Thursday, October 8, 2020

Video about EIRSAT-1: Ireland’s first satellite (NOT AMATEUR RADIO RELATED)

EIRSAT-1 is Ireland’s first satellite and a team of students in University College Dublin (UCD) are designing, building, testing and will launch this satellite as part of the European Space Agency (ESA) Fly Your Satellite! Programme.

EIRSAT-1 stands for the Educational Irish Research Satellite 1. It is a satellite about the size of a shoe box, called a CubeSat and will be controlled from a ground station on the roof of the UCD School of Physics and collect data from the three science experiments on-board.

The first experiment is a novel gamma-ray detector, GMOD, which is being developed in UCD. GMOD will detect gamma-rays from both cosmic and atmospheric phenomena. 

The second experiment, EMOD, consists of a payload developed with Irish company, ENBIO Ltd., to monitor the in-flight performance of their thermal spacecraft treatments, SolarWhite and SolarBlack. 

The third experiment, Wave Based Control (WBC), is a novel attitude control algorithm, developed in the UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, which will be tested for the first time in space on EIRSAT-1.

The satellite was due o be delivered to the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2020 but this will probably be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once launched, it is expected to last 6 to 12 months.

The video below gives a good overview of the project...

Some RF info...

On-board Communications: The on-board CMC (Common Mode Current) transceiver is the space-qualified CPUT VUTRX transceiver supplied by ClydeSpace. The communications system uses UHF downlink (430-440 MHz) and VHF uplink (140-150 MHz) bands. The transceiver provides 9600 baud downlink and 1200 baud uplink, and implements a GMSK downlink and AFSK uplink configuration. The AX.25 protocol is used for uplink packets, while a CCSDS convolutional encoder may be used for downlink. 

ADM (Antenna Deployment Module): EIRSAT-1 will use a custom ADM designed and built at UCD which will be mounted on the -Z end of the satellite deploys two dipole antennas, one for UHF downlink and one for VHF uplink. Both dipoles are composed of two tape spring antenna elements, deployed from opposite sides of the module, as seen in many previous and COTS antenna designs. The elements are 5 mm wide, made from a Copper Beryllium alloy and attached to spring loaded doors at each side of the module. They are coiled inside the ADM before deployment, within the 7 x 100 x 100 mm overall dimensions of the module. When EIRSAT-1 is clear of the CubeSat deployer the ADM will activate a burn wire release mechanism allowing the module doors to open and the elements to uncoil into their operational positions and stay in that configuration for the remainder of the mission.

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