small sats

Source: Sam Coniglio*

Open Source Satellite

Song Hojun: Open Source Satellite

So far, almost all space programs have been led by governments, usually as part of their military programs. Very seldom were these initiatives developed by amateurs. After three years of research and one year of experience as a satellite engineer, Song Hojun has found that it is possible to launch and operate a personal satellite at a fairly reasonable price. In addition, he has for the past five years been exploring ways to integrate the concept of a personal satellite project into cultural contexts and into his artistic practice. All the satellite-related systems (except for the rocket to launch it) are DIY programs — designed so that regular people may also have the chance of developing and eventually launching their own.

Check out this awesome interview.  He really gets the merging of art and technology.

Here is the manual he wrote to teach other people (assuming a non-engineer).  Not like a NASA manual, more like the art of building a satellite.

Sam Coniglio is photographer, Teacher, Designer, and Vice President of the Space Tourism Society

An English language podcast, Omega Tau, produced out of Germany hosts an interview with James Penson of the United Kingdom small satellite firm, Surrey Satellite. They discuss what satellite buses are.

Podcast link.

Related Links

This is an episode on how satellites work with James Penson from Surrey Satellite Technology. Specifically we talk about satellite buses, the infrastructure part of the satellite on which the (typically scientific) payload is mounted. The conversation covers structure, thermal protection, energy supply, communication, guidance and attitude control as well as propulsion.

Cubesat Developers’ Workshop: April 21-23rd @ Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

What is a Cube Sat?

According to Wikipedia,

A CubeSat is a type of miniaturized satellite for space research that usually has a volume of exactly one liter (10 cm cube), weighs no more than one kilogram, and typically uses commercial off-the-shelf electronics components. Beginning in 1999, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) and Stanford University developed the CubeSat specifications to help universities worldwide to perform space science and exploration.

Several companies have built CubeSats, including large-satellite-maker Boeing. However, the majority of development comes from academia, with a mixed record of successfully orbited Cubesats and failed missions.

The term “CubeSat” was coined to denote nano-satellites that adhere to the standards described in the CubeSat design specification. Cal Poly published the standard in an effort led by aerospace engineering professor Jordi Puig-Suari. Bob Twiggs, from the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at Stanford University, has contributed to the CubeSat community. His efforts have focused on CubeSats from educational institutions. The specification does not apply to other cube-like nano-satellites such as the NASA “MEPSI” nano-satellite, which is slightly larger than a CubeSat.