VE3NML works on STRaND solar panels

The UK STRaND nanosat team have released this picture in which a volunteer from SSTL, Nimal Navarathinam VE3NML, finishes laying down the cells for the Earth-facing and Space-facing solar panels.

STRaND stands for Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration and the program is 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 dependant on volunteers.

The amateur radio STRaND-1 nanosat will carry an Android Smartphone and plans to use data rates of 9k6 or 19k2 bps for the AX.25 packet radio downlink on 437.575 MHz. A software-based speech synthesiser will be included to pay homage to the UOSAT family of satellites.

It’s not only the smartphone that makes it exceptional. Engineers at the Surrey Space Centre have also developed a unique mass and power saving plasma propulsion system to fly on the satellite. This system will provide very precise attitude control and pointing.

Dr. Chris Bridges from the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) will be giving a presentation on STRaND-1 to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, on September 15-16.

Read about the STRaND-1 nanosat in the Spring 2011 issue of Oscar News here.

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