Monday, September 5, 2022

Learning to Build a Nano-satellite

Greetings from the Birch Building at the Australian National University, where I am learning the basics of building a nano-satellite, from Dr Shinya Fujita, Senior Assistant Professor, Tohoku University, Japan. You have heard the expression "It is not rocket science", well this is. But we are starting with the simple stuff: what is a nano-satellite (1 to 10 kg). These craft are becoming popular, as advances in electronics make them more capable, relatively cheap, and able to be launched by more countries (such as Australia and NZ).

An innovation which has made nanosats popular is standardization. An example is the cubesat, made in units of 100 mm cubes, weighing no more than 
2 kg each. The standard units allow easy manufacture and packaging for launch of multiple satellites. Cubesats can be piggybacked on launches of larger satellites, fitted into empty spaces.  This is also a very familiar size, being about the width of a brick. 

Nano-satellites tend to be in a low earth orbit, so they can capture higher resolution images, and use smaller radios, but this requires ground stations which can track a moving target. 

No comments:

Post a Comment