Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Sept.22.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs (find previous smallsat roundups here):

** Cargo on Cygnus vehicle on next Antares  launch will include CubeSats from university groups sponsored by NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) initiative: Amateur Radio CubeSats among 15 Set to Launch on October 21 from Wallops Island –

15 CubeSats into orbit on October 21 as part of NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) Mission 25. Some will carry Amateur Radio payloads.

    • TJ REVERB, developed by students at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia, will carry a 145.825 MHz APRS digipeater.
    • HuskySat, a University of Washington – Seattle project, will be boosted into a 500-kilometer (approximately 310-mile) orbit via the Cygnus external deployment device. HuskySat will carry a V/U linear transponder provided in cooperation with AMSAT.

** China launch included CubeSat Taurus-1  (Jinniuzuo-1) with amateur radio transponder for involving students in satellite communications: Taurus-1 CubeSat with FM-to-Codec-2 Transponder Launched –

The Taurus-1 (Jinniuzuo-1) CubeSat carrying an Amateur Radio FM-to-Codec-2 transponder was launched on September 12 from China’s Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The CubeSat was developed by Aerospace System Engineering Research Institute of Shanghai for youth education and Amateur Radio.

** Students participate in CubeSat projects at the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia: Satellites to reveal sea state and much more than the eye can see | UNSW Newsroom

Professor Andrew Dempster of UNSW’s School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications has been developing and trialling a new type of receiver that looks for satellite navigation signals bounced from the Earth’s surface in a process called reflectometry.

As he explains, reflectometry looks at the GPS signals that come directly from satellites as well as where, and at what angle, the signals bounce off the earth’s surface. He and his colleagues have built four generations of receivers that are designed to look for these bounced GPS signals from satellites overhead.

“This most recent generation of our GPS receivers we have put into space aboard CubeSats,” Professor Dempster says, who is also director of the Australian Centre of Space Engineering Research.

The centre’s first project was the UNSW-EC0 QB50-AU02 CubeSat

… Over the past 5 years the team has seen over 100 members work on the project, including students, staff and volunteers. The project has produced at least 18 student theses, dozens of conference papers, launched new research areas for UNSW winning two new ARC grants, and the UNSW team alone has attracted many hours of media interest both locally and internationally. 

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-265 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • 2019 AMSAT Board of Directors Election Results
  • 2019 AMSAT Symposium Registration Savings Through October 11
  • IEEE GRSS Student Grand Challenge
  • IARU Coordination for Two Satellites
  • QO-100 Satellite, GNU Radio and SDR Talks Released
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

Mars Cube One (MarCO) lead engineer, Andy Klesh, joins us to chat how two tiny CubeSats gave us real-time data from the latest landing on Mars. We talk about what led to naming the spacecraft after the Disney characters Wall-e and Eve, and how both Wall-e and Eve lost contact with Earth just few hours before it was their time to shine.


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