Category Archives: Amateur/Student Satellite

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – May.19.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs:

** University of Hawaii to build cubesat with advanced earth observation imager: Mānoa: UH satellite selected for NASA’s CubeSat space missions | University of Hawaii News

Schematic of the HyTI nanosatellite. Credit: HyTI, UH Mānoa.
Schematic of the HyTI nanosatellite. Credit: HyTI, UH Mānoa.

A satellite designed and developed by researchers and engineers at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is among 16 small research satellites from 10 states that NASA has selected to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard space missions planned to launch in the next three years.

In August 2018, the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) in the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) received $3.9M from NASA in support of a two-year project to develop the Hyperspectral Thermal Imager (HyTI) CubeSat.

Currently, 12 UH Mānoa team members, nine of whom received degrees at UH Mānoa, are working to ready the HyTI for launch. Once in orbit, the satellite will scan Earth with specialized cameras and detectors that collect information about how much thermal radiation Earth’s surface and atmosphere emits at a variety of wavelengths. From this data, researchers will map irrigated and rain-fed cropland, and measure volcanic gases from space.

** Report on Planetary Society’s LightSail-2: A Last Visit With LightSail 2 at the Cubesat Developers Workshop | The Planetary Society

Mat Kaplan visits Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for a last, clean room visit with LightSail 2, the Planetary Society’s solar sailing cubesat. While there, Mat also talked to attendees at the Cubesat Developers Workshop, including the creator of the tiny “Pocket Rocket” engine for small spacecraft. LightSail2 is now at the Air Force Research Lab for launch preparation, as we hear from Bruce Betts in this week’s What’s Up.

**  Women in Kyrgyzstan are fighting sexism by joining the space race | WIRED UK

The Kyrgyz Space Programme was started in March 2018 and has around ten full-time members who meet several times a week to study programming and physics, contact space experts and launch providers and practice soldering. Their aim is to construct and launch a small CubeSat satellite into space by 2021.

The Kyrgyz Space Programme’s members are aged between 17 to 25 and training is led by 19-year-old Alina Anisimova, who started teaching herself engineering skills by dismantling computers at the age of six and following online tutorials. “You can teach yourself anything you want, and you can be whoever you want,” says Anisimova, who started teaching herself English online three months ago.

Currently the Kyrgyz Space Programme is financed through a crowdfunding page aiming to raise around $150,000. Its goal is to build a CubeSat that can send and receive messages, include a camera and monitor the earth’s environment. They would like to launch their satellite from the ISS, as part of the payload of a rocket, and at this stage are still in talks with launch providers.

“The first satellite will be simple but in the future we hope to build more complex satellites and empower civil society and journalists with whatever satellites can offer them,” Iskender says. “As a long term expectation, we hope that our space programme will actually turn into something serious.”

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-139 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AMSAT Forum at Hamvention Well Attended
  • ARISS at Hamvention Shares Excitement of Space Exploration and Amateur Radio
  • ANS Asks For Stories About Your Hamvention-AMSAT Experience
  • ASTRO PI Student Programs Run on ISS
  • Call for Nominations – AMSAT Board of Directors
  • How to Support AMSAT
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Archaeology from Space:
How the Future Shapes Our Past

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – May.12.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs:

** UNITE CubeSat Project built by Univ. of Southern Indiana undergraduates has operated more than 100 days: UNITE CubeSat reaches 100 days in orbit, a milestone for student built satellites – TriSate Homepage.com

The CubeSat was deployed on January 31, 2019 and has been sending back data since its departure.

According to a recent study, only 45% of CubeSat units last longer than 60 days in service.

The Undergraduate Nano Ionospheric Temperature Explorer CubeSat, or UNITE CubeSat, was funded by a NASA Undergraduate Student Instruments Project (USIP) grant.

** 3U-CubeSat to de-orbit space junk: Space: OSCaR CubeSat aims to tidy space debris – ElectronicsWeekly.com

This interesting spacecraft will be dubbed OSCaR and it’s intended to collect space debris, or space junk.

Standing for “Obsolete Spacecraft Capture and Removal”, it’s a three-unit CubeSat being created by a team of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the USA’s oldest technological research university.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-132 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AMSAT Activities at Hamvention 2019
  • Tickets Still Available for TAPR/AMSAT Banquet
  • ARRL Releases Mobile App for the Dayton Hamvention
  • Going to Hamvention? Please Stop By and Say Thank You to Kenwood and the ARRL for ARISS Donations
  • Work the AMSAT Hamvention Demo Station!
  • Australia’s ABC Commemorates 50th Anniversary of AO-5
  • ARSATC 4th Birthday
  • GNU Radio Conference 2019 Call for Papers and Presentations
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution for May 9, 2019
  • How to Support AMSAT
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

** CubeSats & SmallSats – von Kármán Lecture Series/NASA JPL

Some are the size of a toaster. Others a suitcase. They can ride into space as secondary payloads in a rocket’s “trunk,” or even be tossed out of an airlock, to start their missions. Small satellites, often collectively called “cubesats,” are changing the way we explore space and monitor our home planet.

  • Host: Preston Dyches
  • Speaker: Anne Marinan (JPL) — Systems Engineer, Near Earth Asteroid Scout & Mars Cube One;
  • Team Xc Lead Engineer: Travis Imken (JPL) — Project Systems Engineer, RainCube

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Delta-v

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – May.6.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs:

** World Scout Jamboree Gearing Up for Significant Amateur Radio Presence – Amateur radio enthusiasts aim to introduce scouts to ham radio activities including satellite communications:

“The goals of the Amateur Radio station at the World Scout Jamboree are to introduce Amateur Radio to Scouts and Scout leaders through hands-on participation in two-way communication with other stations across the globe. This activity will also serve as the Amateur Radio voice of the Jamboree,” the World Scout Jamboree Amateur Radio Exhibit Operational Vision document states. Other facets of Amateur Radio at the Jamboree will include Amateur Radio direction finding (ARDF), Amateur Radio satellite contacts, and a scheduled Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with an ISS crew member.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-125 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • Call for Nominations – AMSAT Board of Directors
  • Buxton and Glasbrenner Address CubeSat Developers Workshop
  • AO-91 Anomaly on April 30th Resolved
  • Es’hail-2 Awards at RSGB AGM
  • AMSAT Academy Registration Closes May 10, 2019
  • First Mauritius Satellite Effort Begins
  • Fly Your Satellite! 2 Team completes Phase D Workshop
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for April 2019
  • CSVHFS Solicits Papers, Presentations and Posters for Conference
  • World Scout Jamboree Will Feature Amateur Radio Satellites
  • Fifty Years of AMSAT History – What Happened in May
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

And a note about a veteran AMSAT:

Misc. CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Moon Rush: The New Space Race

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – April.29.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs:

** CubeSat built by undergraduate students at Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani in India will include an advance imaging system: BITS Pilani students inch closer to nano-sat launch – AsianAge.com

Mentored by experts from the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), undergraduate students at Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani, are inching closer to their dream of designing and launching a nano-satellite or cubesat — of the size of a shoebox – with a special camera that will help study the earth’s surface for response during natural hazards and track carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The country’s first student-run undergraduate research group, which is on a mission to launch a one-of-its-kind nano-satellite with hyperspectral imager, has been christened Team Anant. It has 40 members across all engineering branches and batches at the Rajasthan-based institute.

** Students at Rensselaer Polytechnique Institute (RPI) are building OSCaR (Obsolete Spacecraft Capture and Removal) smallsat to test techniques for de-orbiting space debris

OSCaR (Obsolete Spacecraft Capture and Removal) is a 3U CubeSat in development at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that aims to de-orbit space debris.

From the RPI article:

… [Professor Kurt] Anderson and his students are developing OSCaR, a small device that will be able to inexpensively be sent into space aboard larger vehicles and then released to nearly autonomously seek out, capture, and then de-orbit space debris.

OSCaR is a three-unit member of a class of very small satellites known as CubeSats. Each unit is a small and light 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm cube.

One of those CubeSat units will house the “brains” of OSCaR including GPS, data storage, and communication, as well as the power and thermal management systems. Another will hold propellant and the system’s propulsion module to drive OSCaR forward. The third unit will contain four gun barrels, nets, and tethers to physically capture debris, one piece at a time. This capture module will also have optical, thermal, and RADAR imaging sensors to help OSCaR locate debris in the vastness of its surrounding space.

After it is done collecting debris, OSCaR will be programmed to deorbit itself within five years, destroying itself and the debris it caught.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-118 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AMSAT 50th Anniversary Issue of AMSAT Journal Available For All
  • PHL-Microsat Issues Diwata-2 Amateur Radio Unit Service Announcement
  • Coronation Station HS10KING/mm On Geostationary Satellite
  • SatNOGS Satellite Ground Station Article in HackSpace Magazine
  • AMSAT South Africa Developing AfriCUBE SDR-based CubeSat
  • Interview with Peter Gülzow, AMSAT-DL President
  • PSAT2, ISS Sat Gate needed in Central America
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – April.21.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs:

** 60 ThinSats built by middle and high school students reached space aboard Northrop-Grumman Cygnus cargo vessel launch on Antares rocket to the ISS: 60 ThinSat Constellation focused on STEM, Launched successfully April 17th

Mission Success yesterday for Indiana’s NearSpace Launch Inc. (NSL) ThinSat constellations launched off the Antares NG-11 on route to International Space Station. The 60 ThinSat were developed for Virginia Space as a STEM program for middle and high schools. Over 400 students participated in the testing and delivering of experiments in orbit today. The school teams were overseen by Twiggs Space Labs.

Co-founder of Twiggs Space Labs and Co-Inventor of the CubeSat, Bob Twiggs, states, “Our goal is to inspire future generations of engineers and scientists through innovation in the field of space.” Twiggs goes further to say, “To me, this (ThinSat launch) is the most exciting day of my career.” 

ThinSat is a new pioneering model for satellites that are scalable, simpler, and more affordable. Their focus is to broaden access to space for educational and space research participants.

The ThinSat comes in an array of sizes that comply with the CubeSat launcher. The 11.2 cm by 11.7 cm by 2 cm ThinSat version was the first model to launch this week. The ThinSat team choose to use EyeStar radios and Alta Devices solar technology. The NSL’s EyeStar radios allow for 24/7 connectivity via Globalstar’s constellation. Alta Devices solar cells provide a unique modular, lightweight, flexible form factor with high efficiency characteristics.

The ThinSat inventor and co-founder of NSL, Hank Voss states, “ThinSats will travel in a region of the atmosphere that is important to climate and space weather forecasts, but rarely studied because atmospheric drag makes it hard to keep satellites there,” Voss also expressed, as an emeritus professor, he is “thankful to Virginia Space and Twiggs Space Labsfor investing into the project that has a such strong STEM and research outreach.”

The ThinSat components were developed by NearSpace Launch Inc. (NSL) of Upland, IN.

Scalable models of ThinSats from 3U to 27U in size.

See also:

** 3 CubeSats of BIRDS-3 program reach ISS after launch on Northrop-Grumman Cygnus cargo vehicle. BIRDS-3 is

led by Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan and involves students from Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Japan.

The goal is for the participating countries to create indigenous space programs “by designing, building, testing, launching and operating, [their] first satellite(s)”.

The 3 satellites – Uguisu, NepaliSat-1, and Raavana-1 (Sri Lanka) – are expected to be deployed from the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) “Kibo” in May or June.

** Other student CubeSats launched to the ISS aboard the Cygnus included the three Virginia university projects described here in previous roundups plus several other college spacecraft:

More about BIRDS-3:

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-111 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • Reminder: May 14 Deadline to Order Tickets for TAPR/AMSAT Banquet
  • First Ham in Space, AMSAT Life Member, Owen Garriott, W5LFL, SK
  • AMSAT VP for Human Spaceflight Programs Explains Operations Onboard the ISS
  • Seats Still Available for AMSAT Academy
  • Amateur Radio Cubesats Aboard Cygnus Launch: BIRDS-3, Swiatowid, KrakSat, EntrySat
  • Australian CubeSat to use 76 GHz
  • 2M0SQL Releases Pass Recorder Version 1.5
  • FUNcube Data Warehouse URL Change
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • AMSAT-India’s ISS Demonstration and Outreach Success
  • NASA Hosts University Students to Discuss Future of Space Exploration
  • SpaceDaily.com Reports Virgin Orbital Adds Guam to Launch Sites
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past