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10 votes
Accepted

Is New Shepard an orbit-capable first stage? Could an (albeit small) 2nd stage with propulsion be put on top that could put a smallsat into orbit?

I think we can all agree that the crux of this question is in the New Shepard specifications, feel free to offer improvements to these. Here are the ones I arrived at (note: there is no recovery of ...
BrendanLuke15's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Have there been any other "camsats" besides Banxing-2?

In the early days of ISS, when they were building it with the shuttle, there was a soccer ball sized robot camera called AER Cam Sprint. NASA, public domain. Astronaut for scale They tested it ...
Johnny Robinson's user avatar
8 votes

How can the CYGNSS spacecrafts (actually) measure ocean roughness?

Addressing multipath has long been a challenge with regard to GPS. Carrying a GPS-enabled smartphone toward the heart of a large city results in GPS-estimated positions and altitudes that bounce ...
David Hammen's user avatar
6 votes

How can the CYGNSS spacecrafts (actually) measure ocean roughness?

Short version: you have to read the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents (ATBD), conveniently collected at https://clasp-research.engin.umich.edu/missions/cygnss/data-products.php . All of them. ...
Ryan C's user avatar
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5 votes

Have any satellites had lights visible from Earth besides FITSat-1?

Humanity Star According to Wikipedia: Humanity Star was a passive satellite designed to produce flares visible from Earth. Its shape was a geodesic sphere about 1 metre (3 ft) in diameter, ...
Sophie Altair's user avatar
5 votes

How can the CYGNSS spacecrafts (actually) measure ocean roughness?

The CYGNSS spacecraft will use a technique called "Delay Doppler Mapping". Each satellite will be equipped with a Delay Doppler Mapping Instrument (DDMI), which is capable of receiving four DDM's at ...
Phiteros's user avatar
  • 5,626
4 votes
Accepted

What is this "space ring"? Is it SHERPA or something new, or just "art"?

Both spacecraft appear to be utilizing an ESPA ring, which stands for EELV Secondary Payload Adapter. ESPA class missions "hitchhike" on the interstage of a larger launch. This is useful when e.g. a ...
Bear's user avatar
  • 1,565
4 votes

Have any satellites had lights visible from Earth besides FITSat-1?

Ginrei Yes! Ginrei is an LED satellite launched in 2014: Ginrei or ShindaiSat was a 400x400x450mm cube-like microsatellite intended to text experimental visible light communication. The satellite is ...
DialFrost's user avatar
  • 1,573
3 votes

Necessary algorithms and their structures to ensure minimum performance of small satellites based on PLD/FPGA

You don't start from a PLD/FPGA. You first figure out specific mission requirements, and then architect a solution that includes a variety of technologies chosen for their specific applicability to ...
John Doty's user avatar
  • 3,364
3 votes
Accepted

Have magnetotorquers ever been used to spin-up a satellite?

The cases you've mentioned are applied to three-axis attitude control systems. In the past (and oddly even today), magnetic torquers were used to replenish the angular momentum of spin-stabilized ...
Mefitico's user avatar
  • 1,987
3 votes

What was the first satellite built with mostly COTS electronics?

I think the satellite is the Telstar 1 satellite It was launched in July 1962 Telstar 1 was a communications satellite launched by NASA. It was the satellite that allowed the first live broadcast of ...
Đαrkraι's user avatar
  • 1,636
3 votes

Closest distance at which cubesat (or comparable smallsat) has communicated with the Deep Space Network or any large 10+ meter dish? Cis-lunar ever?

Because the other answers seem to be having trouble finding cubesats: the MarCO cubesats apparently downlinked to 70m DSN dishes. MarCO A and B were 6U cubesats that acted as comm relays for the ...
Erin Anne's user avatar
  • 11.8k
2 votes

How can the CYGNSS spacecrafts (actually) measure ocean roughness?

This is explained in the mission Science Briefing. Basically, they are measuring the distortion of the GPS signal reflected by the water surface. On a calm flat surface, the reflection is specular, I....
oefe's user avatar
  • 2,179
2 votes

How can the CYGNSS spacecrafts (actually) measure ocean roughness?

CYGNSS uses Delay Doppler Reflectometry to record ocean choppyness. What this means is, essentially, the satellites listen to GPS signals bounce off the ocean surface and look at how much the signal ...
John Aaron's user avatar
2 votes

Closest distance at which cubesat (or comparable smallsat) has communicated with the Deep Space Network or any large 10+ meter dish? Cis-lunar ever?

Based on the postulate that a cubesat is a low-power transmitter without a directional antenna, then the most suitable example would be a Soviet balloon in the atmosphere of Venus. Its transmitter ...
A. Rumlin's user avatar
  • 7,863
2 votes

Closest distance at which cubesat (or comparable smallsat) has communicated with the Deep Space Network or any large 10+ meter dish? Cis-lunar ever?

Based on some research, I could not find a cubesat that has communicated with the Deep Space Network yet. However, there are two interesting findings: The Lunar IceCube Cubesat, planned to launch on ...
Manny's user avatar
  • 710
2 votes

Are there any modern cubesats or smallsats that have relied only on magnetotorquers for attitude control?

M-Cubed is (was?) a cubesat build at the University of Michigan that sort-of qualifies: The satellite uses a small permanent magnet and orthogonal mu-metal dampening strips as passive attitude ...
Bob Jacobsen's user avatar
  • 12.7k
2 votes

What was the first satellite built with mostly COTS electronics?

TLDR Sputnik 1 / Explorer 1 Rationale: I believe the terms COTS and hi-rel have taken a while to take hold. If we take the assertions of the article linked to by RUNTIQ as correct then the ...
Puffin's user avatar
  • 9,644
1 vote

What was the first satellite built with mostly COTS electronics?

From the information on these websites 1, 2 & 3 (sorry but 3 is in Dutch - the electronic schematic diagrams in 2 & 3 match), the radio transmitter for Sputnik 1 used electronic tubes/valves, ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 13.1k
1 vote

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of a LEO Earth observation satellite, carrying both Electro optical and SAR payload be?

The look angles would be different, but very well-known. So, in practice, we would still be able to use all datasets simultaneously after some pre-processing and geometry corrections. Scientists ...
Playstation_waifu's user avatar
1 vote

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of a LEO Earth observation satellite, carrying both Electro optical and SAR payload be?

This may have more to due to finance/politics than space/technology. Asking investors for money to build a first satellite is much harder than for second etc where you can invite them to see your ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

What will Taiwan's NSPO put in orbit around the Moon in 2025? How will it get there? What will it do?

On June 2, 2021, the Taipei Times reported that the National Central University (NCU) was partnering with HelioX and other local businesses to develop a scientific payload to be part of an ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 13.1k
1 vote

Are there any modern cubesats or smallsats that have relied only on magnetotorquers for attitude control?

The ELFIN cubesats use magnetotorquers for attitude control.
Jim Lewis's user avatar
  • 931
1 vote

How can the CYGNSS spacecrafts (actually) measure ocean roughness?

I am not sure what you mean by "ocean roughness", but the CYGNSS products are wind speed and Mean Square Slope (MSS). You can read the retrieval algorithms here (pag 47) and here (page 5) ...
danipascual's user avatar

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