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I'm building a CubeSat and it's halfway built. I've got a launch for February 2023, and I need a transmitter. If I don't get a transmitter on this thing, the CubeSat will ride to orbit and immediately lose contact, and then it's mission over.

To prevent this, I need a cheap transmitter (anywhere from 90 to 300 US dollars will do, but whatever is cheapest should also be fine) that will operate well in the harsh conditions that the craft must endure.

It will be in a 500 km SSO orbit. Mission lifetime is expected to be around 8 to 10 days depending on whatever battery power is left after launch.

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    $\begingroup$ I would recommend the 1k cubesst video series by rg sat, has lots of informative content. $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Nov 1, 2022 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ cheap-ish (if used not new) but won't solve your communications problem, even with a giant antenna the latency kills most protocols space.stackexchange.com/search?q=phonesat Answers to Does the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars have a radio call sign? explain that the Ingenuity helicopter and Perseverance rover on Mars communicate with simple commercial ZigBee devices. I don't know their absolute maximum range in actual free space rather than "line of sight" close to Earth's surface or how legal it is to add high gain antennas. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 2, 2022 at 1:26
  • $\begingroup$ You can also look into LoRa $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 2, 2022 at 1:31
  • $\begingroup$ I do not think you will find any reliable Cubesat transmitter for less than $5000 $\endgroup$
    – Carlos N
    Nov 4, 2022 at 19:22
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    $\begingroup$ @ColonelCornieliusCornwall Reliability is more than battery live and accumulation of radiation damage; it also needs to survive the high g-load of an uncrewed launch and the powerful vibrations associated with that, as well as the ~90 minute hot/cold cycling as it passes in and out of eclipse. Have you calculated or at least researched the large swings in in internal temperature of your cubesat as you go between hot Sun (with no "air cooling") and the "cold of space" when the Sun is behind the Earth? These can kill several kinds of electrical components, and especially batteries. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 5, 2022 at 4:11

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