According to radio transmissions received by radio amateurs around the world, AAUSAT5 is alive and kicking! The student-built AAUSAT5 CubeSat was deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) on 5 October at 16:05 CET, together with ESA’s technology demonstration CubeSat GomX-3. Both CubeSats have now started their mission in space.
The AAUSAT5 team has decoded the telemetry data received and have confirmed the good conditions of the satellite, including battery voltage and temperature.
CubeSats, small satellites having the size of a cube 10x10x10 (or multiples of it), are gaining increasing popularity in the space sector. They can be used as a cheaper and faster way – with respect to conventional satellites of bigger size and higher cost - to demonstrate the use of miniaturised technology in space for a number of applications. These include the new radio technology to be demonstrated by GomX-3, eventually aimed at supporting the identification of the positioning of civilian aircraft and measuring telecommunication satellite signal quality, and that of AAUSAT5, tracking ships at open sea using the Automatic Identification System (AIS).
CubeSats are also an excellent way for university students to gain experience in the full life-cycle of a space project – from design to launch and operations – before they start their space professions. Since 2012 the ESA Education Office supports students across Europe in the development of CubeSats through the Fly Your Satellite! programme. ESA mentors the students of the selected CubeSat teams, facilitates the transfer of know-how from professional specialists to the students, offers access to test facilities, sponsors the students in the international travel needed for their CubeSat project, and provides launch opportunities. With AAUSAT5, ESA’s Education Office is inaugurating a new branch of the initiative: Fly Your Satellite from the ISS!
AAUSAT5 and GomX-3 are the first ESA CubeSat projects to be launched from the ISS.
For further information on ESA’s Fly Your Satellite! Programme contact:
Piero Galeone, ESA Head of Tertiary Education Unit
Email: Piero.galeone @ esa.int
You can hear a radio signal recording from AAUSAT5 on Soundcloud.