Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Jan.26.2020

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

** Ireland’s student built EIRSAT-1 Cubesat undergoing antenna tests: The image below shows Ireland’s first official satellite, EIRSAT-1, a 2U CubeSat, in preparation for testing in ESA’s Hertz antenna test chamber: Testing for Ireland’s first satellite – ESA ESTEC

Educational Irish Research Satellite 1, or EIRSAT-1 for short, is being built by students and staff of University College Dublin, who are participating in ESA Education’s Fly Your Satellite! programme.

At just 22 by 10 by 10 cm, the miniature EIRSAT-1 is smaller than a shoebox but is still equivalent in complexity to a standard space mission.

Normally the EIRSAT-1 student team would have joined the test campaign in person, but current Covid-19 restrictions made this impossible. Instead the team delivered their self-made Antenna Deployment Module (ADM) plus a mock-up of the satellite body, along with detailed test preparation procedures.

“Ireland’s first space mission, EIRSAT-1, seen taking place at ESA’s Hertz antenna test chamber”. Credits: ESA

See earlier item here and also this article from 2018: Ireland’s First Ever Satellite Moves One Step Closer to Launch into Space: EIRSAT-1 designed by a team of University College Dublin students – NovaUCD.

** ** Embry-Riddle student group builds CubeSat Hermes-1. The Embry-Riddle Future Space Explorers and Developers Society (RFSEDS) has several projects underway including Hermes-1, which they plan to launch in 2021:

Project Hermes is a 1U cubesat development project and is ERFSEDS first satellite effort. Our team is in the design development phase and is planning to launch the project within the next two years. Hermes is communications based satellite that will be used to communicate with the Hermes ground team.

Building their own ground station for communications, the Hermes ground team is certified with HAM Radio Technician liscenses.

** Interview with a 16 year old CubeSat experimenter: Cubesat Experiments With Julie Sage, a Gen Z Aspiring Astrophysicist – Via Satellite

Julie Sage is an aspiring astrophysicist, science communicator, and the host of SuperNova Style Science News. At just 16-years-old, she’s been doing some real science with running a variety of different experiments on cubesats, including material testing.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-173 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AMSAT Announces Candidates for 2020 Board of Directors Election
  • AMSAT Announces GridMaster Award
  • CAS-6 Online
  • Amicalsat – Aurora Pictures
  • Raspberry Pi FUNcube Satellite Telemetry Decoder Now Available
  • ORI Announces ARRL Foundation Grant Award
  • ORI Announces YASME Foundation Grant Award
  • 38th Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting Moving to Virtual Event
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Hamfests, Conventions, Maker Faires, and Other Events
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

See also

  • 6th anniversary of NANOSATC-BR1 | Southgate Amateur Radio News
    Friday, 19-06-2020, completes six years since we successfully launched the NANOSATC-BR1, CubeSat 1U, which was launched on June 19, 2014, from Yasny Base, in Russia. The first Brazilian Scientific Nanosatellite remains in operation, sending telemetry to the Earth Stations of the NanosatC-BR Program, Cubesats Development and Amateur Radio Support Stations.

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

**  [WEBINAR] Cubesats Made Easy: Streamlining Integration & Collaboration for Australian Space MissionsAustralian Centre for Space Engineering Research Engineering

In this webinar, we will be focusing on the questions that must’ve crossed every developer’s mind, i.e. “Someone else must’ve have this problem too! How did they solve it?” Sometimes, it’s about the lack of time and manpower, sometimes it’s about the problem’s complexity. With our panellists, we will explore these problems and current (and potentially future) solutions, and how collaboration may help especially in the Australian context. This webinar will cater to both newcomers, where we streamline up-to-date resources, and to the experienced, where we can share ideas on how to make things better. These include:

1. A survey on Australian small satellite developers
2. Existing standards, available resources, and what are the current shortfalls?
3. Interfacing subsystems – hardware and software issues
4. Space Communications – RF issues and how cloud solutions may help
5. Building a Cubesat developer’s community – open source approaches?

** Tracking CubeSats with a Telescope – Bruce Van Deventer

CubeSats are miniature satellites typically deployed into low earth orbit. A standard 1U CubeSat is a cube ten centimeters on a side. Here, I tracked three different CubeSats on the night of 6/17 at our dark site observatory. Tracking is performed blind, meaning there is no optical assist to help the telescope point to the target. These videos are shot using a Celestron RASA 11 telescope and the ZWO ASI 6200 mono camera, operated in 8 bit video mode, quarter frame size, 100ms exposure. That video is further cropped here to make it easier to find the satellite.

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