PrintSat – An Amateur Radio 3D Printer CubeSat

The image shows the building of a CubeSat with Additive Manufacturing with the WINDFORM XT. Image Credit Windform

Students at Montana Sate University (MSU) are planning to build their new amateur radio satellite PrintSat with nano-carbon-impregnated plastic using a 3D printer.

David Klumpar KD7MFJ of MSU said 3D printing “will further lower the costs and speed the development of very small satellites, enabling future scientific missions comprised of dozens of satellites flying in formation.”

Jim White WD0E, president of Colorado Satellite Services, explained that “Additive manufacturing (also called 3-D printing) has evolved in the past few years to be a very inexpensive and fast way to make mechanical parts. With PrintSat, the entire structure of the small satellite will be printed. As the first use of additive manufacturing for a satellite, we plan to show it’s not only cheaper and faster, but that we can make parts that cannot be made in traditional ways.”

When in orbit PrintSat will measure and report on the characteristics of the Windform XT2.0 printed material and plating during its mission life in order to verify the utility of additive manufacturing for spacecraft structures and mechanisms.

PrintSat plans to use the same frequencies as RAMPART and use GMSK 9k6 Ax.25 packet radio. It is aiming for a May 2103 launch from the Wallops Flight Facility into a 500km 40 degree inclination orbit.

Other satellites planning to fly on the same launch include Blacknight-1, Spa-1 Trailblazer, Phonesat, Kysat- II, Rampart, NPS-SCAT, Copper, TJSat, Tethersat, Lunar orbiter/lander CubeSat, Swampsat, Cape-2, Dragonsat-1 and Ethersat.

Montana State University Space Science and Engineering Laboratory https://ssel.montana.edu/

Windform XT2.0 http://www.windform.it/windform-xt-2-0-en.html

IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Status Pages http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru

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

Surrey Satellite to put Xbox parts in space

Surrey-based researchers are to build Xbox Kinect hardware into twin satellites in an auto-docking experiment.

The microsatellites, to be called STRaND-2, are being developed by University of Surrey and Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL), with the Kinect providing its 3D laser scanner.

CubeSat is a mechanical standard for miniature satellites. In this case, the spacecraft will be ‘3U’ CubeSats each measuring 10x10x30cm and weighing under 4kg.

“Docking systems have never been employed on such small and low cost missions and are usually reserved for big-budget space missions to the International Space Station or historically, the Mir space station and the Apollo programme,” said SSTL.

They will dock many times, initially with ground intervention, then increasingly automatically.

SSTL’s speciality, through extensive testing, is selecting commercial electronic hardware which can be used in space – STRaND-2’s scanners will come out of actual Kinects.

Inspiration for the flight came from an experiment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where a tiny helicopter equipped with Kinect hardware was used to scan rooms as it flew through them, allowing a 3D model of the environment to be built, said SSTL project leader Shuan Kenyon.

The University of Surrey and SSTL team has already developed STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator), and was looking for a further challenge.

STRaND-1, another 3U CubeSat, will famously carry a mobile phone into orbit and send data direct to schools.

STRaND-1 is also one of the most manoeuvrable small satellites ever built, with eight micro-thrusters providing rotation in three axes as well as lateral movement in two dimensions. A separate gas jet provides thrust in the third linear dimension.

If two similar satellites can be made to dock, the team is proposing larger self-assembling structures made of many, perhaps dozens, of CubeSats.

“It may seem far-fetched, but our low cost nanosatellites could dock to build large and sophisticated modular structures such as space telescopes,” said Surrey university project head Dr Chris Bridges. “Unlike today’s big space missions, these could be reconfigured as mission objectives change, and upgraded in orbit with the latest available technologies.”

“I think by STRaND-4, we should be able to build the USS Enterprise,” quipped Kenyon.

Other ideas include using small mobile scanning satellites to inspect larger spacecraft.

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

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

Listen to HORYU-2 on the Web

Andrei YO8SSQ and Cezar YO8TLC have made available a web based receiver to enable listeners to hear the new amateur radio satellite HORYU-2 when it’s within range of Romania.

The WebSDR receiver is located at the Astronomical Observatory Department of “Stefan cel Mare” University in Suceava, Romania, latitude 47.6417N longitude 26.2453E, grid locator KN37cp. The height ASL is 350m.

The hardware consists of two SDR receivers which are fed into 48 kHz sound cards on an AMD Sempron 2600+ computer running Vector Linux.

The web page displays a track showing the current position of HORYU-2 and also provides coverage of the 3.5 MHz (80m) band.

Listen to the HORYU-2 and 80m WebSDR at http://sdr.opt.ro:8901/

More information about HORYU-2 437.375 MHz (+/- 9 kHz Doppler shift) at
http://www.uk.amsat.org/7404

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

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

HORYU-2 Separation Video http://www.uk.amsat.org/7540

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

More information about the WebSDR project can be found at http://www.websdr.org/

SpaceX Dragon to Blast-Off to ISS

Classroom preperation for the student spaceflight experiments program SSEP

On Tuesday, May 22 at 07:44 UT SpaceX’s Dragon hopes to transport the student payload Aquarius on SSEP Mission 1 to the International Space Station (ISS).

The set of SSEP Mission 1 experiments, called Aquarius, was originally slated to fly aboard the Soyuz 30. But in an interesting twist of fate, the experiments were re-manifested on the maiden voyage of the SpaceX Dragon to the ISS. Aquarius not only becomes part of a historic first but also allows the space station to remain an out-of-this-world platform to engage students in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The SpaceX Dragon launch will be broadcast live on the Internet details at
http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

NASA – Space Station — Here We Come!
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/station-here-we-come.html