Open access to latest research output from Surrey Space Centre

Surrey Space Centre University of Surrey, Guildford

Surrey Space Centre
University of Surrey, Guildford

The Surrey Space Centre (SSC) Research blog is dedicated to improving access to the cutting edge research output of the Surrey Space Centre. The standard process for disseminating research output through conference and journal publication is a lengthy and cumbersome process.

The blog aims to provide open access to SSC research output by sharing pre-print copies of  publications. Each article is presented in its own, individual post, and SSC encourage visitors to comment and provide feedback on their work. This two-way process of sharing will provide their research staff with robust feedback on the work, complimenting reviewer feedback. In return, visitors are able to access our latest research accomplishments,  many months before becoming accessible through journals or conference proceedings.

Situated in Guildford, UK, the Surrey Space Centre is a forms part of the Department of Electronics Engineering at the University of Surrey. Research is focused on many areas of space technology, including antenna and RF systems, astrodynamics, autonomy and AI, control systems, on-board data handling, environments and instrumentation, propulsion and robotics. Their website can be found here for further details.

Surrey Space Centre Research blog http://surreyspacecentre.wordpress.com/

Nigerian CubeSat – EregbuSAT

 

EregbuSAT CubeSat

EregbuSAT CubeSat Prototype

EregbuSAT is a CubeSat prototype that is being developed by the Postgraduate students of the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English (ARCSSTE-E) to simulate the communication (send and receive data) between a Satellite and its Ground Station.

When completed, it will provide an opportunity for future students in the Satellite Communication option of ARCSSTE-E Postgraduate Diploma program to experience operating a Satellite (send commands to Satellite using the prototype) during their short stay in Nigeria.

Continue reading

6U CubeSat Low Cost Space Missions Workshop

17th – 18th July 2012

Click here to register to attend the Workshop

Workshop Details

Title: 6U CubeSat Low Cost Space Missions Workshop
Date: 17th – 18th July 2012
Abstracts Due: 26th June 2012
Time:
Venue: The Duffield Theatre, Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre, Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra Australia
Cost: Free
Download the workshop poster here.
Background

For 2012 the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative includes 6U CubeSat satellites. An 8 kg 6U CubeSat can be designed to perform some of the Earth observation missions of 100 kg microsatellites. A 6U CubeSat (~33 x 10 x 22 cm, ≤ 8kg) has 4 times the payload capacity of a 3U CubeSat (33 x 10 x 10 cm, ≤ 4 kg) which uses two thirds of its volume for system components.

 

This workshop, the first in the world dedicated to the 6U CubeSat, will explore the range of missions possible with a 6U CubeSat in the areas of:

  • Astronomy
  • Atmospheric Science and other Planetary Science
  • Space Physics
  • Earth Observation
  • Biology
  • Other

Program

Day 1 – Tuesday 17th July 2012
Time Presentation Title Speaker
10:00-10:30AM Morning tea
10:30-10:35AM Welcome Andrew Dempster (ACSER)
10:35-10:45AM Workshop Introduction Steven Tsitas (ACSER)
10:45-11:10AM 6U CubeSat Design for Earth Observation with 6.5 m GSD, 5 Spectral Bands and 14 Mbps downlink Steven Tsitas (ACSER)
11:10-11:35AM Scheduling multi-spectral collection of the Australian landmass using a 6U cubesat constellation Leon Stepan (DSTO)
11:35-12:00PM From SmallSat to 6U CubeSat: A Case Study in size and mass reduction Jeremy Straub (University of North Dakota)
12:00-01:00PM Lunch
01:00-01:25PM 6U CubeSat as the basis for a sustainable Australian space program Steven Tsitas (ACSER)
01:25-01:50PM TBC Roger Franzen, Mike Petkovic (ANU, Mt Stromlo Observatory)
01:50-02:50PM KEYNOTE: Research and Technology Implications and Applications for Very Small (MesoScale) Spacecraft John Hines (NASA-Ames)
02:50-03:15PM Synergy between 6U, fractionated and adaptable systems Gordon Roesler
03:15-03:45PM Afternoon tea
03:45PM Panel Discussion: Can the 6U CubeSat form the basis of a sustainable Australian space program?
Day 2 – Wednesday 18th July 2012
Time Presentation Title Speaker
09:05-09:10AM Workshop introduction final day Steven Tsitas (ACSER)
09:10-09:40AM TBC Stephanie Thomas (Princeton Satellite Systems)
09:40-10:05AM Satellite-borne impact detectors for small meteoroids, interplanetary dust and space debris Duncan Steel (UNSW)
10:05-10:35AM Morning tea
10:35-11:00AM A CubeSat Mission for Exoplanet Transit Detection and Asteroseismology Jeremy Bailey (UNSW)
11:00-12:00PM KEYNOTE: Astrophysics with 6U platforms Harvey Butcher (ANU)
12:00-01:00PM Lunch
01:00-01:25PM 6U CubeSat Commercial Applications Steven Tsitas (ACSER)
01:25-01:50PM 40 kg to LEO; a low cost launcher for Australia Nicholas Jamieson (UNSW)
01:50-02:15PM 6U Radar Altimeter Concept Design Nick Stacy (DSTO)
02:15-02:40PM GNSS Remote Sensing in a 6U Cubesat Andrew Dempster (UNSW)
02:40-03:05PM Preliminary parameters for an experimental payload for Trospospheric CO2 measurement using a space-born lidar 6U cubesat platform Manny Fabiao Dionizio (UNSW)
03:05-03:35PM Afternoon tea
03:35-04:05PM 6U CubeSat Systems (TBC) TBC
04:05-04:35PM CubeSat deorbit devices (TBC) TBC
04:35-04:45PM Workshop conclusion and next steps Steven Tsitas (ACSER)

Keynotes

Technology Keynote – John W. Hines, Chief Technologist, NASA-Ames Research Center
Science Keynote – Professor Harvey Butcher , Director Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Chair

Dr Steven Tsitas, Senior Research Associate, Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research, University of New South Wales
Who Should Attend

Scientists and engineers interested in payload and mission concepts that take advantage of the greater payload capacity of the 6U CubeSat. For examples of 6U CubeSat designs and payloads that could perform some of the Earth observation missions of 100 kg microsatellites please see “6U CubeSat Design for Earth Observation with 6.5 m GSD, 5 Spectral Bands and 14 Mbps downlink” and “6U CubeSat Commercial Applications”. Reprints available upon request.

Presentations are invited describing payloads and mission concepts for the 6U CubeSat. Presentations are also invited regarding 6U launch opportunities and 6U CubeSat standards.

  • SESSION 1: Earth Observation Missions
  • SESSION 2: Astronomy Missions
  • SESSION 3: Planetary Science and Space Physics Missions
  • SESSION 4: Biology and other missions
  • SESSION 5: 6U CubeSat launch opportunities
  • SESSION 6: 6U CubeSat standards

Abstracts

If you wish to submit an abstract for the 6U CubeSat Low Cost Space Missions Workshop please email them to Stanija Buvac before the 3rd July 2012.

Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research

New CAMSAT Satellite CAS-2

CAMSAT CAS-2 at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2012 Event – Image Credit ARRL

The first CAMSAT amateur radio satellite CAS-1 (aka XW-1, HO-68) carried a linear transponder and proved very popular with radio amateurs world-wide.

Fan Shaomin BA1EO with CAS-2 A1

Fan Shaomin BA1EO with CAS-2 A1

CAMSAT and students at the Qian Youth Space Academy have been working on the next satellite CAS-2.

The launch of CAS-2 is planned for 2014 into a 1000 km orbit with an inclination of 12 degrees. This orbit means it may not be receivable in those countries at high latitudes.

It is understood that most of the room in CAS-2 will be taken up by the primary (non-amateur) payload and it has only been possible to fit a single channel FM amateur transponder in the satellite.

The announcement of May 20 indicates that two separate CAS-2 satellite structures are being built – A1 and A2.

Further information in Google English can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/CAMSAT-CAS-2-Satellite

The CAMSAT delegation to Ham Radio 2012 in Friedrichshafen was led by Gong Wancong BA1DU. A group picture taken at the CAMSAT and AMSAT-DL stands and a picture of the engraved glass plaque that CAMSAT presented to AMSAT-DL can be seen on the AMSAT Deutschland Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.420116544697800.90571.168177559891701&type=3

Randy Hall K7AGE visited Beijing in March 2008. Among the people he visited was Fan Shaomin BA1EO.

Watch Randy’s video which provides an insight into amateur radio in Beijing. The BA1EO visit is at 12:55

Read more about Ham Radio in that part of the world from Larry’s, KH6ITY, article at ARRL - http://www.arrl.org/news/cq-china

ARISS unable to do Beijing contacts http://tinyurl.com/ARISS-Cancel-Beijing

Winner of HORYU-2 Receiving Competition

Testing_HORYU-2_Solar_Panels

Testing HORYU-2 Solar Panels

Built by students at the Kyushu Institute of Technology (KIT) the amateur radio satellite HORYU-2 was launched on May 17 at 1639 UT.

HORYU-2 Receiving Competition Prize

Radio amateurs from around the world sent in telemetry and the winner with the most points has been announced as Yoshitomo Iji JA6PL who will be presented with a bottle as the prize.

The top three places were:

1st place: JA6PL (91 points)
2nd place: ZL2BX (36 points)
3rd place: JF1EUY (35 points)

The satellite’s callsign is JG6YBW and the CW telemetry beacon frequency is 437.375 MHz (+/- Doppler shift).

The free KIT HORYU-2 telemetry software can be downloaded from
http://kitsat.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/Documents/information_launch_english.html

KIT HORYU Blog in Google English http://tinyurl.com/HORYU-Blog

Japanese HORYU website in Google English http://tinyurl.com/HoryuSatellite

English language version of HORYU website http://kitsat.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/index_e_new.html

Further information on HORYU-2 is at http://www.uk.amsat.org/7404

HORYU-2 online WebSDR receiver http://sdr.opt.ro:8901/

KIT HORYU-2 Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/277436165678985/

HORYU-2 CW Telemetry Decoder by DK3WN http://tinyurl.com/SatSoftwareDK3WN/

SimpleSatLookDown satellite tracking software http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=8217

Encouraging Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

First US Woman Astronuat Sally Ride on STS-7 - Image Credit NASA

The Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars  (WISH) project is sponsoring two six-day summer camps for rising high school seniors that should feature a presentation by astronaut Shannon Walker KD5DXB and an Amateur Radio contact with the International Space Station (ISS).

Eighty-four female high school students from 29 states will plan a simulated mission to Mars and experience life as an engineer or scientist when NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston hosts two events focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in June and July.

Shannon Walker KD5DXB - Image Credit NASA

The young women will work in teams with female NASA mentors to develop mission plans for launching to Mars, living and working there, and integrating the many components necessary for a successful planetary mission. They will work within the confines of a fictitious budget and build several small mockups of vehicles to demonstrate a successful launch and landing of the Mars spacecraft.

“WISH gives some of our brightest future innovators a chance to experience some of the exciting challenges that NASA engineers and scientists face on a daily basis,” said Johnson Deputy Director and four-time space shuttle astronaut Ellen Ochoa KB5TZZ. “It shows the young women that there are a variety of opportunities for them in technical fields.”

Young women participating June 24-29 will hear a first-hand account of life in space from NASA astronaut and radio amateur Shannon Walker KD5DXB. Participants July 8-13 will have a chance to speak with a current space station astronaut via ham radio as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program, a NASA educational initiative that facilitates direct links between students and astronauts.

The young women were selected based on completion of interactive, online lessons focused on space exploration and mapped to national education standards, academic merits and geographic diversity. The WISH program encourages young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees and exposes them to the real-world applications of STEM careers at NASA. This program is in its second year. It began as a NASA accompaniment to the White House Council on Women and Girls.

For more information about WISH and a list of student participants, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/teachingfromspace/students/wish.html

WISH: Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars http://www.wish.aerospacescholars.org/

Source NASA http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jun/HQ_12-209_WISH.html

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station ARISS http://ariss.rac.ca/

PrintSat – An Amateur Radio 3D Printer CubeSat

The image shows the building of a CubeSat with Additive Manufacturing with the WINDFORM XT. Image Credit Windform

Students at Montana Sate University (MSU) are planning to build their new amateur radio satellite PrintSat with nano-carbon-impregnated plastic using a 3D printer.

David Klumpar KD7MFJ of MSU said 3D printing “will further lower the costs and speed the development of very small satellites, enabling future scientific missions comprised of dozens of satellites flying in formation.”

Jim White WD0E, president of Colorado Satellite Services, explained that “Additive manufacturing (also called 3-D printing) has evolved in the past few years to be a very inexpensive and fast way to make mechanical parts. With PrintSat, the entire structure of the small satellite will be printed. As the first use of additive manufacturing for a satellite, we plan to show it’s not only cheaper and faster, but that we can make parts that cannot be made in traditional ways.”

When in orbit PrintSat will measure and report on the characteristics of the Windform XT2.0 printed material and plating during its mission life in order to verify the utility of additive manufacturing for spacecraft structures and mechanisms.

PrintSat plans to use the same frequencies as RAMPART and use GMSK 9k6 Ax.25 packet radio. It is aiming for a May 2103 launch from the Wallops Flight Facility into a 500km 40 degree inclination orbit.

Other satellites planning to fly on the same launch include Blacknight-1, Spa-1 Trailblazer, Phonesat, Kysat- II, Rampart, NPS-SCAT, Copper, TJSat, Tethersat, Lunar orbiter/lander CubeSat, Swampsat, Cape-2, Dragonsat-1 and Ethersat.

Montana State University Space Science and Engineering Laboratory https://ssel.montana.edu/

Windform XT2.0 http://www.windform.it/windform-xt-2-0-en.html

IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Status Pages http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru

STRaND-2 ‘Kinect’ Satellites Video

STRaND-2 NanosatsSTRaND-2, a twin nanosatellite mission from SSTL and the University of Surrey to test a novel in-orbit docking system using a gridded Lidar system based on the Microsoft Xbox Kinect games-controller technology.

Similar in design to STRaND-1, the identical twin satellites will each measure 30cm (3 unit Cubesat) in length, and utilise components from the Xbox Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes – thus allowing them to dock.

The STRaND team sees the relatively low cost nanosatellites as intelligent “space building blocks” that could be stacked together and reconfigured to build larger modular spacecraft.

Watch STRaND-2 Docking Nanosatellite.wmv

STRaND stands for Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration and the programme is intended to be a long-term arrangement between the space company SSTL and academic researchers at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC), with STRaND-1 the first of a long line of STRaND nanosatellites.

The SSTL employees involved with the STRaND programme are volunteers. It is a condition of the programme that volunteers from SSTL and SSC use their own, free time for STRaND activities (such as lunches and breaks). The project has no budget for staff so is entirely dependent on volunteers.

Further information at http://www.sstl.co.uk/divisions/earth-observation—science/science—exploration/strand-2-building-blocks-nanosatellite

‘Kinect’ STRaND-2 at UK Space Agency Conference http://www.uk.amsat.org/6795

Surrey Satellite to put Xbox parts in space http://www.uk.amsat.org/7771

The Register article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/28/sstl_strand_2_nanosat_xbox_kinect/

Thinking outside the box in space by BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18250755

STRaND on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nanosats

STRaND-2 ‘Kinect’ Satellites Video

STRaND-2, a twin nanosatellite mission from SSTL and the University of Surrey to test a novel in-orbit docking system using a gridded Lidar system based on the Microsoft Xbox Kinect games-controller technology.

Similar in design to STRaND-1, the identical twin satellites will each measure 30cm (3 unit Cubesat) in length, and utilise components from the Xbox Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes – thus allowing them to dock.

The STRaND team sees the relatively low cost nanosatellites as intelligent “space building blocks” that could be stacked together and reconfigured to build larger modular spacecraft.

Watch STRaND-2 Docking Nanosatellite.wmv

STRaND stands for Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration and the programme is intended to be a long-term arrangement between the space company SSTL and academic researchers at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC), with STRaND-1 the first of a long line of STRaND nanosatellites.

The SSTL employees involved with the STRaND programme are volunteers. It is a condition of the programme that volunteers from SSTL and SSC use their own, free time for STRaND activities (such as lunches and breaks). The project has no budget for staff so is entirely dependent on volunteers.

Further information at http://www.sstl.co.uk/divisions/earth-observation—science/science—exploration/strand-2-building-blocks-nanosatellite

‘Kinect’ STRaND-2 at UK Space Agency Conference http://www.uk.amsat.org/6795

Surrey Satellite to put Xbox parts in space http://www.uk.amsat.org/7771

The Register article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/28/sstl_strand_2_nanosat_xbox_kinect/

Thinking outside the box in space by BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18250755

STRaND on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nanosats

Surrey Satellite to put Xbox parts in space

Surrey-based researchers are to build Xbox Kinect hardware into twin satellites in an auto-docking experiment.

The microsatellites, to be called STRaND-2, are being developed by University of Surrey and Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL), with the Kinect providing its 3D laser scanner.

CubeSat is a mechanical standard for miniature satellites. In this case, the spacecraft will be ‘3U’ CubeSats each measuring 10x10x30cm and weighing under 4kg.

“Docking systems have never been employed on such small and low cost missions and are usually reserved for big-budget space missions to the International Space Station or historically, the Mir space station and the Apollo programme,” said SSTL.

They will dock many times, initially with ground intervention, then increasingly automatically.

SSTL’s speciality, through extensive testing, is selecting commercial electronic hardware which can be used in space – STRaND-2’s scanners will come out of actual Kinects.

Inspiration for the flight came from an experiment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where a tiny helicopter equipped with Kinect hardware was used to scan rooms as it flew through them, allowing a 3D model of the environment to be built, said SSTL project leader Shuan Kenyon.

The University of Surrey and SSTL team has already developed STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator), and was looking for a further challenge.

STRaND-1, another 3U CubeSat, will famously carry a mobile phone into orbit and send data direct to schools.

STRaND-1 is also one of the most manoeuvrable small satellites ever built, with eight micro-thrusters providing rotation in three axes as well as lateral movement in two dimensions. A separate gas jet provides thrust in the third linear dimension.

If two similar satellites can be made to dock, the team is proposing larger self-assembling structures made of many, perhaps dozens, of CubeSats.

“It may seem far-fetched, but our low cost nanosatellites could dock to build large and sophisticated modular structures such as space telescopes,” said Surrey university project head Dr Chris Bridges. “Unlike today’s big space missions, these could be reconfigured as mission objectives change, and upgraded in orbit with the latest available technologies.”

“I think by STRaND-4, we should be able to build the USS Enterprise,” quipped Kenyon.

Other ideas include using small mobile scanning satellites to inspect larger spacecraft.

‘Kinect’ STRaND-2 at UK Space Agency Conference http://www.uk.amsat.org/6795

STRaND on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nanosats