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Students: Launching CubeSats !. Introduction to the Project. PROJECT HORUS. Importance of Satellites to Australia. Remote Sensing for Agriculture Effect of drought on wheat crops in Western Australia. Weather Forecasting. Communications. Jabiru-2 communications Satellite – late 2014.

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students launching cubesats

Students: Launching CubeSats!

Introduction to the Project



Importance of Satellites to Australia

Remote Sensing for Agriculture

Effect of drought on wheat crops in Western Australia

Weather Forecasting


Jabiru-2 communications

Satellite – late 2014


CubeSats compared to Satellites


Small – cube 10cm on one side and usually weighs about 1kg

Made of off the shelf electronics

A full space launch of a CubeSat is about $100,000, although space agencies do offer free launches

Piggy-backs on a launch vehicle


Can be big - size of bus

Can be expensive

Mulit-millions to billions of dollars for interplanetary missions

Usually has its own rocket for launching

1U CubeSatin space (10cm on side) Launch mass 1kg

NASA Aqua Satellite

4.81m x 16.70m x 8.04m, Launch mass 2,934kg


High Altitude Balloons as Launch Vehicles

High altitude balloon launches can reach heights of over 30km – a third of the way to space and very much cheaper than a full space launch!

Sometimes balloon launches can be used for unusual objects

Yoyo in space

Chair in Space!


And you can do this as well!

In this project you will fly your own CubeSat on a high altitude balloon and take your own spectacular pictures!


CubeSat Project

Your brief is to design, develop and fly your CubeSat, using a high-altitude balloon as your launch vehicle and undertake experiments that you will design and analyse

You need to take into account:

Technical or engineering aspects such as launch parameters and correct operation of the payload

Scientific aspects – what useful experiments/observations can be done using the equipment available

Sometimes there is conflict between technical and scientific aspects


Some Design Issues

GoPro camera can be aligned in a number of ways but because of stacking of CubeSats only bottom CubeStat can have camera pointing down – which direction other cameras and why?

Memory card – how much data can be stored?

Matching GPS data with images

Plus others that you will find out about as you go through the design process!