STECCO Satellite

Spacecraft STECCO (Space Travelling Egg Controlled Catadioptric Object)
Form factor PocketQube
Units or mass PocketQube 6p
Status Operational (Official confirmation on the website and many reports on Twitter and SatNOGS as of 2021-03-27)
Launched 2021-03-22
NORAD ID 47962
Deployer PEPPOD, GPOD (GAUSS Picosatellites Orbital Deployer) [GAUSS]
Launcher Sojuz (UniSat-7)
Deployment Deployed from UniSat-7 on 2021-03-25
Organization Sapienza University of Rome
Institution University
Entity Academic / Education
Nation Italy
Partners The Sapienza Space Systems and Space Surveillance Laboratory (S5Lab)

Educational mission with amateur radio payload.


Developed by the students of the Special Master of Aerospace Engineering offered by SIA, who designed the satellite structure, implemented the flight software, programmed the mission profile and managed the integration and testing, under the supervision of the professors and researchers at SIA.

STECCO has a radioham digipeater which is active by default and can be accessed by any radioamateur. The digipeater function can be occasionally disabled in case of particular situations which could harm the satellite operational life. All the data sent by STECCO are unencrypted and public and the instructions for the interpretation of the raw telemetry data will be given to the radio-amateur community. STECCO aims to the achievement of common goals of enhancing and disseminating scientific culture in general and that of Aerospace Sciences in particular, promoting the interest of new generations in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) disciplines as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding between SIA and AMSAT Italia.

Data received by the radio-amateur community around the world will be collected and sorted along with data downloaded by the Ground Station of the School of Aerospace Engineering. All the data will be available for free consultation online and all the contributors will be acknowledged. The data package will include the measurements and the results of some scientific experiments performed on-board STECCO, such as the on-board temperature, the magnetic field and the angular velocity of the satellite about its centre of mass. STECCO is equipped with innovative attitude control devices, aimed at controlling its angular velocity and enhancing gravity gradient stabilization, leading the satellite long axis to align along nadir.

Radio-amateur will be capable of monitoring the spacecraft attitude (pointing direction) and see the effect of attitude control on it. In addition STECCO is equipped with two Corner Cube Retroreflectors (CCR) for laser ranging experiments from ground. STECCO has a radioham digipeater which is active by default and can be accessed by any radioamateur. Instructions for the use of the digipeater will be published on the site of the School of Aerospace Engineering.

Each one of the two smaller faces will be equipped with one Corner Cube Re-flector (CCRs), so that it will be possible to track the satellite and reconstruct its orbit by means of laser ranging. One of the two CCRs will have the back faces coated while the other one will be uncoated: this will allow distinguishing which face is pointing toward the ground, because of the different sensitivity to the po-larization of the laser impulses used for ranging. CCRs for STECCO will not be custom built units but will be Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) ones. Optical tests on the reflectors and on the mounting system will be performed in the thermovacuum and optical test lab of the School of Aerospace Engineering of Sapienza University of Rome.

Sources [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]
Photo sources [1] [2] [3] [4]

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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Created by Erik Kulu


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