Dragonfly Satellite

Spacecraft name Dragonfly (BIRDS-X)
Spacecraft type CubeSat
Units or mass 2U
Status not launched, expected in 2024
Launcher not launched
Entity name Kyushu Institute of Technology
Institution University
Entity type Academic / Education
Country Japan
Manufacturer AIVT by Kyushu Institute of Technology
Operator Kyushu Institute of Technology

Performs the following missions: APRS digipeater, Store-and-Forward and New UHF transceiver.


The Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Satellite project. acronym as Birds project is a cross-border interdisciplinary satellite project.

The BIRDS-X project is the sixth generations. During this 2 years project, students shall design, develop in Japan and operate a 2U CubeSat less than 2.66 kg, 10x10x 22.7cm, Dragonfly that will be released from International Space Station.

The goal of BIRDS-X project is to bring diversity to the space sector and democratize the usage of space. The project is funded by Amateur Radio Digital Communications in USA. Using the 2U CubeSat, we provide an opportunity to the amateur radio community in the world to do hands-on work on satellite communication using an Automatic Packet Reporting System payload onboard. We host two competitions, 1 APRS mission payload competition 2 APRS ground terminal competition Anybody with a proper amateur radio license can participate in the competition.

More specifically, this satellite performs the following missions:

  1. APRS digipeater
  2. Store-and-Forward
  3. New UHF transceiver

The primary mission of BIRDS-X CubeSat is to provide digital message relay service to the amateur radio community utilizing APRS digipeaters on board. This mission comprises two APRS boards designed in Kyutech, and five boards from the APRS payload competition hosted by Kyutech. All these APRS digipeaters on board BIRDS-X CubeSat will use 145.825 MHz to receive and transmit. One frequency will be shared by 7 APRS boards. APRS REFERENCE 1 is connected to one VHF antenna. APRS reference 2 and competition 3 - 7 are connected to the same antenna via the RF switch. These boards(1 - 7) cannot be in receive mode at the same time, so any one of them will be in receive mode during a mission.

Store and Forward is a mission that a satellite stores data until it passes over a ground station, where the data is transmitted to a designated location. This approach enables global coverage and increases the amount of data that can be collected and transmitted. To achieve this mission the uplink will be done by VHF TRX using APRS protocol from each amateur radio user. The downlink will be done by UHF TRX.

A new UHF transceiver mission is to verify in orbit functionality of newly designed and compiled UHF transceiver by using COTS electronics parts which is installed in parallel to the primary space proven UHF transceiver.

Sources [1]

Last modified: 2023-12-06

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