Alan Johnston will join us for the Hack Chat on Wednesday, December 4 at noon PST.
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All that began to change about 20 years ago when the CubeSat concept was born. Conceived as a way to get engineering students involved in the satellite industry, the 10-cm cube form-factor that evolved has become the standard around which students, amateur radio operators, non-governmental organizations, and even private citizens have designed and flown satellites to do everything from relaying ham radio messages to monitoring the status of the environment.
But before any of that can happen, CubeSat builders need to know that their little chunk of hardware is going to do its job. That's where Alan Johnston, a teaching professor in electrical and computer engineering at Villanova University, comes in. As a member of AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, he has built a CubeSat simulator. Built for about $300 using mostly off-the-shelf and 3D-printed parts, the simulator lets satellite builders work the bugs out of their designs before committing them to the Final Frontier.
Dr. Johnston will stop by the Hack Chat to discuss his CubeSat simulator and all things nanosatellite. Come along to learn what it takes to make sure a satellite is up to snuff, find out his motivations for getting involved in AMSAT and CubeSat testing, and what alternative uses people are finding the platform. Hint: think high-altitude ballooning.