GASRATS Satellite

Satellite name GASRATS (Get Away Special Radio and Antenna Transparency Satellite)
Type CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Status not launched, expected in 2026
Launcher not launched
Organization Utah State University
Institution University
Entity type Academic / Education
Headquarters US

Demonstrate a novel transparent patch antenna integrated on top of a solar panel. Having a dual-purpose use of the external surface of a satellite and combining power generation with communications capabilities, tackles the common space mission constraints of power and mass limitations. Utah State University has previously participated in CSLI, deploying GASPACS (Get Away Special Passive Attitude Control Satellite) in early 2022 to test inflatable structures in space.

  1. Test an optically transparent S-band patch antenna. The innovative antenna design mounts on top of one of the satellite’s solar panels. We will test receiving telemetry and mission data down over S-band using this antenna.
  2. Ignite excitement for aerospace and amateur radio within Utah students. We will visit many Utah elementary, junior high, and high schools both in-person and virtually and explain our mission. We will also collect the names of students who would like to participate, and laser engrave their names on silicon/aluminum wafers onboard the satellite, to increase awareness of the GAS team and excitement for participation in amateur radio and in the aerospace field for Utah students.

GASRATS will break ground in the amateur S-band. The patch antenna will provide order-of-magnitude improvements in cost as well as making power budgets easier for S-band CubeSats. The GAS Team will share data about the design and manufacturing process of the S-band design once our research is complete, enabling other amateur missions to add homegrown S-band capabilities to their mission. The GAS Team will work with the amateur community to participate in outreach efforts to Utah students; together we will educate students about amateur radio and inspire them to participate.

Our ground station (N7GAS) has an excellent record as an amateur-accessible station on the SATNOGS network – amateur radio operators all over the world can schedule passes using our satellite and freely access data we receive. As part of the GASRATS mission, we will add S-band capabilities to our ground station and make these accessible to amateurs all around the world. All mission code and telemetry schemes will be posted to GitHub, allowing amateurs to build off the foundation we are creating in GASRATS.

Sources [1] [2] [3]
Photo sources [1]

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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