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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