NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 (NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1) - 11.22.16

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 is one of two Lithuanian CubeSats to be Lithuania's first satellites in space. Technology demonstrations developed on the open-source Arduino platform collect images of Earth from space, test solar cells for future satellites, and test an FM voice repeater to extend radio communication distances.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Laurynas Maciulis, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: NanoRacks CubeSat Mission-1

Principal Investigator(s)
Laurynas Maciulis, M.S., Innovative Engineering Projects, Lithuania
Vytenis Buzas, M.S., Innovative Engineering Projects, Lithuania
Linas Bukauskas, Ph.D, Vilnius University, Lithuania

Information Pending

NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2013 - March 2014

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 studies FM Voice Repeater operation in Low Earth Orbit. Its key purpose is to extend the radio communication distance between two radio amateurs from several to several thousand kilometers.
  • NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 examines a silicon based custom built solar cell. Successful demonstration of this technology will prove the feasibility of a lower cost solar cell application for nanosatellites.
  • NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 tests redundant open source hardware and software based on different microcontroller architectures. The predominant use and successful demonstration of open source technology, such as Arduino, offers new ways to make space technology more affordable to general public.
  • NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 takes pictures of the Earth and downlinks the data to a ground station network.
  • NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 also tests various types of attitude  sensors.


The nanosatellite NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 is a cube, with its sides 10 centimeters long, complying with the standard CubeSat design specifications. Four communication antennas are attached to the body of the satellite. The total mass of the body including the equipment within it is 1,090 kg. The satellite uses low cost open-source software and hardware for primary and secondary flight computers that control the payload consisting of an onboard VGA camera and FM Mode V/U Voice Repeater.
The primary flight computer is comprised of the following key components:
  • ARM Cortex-M4F microcontroller
  • PS-MPU-6000A MEMS motion sensor
  • PS-MPU-9150A MEMS motion sensor
  • L3GD20 MEMS three-axis digital output gyroscope
  • HMC5883L three axes digital magnetometer
  • MicroSD memory card.
The NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 team developed the secondary flight computer based on the open source hardware and software project named Arduino. This computer ensures limited, however safe, functionality of the satellite in case of failure of the main onboard computer and also takes and records the first pictures made by Lithuanians from space as well as controls the radio beacon of the satellite. The main components of the computer include an Arduino ATMega 2560 microcontroller, VGA photo-camera, Radio beacon, and MicroSD memory card.
The main payload is a FM mode V/U voice repeater. Its key purpose is to extend the radio communication distance between the two correspondents from several to several thousand kilometers. In the course of the NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 mission, the stability, reliability and operation of the Lithuanian  FM repeater is verified in space. The repeater also provides an opportunity for alternative communication with the satellite in case of the disruption of the main communications transceiver or the functioning of the radio beacon.

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Space Applications
As the first space mission from Lithuania, NanoRacks-Lituanica-SAT-1 paves the way for future space exploration from the northern European nation. Technology demonstrations testing low-cost, open-source hardware and software also benefit the international small-satellite community. The mission tests a low-cost silicon-based solar cell to be used to power future nanosatellites.

Earth Applications
Messages broadcast in the Lithuanian language inspire future generations of explorers in Lithuania and in other countries. Additionally, an FM voice repeater allows amateur and ham radio operators on Earth to establish direct communication with the satellite, providing a unique education and outreach opportunity.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols

Not applicable.

NanoRacks CubeSats are delivered to the ISS already integrated within a NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCD). A crewmember transfers the CubeSat from the launch vehicle to the JEM.  Visual inspection for damage to the NRCD unit is performed.  When CubeSat operations begin, the NRCDs are unpacked, mounted on the JAXA Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) and placed on the JEM airlock slide table for transfer outside the ISS. A crewmember operates the JEM Remote Manipulating System (RMS) – grapple and position for deployment and CubeSats are deployed when JAXA ground controllers command a specific NRCSD.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 investigates FM Voice Repeater operation, taking pictures of the earth and testing different microcontrollers and attitude sensors under the space environment.  Image courtesy of Pavloff Entertainment.

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NanoRacks-LituanicaSAT-1 team members during a presentation at Vilnius University. (from left to right: Audrius Siliunas, Justinas Lapinskas, Vytautas Valaitis, Vytenis Buzas, Marius Dvareckas, Linas Bukauskas, Laurynas Maciulis, Simonas Kareiva) Image courtesy of Pavloff Entertainment. 

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