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ArduSat, an Arduino-based CubeSat

presented on June 11, 2015 during the 22nd ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research, Tromsø, Norway

Dirk Geeroms

on 21 November 2016

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Transcript of ArduSat, an Arduino-based CubeSat

ArduSat uncovered
ArduSat, a short history
What is ArduSat?
open-source Nanosatellite
based on CubeSat standard
mass 1 kg
extensive Arduino sensor suite onboard
Coding for Space
Arduino: open-source electronics prototyping platform
easy to use Arduino programming environment
based on the Processing programming environment
can be expanded through C++ libraries
Ardusat Software Development Kit (SDK), available for download on GitHub since May 2013
working process: create, review, test and upload code; gather, download and examine data
student project @
Hasselt University, Belgium
two physics students in 2nd year bachelor's degree
experimental measurement techniques
15 days spread across 10 weeks
Satellite architecture
single unit (1U) CubeSat
mass 1 kg
UHF: 435-438 MHz amateur radio satellite band
ArduSat Payload Processor Module (ASPPM)
ATmega2561, similar to Arduino Mega
16 processor nodes with ATmega328P, similar to Arduino Uno
Luminosity sensor (TSL2561)
TSL2561 is not a true luxmeter
rather a light-to-digital converter
combination of one broadband photodiode and one IR photodiode
two ADCs convert photodiode currents to a digital signal
digital signal sent to microprocessor
illuminance in lux derived using an empirical formula to approximate human eye response
percent differences of about 6 % for white LED
3-axis accelerometer (ADXL345)
Digital 3-axis gyroscope (ITG-3200)
measures static acceleration of gravity
measures dynamic acceleration resulting from motion or shock
test with K’NEX CubeSat in free-fall and used as a simple pendulum
percent errors of approximately 6% for the theoretical period of the pendulum
K’NEX CubeSat put on a turning plate
rotating at a constant angular velocity
measured Z-axis values compared to chronometer obtained data
percent differences of about 11 %
Digital temperature sensor (TMP102)
temperature experiment on
development satellite, located in Paris, France
hot and cold cycle in a clean room testing environment
Digital 3-axis magnetometer (MAG3110)
Infrared temperature sensor (MLX90614)
Geiger counter tube (SEN-11345)
in original Ardusat sensor suite: LND716 gamma detector
in K'NEX CubeSat: USB powered SparkFun Geiger counter SEN-11345, equipped with an ATMega328
test with ionizing radiation from a cobalt-60 source
measurements compared with Vernier Digital Radiation Monitor
Uploading to Space
beginning of June 2014: presentations students @ UHasselt
code has never been uploaded

June 19, 2014: launch of satellite Lemur-1
Lemur-1 is a triple-unit (3U) CubeSat, built by Spire
Spire is the new name for company NanoSatisfi since July 2014.
successful in sending data from temperature sensors and magnetometer
no uploads from student experiments

April 2015: successful test of education payload on high altitude balloon

Spire will launch several satellites by the end of 2015.

possible to write and test valuable code in short amount of time
open-source platform Arduino and ArduSat SDK are student friendly
code has never been uploaded to Space
results obtained from test satellite are reliable and ready to be carried out in Space
new opportunities to upload on Spire's satellites by the end of 2015
renting an ArduSat space satellite might be cheaper than your vacation rental car
June 2012
August 2012
October 2012
4 alumni International Space University
startup NanoSatisfi Inc.
ArduSat crowdfunding campaign
> $100k in one month
mission: affordable, easy access to space

first design ArduSat payload prototype
first high-altitude test
November 20, 2012
agreement Nanoracks
coordination deployment of first two ArduSats
via NASA and JAXA satellite deployment program

August 3, 2013
November 19, 2013
Launch ArduSat-X and ArduSat-1 into low Earth orbit (LEO)
April 15, 2014
re-entering atmosphere of ArduSat-X
April 16, 2014
re-entering atmosphere of ArduSat-1
February 28, 2014
deployment of ArduSat-2 from Kibo airlock ISS
into low Earth orbit
no signals received

July 1, 2014
re-entering atmosphere of ArduSat-2
Payload architecture
Testing the sensor suite

launch of cargo transfer vehicle HTV-4
from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
to the International Space Station (ISS)
ArduSat-X and ArduSat-1 aboard
6 days later: HTV-4 berthed to ISS
side view of K'NEX CubeSat
percent differences of only 3 % for a magnet of 1.1 mT
percent differences of about 6 %
for the temperatue of a heat plate
percent differences of 6 %
Thank you ESA for giving me the opportunity to be here

Great need for low-cost opportunities in Space
Advice: lower the age for as many projects as possible
Engineer or scientist of tomorrow is inspired by a teacher!

Thank you all for your attention
top view of K'NEX CubeSat
Full transcript