KLETSKOUS CubeSat Update

KLETSkous LogoThe KLETSKOUS satellite team is making good progress. SA AMSAT reports that the KLETSKOUS team made some major progress during the past few weeks.

Currently the team is researching a new type of battery. It was planned to use Lithium Ion but one of the negatives about Lithium Ion is that it may suffer thermal runaway, which increases the risk of fire. Companies, like NEC, have developed a Lithium-Iron battery using lithium Iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as the cathode material. Generally, anodes of most batteries are made of carbon. As safety and reliability is the first concern for any battery being used on a satellite, it should not get overheated or catch fire in case of overcharging. The Lithium-Iron battery has superior chemical and thermal stability.

The team is in the process of acquiring Lithium Iron batteries to run tests. If the decision is to switch to Lithium Iron Phosphate, some modifications will have to be made to the charging circuit in the power unit but Fritz Sutherland, ZS6FSJ, says that it is not a major problem and will not delay the construction of the next prototype of the power unit.

Frik Wolff, ZS6FZ, has finalised the layout of the solar panels and Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP, will now proceed to mount the solar cells on a test board, which has to be carried out in a vacuum chamber. Work has also commenced on the magnetic stabilisation of Kletskous, which will be achieved by the use of orthogonal rod magnets. ZS6FZ is current working on this and reported good progress with a prototype ready for testing.

Work on the On Board Controller (OBC) is also progressing well. The first two prototypes have been completed. Brain McKenzie, ZS6BNM, is now working closely with team members to establish their telemetry point requirements and interfaces.

Nico van Rensburg,  ZS6QL, has  been working on the specifications and configuration management  and has put a first draft on the table. The team meets via Skype on a fortnightly basis to discuss progress and plan the next steps.

Funding remains a major challenge. Radio Amateurs are urged to support the local CubeSat programme by donating to the SA AMSAT CubeSat building fund. Donors are acknowledged on the SA AMSAT web at http://www.amasatsa.org.za/

Source South African Radio League (SARL) http://www.sarl.org.za/

KLETSKOUS Linear Transponder Demonstration