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UKube-1 cubesat payload animation

UKube-1 is a UK designed and built cubesat (30x10x10 cm) made by Clyde Space. The on-board payloads are a variety of technology testbeds from collaborators i...
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Space Exploration on the Cheap: Kickstarter Sensation NanoSatisfi will Launch in 2013

Space Exploration on the Cheap: Kickstarter Sensation NanoSatisfi will Launch in 2013 | NanoSat Following | Scoop.it

While information technology may be advancing exponentially—the pace of the space race has seemed glacial since the 1970s. By now, most of us are used to a top-down, monolithic model of space exploration with associated costs liable to make Dr. Evil blush. The message? Space exploration is not for you.

 

But a new generation of space startups is aiming to change all that. It’s the people’s space race, and companies like San Francisco’s NanoSatisfi dream of making space exploration affordable and accessible for students, researchers, and hobbyists. While SpaceX grabs glitzy headlines by lowering launch costs (who doesn’t like rockets?), NanoSatisfi is working the other end of the equation. How to increase the efficiency of every pound we send up—and how to better harness the market to innovate further improvements.

 

If all goes to plan, NanoSatisfi will have supporters of their Kickstarter sensation ArduSat snapping photos, uploading applications, and running experiments from orbit within a year. NanoSatisfi is based out of a collective workspace provided by tech incubator, Lemnos Labs, and situated near the ballpark in downtown San Francisco. Upon arrival, one is greeted by a nondescript front door sporting a few haphazardly labeled buzzers. The team works alongside a number of other tech startups. One group is laboring over hamburger technology. Another has their eye on the perfectly roasted coffee bean. A third is working on commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) tech. And nestled in with the rest, NanoSatisfi is designing and building satellites.

 

Huge satellite projects, years in the making, rarely if ever make the most of the newest technology. Further, they are extremely costly, non-standard, and require highly specialized technical skills to build and operate. NanoSatisfi (and others) aim to tear down these barriers to entry with the CubeSat. CubeSats are standardized small satellites, 10 centimeters to a side and weighing a kilogram or less. They are cheaper to build and launch (by orders of magnitude) than traditional satellites. But CubeSats alone are still fairly expensive—a few hundred grand, all in.

 

So, NanoSatisfi will design, build, and launch their own CubeSat—and here’s the key—with a user-programmable Arduino-based computer and a suite of 20 instruments. Researchers, students, and hackers can then rent satellite time and upload applications to the CubeSat from Earth for a modest sum. Platzer notes, “Disruptive technology makes non-users into users.” Because of the costs and technical hurdles of space exploration there are many, many non-users. Pretty much all of us in fact. But provide an uplink to a pre-fabricated CubeSat already in orbit, and you open the field to thousands. Platzer says NanoSatisfi chose Kickstarter to validate the product in the marketplace and gauge demand. Post-Kickstarter they’ve opened a $1 million angel round to fund the next phase of the business. “The angel round is doing very well. We literally started beginning of last week, and as of today, we are 75% done already.” The firm is searching for advisors and wants to assemble a board rich with experience and talent. “At the end of the day, I’m 100% invested in the success of the company, and if that means we give up a little equity early on, then we do that.” For now, the team is focused on their Kickstarter project, ArduSat—a user controlled Arduino-based computer and sensor array, housed in a GOMSpace 1U CubeSat powered by solar panels.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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UK: STRaND-1 – world's first smartphone-based satellite set to launch | GizMag.com

UK: STRaND-1 – world's first smartphone-based satellite set to launch | GizMag.com | NanoSat Following | Scoop.it

The University of Surrey’s Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) are set to launch the world’s first smartphone-based satellite. Built around a Google Nexus One smartphone running on the Android operating system, the STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) satellite will also be the U.K.’s first CubeSat to go into space.

Weighing only 4.3 kilograms (9.5 lb) and standing 30 centimeters (11.8 in) tall, its one of a special class of satellites known as nanosatellites (nanosats), which are satellites with a wet mass between 1 and 10 kg (2.2 and 22 lb). Relying on a off-the-shelf consumer gear helped the team complete building and testing of the STRaND-1 in just three months. The logic is that smartphones already contain much of what a satellite needs, such as cameras, radio links, accelerometers and high performance computer processors. According to SSTL, the only things it lacks are solar panels and propulsion.

 

In addition to the smartphone, the STRaND-1 also packs a new high-speed Linux-based CubeSat computer developed by SSC. Its job is to operate the satellite during the first phase of the mission when a series of experimental “apps” will be put through their paces. Then, in phase two, the smartphone will take over as mission control back at the University of Surrey tests how the smartphone components stand up to the space environment.

 

Click headline to read more, view pix and watch video clip--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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With 2 More Cubesats in Orbit, Earth-imaging Startup Planet Labs Ships Next Batch of 28 to Wallops | SpaceNews.com

With 2 More Cubesats in Orbit, Earth-imaging Startup Planet Labs Ships Next Batch of 28 to Wallops | SpaceNews.com | NanoSat Following | Scoop.it

SAN FRANCISCO — Planet Labs, the San Francisco company planning to establish the world’s largest Earth imaging constellation, announced Nov. 26 the successful launch of two satellites and shipment to Virginia of 28 additional spacecraft in preparation for their December launch. 

 

On Nov. 21, Planet Labs sent triple cubesats Dove 3 and Dove 4 into polar orbit on a Dnepr rocket from Russia’s Yasny launch site. “The launch was extremely successful,” said William Marshall, Planet Labs co-founder and chief executive. “They went into precisely the orbit we wanted. We have also successfully made contact.”

 

The latest additions to the Planet Labs fleet offer improvements in the capability provided by the firm’s first satellites launched in April, Dove 1 and Dove 2, which also were triple cubesats measuring 10 centimeters by 10 centimeters by 30 centimeters.

 

Dove 3 and Dove 4 will demonstrate the firm’s latest technology, including upgraded communications, attitude control and observation technology. “We like to iterate our satellite designs very rapidly,” Marshall said. “It’s the same compact form factor as Dove 1 and Dove 2, but we have stuck in more capability.”


Via Stratocumulus
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3D Printing of cubesat structure

Fablab Aachen printed the prototype of our cubesat structure. We are developing a low cost space probe. The first system is planned to be sent into orbit in ...
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UB-SEDS/Nanosat High Altitude Balloon Launch 3/31/14

Launch: University at Buffalo North Campus, Amherst, NY Landing: In a tree, Warsaw, NY Balloon: Novalynx 800g Tracking: 144.39 MHz APRS, 900 MHz, Spot Tracke...
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Quand les Nanosat prennent de l'altitude

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EEVblog #519 - Ardusat Arduino Based CubeSat Satellite

Jonathan Oxer from Freetronics talks about the Ardusat project and shows his Arduino based cluster board for running Arduino sketches in space at the Melbour...
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