TechEdSats swim free in orbit.
TechedSat, a collaboration with JAXA
by Jorge Freyer, CEO at AAC Microtec
TechEdSat is a NASA Ames Research Center 1U CubeSat built by San Jose State University student interns, in partnership with NRP tenant AAC Microtec. AAC Microtec provided the avionics and technical support to the NASA team.
Its mission is to evaluate Space Plug-and-play Avionics (SPA) designed in Sweden by AAC Microtec, the parent company of AAC Microtec, U.S. TechEdSat will perform a communications experiment utilizing the Iridium and Orbcomm satellite phone network.
TechEdSat was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in July and was then deployed into Low Earth Orbit using the JAXA J-SSOD Japanese deployer. On October 5, TechEdSat, a small cube-shaped satellite, was launched from the ISS, and is being tracked by NASA engineers, student interns and amateur radio enthusiasts around the world.
TechEdSat measures about 4 inches (10 centimeters) on a side and carries a ham radio transmitter.
“TechEdSat will evaluate plug-and-play technologies, like avionics designed by commercial providers, and will allow a group of very talented aerospace engineering students from San Jose State University to experience a spaceflight project from formulation through decommission of a small spacecraft,” said Ames Director S. Pete Worden.
TechEdSat’s mission showcases collaboration among NASA, academia and industry to set the standard for future endeavors with small satellites known as Cubesats. TechEdSat is funded by Ames and NASA’s Space Technology Program. The total cost of the device was less than $30,000 because engineers used only commercial off-the-shelf hardware and simplified the design and mission objectives.
For more about TechEdSat, visit SJSU’s site at techedsat.com