CubeSats is a Cubic 10cm*10cm*10cm Satellite that weigh about 1.33 kilogram. Started in 1999, the CubeSat standard was a collaborative effort between California Polytechnic State University, and Stanford University's Space Systems Development Laboratory. This allows high schools, colleges, and universities from around the world to develop and launch their own low budget educational CubeSat.
The Cube Satellite (CubeSat) project has started in University of Khartoum Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department in October 2010 with the main objective to design, build and launch a fully functional satellite (KN-Sat1). KN-sat1 is the first Sudanese educational Cube satellite complying with the CubeSat specifications.
1. To give students at Sudanese Universities a hands-on space project experience.
2. To document the process and skills and forward it to more students and post graduated engineers.
3. To promote space engineering and space science education at other Sudanese educational institutes.
4. Building, testing and launching the cube satellite.
5. Monitoring and tracking the cube satellite.
6. Telecomm and the cube satellite.
7. Collecting the telemetry and the mission data for analysis and evaluation
* Teachers and students.
* Aerospace Scientist.
* Telecommunication Engineers.
* Navigation Scientist.
* Geosciences and Meteorology.
* weather and atmospheric research.
* Physics, Engineering and Mathematics Scientists.
* Electronic Scientist.
* Agriculture Scientist.
ST2UOK is the first educational satellite ground station in Sudan. It is an important part to train the engineers and students to test the systems they build, track and control their satellite, receive and analyze data from different satellites and help collecting data for other universities.
It is composed of HF, VHF, UHF and L-band antennas, transmission lines, pre-amplifier, down converters, radios, Terminal node controllers (TNC), antenna rotator and computers with different softwares to control the radios and track the satellites.
Usually the CubeSat contains:
* Electrical Power Subsystem (EPS):that generate, store and regulate the energy in the CubeSat and distributes it to all the subsystems.
* Communication Subsystem (COM): that sends and receives data to and from the ground station, without it the CubeSat cannot communicate with the station.
* On Board Computer (OBC): which is the brain of the satellite; it has all the logics and does the calculations needed to ensure that the satellite works as it should be.
* Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem (ADCS): is the subsystem concerned with orienting the CubeSat into specific direction in order for the antenna or the solar cells works with maximum efficiency.
* Payload: is the satellite mission itself. It is different from satellite to another. For example: camera, sensors … etc.
* Beacon subsystem: is the system that reports the housekeeping data and small information about the health and the state of the satellite.
* Structure: is the mechanical skeleton that holds all the CubeSat subsystem and take care of all the mechanical operations like antenna release.
* The team took training in Turkey in CubeSat systems at Istanbul Technical University (ITU).
* Published a paper in University of Khartoum Post Graduate Studies Annual Conference, February 2012.
* Developed our decoding software to be used by the Indian University, SRM for their satellite.
* The project plays a big role in spreading awareness to space science in the academy field in Sudan for different age groups.
* Every year there are projects related to the CubeSat concept.
* Built and calibrated the first educational satellite ground station in Sudan up to the standards.
* Participated in African telecommunication minister's conference.
* Helped other universities by receiving, decode and analyze data from their satellites.
* Received weather images from weather satellites like NOAA satellites.
* The team participated in HF armature radio CQ contest for the first time and received a large number of calls from radio amateurs from all over the world.
* Published six scientific papers in 2nd IAA Conference on University Satellite Missions and CubeSat Workshop, February 2013, Rome, Italy.
This is the first CubeSat prototype designed by the team. It is a fully functional CubeSat with its all subsystems following the CubeSat Standards but built from local means. The satellite mission was to report the housekeeping and GPS data, this is considered the first CubeSat prototype built in Sudan.
In this design, the team devolved a VHF beacon transmitter, TNC hardware and software, built the first mini solar cell in Sudan to be used in the prototype, it was also programmed the satellite to take picture at a certain location using GPS data and programmed the satellite to receive telecommands to prototype 2 to take a picture or send a picture.
The final stage of the project is to launch the first Sudanese educational satellite which adheres to the CubeSat standards in the space, send and receive data from it. This will be the spark for the space science in Sudan.