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pierredv : cubesats   23

The Curious Case of the Rogue 'SpaceBee' Satellites - The Atlantic,May 2018
"The SpaceBee is a prototype satellite from Swarm Technologies, a start-up founded in 2016 and based in Los Altos, California. There is little publicly available information about Swarm. According to Mark Harris, the reporter at IEEE Spectrum who first broke the story about the satellites’ unauthorized launch, the company is in stealth mode"

"As of April, there are 589 nanosatellites in orbit—satellites with masses between one kilogram and 10 kilograms (2.2 pounds to 22 pounds), according to a comprehensive database run by Erik Kulu, a spacecraft systems engineer in Glasgow"

"Lockheed Martin is currently building a radar system that would allow the Space Surveillance Network to track smaller objects than is possible now. The program is expected to be finished by the end of this year. "
theAtlantic  satellite  Space  orbital-debris  space-debris  FCC  nanosatellites  cubesats 
may 2018 by pierredv
NanoRacks to Launch 15 Cubesats for Nationwide Canadian Project - Via Satellite - April 2018
"April 18 launch of two South African-built nanosatellites onboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. NSight 1, designed and manufactured by Cape Town-based SCS Space, a member of the SCS Aerospace Group, and ZA-Aerosat, designed and manufactured by CubeSpace of the Stellenbosch University, will launch as part of a batch totaling 28 nanosatellites from 23 different countries."

"The satellites are part of the QB50 project funded by the European Union and managed by the von Karman Institute to conduct research in the lower thermosphere between 200km to 380km altitude. "
ViaSatellite  South-Africa  satellite  cubesats 
may 2018 by pierredv
The FCC’s Big Problem with Small Satellites - IEEE Spectrum Apr 2018
"The FCC was worried about collisions in space, where even the smallest objects traveling at orbital velocities can inflict massive damage on satellites or, in a worst-case scenario, manned spacecraft. It thought Swarm’s SpaceBees satellites, measuring 10 by 10 by 2.5 cm, would be just too small to track."

"An investigation by IEEE Spectrum has revealed that the FCC licensed multiple satellites smaller than 10 cm over the past five years, including some as small as 3.5 by 3.5 by 0.2 cm. But the commission has also changed its mind from one application to the next, refusing launch permission for satellites that were virtually identical to ones previously authorized. This uncertainty has led to at least one satellite maker exporting his technology rather than risk being denied a license in the U.S."

"Launching a kilogram payload to low earth orbit (LEO) currently costs at least $3000. "

"Eventually, NASA adopted KickSat-2 as an official NASA mission. Due to a regulatory quirk, NASA’s own satellites are overseen by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) rather than the FCC. KickSat-2 is now slated for launch late this year or early next. "

"Last summer, the London-based Breakthrough launched six Sprites on a German satellite from an Indian launch vehicle, far outside the FCC’s jurisdiction. Germany has no minimum size regulations for satellites."
IEEE-Spectrum  space  FCC  orbital-debris  tracking  cubesats  NASA 
april 2018 by pierredv
Qtum to Launch CubeSat for Cryptocurrency Blockchain Platform - Via Satellite - Feb 2018
"Qtum Foundation announced a collaboration with the SpaceChain Foundation to launch a standardized CubeSat, which will carry Qtum‘s blockchain software technology on a Raspberry Pi device."
ViaSatellite  blockchain  cubesats  satellite  space 
march 2018 by pierredv
Satellite entrepreneurs looking for sky-high revenues from internet services in space | Financial Post, Feb 2018
Jeff Foust: "Kepler Communications, a Toronto company planning a constellation of 50 small satellites to provide communications for Internet of Things applications, launched its first satellite last month on a Chinese rocket. As a Canadian company, it faces fewer restrictions on its choice of launch vehicles than U.S. companies, one Canadian entrepreneur noted, allowing it to take advantage of low-cost Chinese launches."

"Another contributor to fast iteration is launch availability. That’s an area in which Canadian companies have an advantage, Slifierz says. “Kepler benefits from being a Canadian company because there are a lot fewer restrictions on where we can launch vehicles from. They were able to use a Chinese rocket. That would not have been possible (if it were a U.S. company).”"
space  satellite  regulations  Kepler  Canada  cubesats  smallsats  China  launch 
february 2018 by pierredv
Largest cubesat operators say 25-year deorbit guideline a priority - Feb 2018
Planet and Spire, operators of the two largest commercial cubesat constellations in orbit, say they manage their fleets to prevent retired spacecraft from lingering in space beyond internationally accepted guidelines.


Safyan suggested that the problem of smallsats-turned-space-debris in LEO will likely “be a self-correcting problem” as the launch industry brings to market vehicles and adaptors specialized for such spacecraft.

Speaking at the SmallSat Symposium here Feb. 7, officials from Planet and Spire said the companies have self-imposed rules to ensure their satellites burn up in Earth’s atmosphere within 25 years of shutting down, as suggested by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination (IADC) committee.
SpaceNews  orbital-debris  satellite  cubesats  Planet  Spire 
february 2018 by pierredv
International ground stations tricky for smallsat operators to license -
Small satellite operators wanting to build ground stations in multiple nations to connect with their satellites are finding it complicated dealing with different sets of regulations.

Those regulations vary to the point that trying to establish a ground station in one country might create disagreements between different nations over how those stations are controlled, industry representatives said Feb. 6 at the SmallSat Symposium here.

For NOAA’s licensing office for remote sensing satellites, the increasing globalization of the space industry means more countries are starting to regulate the same sector.

“If you have ground stations in another country, that country then wants to take jurisdiction and regulate you, and those regulations can contradict the way that the United States regulates,” said Tahara Dawkins, director of NOAA’s Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs Office. “That’s a problem. That’s something that we are facing now with many of our companies with just something as simple as ground stations.”
SpaceNews  small-sats  cubesats  regulation  NOAA  EO  EarthObservation 
february 2018 by pierredv
2018 Could Be a Revolutionary Year for Smallsats - Via Satellite -Via Satellite Jan 2018
"2017 was a banner year for the satellite industry in many respects. 2018 could prove to be even more momentous, as the smallsat megaconstellations that have been under development for years finally emerge — along with the dedicated smallsat launch vehicles that will serve them. In an interview with Via Satellite, Northern Sky Research (NSR) analyst Carolyn Belle laid out her expectations for the year ahead"

"Overall, 2017 was a “very good year” for smallsat launch rates, Belle said, with the industry orbiting 329 smallsats (between 1 and 500 kg) in total. This is the highest number launched in one year to date, easily outstripping the mere 130 orbited in 2016."

Demand for Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites have plummeted in recent years, culminating in just nine orders in 2017. “That was a more significant decline than anything we’ve seen before,” Belle said. “That was the lowest number in more than a decade. Global capacity pricing continues to sink like an anchor, making operators very cautious about their investments, Belle said.”
ViaSatellite  smallsats  cubesats  satellite  NorthSkyResearch  launch  NGSO  GEO  interviews 
january 2018 by pierredv
Spire Global is expanding cubesat constellation to offer persistent global view -
"Spire Global, the San Francisco-based company that operates 48 GPS radio occultation cubesats, could provide a persistent view of about 97 percent of Earth with a constellation of 150 satellites"

"A constellation of 100 to 200 radio occultation satellites, which provide detailed observations of atmospheric temperature and moisture, could be used in conjunction with geostationary weather satellites like NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-16 to dramatically improve the accuracy and spatial resolution of global weather prediction models, MacDonald said."

"Spire also is expanding its ground network. The company has 27 ground stations operating and is pushing to increase that number to 50 because the added ground stations will allow the firm to provide customers with data no more than 30 minutes old"

"In addition to using its spacecraft for meteorology, Spire’s cubesats carry Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) payloads for aircraft tracking and Automatic Identification System (AIS) payloads for maritime tracking. “We collect about 10 million ship reports a day,” MacDonald said."
SpaceNews  Spire  EO  EarthObservation  cubesats  meteorology  ADS-B 
january 2018 by pierredv
Cygnus to Deploy Record Number of CubeSats - Via Satellite -Via Satellite Dec 2017
"Orbital ATK announced that its Cygnus spacecraft, following a successful stay as a part of the International Space Station (ISS), is now set to deploy a record number of CubeSats in orbit before reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. The mission, dubbed OA-8, marks the fourth time that Cygnus has been used for NanoRacks CubeSat deployments during its secondary payload mission phase."

" Eight of the CubeSats will join Spire Global’s commercial weather satellite constellation for global ship tracking. The NanoRacks manifest also includes CubeSats from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Additionally, AeroCube B/C consists of two water-based propulsion satellites assembled by the Aerospace Corp. for NASA’s Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD), marking the first propulsive satellites to deploy from the Cygnus spacecraft."
ViaSatellite  OrbitalATK  cubesats 
december 2017 by pierredv
November/December 2017 - Can MENA Do NewSpace? | Via Satellite Nov 2017
"The interest in the NewSpace movement has been gaining momentum all over the world and the MENA region is no exception. With talk of space ranging from enabling emerging nations to enhance their communications infrastructure to missions to Mars, this is a fertile region for NewSpace, with varying ambitions from country to country"

"With NewSpace comes the notion of the democratization of space — a feeling that space is for all and that if there is a desire to become part of it, then this can become reality. The rise of private companies (and private money) in space has meant that developments are being pushed on quickly."

"South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia all have national space agencies, and there are other African nations calling for the initiation of space agencies such as Sudan."
ViaSatellite  NewSpace  Africa  CubeSats  South-Africa  UAE 
november 2017 by pierredv
Sky and Space Global • Join us to make a better world
via Dale hatfield

See for animation of full equatorial constellation

"A constellation of Nano-Satellites (approximately 200), placed in carefully selected orbits giving equatorial coverage of the Earth, creating a global communication network for voice, data and instant messaging. Nano-Satellites are fully operational satellites with a mass of less than 10kg. Due to miniaturization of technology Nano-Satellites are capable to provide accurate altitude and orbit control and communication services. Since the first Nano-Satellite launch in 2003 they became the most popular type of satellites in space for diverse commercial uses. The low mass and high capabilities of Nano-Satellites make them an affordable building blocks for constellations"
satellite  nano-satellites  NGSO  cubesats 
august 2017 by pierredv
Terra Bella and Planet Labs's Most Consequential Year Yet - The Atlantic, Mar 2016
"... Terra Bella—the satellite company, formerly known as Skybox, that Google purchased for $500 million in June 2014. In the next 18 months, it plans to put more than a dozen new satellites into orbit. . . .
Terra Bella is part of a larger group of satellite companies that promise to transform the way we see Earth. Planet Labs is another: An independent startup based in San Francisco, it estimates that in the next 12 months, it will have more than 100 satellites beaming imagery down to Earth. That will give it an almost-daily imagery refresh rate. "
theAtlantic  space  cubesats  earth-observation  satellite 
august 2017 by pierredv
9 Earth-Imaging Start-ups to Watch - IEEE Spectrum, Mar 2014
SkyBox Imaging
Planet Labs CubeSat constellation

"Right now, there’s at most two dozen nonmilitary satellites doing Earth imaging, notes Alex Herz, CEO of Greenbelt, Md.–based Orbit Logic, which makes mission-planning software for satellites. (And if you want to know exactly when any of those satellites is passing overhead, try the company’s SpyMeSat app for iPhone and Android.) “Five years from now, there might be 200 or more up there,” he says."
earth-imaging  satellite  IEEE-Spectrum  cubesats 
august 2017 by pierredv
Mini satellites prove their scientific power : Nature News & Comment, Apr 2014
"Firefly is part of a growing band of mini satellites known as CubeSats that are now coming into their scientific own. Thanks to cheap parts and free launches, CubeSat launches are booming."
space  satellite  cubesats  NatureJournal 
august 2017 by pierredv
Sweating the Small Stuff: CubeSats Swarm Earth Orbit - Scientific American July 2017
"A boom in nanosatellites could revolutionize space science and industry, but also dramatically increase the hazards of space junk"

"As the number of CubeSats and other orbiting nanosatellites continues to rise, so too do debates about their most important effects: Are CubeSats really the vital educational, scientific and technological tools that their staunchest proponents insist they are—or are they mere indulgent toys irresponsibly adding to the menacing shell of litter already encircling the planet?"
space-debris  space  space-junk  cubesats  nanosatellites  ScientificAmerican  satellite  * 
july 2017 by pierredv
orbital lifetime - How long does a CubeSat last? - Space Exploration Stack Exchange
A few numbers for circular orbits and 1U cubesats: ~1 year @ 450 km, 25 years @ 640 km (maximum allowed life time in or below geosynchronous orbit for every satellite launched in 2008 or later - IADC).
CubeSats  satellites  orbit 
may 2017 by pierredv
No-fly zone: Exploring the uncharted layers of our atmosphere | New Scientist issue 3087, 20 Aug 2016
"This unknown zone increasingly matters to us. We are sending up ever more satellites, which are vulnerable to flare-ups in the ignorosphere. Electrical disturbances in this region can scramble GPS signals and other communications. And its influence may even stretch down to ground level and alter our weather. So we need to understand this rarefied air – and to do so, we must go and explore it.

"The ignorosphere encompasses those in-between altitudes that we find extremely hard to navigate. Above about 50 kilometres – where the stratosphere ends – the air becomes too thin to support research balloons. And below 300 km, it is too thick for satellites to survive the drag forces for more than a few months.

"Within this zone are two starkly different layers. Lower down is the icy mesosphere, ... Above the mesosphere is the thermosphere, heated to thousands of degrees by ultraviolet light."

"The QB50 project will see a fleet of CubeSats, each 20 by 10 by 10 centimetres, entering the ignorosphere. "

From the sidebar, "Save our Satellites"

"The solar storms that create the aurora inject heat and ionised plasma into the upper atmosphere, causing it to puff up and thus increase the drag on satellites in low Earth orbit. Sometimes this is so sudden that space agencies can lose track of their expensive property. “After intense solar activity, NASA has lost hundreds of satellites,” says Jan Thoemel at the von Karman Institute in Sint-Genesius-Rode, Belgium. Even small solar storms can throw their trajectories off a little. That’s no mere inconvenience: the ISS and other satellites must already navigate with care to avoid space junk, and collisions will become more of a risk as low Earth orbit gets more crowded."

"During the major solar storm of October 2003, GPS positions were thrown off by hundreds of metres."
NewScientist  atmosphere  CubeSats  physics  solar-storms  NASA 
april 2017 by pierredv
Fleet of CubeSats launches to study the neglected 'ignorosphere' | New Scientist April 2017
The 28 boxy satellites are part of QB50, an international mission to explore Earth’s lower thermosphere. Stretching from about 90 to 300 kilometres above ground level, this turbulent region is stirred from above by solar storms and flares, and from below by terrestrial weather. In its unpredictable moods it can scatter satellites and scramble GPS, so scientists would love to learn more about the gas and plasma up there.

But this upper air is far too thin to support research planes or balloons, while still thick enough to drag down spacecraft in a matter of months. Ground-based observations are no substitute for measurements in situ. Although a few satellites have taken measurements on their way back down to Earth, “these are sparse data, with no continuity”, says QB50 project manager Davide Masutti at the von Karman Institute in Sint-Genesius-Rode, Belgium. This lack of information has given this region its nickname: the ignorosphere.
NewScientist  atmosphere  CubeSats  physics 
april 2017 by pierredv
Print your own satellite in orbiting space factory - New Scientist Aug 2015
Kohlenberg thinks others will find similar benefits once their satellite deployment platform is complete. “You can imagine spaceships and satellites the likes of which we have never seen, because you’ve always had to build for the launch vehicle,” he says. “Now we can build whatever we want.”
NewScientist  satellite  cubesats  cubesates  3Dprinting  SpaceVR  NanoRacks 
october 2015 by pierredv
Interference in 435–438 MHz band hampers satellite project - PolicyTracker Jul 2015
"The BRIght Target Explorer (BRITE) project launched a constellation of five cubesats (small satellites) in February 2013 in the hope of detecting the temperature and brightness variations of distant massive luminous stars. In October, the project found a directional antenna radar system." - "According to the operations teams, their calculations indicate that the source of the interference could be a directional antenna radar system from North-East Europe. The use of automatic Forward Error Correction (FEC) coding would have solved this problem, but the hardware on the cubesat is already in orbit and cannot be changed. According to the ITU Radio Regulations, the project cannot claim protection from radiolocation because the former is a secondary service and the latter is a primary service in this band."
PolicyTracker  satellite  interference  cubesats 
july 2015 by pierredv
Small satellite industry promises to play fair in bid for spectrum - PolicyTracker Mar 2015
"An ITU symposium on small satellite regulation held in Prague this week produced a provisional agreement among some of the main players in the fledgling small satellite industry." -- tension over entrepreneurial teams using amateur bands for small satellite links; slow pace and high cost of getting allocations
PolicyTracker  satellite  ITU  cubesats 
march 2015 by pierredv

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