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BRICSat-P (BRICSat 1 / NO 83 / Naval Academy-OSCAR 83)


BRICSat-P (Ballistically Reinforced Communication Satellite) is a low cost 1.5U CubeSat built by the US Naval Academy Satellite Lab in collaboration with George Washington University, that will demonstrate on-orbit operation of a Micro-Cathode Arc Thruster (µCAT) electric propulsion system and carries an Amateur communication payload.

BRICSat-P is the redesigned and renamed PSat B (ParkinsonSat B).

A four µCAT thruster head system was placed on one side of the spacecraft around the center of gravity and will de-tumble the satellite from its initial expulsion, demonstrate rotational control about two axes, and perform a delta-v end-of-life scenario. Orbital analyses performed indicate that the four thruster-head system is able to fit in a 1.5U CubeSat with low power consumption such that other subsystems such as communication systems can perform normally. Dynamics analysis has been performed in MATLAB Simulink and STK that shows the thrusters can successfully perform the attitude control maneuvers. The project is fully funded and scheduled to launch in March 2015.

BRICSat has two Amateur communication payload on boards:

  • APRS constellation transponder with downlink on 437.975 MHz and with uplink on 145.825 MHz 1k2 and 9k6 AX25
  • PSK31 transponder with a 28.120 MHz uplink (2.5 kHz bandwidth) and a UHF FM downlink

BRICSat-P suffered from power budget problems and has been unable to support all of its primary missions.

A reflight of the experiment is planned as BRICSat 2.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology, Communication
Operator: US Naval Academy Satellite Lab, George Washington University
Contractors: US Naval Academy Satellite Lab, George Washington University
Configuration: CubeSat (1.5U)
Propulsion: 4 × µCAT
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Orbit: 356 km × 700 km, 55.01°
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
BRICSat-P (BRICSat 1 / NO 83, Navy-OSCAR) (ex PSat B, ParkinsonSat B) 2015-025E 20.05.2015 CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(501) with X-37B OTV-4, GEARRS 2, LightSail A, OptiCube 1, OptiCube 2, OptiCube 3, USS Langley, AeroCube 8A, AeroCube 8B, PSat A