Category Archives: Education

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – May.26.2019

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

** RWASAT, Rwanda’s first satellite, is a CubeSat developed with the University of Tokyo and is set to launch in July.

RWASAT-1. Credits: Space in Africa
RWASAT. Credits: Space in Africa

** UAE MeznSat is a CubeSat in development by the UAE Space Agency, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK),. The 3U CubeSat will study the Earth’s atmosphere. The launch is expected at the end of 2019. Preliminary design for UAE’s MeznSat 3U CubeSat under review – SatellitePro ME

… AURAK students are designing and building the satellite to collect and analyse data about carbon dioxide and methane levels in the atmosphere above the UAE. The students are utilising Masdar Institute’s facilities during the satellites design and construction.

MeznSat is to be launched in late 2019 from a site in Japan, in coordination with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Once in orbit, the satellite will use a visible camera as well as a shortwave infrared spectrometer to measure the abundance and distribution of methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A team of students will monitor, process, and analyze the data sent from the satellite at a ground station in the UAE.

More at MeznSat: A CubeSat for Greenhouse GasesMonitoring and Algal Blooms prediction, Abdul-Halim Jallad et al, SmallSat Conference 2018 (pdf)

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-146 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • Dollar-for-Dollar Match on your ARISS Donation Thru June 17, 2019
  • Keith Pugh, W5IU SK
  • AMSAT Journal Call for Photos
  • ANS Asks For Stories About Your Hamvention-AMSAT Experience
  • AMSAT Payload on ESEO Activated
  • ARISS/SAREX Teacher wins AIAA Achievement Award
  • Call for Nominations – AMSAT Board of Directors
  • AMSAT Golf Fundraising is Underway!
  • ESEO Mission Hampered by Anomaly
  • ARRL Updates TQSL Data for New Satellites
  • ARISS Hamvention Forum Slides Available for Download
  • ARISS SSTV Planned Over Russia for Moscow Aviation Institute
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:


The Case for Space:
How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up
a Future of Limitless Possibility

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
  • Reports Virgin Orbital Adds Guam to Launch Sites
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:


Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – April.14.2019

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

** More on the Virginia university student CubeSat program mentioned in previous roundups here:

In a giant leap for Virginia Tech, the first satellite built by undergraduate students is scheduled to be launched into space on April 17, 2019.

One small step closer to reaching space, a group of Virginia Tech undergraduate students recently delivered their small satellite to Houston to be incorporated into NanoRacks’ commercially developed CubeSat deployer. Virginia Tech’s satellite, along with two satellites from other Virginia universities, is scheduled to launch on the payload section of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket and then will be headed to the International Space Station.

If the weather is clear, the Antares launch will visible over a large East Coast area: Rocket launch from Wallops Flight Facility to be visible from Hampton Roads, NE North Carolina |

** An all girls team in Kyrgyzstan is building a smallsat:

Back in January we started crowdfunding on the Patreon platform and by the end of November the amount of donations has reached more than $1,100 per month. This amount has increased particularly after the aforementioned article in Quartz magazine.

Moreover, since November we have a donor-organization in the Kyrgyz space program — the Internews organization will donate sufficient amount of money that will cover expenses on building, testing and launching two (!) nanosatellites.

This does not mean that we no longer need patrons — there are quite a few unforeseen crazy ideas (for example, to test a prototype of the satellite in the mountains of the Issyk-Kul region), the costs of which are not included in the Internews grant, but are necessary to make the satellite launch happen.

** Canada’s Western University and Nunavut Arctic College will build a CubeSat to test

a novel imaging system for the engineering technology demonstration with the potential to provide virtual reality-ready images. This imagin system has future applications in the Earth observation and space exploration.

More at:

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-104 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • TAPR/AMSAT Banquet Speaker Announced
  • Seats Still Available for AMSAT Academy
  • AMSAT Activities at Hamvention 2019
  • N8HM to Appear on Ham Talk Live April 18th
  • Last Chance to Bid in ARISS Auction
  • ARISS SSTV Event Continues Through 18:00 UTC April 14th
  • Diwata-2 Designated Philippines-OSCAR 101 (PO-101)
  • March/April 2019 Edition of Apogee View Posted
  • How to Support AMSAT
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:


Space 2.0: How Private Spaceflight, a Resurgent NASA, and International Partners are Creating a New Space Age

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – April.7.2019

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

** The SPACE HUAC project at Univ. of Massachusetts at Lowell involves undergraduates in the building a NASA sponsored CubeSat

The projects aims to

demonstrate the practicality of high data rate communications on a 3U CubeSat. A phased array of X-band patch antennas will allow for rapid beam steering.

** USC engineering students building CubeSat as a demo for Vector Launch‘s first rocket flight: Viterbi students build, deliver satellite to start-up | Daily Trojan

A team of students in the Viterbi School of Engineering have taken one small step toward space and made one big leap for their careers.

Early in March, these students finished building and delivered USC’s third CubeSat satellite, which is about the size of a breadbox. David Barnhart, a research professor in the astronautics department, led the students selected from the Space Engineering Research Center through the year-long building process of the satellite.

The team has successfully delivered the satellite to its customer, Vector Space Systems, a start-up developing satellites and launch vehicles. Vector will use this newly built satellite to test its technology in space and ensure it works before selling it to customers.

** Spudnik-1 project at University of Prince Edward Island in Toronto involves undergraduates and graduate students in the building and launching of a CubeSat for remote sensing applications: UPEI students continue work on small satellite | CBC News

Grant McSorley, project manager of the CubeSat project at UPEI, said the group of over 20 undergraduate and graduate students have been designing the satellite since September, and now, they’re putting the final touches on their first set of prototypes.

UPEI’s satellite, called SpudNik-1, will be used for what McSorley calls “precision agriculture” that will capture photos and monitor the state of farm fields across P.E.I.

“The idea is to take photos from space that researchers and farmers can use in order to decide where to apply fertilizer, where to apply water in a more efficient way than they’re doing right now,” McSorley said.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-096 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AMSAT India AISAT APRS Payload Operational on 145.825 MHz
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • UT1FG/MM QSL Procedure Announced
  • Hamvention Booth Announcement
  • AMSAT Activities at Hamvention 2019
  • The Case of the Unknown Satellites
  • Upcoming ARISS Contacts
  • International Space Station Astronauts are Calling CQ Students
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for March 2019
  • Raspberry Pi magazine MagPi Features Ham Radio
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

See also ANS-095 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin – AMSAT Files Comments in FCC Orbital Debris Mitigation Proceeding

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:


Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past

Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Mar.25.2019

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

** Arizona student team to build CubeSat with inflatable antenna for NASA program:  UA Student-led CatSat Mission Selected by NASA | UANews

An inflatable space antenna designed by University of Arizona students is one of 16 small research satellites from 10 states NASA has selected to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard space missions planned to launch in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The selections are part of the 10th round of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative.

CatSat is a 6U CubeSat led by UA students from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and various departments including aerospace and mechanical engineeringastronomycomputer science, and systems and industrial engineering.

CatSat is the size of a large cereal box. When fully deployed, the inflatable expands in a bubble gum fashion, forming a sphere three feet across that sticks out from one side of the box. An aluminized spot inside the inflated sphere is used as the communication antenna to beam data back to the Earth. Since Catsat will be in low Earth orbit, the data can be downloaded using a ground station located at the UA.

CatSat is mainly a technology demonstration mission to mature this inflatable concept in Earth orbit. The ultimate goal is to fly such an antenna on an interplanetary mission that Reddy wants to lead to explore small bodies in the solar system.

** Hampton Univ. student team developing improve software for Cubesats: Hampton University students developing analysis software for satellites |

College students from all around Virginia, including in Hampton, are working on a major project that will analyze data of tiny satellites sent into space.

Four undergrad students from Hampton University are working with students from three other state universities to deliver small satellites to NanoRacks in Houston, Texas to be integrated into a CubeSat deployer (NRCSD).

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-083 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AMSAT Activities at Hamvention 2019
  • NASA on the Air
  • Satellite Operating Demonstrations Planned for Tucson Hamfest
  • Three more 50th Anniversary Certificates Earned
  • “Getting Started” Guide CLoseout
  • Canadian Artist To Use HAARP To Transmit SSTV
  • ESEO Satellite Commissioning Starts
  • FoxTelem Version 1.07 Released
  • Sally Ride EarthKAM @ Space Camp’s 66th Mission Is Open For Registration
  • K6FW Gets 488 Grids
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:


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