HackSat1 is a KickSat sprite and is due to launch some time in early 2013.
The dev kit is due May 2012. Speak to Flux if you're interested in getting involved.
- Messing around with a TI LaunchPad and learning the basics of MSP430. See also MSP430 Mac Howto.
- Working out the payload
- Working out what's needed for Hoxton Space Centre (ground station)
We don't get to design the hardware on this mission, just program it.
- controller: CC430F6137 (16-Bit Ultra-Low-Power MCU, 32KB Flash, 4KB RAM, CC1101 Radio, AES-128, 12Bit ADC, USCI, LCD driver)
- sensors: temperature + one other TBC (KickSat are taking suggestions)
- radio: we can transmit what and when we like (subject to solar power) but data rate is only a few bits per second
"For sensors, basically they have to be packaged in a tiny SMT chip and not use too much power (no more than a few mW). We don't have a list yet, but one example of something that would work is this magnetometer: http://dlnmh9ip6v2uc.cloudfront.net/datasheets/Sensors/Magneto/HMC5883L-FDS.pdf"
"While we don't know the orbit, we're aiming for a circular low altitude LEO - around 300 km. altitude. That would mean a roughly 90 minute orbit with several daylight passes per day (usually 3 or 4 over any given location). Each pass would be somewhere around 5 minutes long."
At that (low) a hight - the orbit repeat cycle would really matter quite a bit; i.e. how many days before it passes within line of sight of a given ground station; and is there enough power to survive across such cycles; or if not - is there enough to be 'on' when doing an overpass (in daylight). The basic concept that as it circles earth in a bit over 90 minutes; each pass is a couple of degrees westward (on the illuminated side of earth usually) - returning to roughly the same orbit after a couple of days/weeks. Key is then having (had) enough power to charge any batteries to be able to power up the transmitter (and generally not having enough time/power to establish position - so you need to do this a lot - in a hit and run mode looking for the elusive ground station and then offload your wares quickly -- within the 10's of seconds you have (left).
B.t.w. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4526281 has a pretty good overview.