenhouse gas emissions over the UAE, especially methane and carbon dioxide. The programme is founded and run by the UAE Space Agency with participation by two local universities, Khalifa University and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK).

 

More about MeznSat:

** Maine elementary school starts CubeSat project in NASA supported program: Vassalboro Community School students in line for joint project with NASA | The Town Line Newspaper

The timetable is indefinite, starting this fall. The project is supposed to take two years. Desmond expects to start with sixth-graders; the curriculum team hasn’t decided whether the second year will continue with the same students in seventh grade or hand over to the new sixth-graders.

The question the students will try to answer is whether the frequency or location of lightning strikes is changed by global warming. Sub-questions include whether the northeastern United States can expect more frequent or severe lightning strikes; if that answer is yes, what negative (like more forest fires) and positive (like more nitrogen fixing to improve soils) consequences might occur; whether energy could be captured from the lightning; and whether, if lightning is more frequent, housing codes should be adapted.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-272 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • Experimenter Wednesday Announced for AO-92
  • The AMSAT Hamfests & Conventions Web Page Updates
  • 2019 37th AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting
  • 2019 AMSAT Symposium On-line Registration Open Until October 11
  • Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne Moves Another Step Closer to Flight
  • ARISS Activities & Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge Coming October 18-20
  • FO-29 Returns!
  • AMSAT-DL Memorandum Regarding QO-100 Operation
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Introduction to CubeSat Technology and Subsystem:
Orbit Design, Debris Impact, and Orbital Decay Prediction

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Sept.22.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs (find previous smallsat roundups here):

** Cargo on Cygnus vehicle on next Antares  launch will include CubeSats from university groups sponsored by NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) initiative: Amateur Radio CubeSats among 15 Set to Launch on October 21 from Wallops Island – ARRL.org

15 CubeSats into orbit on October 21 as part of NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) Mission 25. Some will carry Amateur Radio payloads.

    • TJ REVERB, developed by students at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia, will carry a 145.825 MHz APRS digipeater.
    • HuskySat, a University of Washington – Seattle project, will be boosted into a 500-kilometer (approximately 310-mile) orbit via the Cygnus external deployment device. HuskySat will carry a V/U linear transponder provided in cooperation with AMSAT.

** China launch included CubeSat Taurus-1  (Jinniuzuo-1) with amateur radio transponder for involving students in satellite communications: Taurus-1 CubeSat with FM-to-Codec-2 Transponder Launched – ARRL.org

The Taurus-1 (Jinniuzuo-1) CubeSat carrying an Amateur Radio FM-to-Codec-2 transponder was launched on September 12 from China’s Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The CubeSat was developed by Aerospace System Engineering Research Institute of Shanghai for youth education and Amateur Radio.

** Students participate in CubeSat projects at the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia: Satellites to reveal sea state and much more than the eye can see | UNSW Newsroom

Professor Andrew Dempster of UNSW’s School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications has been developing and trialling a new type of receiver that looks for satellite navigation signals bounced from the Earth’s surface in a process called reflectometry.

As he explains, reflectometry looks at the GPS signals that come directly from satellites as well as where, and at what angle, the signals bounce off the earth’s surface. He and his colleagues have built four generations of receivers that are designed to look for these bounced GPS signals from satellites overhead.

“This most recent generation of our GPS receivers we have put into space aboard CubeSats,” Professor Dempster says, who is also director of the Australian Centre of Space Engineering Research.

The centre’s first project was the UNSW-EC0 QB50-AU02 CubeSat

… Over the past 5 years the team has seen over 100 members work on the project, including students, staff and volunteers. The project has produced at least 18 student theses, dozens of conference papers, launched new research areas for UNSW winning two new ARC grants, and the UNSW team alone has attracted many hours of media interest both locally and internationally. 

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-265 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • 2019 AMSAT Board of Directors Election Results
  • 2019 AMSAT Symposium Registration Savings Through October 11
  • IEEE GRSS Student Grand Challenge
  • IARU Coordination for Two Satellites
  • QO-100 Satellite, GNU Radio and SDR Talks Released
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

Mars Cube One (MarCO) lead engineer, Andy Klesh, joins us to chat how two tiny CubeSats gave us real-time data from the latest landing on Mars. We talk about what led to naming the spacecraft after the Disney characters Wall-e and Eve, and how both Wall-e and Eve lost contact with Earth just few hours before it was their time to shine.

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Introduction to CubeSat Technology and Subsystem:
Orbit Design, Debris Impact, and Orbital Decay Prediction

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Sept.16.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs (find previous smallsat roundups here):

** Cambodian student CubeSat program formed with help of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo: Cal Poly team travels to Cambodia to help set up CubeSat program – KSBY

Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Pauline Faure and Computer Engineering Senior Justin Nguyen traveled to Cambodia in August to visit the Liger Leadership Academy in Phnom Penh.

Students there wanted to build and launch a softball-sized CubeSat, along with a mini-ground station to communicate with it.

** CubeSat club launched at Villanova University: They May be Building Nanosatellites, but there’s Nothing Small about Villanova’s CubeSat Club | Villanova University

The CubeSat club’s 2018-2019 year was packed with a variety of workshops and projects, including:

    • Setting up temporary ground stations called SatNOGS (Satellite Network Operators Group)
    • Building Yagi-Uda antennas from tape measurers and scrap wood and using them to track low earth orbit satellites as they flew over Villanova
    • Building an AMSAT CubeSat Simulator, a functional satellite model
    • Assisting with the freshman CubeSat mini-design projects
    • Earning amateur radio licenses and ham radio callsigns
    • Assembling and selling electronic transceiver boards used in CubeSats as a fundraiser

** Univ. of Kansas opens new facility for student smallsat projects: KU Engineering launches new Satellite Design and Development Lab | The University of Kansas

The Hill Space Systems Laboratory in Learned Hall features a 12-by-12-foot clean “white room” where students don protective clothing while they build nano-satellites, which weigh in at just under 10 kilograms, for a planned launch into Earth orbit. A second room in the same lab is stocked with computer equipment so students can design and test their creations.

“We’re hoping to have student satellite launches — microsatellites, nano-satellites — every other year,” said Rick Hale, Spahr Professor and chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering. “The first launch could be as early as spring 2020.”

** Profile of an Embry-Riddle grad student developing an improved antenna for CubeSats: Graduate Student’s Work Advances Space Communication Systems – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

[Noemí Miguélez Gómez’s] current CubeSat project with Dr. Eduardo Rojas in the Embry-Riddle Wireless Devices and Electromagnetics (WiDE) Laboratory is focused on bolstering communication using deployable antennas. Small research CubeSats may offer only one-tenth of a cubic meter of space, and therefore “you don’t have a lot of power for communications,” Miguélez Gómez explained. To improve communication, she has been working on a foldable antenna that would reflect signals in space to improve transmission performance. The work involves 3D printing and testing dozens of components. This antenna is part of an academic-industry partnership.

The newly opened WiDE lab is located in the John Mica Engineering and Aerospace Innovation Complex, or MicaPlex, the cornerstone building in Embry-Riddle’s Research Park. It gives students like Miguélez Gómez access to a design room with state-of-the-art software, advanced manufacturing equipment including 3D printers, and a testing area, among other perks.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-258 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • Request For Cooperation in Receiving FO-29 (Fuji 3)
  • NO-104 Camera Will be ‘Live’ This Week
  • Chinese Taurus-1 Amateur Satellite Launched
  • Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) Awards Grant to ARISS
  • IARU Region 3 Approves New 15m Satellite Allocation
  • Improvements to the AMSAT Live OSCAR Satellite Status Page
  • Volunteer Opportunity – AMSAT Looking for Graphics Designer
  • Nine US Schools Moved Forward in ARISS Selection Process
  • AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, October 12-13
  • Final Steps Taken Toward ELaNa 25 Amateur Satellite Launch
  • AMSAT Academy at the Albuquerque Duke City Hamfest
  • Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
  • DM02 Satellite Expedition Sunday, September 22 – N6O/MM
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

TEMPEST-D CubeSat
Artist’s rendering of TEMPEST-D (Temporal Experiment for Storms and Tropical Systems – Demonstration) CubeSat. Credits: NASA JPL

** Smallsats, Sensors and Real-Time Decision-Making Data | Kratos Communications – Jim Marshall, Director of the Space Dynamics Laboratory, is interviewed about

… how smallsat technology is being used in innovative ways to solve technical challenges faced by the military, science community, and industry. Find out how custom sensor, software, hardware, and thermal management solutions are making significant contributions to national defense and scientific discoveries. Hear about the programs where this technology is being applied to better understand global temperature changes in the thermosphere, identify the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs) and mitigate the adverse effects of space weather.

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Introduction to CubeSat Technology and Subsystem:
Orbit Design, Debris Impact, and Orbital Decay Prediction