A few questions:
1. What's the cheapest you can put a satellite in space (in terms of launch) and for how long would it orbit at that cost? Size wouldn't really be too much of a problem (I can go as low as 3x3x3 cm at a push).
2. Are there strict limitations about what you are allowed to put up into space? (In terms of components and contamination). Also in terms of transforming - is it allowed to unfold?
3. Do the satellites have to undergo some formal testing to be allowed on the space craft? What's that process and how much does it cost? I imagine they can't risk it blowing up or falling apart?
4. Has anybody looked to sub-divide the cubesat 10x10x10 into 8 smaller satellites? If you could somehow keep them all attached in fixed locations, you could have a much larger sensor surface area at a low cost.
5. How do they get the satellites to the launch location and how long does it have to be there in advance?
I think using reaction wheels is good for rotation and I don't think propulsion will be as "easily" possible. Compliant communications would be the most difficult part in my opinion, trying to keep it low power and effective.
As for the actual mission of the project, I'm still not decided. It could be cool to host some kind of server from space, but just throwing some hobbyist sensors up there and seeing how they behave would also be good.
Thank you in advance for any help with those questions.
2.- Yes, there are. For example, in terms of materials, you can check http://nanoracks.com/wp-content/uploads/standard-materials-a.... Yes, in satellites there are several things that normally unfold (i.e., solar panels, antennas, sensors)
3.- They normally undergo (at least) outgassing, vacuum, vibration, and thermal testing. Not sure if all of them are mandatory. I would say that outgassing is a must in most places. See http://nanoracks.com/wp-content/uploads/flammability-offgass...
4.- Yes, some people have launched things much much smaller than a Cubesat (like Chipsat), but normally you would be required to decay/deorbit quite quickly since as I mentioned, space people don't like small things flying around.
5.- If you use a launch provider, you normally do integration at their facilities. Then they handle the rest of the process for you. I would say that a normal deadline for integration is ~3 months before launch?
1. Last time I heard pricing per pound to orbit was ~$10,000 per pound. This was for the shuttle though, so I don't know if this has changed.
2. I would guess this depends on the launch provider. Whoever's launch you're piggybacking off of will probably get to make this decision. I never heard of any real restrictions, but this wasn't my area of expertise.
3. You'd be right about that. I don't know about pricing, but your payload will need to go through vibration testing and the like
4. No clue on this one
5. You'd probably have to physically make the trip (and I'd think you'd want to. Seeing a launch is always cool). Timing will depend on whose launch you're piggy backing off of, but we needed to have everything done a few weeks before launch day.
Hope this helped a bit.
(I work on our web-based ground control software, Major Tom.)
And if someone has any questions about the ground side of things I work at KSAT which provides a global network of ground stations (both cubes and larger).
We often find sat builders completely forgetting about the ground segment and then struggle to communicate with the cube.
Often by using exotic encoding and/or modulation schemes or choosing frequency bands that are either too crowded or hard to license in some parts of the world.
Does it ever bug you that ground control is Major Tom?
Curious if you receive any branding confusion over Kubos versus Kubernetes?
It is indeed an issue, but a surmountable one.
They went over the history and changing economics of CubeSats.
We've built SatNOGS a global ground station network https://network.satnogs.org with more than 100 stations online globally and 50 more in testing build by volunteers
We've also built the first Cubesat under CERNs OHL license. https://upsat.gr
I wrote my masters thesis on one back in 2003, and it was launched in 2004. Even back then this was such an established concepts there were niche conferences for it.
That being said kessler's syndrome impact are usually over-exaggerated by "big space" as a reaction the disruption going on in the business.
But that's spread out over a large area.
The area of the earth is 510million km2, so worst case (all on the same plane, at ground level) that's 850km2 for every item of 'junk'. I don't see that being sufficient density for a domino effect. I suppose it depends on how uniform the cloud density is.
So, what's a U? Is it a mathematical constant, or just arbitrary?
"CubeSats are built to standard dimensions (Units or “U”)"
1U servers, 2U servers..
Depth varies dramatically - from maybe 1” to 1m
That’s like saying you need to access certain sectors of a hard disk.
1) Learning opportunity - that's how people get experience with space technologies.
2) Equipment testbeds - companies that would like to sell technology for use in space need to prove it actually works in space. If you can get a CubeSat project to use your component (by e.g. donating it + some money) as a part of their satellite, you can test it in space for much cheaper than it would take to build an entire satellite on your own. It meshes nicely with 1), as people who want to learn space technologies tend to not have money to build and launch satellites on their own.
As for your original question: we're far from the point of having all necessary sensors in orbit. There's not much to rent out yet.