The satellite is a “cubesat,” which is a 4-inch, cube-shaped satellite that is used primarily for research. Once released from the rocket, AubieSat-1 will have two antennas come out – one for receiving signals from Auburn University and one for sending signals back to Auburn. The students have built a control center in the Physics Department from which they will give the satellite commands to execute, as well as receive, data from the satellite such as temperature, battery charge and voltage, and power from the solar cells. The students will ultimately measure the decrease of solar cell efficiency over time on protected versus non-protected solar panels.
The construction of the satellite is part of the Auburn University Student Space Program, and AubieSat-1 is the first student-built satellite in the state to be accepted by NASA for launch. The satellite will launch aboard a NASA-sponsored Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Once in space, the satellite will communicate with Auburn students in Morse Code, and the phrase “War Eagle” is the signal that the launch was successful and the satellite is in orbit and operating correctly.
The students designed, built and tested the satellite, and took it to California for a Mission Readiness Review, which they passed with flying colors. Finally, the satellite underwent some tests before being shipped to California for integration into a Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployer, a satellite deployer known as a P-POD, that will be placed in the launching rocket with the four other cubesats.
Auburn University’s famous battle cry, “War Eagle,” will be heard from space Oct. 27 when it is transmitted to earth from a student-built satellite known as “AubieSat-1.”
The Auburn University Student Space Program is part of the College of Sciences and Mathematics. AubieSat-1 is sponsored by Auburn University and the Alabama Space Grant Consortium. For more information on AubieSat-1, go to the website at http://www.space.auburn.edu/.
Fun Facts regarding the AubieSat-1
- AubieSat-1 is the first student built satellite in Alabama.
- It is a 1U CubeSat: 1000cm3 in volume and weighing 1.03-kg.
- It is entirely designed and built and tested by Auburn University undergraduate students, without using components off the shelf.
- It will study radio wave propagation through the ionosphere and test solar panel protective films.
- It is part of the ELaNa3 Mission.