UKube-1, the programme to launch the UK Space Agency’s first Cubesat mission, has reached an important milestone. Two payloads have now undergone pre-integration testing at Clyde Space’s facilities in Glasgow.
Miniature satellite UKube-1, is a collaboration between the UK Space Agency, industry and academia. Open University payload C3D and University of Bath payload TOPCAT were the first of the four payloads selected to be tested. These workshops provided the first opportunity to carry out physical and functional testing between the protoflight payloadsand platform subsystems. (JPG, 2.7 Mb)
The tests confirmed physical, electrical and operational interfaces between the subsystems. The tests represent the successful handover to flight integration and delivery from the interface emulator (supplied to payload teams by Clyde Space at the start of the program to facilitate rapid parallel development of subsystems).
C3D is a small imager which will take pictures of the earth and investigate radiation damage effects in space. It uses new sensor technology developed for space conditions.
TOPCAT (Topside Ionosphere Computer Assisted Tomography) will measure space weather conditions to inform users of the Global Positioning System (GPS) users using a dual-frequency GPS receiver designed especially for use in space.
With the remaining payloads due to be tested over the coming few weeks, the program continues confidently towards full integration in July.
UKube-1 will also take an educational subsystem called FUNcube, developed by the voluntary organisation AMSAT-UK, to encourage young people to learn about radio, space, physics and electronics. It contains a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry beacon and a 435/145 MHz linear transponder.
UKube-1 on BBC TV http://www.uk.amsat.org/5983
UKube-1 to launch in 2013 http://www.uk.amsat.org/5933