Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – March.12.2020

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

** The A&A CubeSat Team at the University of Wisconsin is building SOC-1  or Satellite for Optimal Control and Imaging:

The SOC-i mission will carry an advanced guidance, navigation and control (GNC) payload capable of reorienting the spacecraft while satisfying multiple pointing constraints. SOC-i will also carry an Earth imaging camera, enabling it to take pictures of specified ground locations.

The mission will operate in space for 6 months, and will be supported by a UW ground station being developed in the Aerospace Engineering Research Building. It is a stated goal of the mission to be completely open-source, maintain code on our team’s GitHub page .

See also: Down the rabbit hole of UW’s STEM RSOs –

Members collaborate throughout the entire design process of the CubeSat, developing different aspects, from its guidance navigation control, electrical power system, physical structure, communications, command and data handling, and imaging configuration.

“Space engineering is such a multifaceted discipline that really, if you show up and just do 10 hours of work, you’re going to learn a hundred new things,” Tormey said. “The thing you get out of it is experience. Even if the work is grueling and hard, knowing that ultimately you’re going to send something up into space is the best motivator ever.”

** The BUSAT (Boston University SATellite) program will see ANDESITE launched on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket. Trisept completes Cubesat integration for NASA ELaNa 32 Andesite Mission –

“Our ANDESITE mission with NASA will demonstrate how CubeSats can play a vital role in providing an unprecedented view into the variations of electrical activity racing through space and its impact on our lives here on earth. GPS services, for example, can be directly affected,” explained Josh Semeter, an electrical engineering professor with Boston University’s Center for Space Physics who first conceptualized the ANDESITE mission.

“If all goes as planned, our CubeSat will release eight small satellite sensors in space to form a first-of-its-kind free-flying mesh network capable of delivering uniquely comprehensive data mapping of magnetic fields and space weather to our smart phones here on campus.”

“TriSept, the University spacecraft team and NASA have completed the initial integration of the ANDESITE mission by installing the CubeSat into the dispenser device and preparing the spacecraft for shipment to Rocket Lab in New Zealand,” said Jason Armstrong, TriSept’s Director of Launch Integration Services.

Illustration of the ANDESITE 6U CubeSat with picosat deployed to study currents in the magnetosphere. Credits: BUSAT

Here is a BUSAT video from 2015 about the ANDESITE project:

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-068 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • Welcome Back XW-2D
  • PSAT3 Launch CANCELED [See also Cancellation of PSAT3 Launch Means No DARPA Launch Challenge Winner – ARRL]
  • AMSAT Academy to be Held Prior to Dayton Hamvention
  • The 23cm Satellite Band is Under Scrutiny in Europe
  • Replacing the International Space Station?
  • FO-29 Operational Schedule
  • ARISS News
  • AMSAT Will be at ScienceCity in Tucson, March 14-15
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

** Michael Maloney – Satellite Design For Recovery – Cold Star Project S02E23

Michael Maloney, founder of the advocacy organization Satellite Design for Recovery, is on the Cold Star Project with host Jason Kanigan to talk about the need for including a critical but not-yet-required component to the design of all objects launched into Earth orbit. Satellites and other orbital objects should have mandated design requirements for rendezvous, capture and disposal. The cost of not doing so will be chaos in orbit. Mike is here to tell us about these consequences. Satellite Design for Recovery website:

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