TechEdSat

Summary

Technology Education Satellite (TechEdSat) is a class of CubeSats built by San Jose State University and University of Idaho students in partnership with NASA's Ames Research Center. These satellites have tested communication technology for smallsats, and have contributed to the development of the Small Payload Quick Return (SPQR) concept.

TechEdSat-1

TechEdSat-1
TechEdSat.jpg
Computer-aided design drawing of TechEdSat-1
NamesTES-1
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorNASA Ames Research Center · San Jose State University · University of Idaho · JAXA · ÅAC Microtec
COSPAR ID2012-038D (1998-067CQ) [1]
SATCAT no.38854
Mission duration213 days (achieved)
100 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
BusCubeSat
Launch mass1.2 kg (2.6 lb)
Dimensions11.35 cm x 10.0 cm x 10.0 cm (1U)
Power1.229 watts
Start of mission
Launch date21 July 2012, 02:06:18 UTC
RocketH-IIB F3
Launch siteTanegashima Space Center,
Yoshinobu LC-Y2
ContractorMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Deployed fromISS Kibō
Delivered by Kounotori 3
Deployment date4 October 2012,
15:44:15.297 UTC
End of mission
Decay date5 May 2013
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude402 km (250 mi)
Apogee altitude422 km (262 mi)
Inclination51.66°
Period92.80 minutes
 
TechEdSat Engineering Development Unit
TechEdSat Solar Panel
CubeSats deployed to orbit from the International Space Station (ISS) on 4 October 2012 (from left: TechEdSat-1, F-1 and FITSAT-1).

The first TechEdSat (later renamed "TechEdSat-1" or "TES-1")[2][3] was a 1U-Cubesat designed to evaluate Space Plug-and-play Avionics (SPA) designed in Sweden by ÅAC Microtec. It was also originally intended to perform a communications experiment utilizing the Iridium and Orbcomm satellite phone network,[4] although this function was disabled before launch.[5] TechEdSat was deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS) on 4 October 2012. It reentered to atmosphere on 5 May 2013.[6]

Hardware

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.35 cm x 10.0 cm x 10.0 cm
  • Mass: 1.2 kg (2.6 lb)
  • Power Consumption (Safe Mode): 0.350 W
  • Power Consumption (Safe Mode, Stensat Transmitting): 3.400 W
  • Power Consumption (Nominal Mode): 3.965 W
  • Power Consumption (Q1000 Transmitting): 27.125 W
  • Power Consumption (Q9602 Transmitting): 10.490 W
  • Power Consumption (Nominal Mode, Stensat Transmitting): 7.015 W
  • Solar Array (Average): 1.229 W
  • Power Storage: 17 Wh

Launch

TechEdSat was launched from pad 2 of the Tanegashima Space Center, Yoshinobu Launch Complex (LC-Y2) on 21 July 2012, at 02:06 UTC,[8] aboard Kounotori 3 atop an H-IIB launch vehicle. Kounotori 3 carried the satellite, along with the RAIKO, WE WISH, Niwaka, and F-1 spacecraft, to the International Space Station (ISS), from where it was deployed via the JAXA J-SSOD deployer, from the Kibō module on 4 October 2012 at 15:44:15.297 UTC.[9]

Beacon Packet Format

TechEdSat-1 transmitted a heartbeat packet over amateur radio every 4 seconds. These packets are 122 ASCII character AX.25 packets. Amateur band radio frequency is 437.465 MHz.[10] Two consecutive 12 bit raw Analog-to-digital converter (ADC) data values are parsed into one 3 byte chunk in order to save data space.

TechEdSat-2

TechEdSat-2
NamesTES-2
PhoneSat v2a
PhoneSat 2.0 Beta
Alexander
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorNASA Ames Research Center
COSPAR ID2013-016C
SATCAT no.39144
Mission duration7 days (planned)
6 days (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
ManufacturerNASA Ames Research Center
Launch mass0.5 kg (1.1 lb)
Dimensions10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm (1U)
Start of mission
Launch date21 April 2013, 21:00:02.2 UTC [11]
RocketAntares 110 A-ONE
Launch siteWallops Island MARS, LP-0A
ContractorOrbital Sciences
End of mission
Decay date27 April 2013
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit [12]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude218 km (135 mi)
Apogee altitude228 km (142 mi)
Inclination51.64°
Period88.95 minutes
 

An Iridium transceiver flew aboard the PhoneSat v2a CubeSat as the TechEdSat-2 mission, separate from the spacecraft originally planned as TechEdSat-2.[13]

Alexander, also known as PhoneSat 2.0 Beta or PhoneSat v2a is a technology demonstration satellite operated by NASA's Ames Research Center, which was launched on 21 April 2013. Part of the PhoneSat programme, it was one of the first three PhoneSat spacecraft, and the first Phonesat-2.0 satellite, to be launched. A PhoneSat-2.0 satellite, Alexander, was built to the single-unit (1U) CubeSat specifiction, and measures 10 cm (3.9 in) in each dimension. The satellite is based around an off-the-shelf Samsung Electronics Nexus S smartphone which serves in place of an onboard computer. The satellite is equipped with a two-way S-band transponder and solar cells for power generation. The spacecraft uses the phone's gyroscopes, along with a GPS receiver, to determine its position and orientation, and a system of reaction wheels and magnetorquer coils for attitude control.[14]

TechEdSat-3p

TechEdSat-3p
NamesTES-3
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorNASA Ames Research Center · San Jose State University · University of Idaho ·
COSPAR ID1998-067DD (TECHEDS3P) [1]
SATCAT no.39415
Mission duration47 days (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
Dimensions30 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm (3U)
Start of mission
Launch date3 August 2013, 19:48:46 UTC
RocketH-IIB F4
Launch siteTanegashima Space Center,
Yoshinobu LC-Y2
ContractorMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Deployment date20 November 2013, 07:58 UTC
End of mission
Decay date16 January 2014
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude410 km
Apogee altitude415 km
Inclination51.65°
Period92.81 minutes
 

TechEdSat-3p was the third spacecraft flown in the TechEdSat series. Its dimensions were approximately 30 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm, or three CubeSat units long, making it three times larger than TechEdSat-1. TechEdSat-3p was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on 3 August 2013 from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan on the Kounotori 4 (HTV-4) International Space Station cargo resupply mission and subsequently deployed into orbit by the JEM-Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD).

TechEdSat-3p was the first satellite of the TechEdSat series to include an exo-brake, a parachute-like drag device to demonstrate passive deorbit capability.[15] The deployment of an exo-brake increases the surface area of a satellite, increasing its coefficient of drag in the thin upper atmosphere and causing the satellite to deorbit faster than it otherwise would. This technology could be used to more quickly dispose of satellites in Low Earth Orbit that have completed their missions, decreasing the amount of potentially hazardous debris in space. The exo-brake is currently being developed for use as part of the Small Payload Quick Return (SPQR) concept, which would enable science materials to be returned to Earth from the International Space Station whenever is most convenient for scientists rather than just a few times per year aboard a returning cargo resupply vehicle.

According to smallsat logistics company ÅAC Microtech, a main power distribution board designed for TechEdSat-1 was reused on the TechEdSat-3p mission.[16]

Deployment of the TechEdSat-3p satellite from the ISS

TechEdSat-4

TechEdSat-4
NamesTES-4
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorNASA Ames Research Center · San Jose State University · University of Idaho
COSPAR ID1998-067FY
SATCAT no.40455
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
Launch mass3 kg (6.6 lb)
Dimensions10 cm x 10 cm x 30 cm (3U)
Start of mission
Launch date13 July 2014, 16:52:14 UTC
RocketAntares-120
Launch siteWallops Island MARS, LP-0A
ContractorOrbital Sciences Corporation
Deployment date4 March 2015
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude393 km (244 miles)
Apogee altitude402 km (250 miles)
Inclination51.64°
Period92.50 minutes
 

TechEdSat-4 was a 3U CubeSat mission developed, integrated, and tested at NASA Ames Research Center in partnership with student interns from San Jose State University (SJSU) in California and the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. The objective of the TechEdSat-4 mission was to demonstrate new technologies including satellite-to-satellite communications and an upgraded Exo-Brake device to demonstrate a passive deorbiting. TechEdSat-4 was launched as a secondary cargo payload on the Cygnus CRS Orb-2 ISS resupply mission. The launch vehicle was the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares-120, launching from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia on 13 July 2014.[17] TechEdSat-4 was deployed from the International Space Station via the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer on 4 March 2015.[18][19]

On 27 February 2015, a series of CubeSats, small experimental satellites, were deployed via a special device mounted on the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) (Kibō module) Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS). Deployed satellites included twenty Flock-1b satellites, TechEdSat-4, GEARRSAT, LambdaSat, and MicroMAS.

TechEdSat-5

TechEdSat-5
NamesTES-5
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorNASA Ames Research Center · San Jose State University · University of Idaho
COSPAR ID1998-067LB
SATCAT no.42066
Mission duration144 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
Launch mass4 kg (8.8 lb)
Dimensions10 cm x 10 cm x 35 cm (3.5U)
Start of mission
Launch date9 December 2016
RocketH-IIB F6
Launch siteTanegashima Space Center,
Yoshinobu LC-Y2
ContractorMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Deployment date6 March 2017, 18:20:00 UTC
End of mission
Decay date29 July 2017
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude397 km (247 miles)
Apogee altitude408 km (254 miles)
Inclination51.64°
Period92.61 minutes
 

TechEdSat-5 was a 4 kg, 3.5U CubeSat that was launched on 9 December 2016 aboard the Kounotori 6 (HTV-6) cargo resupply spacecraft, and was deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) at 18:20 UTC on 6 March 2017.[20] It was the first satellite in the TechEdSat program to include a modulated Exo-Brake that was could adjust the amount of atmospheric drag on the spacecraft, enabling a targeted re-entry.[21] The TechEdSat-5 Exo-Brake was cross-shaped, made of mylar, and used a combination of mechanical struts and flexible cords.[22] Its surface area was approximately 0.35 square metres.[20] A "Cricket" Wireless Sensor Module (WSM) was included with TechEdSat-5.[23] The satellite reentered the atmosphere on 29 July 2017 after successfully operating for 144 days.[22]

Simulated view of TechEdSat-5 after deployment from the International Space Station

TechEdSat-6

TechEdSat-6
NamesTES-6
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorNASA Ames Research Center · San Jose State University · University of Idaho
COSPAR ID1998-067NK
SATCAT no.43026
Mission duration175 days (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
Launch mass3.6 kg (7.9 lb)
Dimensions10 cm x 10 cm x 35 cm (3.5U)
Start of mission
Launch date12 November 2017,
12:19:51 UTC
RocketAntares 230
Launch siteWallops Island MARS, LP-0A
ContractorOrbital Sciences Corporation
Deployment date20 November 2017
End of mission
Decay date14 May 2018
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude397 km (247 mi)
Apogee altitude406 km (252 mi)
Inclination51.65°
Period92.59 minutes
 

TechEdSat-6 was a CubeSat 3.5U that was launched at 12:19:51 UTC on 12 November 2017 aboard the Cygnus CRS-8 cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).[24][25] It was deployed from the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer on 20 November 2017.[26] In addition to the primary payload, it contained a CubeSat Identity Tag (CUBIT), a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag developed by DARPA and SRI International to assist in future identification of satellites. It successfully reentered the atmosphere on 14 May 2018.[27][28]

TechEdSat-6, seen here just after being deployed from the International Space Station, was a CubeSat mission that tested technologies intended to make it easier to return science materials to Earth from space.

TechEdSat-7

TechEdSat-7
NamesTES-7
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorNASA Ames Research Center · San Jose State University
COSPAR ID2021-002X
SATCAT no.473XX
Mission duration60 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
Launch mass2 kg (4.4 lb)
Dimensions10 cm x 10 cm x 20 cm (2U)
Start of mission
Launch date17 January 2021, 19:39:00 UTC
RocketLauncherOne # 2
Launch siteCosmic Girl (Boeing 747), Mojave Air and Space Port, California
ContractorVirgin Orbit
Deployment date17 January 2021
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit [12]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude218 km (135 mi)
Apogee altitude228 km (142 mi)
Inclination51.64°
Period88.95 minutes
 

TechEdSat-7 is a 2U CubeSat that is intended to test a High Packing Density Exo-Brake. It was launched on the first successful flight of Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne launch vehicle on 17 January 2021 as part of NASA's ELaNa program. It is flying with a CubeSat Identity Tag (CUBIT), a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag developed by DARPA and SRI International to assist in future identification of satellites.[29]

TechEdSat-8

TechEdSat-8
NamesTES-8
Technical and Educational Satellite-8
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorNASA Ames Research Center · San Jose State University · University of Idaho
COSPAR ID1998-067PY
SATCAT no.44032
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
Launch mass6 kg (13 lb)
Dimensions10 cm x 10 cm x 60 cm (6U)
Start of mission
Launch date5 December 2018, 18:16:00 UTC
RocketFalcon 9 Block 5
Launch siteCape Canaveral, SLC-40
ContractorSpaceX
Deployment date31 January 2019, 16:45 UTC
End of mission
Decay date20 April 2020
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude402 km (250 mi)
Apogee altitude409 km (254 mi)
Inclination51.64°
Period92.67 minutes
 

TechEdSat-8 (Technical and Educational Satellite-8) was CubeSat 6U. It was built as a conjoined project between San Jose State University (SJSU) and the University of Idaho as a collaborative engineering project, with oversight from the NASA Ames Research Center. It is a technology demonstration mission that will further develop and demonstrate the Exo-Brake system through, designed for continued operation in high temperature environments, the full recovery of a payload. It will feature a semi-autonomous control system to target the entry face point, as well as capabilities to measure a unique ablation device on the forebody. This technology, known as a "Hot Exo-Brake" could enable more precisely-targeted atmospheric reentries. An ablation device was also flying on the spacecraft.

History

TechEdSat-8 was selected in 2017 by the CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) of the NASA to be launched as part of the ELaNa program. TechEdSat-8 was originally planned to launch with the Cygnus NG-10 (17 November 2018) cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station as part of the ELaNa program, but instead was launched aboard the SpaceX CRS-16 ISS cargo resupply mission at 18:16 UTC on 5 December 2018,[30] arriving at the International Space Station (ISS) on 8 December 2018.[31][32]

Deployment

TechEdSat-8 was deployed into orbit by the Kibō JEM-Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) at 16:45 UTC on 31 January 2019.[33]

Mission

The satellite established communication with controllers and, as of 20 February 2019, was reportedly performing well in advance of a targeted reentry.[34] The satellite failed shortly after launch due to a loss of power from its solar panels, and re-entered in the atmosphere of Earth on 20 April 2020.[35][36]

An exploded view of TechEdSat-8, a satellite designed to test communication and precision deorbit technologies.

TechEdSat-10

TechEdSat-10
NamesTES-10
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
OperatorNASA Ames Research Center · San Jose State University
COSPAR ID2020-067RQ
SATCAT no.45917
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCubeSat
Launch mass6 kg (13 lb)
Dimensions10 cm x 10 cm x 60 cm (6U)
Power150 watt-hour
Start of mission
Launch date15 February 2020, 20:21:01 UTC
RocketAntares 230+
Launch siteMARS, LP-0A
ContractorNorthrop Grumman
Deployment date13 July 2020, 16:55:25 UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude413 km (257 mi)
Apogee altitude419 km (260 mi)
Inclination51.60°
Period92.00 minutes
 
TechEdSat-10 deploys from the International Space Station
TechEdSat-10 exo-brake precision de-orbit technology demonstration deploying in orbit around Earth.

TechEdSat-10 (TES-10) is a 6U (1 x 6U) (previously announced as 3U) CubeSat that was selected in 2018 to launch as part of the ELaNa program.[37]

Launch

On 15 February 2020, TechEdSat-10 was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Cygnus NG-13 cargo spacecraft.[38]

Deployement

Deployed on 13 July 2020, TechEdSat-10 test radio communication devices, precision deorbit technologies for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and others, radiation tolerant electronics, and artificial intelligence hardware for future experiments.[39][35][38]

Mission

The mission is demonstrating increased storage and power capabilities that could enable future science and exploration using small spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit. Included on TechEdSat-10 are improvements over previous CubeSat technologies in the areas of communications and radio systems, and new propulsion techniques.[40]

As the tenth iteration in the Technology Educational Satellite (TES) series, TechEdSat-10 builds upon a history of the program's innovative work with early career researchers, students, and volunteers. TechEdSat-10 contains 150 watt-hours of power storage, eight radios, nine processors, and a graphics processing unit. Additionally, the small satellite carries four cameras, including a stereoscopic virtual reality camera experiment.[40]

Like several TechEdSat missions before it, this mission is demonstrating the exo-brake technology in its largest iteration to date. The exo-brake is designed to deploy an umbrella-like "brake" to increase drag and take a small satellite out of orbit. This mission, the exo-brake can be controlled or modulated by commands from the ground in order to target a re-entry point. In the future, this could enable sample return missions from orbit and future planetary missions.[40]

Future TechEdSats

TechEdSat-9 and TechEdSat-11 are planned to fly at some point in the future.[41] TechEdSat-9, like TechEdSat-10, is planned to test radio communication technologies for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and others.[35]

TechEdSat-12 will test technologies for the tracking and identification of small satellites. It will carry a radio-frequency identificaition (RFID) tag, a radar reflector, and an L-band antenna. It was selected for launch in February 2020 by NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, and will be delivered to orbit on a launch contracted through the ELaNa program.[42]

References

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  3. ^ https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/techedsat5-factsheet-508-april2017.pdf This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
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External links