SA AMSAT Turns to Innovation for its Cubesat

Southern Africa AMSAT LogoHans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV gave a presentation “SA AMSAT Turns to Innovation for its Cubesat” at the 2013 AMSAT Space Symposium in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, November 2, 2013.

The mission aim of the KLETSkous Cubesat is to give Radio Amateurs in Southern Africa easy access to a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite on as many of the available passes as possible. KLETSkous will carry a 435 to 145 MHz linear transponder and will carry a scientific experiment for school projects.

Hans also described another transponder opportunity with the Africa Resource Management Constellation of Satellites.

It is hoped that DynaCube, constructed by Interns at the Denel Dynamics Engineering Academy, will launch in 2014. The CubeSat will have downlinks on 145.980 MHz and 145.840 MHz and aims to explore the South Atlantic Anomaly during orbits over the area.

ZACube-1 is due to launch on November 21, 2013 with FUNcube-1 (they share the same launch pod). This CubeSat will carry beacons on 14.999 MHz and 437.345 MHz.

Watch ZS6AKV: SA AMSAT Turns to Innovation for its Cubesat (presentation at 2013 AMSAT Symposium)




14099 kHz CPUT CubeSat to launch in 2013

Dr Sandile Malinga, CEO of the South African Space Agency
unveils South Africa’s first CubeSat – Image credit CPUT

The amateur radio CubeSat designed and built by students at the Cape Peninsular University of Technology in Bellville is expected to launch in the 4th quarter of 2013.

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The First African CubeSat ZACUBE-1

Dr Sandile Malinga, CEO of the South African Space Agency
unveils South Africa’s CubeSat Program – Image credit CPUT

Since the defenceWeb article was written it is believed ZACUBE-1 and ZACUBE-2 have changed designation and the references to the 3U Cubesat ZACUBE-1 should instead read ZACUBE-2.

Students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) have been building an amateur radio 3U CubeSat ZACUBE-1 that will carry out propagation research using a beacon on 14.099 MHz.

The objectives of the mission are:

1) Training of post-graduate students in Satellite Systems Engineering.

2) Earth observation using a visible band matrix imager payload and an S-Band payload data transmitter (2.4 to 2.45 GHz).

3) UHF Store & Forward system (70 cm amateur band).

4) Experimental 115200 bps L-Band to S-band data transponder.

5) HF beacon payload for characterization of Hermanus Magnetic Observatory’s Dual Auroral Radar Network antenna at SANAE base in Antarctica (14 MHz).

ZACUBE-1 will conform to the 3U CubeSat standard with a maximum separated mass of 4 kg. The spacecraft will be 3-axis stabilized using a novel Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) developed by the University of Stellenbosch. The spacecraft’s Telemetry, Tracking, and Command (TT&C) system will operate in the 70 cm band and will be commanded from the amateur ground station at CPUT.

The website defenceWeb quotes a launch date of 2013.

The IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel have agreed these frequencies:
Uplinks on 437.525 MHz and 1260.25 MHz and downlinks on 437.345 MHz and 2405.00 MHz.

Renier Siebrits ZS1MIR gave this presentation about the project on August 7, 2011.

Watch ZACUBE-1

CPUT students are currently involved in the development of a second amateur radio CubeSat, ZACUBE-2, which will be 10x10x10 cm with a mass of one kilogram.

CPUT unveils South Africa’s first CubeSat

CPUT CubeSat Projects

defenceWeb: South Africa’s CubeSats promoting space ambitions

Southern African Amateur Radio Satellite Association (SA AMSAT)

United Nations General Assembly Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space – Implementing small satellite programmes: technical, managerial, regulatory and legal issues November 28, 2011