UKSA announces CubeSat payload opportunity

UKSA - UK Space Agency LogoThe UK Space Agency (UKSA) has announced an opportunity to fly payloads on the 3U CubeSat AlSat-1N.

AlSat-Nano is primarily an education programme, its top level objective is to teach Algerian students how to design, build and operate a 3U CubeSat. The programme involves a number of Algerian graduate students who will be hosted at the Surrey Space Centre (University of Surrey) and focuses on the development of the CubeSat as a hands-on learning exercise for the students, to demonstrate the practical implementation of this type of low cost space technology.

As well as the practical element of the programme there will be a focus on research modules around the use of low cost nano-satellite technologies and applications in developing nations such as Algeria, which would help to create sustainable growth and have practical uses such as earthresource management (agriculture, water), atmospheric monitoring, and disaster management.

The design and build of the nano-satellite will take place at Surrey Space Centre. Final assembly, integration and verification will take place at the ASAL satellite development facility in Oran, Algeria. Operations will be carried out from Oran also.

The bus will be built using hardware sourced from UK suppliers and the CubeSat will also carry payloads which will be supplied by the UK CubeSat community. These payloads will be selected in a competitive process following an Announcement of Flight Opportunity which will be issued in December 2014.

The precise interface specifications will be developed during the first trimester of the project to be integrated in the Announcement of Opportunity, however it is foreseen that a maximum volume of 1U (10cm x 10cm x 10cm) and maximum mass of 1kg will be available for payloads. The selection of the payloads will be carried out in early 2015 via a selection panel.

Payloads must be ready for functional testing and integration by September 2015. Launch will be in Q2 2016. Because of the educational and collaborative nature of the programme there are two further specific points that should be noted:
• Payload providers must be actively engaged in all programme reviews and an active participant in the consortium
• Payload providers must be willing to share payload data with the programme for research purposes, and to receive interpreted payload data via the ASAL ground segment in Oran, Algeria

Submissions should be sent to Ryan King, UK Space Agency – ryan.king@ukspaceagency.bis.gsi.gov.uk with ‘AlSat-Nano RFI’ as the subject line. The deadline for responses is 12 noon, November 14th 2014. Submissions received after this time will not be read.

RFI PDF https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/362794/AlSat-Nano_Request_for_Information.pdf

UK Space Agency Announcement
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/request-for-information-alsat-nano-payload