Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – July.9.2019

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

** Binar CubeSat built by Curtin University team of students and staff to be deployed from the ISS: Curtin to test ‘mini’ satellite in orbit with European Space Agency –  Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

Professor Bland, from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said a Curtin team of 12 staff and student engineers developed the miniaturised satellite.

“The Curtin team has managed to put all the systems required to operate the satellite, including the power, computer, steering and communications, on a single eight-layer printed circuit board, which at 10cm by 10cm by 2.5cm is about the size of a rather small sandwich,” Professor Bland said.

“Having everything on a single circuit board means there is more room for what the satellite is carrying, which in this case will be a camera that will capture beautiful images of Australia taken from orbit.”

Binar Cubesat Program
A diagram of the CubeSat in development in the Binar Cubesat Program at Curing University.

** Three Virginia CubeSat Constellation CubeSats built by undergrads were deployed from the ISS on July 3rd:

Three Virginia university satellites were deployed into nearly simultaneous orbit from the International Space Station via the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer at 10:50 a.m. EDT this morning. The Virginia CubeSat Constellation mission is a collaborative project of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and four of its member universities: Old Dominion University (ODU), Virginia Tech (VT), University of Virginia (UVA), and Hampton University (HU). The three nano-satellites, each about 4 inches cubed and weighing approximately 3 pounds, have been developed and instrumented (one each at ODU, VT and UVA) to obtain measurements of atmospheric properties and quantify atmospheric density with respect to orbital decay.

Deployment of three Virginia CubeSat Constellation satellites from the ISS. Photo credits: Virginia Space Grant Consortium

Data collected will ultimately contribute to the scientific knowledge base around orbital decay and will be widely shared. Ground stations at UVA, ODU and Virginia Tech will now begin making contact with their satellites. Data analysis will take place using an analytical tool being developed by students from Hampton University’s Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department.

“To know that all three satellites are now in orbit is extremely gratifying. Kudos to the students who have worked hard and gained immeasurable knowledge and experience from participating in this student-led mission and to the faculty who have advised them,” said Mary Sandy, Virginia Space Grant director and mission principal investigator. “Achieving Earth orbit is a huge mission milestone. These are the first student-developed satellites in orbit for all three of the universities.”

More than 150 undergraduate students across many disciplines at the participating universities have worked on the mission for the past three years under the guidance of faculty advisors

** KRAKsat Polish student CubeSat also deployed from ISS: ISS On-Orbit Status Report – July.3.2019

KRAKsat is a project focused on sending scientific satellite into space, made by students of University of Science and Technology and Jagiellonian University. Not only it is one of the first Cubesat type satellites in Poland but also the first satellite in the world which uses magnetic liquid, called ferrofluid, for orientation control.

A CubeSat from the Polish company SatRevolution was also deployed from the ISS along with KRAKsat. Find updates on the two projects at

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-188 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • 2019 AMSAT Board of Directors Election Update
  • Candidates for the AMSAT Board of Directors Announced
  • Frank Karnauskas, N1UW Appointed as AMSAT VP for Development
  • First Ever Contact via Moon Orbiting Transponder on LO-94
  • First Call for Papers for the 50th Anniversary AMSAT Symposium
  • Take W3ZM on the Road!
  • ARISS-International Delegates Meet in Montreal
  • JAISAT-1 telemetry beacon downlink on 435.325 MHz FM 4k8 GMSK
  • Additional Amateur Radio Payloads to Launch with JAISAT-1
  • VUCC Awards-Endorsements for July
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:


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