STRaND-2 and OSCAR-5 in SatMagazine

The STRaND-2 nanosats feature in the June issue of the free publication SatMagazine.

These innovative satellites, being developed in the UK by the University of Surrey and SSTL, feature on pages 25 and 26 of the magazine

Additionally on page 71 there is a picture of the satellite OSCAR-5 that was built by radio amateurs at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Download the June 2012 SatMagazine at http://www.satmagazine.com/2012/SM_Jun2012.pdf

SatMagazine http://www.satmagazine.com/

STRaND-2 ‘Kinect’ Satellites Video http://www.uk.amsat.org/7851

Surrey Satellite to put Xbox parts in space http://www.uk.amsat.org/7771

‘Kinect’ STRaND-2 at UK Space Agency Conference http://www.uk.amsat.org/6795

STRaND-2 ‘Kinect’ Satellites Video

STRaND-2 NanosatsSTRaND-2, a twin nanosatellite mission from SSTL and the University of Surrey to test a novel in-orbit docking system using a gridded Lidar system based on the Microsoft Xbox Kinect games-controller technology.

Similar in design to STRaND-1, the identical twin satellites will each measure 30cm (3 unit Cubesat) in length, and utilise components from the Xbox Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes – thus allowing them to dock.

The STRaND team sees the relatively low cost nanosatellites as intelligent “space building blocks” that could be stacked together and reconfigured to build larger modular spacecraft.

Watch STRaND-2 Docking Nanosatellite.wmv

STRaND stands for Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration and the programme is intended to be 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 dependent on volunteers.

Further information at http://www.sstl.co.uk/divisions/earth-observation—science/science—exploration/strand-2-building-blocks-nanosatellite

‘Kinect’ STRaND-2 at UK Space Agency Conference http://www.uk.amsat.org/6795

Surrey Satellite to put Xbox parts in space http://www.uk.amsat.org/7771

The Register article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/28/sstl_strand_2_nanosat_xbox_kinect/

Thinking outside the box in space by BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18250755

STRaND on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nanosats

STRaND-2 ‘Kinect’ Satellites Video

STRaND-2, a twin nanosatellite mission from SSTL and the University of Surrey to test a novel in-orbit docking system using a gridded Lidar system based on the Microsoft Xbox Kinect games-controller technology.

Similar in design to STRaND-1, the identical twin satellites will each measure 30cm (3 unit Cubesat) in length, and utilise components from the Xbox Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes – thus allowing them to dock.

The STRaND team sees the relatively low cost nanosatellites as intelligent “space building blocks” that could be stacked together and reconfigured to build larger modular spacecraft.

Watch STRaND-2 Docking Nanosatellite.wmv

STRaND stands for Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstration and the programme is intended to be 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 dependent on volunteers.

Further information at http://www.sstl.co.uk/divisions/earth-observation—science/science—exploration/strand-2-building-blocks-nanosatellite

‘Kinect’ STRaND-2 at UK Space Agency Conference http://www.uk.amsat.org/6795

Surrey Satellite to put Xbox parts in space http://www.uk.amsat.org/7771

The Register article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/28/sstl_strand_2_nanosat_xbox_kinect/

Thinking outside the box in space by BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18250755

STRaND on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nanosats

Live Coverage of HORYU-II Launch May 17

Amateur Radio Satellite HORYU-2

The launch of amateur radio satellite HORYU-2 on Thursday, May 17 at 1639 UT will be broadcast live on the Internet. On the same launch will be the JAXA climate observation satellite SHIZUKU (GCOM-W).

The launch broadcast will commence at 1610 UT and can be seen at http://www.jaxa.jp/countdown/f21/live/index_e.html

Built by students at the Kyushu Institute of Technology (KIT) HORYU-2 is 350 * 310 * 315 mm and mass is 7.1 kg. It will be launched into a Sun-Synchronous 680 km orbit with an inclination of 98.2°.

The satellite’s callsign is JG6YBW and radio amateurs are asked to listen for the 437.375 MHz  (+/- 9 kHz Doppler shift) telemetry downlink that will be using 20 wpm Morse Code or 1200 bps AX.25 FSK packet radio. Details of the telemetry format are available here.

There will be a monthly competition for radio amateurs and listeners who send data received from the telemetry to the KIT server, via the HORYU-2 telemetry analysis software, details here.

The HORYU-2 telemetry software can be downloaded from here and an explanation of the software is here.

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs / KEPS) for new satellites launched in past 30 days
http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt

Amateur satellite Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs / KEPS) http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/amateur.txt

Among the experiments to be carried out on HORYU-2 are:

HORYU-2 discharge suppression solar cell side

300V power generation in LEO
In recent years, satellite size and power keep increasing. For large space platforms such as a space station, it is necessary to generate and transmit the power at a high voltage to minimize the Joule heating loss or the increase in the cable mass. It has been known that in LEO a solar array with a negative potential of 100 to 200V with respect to the plasma can suffer electrostatic discharge. Because of this, ISS power system was limited to 160V generation and 120V transmission. Generally speaking the transmission power is proportional to the square of the voltage. For a large space platform which requires 1MW-class power, such as a space hotel or a space factory, power generation at a voltage of 300 to 400V is required. The present HORYU-2 mission, 300V power generation in space without any discharge, is the first space environment test of the new technology that will be strongly demanded in near future. Also, as the satellite power employs higher voltage, there will be more demand for spacecraft charging mitigation.

Horyu-2 Structural Thermal Model

Horyu-2 Structural Thermal Model

Demonstration of COTS surface potential meter in space (Trek)
This mission demonstrates a surface potential meter in space. The potential meter has been developed by TREK, Inc. aiming for terrestrial commercial application. It is a contact type potential meter with extremely large input impedance so that the contact does not affect the charging state of the specimen. KIT is currently working with TREK, Inc. to convert the potential meter for extreme environments such as space or plasma processing chamber. The in-orbit demonstration is a part of the joint research program. To put the COTS device on HORYU-2, the electronics board and the consumed power have been reduced significantly.

When HORYU-2 passes through the aurora zone, differential charging may develop between the insulator surface and the satellite chassis. The potential meter will measure the potential of the insulator that is the same material to be used for SCM. The two measurements are compared to validate against each other.

Debris observation with debris sensor
This mission aims at detecting the micro-debris impact on the surface of HORYU-2. Space debris has become a serious threat to satellites in orbit. Observation of micro debris less than 1mm has been very difficult. The debris sensor consists of many conductive thin wired laid down in parallel in the area of 8×8 cm. Upon impact, some of the lines are cut and the resistance becomes infinite.

Taking photographs of the Earth
HORYU-2 aims to take pictures of the Earth using a small CMOS camera. The camera is called SCAMP (Surrey Camera Payload) and was developed by the University of Surrey, a sister university of KIT. SCAMP takes a JPEG format picture of 640×480 pixels. From 700km altitude, one pixel corresponds to 1.6km.

HORYU-2 Launch Information http://kitsat.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/Documents/information_launch_english.html

English language version of HORYU website http://kitsat.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/index_e_new.html

Japanese HORYU website in Google English http://tinyurl.com/HoryuSatellite

KIT HORYU Blog in Google English http://tinyurl.com/HORYU-Blog

Development of High Voltage Technology Demonstration Satellite, HORYU-2
http://kitsat.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/Documents/Nano-satellite-symposium-Final-paper_nishimura.pdf

KIT HORYU-2 Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/277436165678985/

HORYU-2 Japanese Operating Schedule http://tinyurl.com/HORYU-2-Schedule

HORYU-2 Telemetry Competition http://www.uk.amsat.org/7474

HORYU-2 CW Telemetry Decoder by DK3WN http://tinyurl.com/SatSoftwareDK3WN/

SimpleSatLookDown satellite tracking software http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=8217

MixW http://mixw.net/

UZ7HO Packet Radio Soundmodem http://wa8lmf.net/miscinfo

AGWPE Soundcard packet download page http://www.sv2agw.com/downloads/

Sound Card Packet Guide by Ralph Milnes KC2RLM
http://www.kc2rlm.info/soundcardpacket/

Sound card Interface http://www.southgatearc.org/articles/g0ftd/data_dummy_interface.htm

UISS Windows AX.25 Packet Software http://users.belgacom.net/hamradio/uiss.htm

DK3WN satellite decode software http://tinyurl.com/SatSoftwareDK3WN/

Metro Newspaper – The next space age: Cuberty

The May 14, 2012 edition of the Metro newspaper carried a story by Ben Gilliland on pages 26-27 about CubeSats. Among those mentioned is the UK amateur radio Android smartphone CubeSat STRaND-1 which is being built by volunteers at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC).

The online edition of the Metro newspaper can be read at http://e-edition.metro.co.uk/2012/05/14/ You will be prompted for an email address but anything that looks like an email address will keep the prompt happy and you can then read the newspaper.

Ben Gilliland’s article is also available on the CosmOnline website at
http://www.cosmonline.co.uk/blog/2012/05/14/next-space-age-cuberty

You can read about STRaND-1 in the AMSAT-UK publication OSCAR News here

STRaND-1 on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nanosats

UK CubeSat Plasma Propulsion Thruster

STRaND-1 CubeSat Plasma Propulsion Test

STRaND-1 CubeSat Plasma Propulsion Thruster

The amateur radio STRaND-1 smartphone CubeSat is a joint project between SSTL and the Surrey Space Centre (SSC). It’s not only its 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 be the first propulsive technology to provide very precise attitude control and pointing.

STRaND-1 will carry both a Resistojet and a Pulsed Plasma Thruster (PPT) module on board. The PPT will consist of eight micro thrusters; four located at the top of the satellite stack and four located at the bottom. The micro thrusters operate by discharging a discrete train of pulses. Each pulse is a plasma discharge that forms between two metal electrodes, much like a small lightning bolt or electrical spark. The spark erodes the metal from the electrodes and electromagnetics accelerate the eroded mass out of the nozzle, which produces thrust. This is known as the Lorentz force.

Surrey Space Centre has developed two ways of minimising mass and volume. Firstly, the electrodes which form the plasma discharge also function as the propellant. As metal is highly dense, more propellant can be stored in a smaller volume than that of conventional chemical propulsion systems. The total weight of the propellant for the whole STRaND-1 PPT system is just 10g.

Secondly, Surrey Space Centre’s novel discharge initiation system uses a mechanical contact trigger built out of a tiny piezoelectric motor only 5mm in length. This takes up less space than the conventional spark plug system which requires volume intensive circuitry.

A video of the Pulsed Plasma Thruster firing can be seen st http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150533409463432

Download a video of the STRaND-1 presentation given at the 2011 AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford from http://www.batc.tv/vod/Strand.flv

A six page article on STRaND-1 appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of the AMSAT-UK publication OSCAR News available for download at http://www.uk.amsat.org/on_193_final.pdf

UK Amateur Radio Smartphone CubeSat STRaND-1 http://www.uk.amsat.org/1942

STRaND on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/nanosats