Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Aug.18.2019

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

** Northwest Nazarene University’s student-built RFTSat was launched into orbit from a Northrop-Grumman Cygnus spacecraft using the SlingShot deployer, developed by the SEOPS division of Hypergiant.

NNU RFTSat (Radio Frequency Tag Satellite) CubeSat
Northwest Nazarene University RFTSat (Radio Frequency Tag Satellite) CubeSat.

RFTSat was deployed into orbit on August 7, 2019!

The NNU RFTSat (Radio Frequency Tag Satellite) CubeSat team is designing and building a 3U CubeSat to demonstrate the application of radio frequency (RF) energy harvesting and backscatter communication to the problem of distributed sensing in space. A small RF tag will be mounted on the side of the satellite and contain a temperature sensor. The tag will not contain a battery, but will be powered by energy emitted from an RF reader inside the satellite. The tag’s sensor data will be wirelessly sent back to the reader via backscatter communication, and then to the Earth via a Globalstar satellite constellation link. RF tags equipped with sensors could be added to a spacecraft, like the ISS, without additional wires or power supplies and provide a means to monitor structural integrity, space weather, or make sensitive electric/magnetic field measurements.

See also:

An animation of how the Slingshot works:

** Student and volunteer Fossa Systems project in Space is building a PocketQube picosat: Spain’s First Open Source Satellite | Hackaday

[Fossa Systems], a non-profit youth association based out of Madrid, is developing an open-source satellite set to launch in October 2019. The FossaSat-1 is sized at 5x5x5 cm, weighs 250g, and will provide free IoT connectivity by communicating LoRa RTTY signals through low-power RF-based LoRa modules. The satellite is powered by 28% efficient gallium arsenide TrisolX triple junction solar cells.

A video from Fossa Systems co-founder Julian Fernandez:

Fossa Systems is a non-profit association based in Spain and dedicated to the development of picosatellite technologies. Our mission is to democratize access to space telecommunications and in-orbit hardware by launching satellites that can fit in your pocket and creating educational and development kits. Our first satellite FossaSat-1 is set to launch in Q3 of 2019 and will create the worlds first free and open source IoT network.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-230 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AMSAT Space Symposium Call for Papers
  • 2019 AMSAT Board of Directors Election Reminder
  • FCC Dismisses ARRL, AMSAT Requests in Small Satellite Proceeding
  • Changes to AMSAT-NA TLE Distribution
  • 50th Anniversary AMSAT Space Symposium Banquet Speakers Announced
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • PSAT2 Downlink for DTMF Grids and Messages
  • Microwave Update Call for Submissions
  • Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
  • Chinese Satellite Profiles RF Spectrum as Seen from Lunar Orbit
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

** Amateur satcom: Pirates On US Navy Satellites – UHF SatCom | Southgate Amateur Radio News


Previous Smallsat postings here.


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