UAPSAT-1 studies meteorological phenomena from space. The picosatellite was designed and programmed at Alas Peruanas University in Peru, to verify the students’ design methods and to tests various instruments designed to measure meteorological impacts on Earth.
Customer: Alas Peruanas University
Research: Meteorological Phenomena
NanoRacks Facility: Smallsat Deployment
Mission Duration: 09/2013 – 03/2014
Mission Status: Deployed in LEO
More Info: From NASA website
Students at Alas Peruanas University in Peru command and control NanoRacks-UAPSAT-1, which studies meteorological phenomena from space. The picosatellite was designed and programmed at the university, serving educational and research efforts in Peru.
The investigation verifies the students’ design methods and tests various electronics, orientation and stabilization instruments, and temperature sensing instruments designed to measure meteorological impacts on Earth.
- UAPSAT-1 tests the behavior of electronic design communication, orientation and stabilization, and verifies the implementation of the technology and methodology used in the manufacturing of the satellite.
- The picosatellite internal design and programming is done exclusively by students at Alas Peruanas University.
- The impact of this research serves the development of future research satellites at the Peruvian state level.
UAPSAT-1 has a cubic shape, and measures 10 cm by 10 cm by 10 cm per side (excluding antennas) and weighs about 1 kg. It carries fixed solar cells on each side to feed its batteries whose energy is necessary at every step by the shadow of the Earth, minicomputer flight, radio transmitters and receivers, and a system power control, which stabilizes the satellite magnets to align with Earth’s magnetic field. The NanoRacks-UAPSAT-1 orbit is quasi-circular, low earth orbit (LEO), at an altitude of 400 km, in the same inclination as the ISS.
UAPSAT-1 tests the behavior of electronic design communication, orientation and stabilization, and verifies the implementation of the technology and methodology used in the manufacturing of the satellite. NanoRacks-UAPSAT-1is linked telemetrically with an earth station located at 12 degrees south latitude and 77 degrees west longitude orbiting at an altitude of approximately 400 km.
Once in orbit, UAPSAT-1 is controlled through a dedicated ground station installed in the laboratories of the Alas Peruanas University (UAP). UAP students are the main satellite operators while in orbit, continuing the educational approach throughout the life cycle of the satellite. Any amateur radio operator in the world can download data files. Other operators can recover these same data files, either in real time, if the sender and receiver have direct contact with the satellite, or at some other time, when the satellite is in a different position in its orbit around Earth.
The research and development project of the academic picosatellite by UAP students, is one of the most meritorious efforts in Peru, because a comprehensive policy of technology innovation is being pursued in order to develop aerospace application projects, aimed at detection of meteorological phenomena and their impact on the earth’s surface. This project is dedicated to scientific and educational purposes, with the acquisition of infrastructure and modern laboratories through a meticulous process of technology transfer.
Students are the satellite’s main operators while it is in orbit, providing a unique educational opportunity in a variety of disciplines. Any amateur or ham radio operator on Earth can download data files from the satellite, either directly if it is overhead, or via a link to a secondary satellite. In addition, the satellite acquires atmospheric temperature data that can be used to study weather phenomena, including major storms.