Nanosatellite Separation Experiment Using a P-POD Deployment Mechanism

AMSAT-UK_Bevelled_LogoThese video shows CubeSat deployment experiments carried out in a weightless environment on the “Vomit Comet” aircraft by students from the University of Texas.

The team write:

Nanosatellites are becoming increasingly common in the aerospace industry due to their reduced size, small mass, and economical cost. These small satellites will often operate in groups rather than as single satellites, and once they are clear of the carrier, separate from one another.One topic of immense interest is the characterization of the separation dynamics of such satellites.

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FCC Guidance On Obtaining Licenses For Small Satellites

Image of a CubeSat in Space

Image of a CubeSat in Space

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice to provide guidance concerning FCC licensing of spectrum for use by small satellites, including satellites that fall within the categories of pico-satellites, nano-satellites and cubesats.

The advent of such small satellite designs has brought with it dramatically lower launch costs, enabling a larger range of organizations to directly launch satellites. Institutions such as universities and research organizations that previously found it cost prohibitive to launch their own satellite can now participate in the exploration of space. Many of these participants may be unfamiliar with the spectrum licensing, scheduling and other requirements attendant on satellites. This Public Notice seeks to alert affected parties of these requirements and thus aid small satellite operators in the planning necessary for a successful launch operation.

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IITMSat Satellite Project at AAS-AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Meeting

Deepti Kannapan 23rd AAS-AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Meeting 2013-02

Deepti Kannapan at the 23rd AAS-AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Meeting

The 2013 Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, hosted by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) and co-hosted by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) took place in Kauai, Hawaii, February 10-14, 2013.

At the meeting Deepti Kannapan presented her paper on a new attitude control algorithm developed as a part of her Dual Degree Project. This algorithm is being implemented in the IIT Madras Student Satellite (IITMSat) that is being developed by students at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

IITMSat Primary Mission Objectives:
• To design, fabricate, test and launch a small-satellite (15kg), that demonstrates all features of satellite functioning, and build a ground station for collection of data from the satellite
• To measure the energy spectrum of protons and electrons beneath the inner-Van Allen radiation belt boundary (600-800 km) to aid earthquake prediction studies
• Interpret the data received from the satellite and analyze the effects of solar flares, lightning storms and seismic activity on the radiation belts

23rd AAS-AIAA conference schedule


IITMSat on Facebook

Nanosat Launch Concept

Did you ever wonder how Nanosatellites are being launched ?
Well, Meidad Pariente has edited a video produced by the Aalto-1 team that explains how such a task is performed.

Both the edited and original videos are shown.

Aalto-1 is a student CubeSat project of Aalto University, Finland that plans to operate at VHF-UHF and there will also be an S-band transmitter. Up to 8 watts of power will be available from the Solar panels.

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New Satellite Launch Vehicle To Carry CubeSat Swarm in 2013

Super Strypi – SPARK

2013 should see the first flight of a new satellite launch vehicle.

Super Strypi, also known as SPARK (Space-borne Payload Assist Rocket – Kauai), has been developed by Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Hawaii and Aerojet. The rocket is based on an enlarged version of Sandia’s Strypi sounding rocket.

The all solid fueled vehicle uses a GEM-46 (LEO-46) motor of Delta-2H heritage as first stage. A Orbus-7S (LEO-7) motor acts as second stage and a Star-30BP (Spark-30) or an Orbus-1 (LEO-1) as third stage. It is spin and fin stabilized during fist stage burn and has attitude control for the two upper stages. The low cost rocket will be launched from a rail launcher and can put a payload of 250 kg into a 400 km sun-synchronous orbit.

The Super Strypi vehicle will be launched from a rail-launcher at Barking Sands, Kauai (Pacific Missile Range Facility) towards the end of 2013.

Conceptual representation of a cluster of EDSN satellites illustrating their ability to communicate and share data as a network.  Credit NASA

Super Strypi will be carrying a swarm of CubeSats, the Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN). The CubeSats are an unusual size of 10 by 10 by 15 cm (1.5U) and weigh 2 kg. The EDSN swarm will demonstrate distributed, multipoint space weather measurement and are expected to operate for at least 60 days and have an orbit life-time of up to 4 years.

ORS Project – Super Strypi

Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Project – Super Strypi

NASA – Small Spacecraft Technology Program

Gunter’s Space Page 2013

Winter Issue of OSCAR News

E-members of AMSAT-UK can now download the PDF of the Winter edition of the OSCAR News magazine here. (As well as the earlier 2012 issues)

The paper edition is at the printers and should be posted to members within 2 weeks.

In this issue
• IARU Region 3 Chairman Michael Owen, VK3KI (SK)
• Amateur Radio Satellites – The First 25 Years
• G3CVI column “Haven’t got a callsign?”
• Low Noise Cavity Pre-Amplifier 70 cm EME and satellites by Domenico Marini, i8CVS
• Early Editions of Oscar News
• FUNcube Update
• Currently Active Spacecraft
• Shorts

The AMSAT-UK Membership year lasts for 12 months starting on January 1 each year.


AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

Membership of AMSAT-UK is open to anyone who has an interest in amateur radio satellites or space activities, including the International Space Station (ISS).

E-members of AMSAT-UK are able to download OSCAR News as a convenient PDF that can be read on laptops, tablets or smartphones anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Join as an E-member at Electronic (PDF) E-membership

There are two rates for the paper edition to cover the extra postage costs:
Rest of the World (Overseas)

See a PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” at

Join AMSAT-UK using PayPal, Debit or Credit card at

E-members can download their copies of OSCAR News from