Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Aug.25.2020

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

** University of Cádiz (UCA) student team developing the UCAnFly cubesat to test space-based gravitational wave detection technologies.

UCAnFly is an educational nanosatellite to test emerging technologies for space-based gravitational wave detectors, such as LISA. The main motivation is to complement academic education at the University of Cádiz (UCA) and transfer knowledge to students in the field of advanced instrumentation and data analysis for Space Sciences. 

The emerging line of research that the UCAnFly project has recently started to conduct at UCA requires engaging and training young researchers with the purpose of creating a group specialized in high precision measurement systems for space missions. This project will open a unique opportunity of novel and valuable experience for the students involved.

UCAnFly is led by a multidisciplinary team at the University of Cádiz, with the support of the Education Office of the European Space Agency, under the educational Fly Your Satellite! programme.

Rendering of the design of the UCAnFly cubesat. Credits: UCA

A video overview:

…The UCAnFly project involves the introduction of a new line of research at the University of Cádiz, which requires engaging and training young researchers with the aim of creating a group specialized in high precision measurement systems for space missions. For this reason, in addition to the mission objectives, one of the main motivations of the project is to complement academic education and transfer knowledge in the field of advanced instrumentation and data analysis for space applications to undergraduate and doctoral students…

** Virginia high school team building TJ REVERB cubesat to compare smallsat radio communications systems. The project won a ride to space via NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative.

The TJ REVERB project is creating a best practice document for building a Nanosatellite while building a 2U CubeSat that compares multiple radio systems in Lower Earth Orbit. Additionally, TJ REVERB serves as an educational vehicle for teaching students the principles of systems engineering. Beyond the rich learning experience designing and constructing a satellite provides the students at Thomas Jefferson HSST, the team is committed to a robust local, national, and international outreach program.

There is a GoFundMe to raise funds to expand the smallsat program and their outreach activities to other high schools: Fundraiser for US STEM FOUNDATION by TJ REVERB : TJREVERB Cubesat for TJHSST

Latest updates at Cool Cube (@CoolCube10) / Twitter. Find videos posted by the students at Cool Cube – YouTube, e.g.

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-236 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • Ballot Return Date is September 15
  • Two-Minute Engineering Video Update Available
  • New Distance Records
  • ORI’s Digital Microwave Broadband Communication System Determined to be Free of ITAR
  • SmallSat 2020 Virtual Conference Proceedings Available Online
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • ARISS News
  • Satellite Shorts from All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

** Students Use Ham Radio to Call an Astronaut in Space – NASA Johnson

On May 15, 2020, Canadian students used ham radio to talk with NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, currently aboard the International Space Station. Thanks to ham radio operators and the International Space Station program, the students were able to participate from their homes. Learn more about ham radio aboard the space station: Learn more about the research being conducted on station:

** What is a CubeSat?Cool Cube

CubeSats are driving space exploration! In this video, by students for students, we go over what they are and some major components that are typically on board! Please stick along for the rest of this series, where we’ll go over the ins and outs of satellite development!

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