Find out about the BIS KickSat Sprite satellite

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

The British Interplanetary Society (BIS) invites those wishing to find out more about their KickSat Sprite to attend an end-to-end test day on Saturday, May 4.

The BIS invites people to participate in project KickSat, or simply come along to find out more.

Aims for the day
• End-to-end test – KickSat Sprite transmission to reception and decoded signal
• Connecting an antenna to the souvenir Sprite and getting the radio working
• Programming Sprites, including obtaining readings from the temperature sensor

Discussions on the day are likely to include:
• Programming options; less/more, safe/ambitious, pro’s/cons of each, etc.
• Ground stations; receiving, decoding, aggregating
• Virtualizing Sprites or creating mock-ups for testing

The following equipment will be available on the day:
• KickSat Sprite developer kit
• Souvenir sprite, antenna, solar cells, soldering equipment and a launchpad
• FUNcube dongles (at least one Pro and at least one Pro+)
• Laptop, projector and Wi-Fi

Bringing a laptop will be helpful for anyone wanting to participate. Also, bringing equipment to receive the test signals on a computer will be greatly appreciated.

The event takes place on Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 11:00 am to 5 pm at 27/29 South Lambeth Road, London, SW8 1SZ

Information about KickSat can be found at:
http://www.bis-space.com/category/bis-projects
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zacinaction/kicksat-your-personal-spacecraft-in-space

Further information and attendance registration at
http://www.bis-space.com/2013/04/14/9755/kicksat-end-to-end-testing

16 year-old UK student to work on KickSat Sprite
https://amsat-uk.org/2013/04/23/uk-student-to-work-on-kicksat/

The KickSat Sprites from both the BIS and London Hackspace are planned to launch, with 198 others, on the SpaceX Falcon 9 ELaNa 5 / CRS 3 mission on December 9, 2013.

16 year-old UK student to work on KickSat Sprite

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

The Yorkshire Post reports that Luke Bussell, who is a Year 11 student at Bootham School and a member of the school’s astronomy group, got more than he bargained for when he started doing his research for the annual Society for the History of Astronomy essay prize.

Choosing to write about the history of unmanned exploration of Mars, he contacted the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) to quiz their experts in this fascinating field.

They were so impressed with the depth of Luke’s IT skills that they have recruited him as a software engineer to work on the amateur radio KickSat project, which will the see the design, building and testing of very small spacecraft called Sprites.

Luke, who lives near York, said:

“I did not realise that I would be working on something that might be going into space.”

“It’s very exciting.”

“It’s good as I am only sixteen. I think that my family are quite proud,” he added.

Read the full Yorkshire Post story at
http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/general-news/video-star-pupil-is-hired-for-space-project-1-5605332

The KickSat Sprites from both the BIS and London Hackspace are planned to launch on the SpaceX Falcon 9 ELaNa 5 / CRS 3 mission early in 2014.

British Interplanetary Society KickSat Sprite programming and planning day
https://amsat-uk.org/2013/03/25/bis-kicksat-programming-planning-day/

KickSat Sprite Technical Summary
http://www.bis-space.com/2013/03/09/9301/kicksat-technical-summary

KickSat to deploy 128 Sprite satellites
https://amsat-uk.org/2012/09/21/kicksat-to-deploy-200-sprite-satellites/

British Interplanetary Society KickSat Sprite programming and planning day

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

Members and non-members are invited to a BIS KickSat 437 MHz Sprite satellite programming and planning day.

The event takes place on March 30, 2013, 11am-4pm at 27/29 South Lambeth Road, London, SW8 1SZ and has these aims:
• Developer kit: setup and programming tests
• Souvenir Sprite: soldering and programming tests
• Radio testing: receive test signals
• Other: agree next steps, owners and dates

Participation is encouraged, but not required.

The following equipment will be available on the day:
• KickSat Sprite developer kit
• Souvenir sprite, wires, soldering equipment and a launchpad
• FUNcube dongle and aerial (tbc – they are in the post)
• Laptop, projector and Wi-Fi

Bringing a laptop will be helpful. Also, if anyone can bring portable equipment to receive the test signals, this will also be much appreciated.

Further information at
http://www.bis-space.com/2013/03/24/9482/kicksat-programming-and-planning-day

KickSat Sprite Technical Summary
http://www.bis-space.com/2013/03/09/9301/kicksat-technical-summary

The KickSat Sprites from both the BIS and London Hackspace are planned to launch, with 198 others, on the ELaNa 5 / CRS 3 mission in mid to late Summer.

KickSat to deploy 200 Sprite satellites
https://amsat-uk.org/2012/09/21/kicksat-to-deploy-200-sprite-satellites/

FUNcube Yahoo Group http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube

KickSat-1 Sprite Amateur Radio Frequencies

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

KickSat-1 is an amateur radio CubeSat technology demonstration mission designed to demonstrate the deployment and operation of 128 prototype Sprites (also referred to as ChipSats or femtosatellites) which were developed by radio amateur Zac Manchester KD2BHC at Cornell University.

315 individual sponsors donated $74,586 to the project through the crowd-source funding website Kickstarter.

KickSat-1 is planned to launch on ELaNa-5 / CRS-3 from Cape Canaveral in early 2014 into a 325 x 315 km 51.5 degree inclination orbit. The CubeSat will operate on 2401.2-2436.2 MHz and when deployed all the 128 Sprites will operate on a single frequency 437.240 MHz and use CDMA. It is believed this will be the largest ever single deployment of satellites.

It the UK both the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) and London Hackspace are developing Sprites for this mission.

ChipSats like the Sprite represent a disruptive new space technology that will both open space access to hobbyists and students and enable new types of science missions.

The Sprite is a tiny spacecraft that includes power, sensor, and communication systems on a printed circuit board measuring 3.5 by 3.5 cm with a thickness of 2.5 mm and a mass of about 5 grams. It is intended as a general-purpose sensor platform for micro-electro-mechanical (MEMS) or other chip-scale sensors with the ability to downlink data to ground stations from LEO.

Sprites in Space

Sprites in Space

KickSat is a 3U CubeSat being built to carry and deploy the Sprites. A 1U avionics bus will provide power, communications, and command and data handling functions. A 2U deployer has been developed to house the Sprites. Approximately 128 will be stacked atop a spring-loaded pusher and secured by a nichrome burn wire system.

After being released from the P-POD, KickSat will perform a de-tumble maneuver and establish communication with Cornell’s ground station. After check-out, the spacecraft will be put in a sun-pointing attitude and spun up to maintain that attitude.

A command signal from the ground station will then trigger the deployment and the Sprites will be released as free-flying spacecraft. After deployment, telemetry and sensor measurements from the individual Sprites will be received through Cornell’s amateur radio satellite ground station in Ithaca, NY, as well as several other amateur radio ground stations throughout the world.

KickSat

KickSat

The Sprites are expected to reenter the atmosphere and burn up within a few days or weeks depending on atmospheric conditions. The maximum orbital lifetime is estimated at 6 weeks.

KickSat Downlink Frequency: 2401.2-2436.2 MHz RF Output Power: 1W ITU Emission Designator: 350KF1D Description: AX.25 over FSK.

Sprite Frequency Band: 437.240 MHz. Output Power: 10 mW ITU Emission Designator: 50K0G1D. Description: MSK modulated binary data with each data bit modulated as a 511 bit PRN sequence. All Sprites operate on a single frequency and use CDMA.

Zac Manchester KD2BHC has said they are aiming for the Sprites to be receivable using an AMSAT-UK FUNcube Dongle SDR.

As well as KickSat-1 several other amateur radio CubeSats are being launched from Cape Canaveral in early 2014 on ELaNa-5 / CRS-3 into a 325 x 315km 51.5 degree inclination orbit. They are: DragonSat-1 – USNA and Drexel University, Trailblazer – University of New Mexico, PrintSat – Montana State University, All-Star/THEIA – University of Colorado, UNP-6 Radar Calibration CubeSat – University of Hawaii, PhoneSat – NASA ARC, MisST – NASA ARC.

More information from http://www.spacecraftresearch.com/MII/MII_overview.html

The current KickSat and Ground Station source code is available at https://github.com/zacinaction/kicksat

KickSat – Zac Manchester KD2BHC Interview http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=3730

BIS Sprite technical information http://www.bis-space.com/2013/03/09/9301/kicksat-technical-summary

London Hackspace work on HackSat1 http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=2482

KickSat – a personal spacecraft of your own in space http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=2164

Kicksat on Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zacinaction/kicksat-your-personal-spacecraft-in-space

IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel status page http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru

Kickstarter crowdfunding site launches in the UK

Kickstarter, which been used to fund a number of Amateur Radio projects in the USA, has now launched in the UK.

Radio ham Zac Manchester KD2BHC used Kickstarter to raise $74,586 in donations to fund the development and deployment of 200 amateur radio KickSat sprite satellites.

The amateur radio satellite project ArduSat managed to raise donations of $106,330 in just 30 days.

Kickstarter is not just about raising large sums of money, for example Sandy Antunes used Kickstarter to raise $2,780 to buy a ham radio transceiver and antennas to create an amateur radio satellite ground station Calliope

Read the BBC News report at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20145764

Kickstarter in the UK http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/kickstarter-in-the-uk

KickSat to Deploy 200 Sprite Satellites

KickSat

KickSat

KickSat is an amateur radio CubeSat technology demonstration mission designed to demonstrate the deployment and operation of prototype Sprite “ChipSats” (femtosatellites) developed at Cornell University by Zac Manchester KD2BHC.

It plans to launch on ELaNa-5 / CRS-3 from Cape Canaveral in July 2013 into a 325 x 315km 51.5 degree inclination orbit. Kicksat-1 will operate on 2401.2-2436.2 MHz and when deployed all the 200 Sprites will operate on a single frequency 437.240 MHz and use CDMA. It is believed this will be the largest ever deployment of satellites.

Continue reading