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OreSat [Portland State University]

The OreSat (Oregon Satellite) is a 2U CubeSat mission by Portland State University to promote aerospace education and create an innovative education outreach opportunity in the state of Oregon.

It will transmit a live ""selfie"" video of Oregon K-12 students and their local area from low earth orbit. The K-12 students receive the video on simple equipment they build themselves, transmitted from a sophisticated satellite designed and built by only slightly older students at Oregon’s colleges and universities. Its secondary mission is to study the contributions of high-altitude cirrus clouds to global climate change. OreSat's tertiary mission is to raise the technological readiness of a suite of CubeSat technologies: the DxWiFi radio communication system, Gallium Arsenide solar cells manufactured by Alta Devices, and the open source OreSat CubeSat bus. Payload: DxWiFi - open source S-band amateur radio; Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) solar cells Science/Technology Demonstration: communication; solar cell; CubeSat bus; Climate Change Focus Areas: Education, Scientific Research, Technology Demonstration"

OreSat's primary mission is to offer an innovative space-based STEM outreach to the entire state of Oregon. The "OreSat Live" system will stream live video directly from the satellite in low earth orbit to any Oregon school that builds an inexpensive, easy to assemble, simple to use ground station. The OreSat Live space segment is based off the technology heritage of the DxWiFi project, a long distance WiFi-based (802.11b) 2.4 GHz amateur radio link pioneered at Portland State University. DxWiFi has been tested up to 125 km on small aircraft, and on a half dozen amateur rocket launches. By extending the reach of DxWiFi with higher gain antennas, OreSat will be able to directly transmit a 2 Mbps high-compression video stream from low earth orbit. On the ground, students will hand-wind a helical antenna around a series of 3D printed forms, fasten the antenna to a laser-cut handheld plate, solder together a simple low noise amplifier board on a provided PCB, and add a $15 WiFi to USB converter. This < $50 system, which can be built from scratch, bought as a kit, or purchased as a complete unit, connects to any Windows, Mac or Linux laptop running OreSat's open source video streaming and decoding software. Students will hand-point the antenna at OreSat as it passes overhead using a freely available smart phone app made by Analytical Graphics, Inc. called "Satellite AR", which displays a real time satellite position in the sky. This fun, easy to build and use, "DIY" ground station will not only display real-time images transmitted directly from space, but also teach students about wireless communication, space, nanosatellites, orbits and give them hands-on experience with rapid prototyping technologies.

OreSat's secondary mission is to study the contribution of high-altitude cirrus clouds to global climate change. Dr. Greg Bothun and Eryn Cangi from the Department of Physics at the University of Oregon have developed the Cirrus Flux Cam (CFC), an inexpensive astronomy camera and optical filter wheel system designed to image the optical flux of sunlight reflected off high-altitude (>15 km) cirrus clouds. These clouds are often invisible to the naked eye but still absorb infrared radiation, a basic mechanism in global warming. The CFC will provide an estimate of the cirrus clouds’ global coverage using a filter wheel to image the reflected light of cirrus clouds in 82a blue, 11 yellow, and LRGB bands. The data will be verified against ground-based studies in Oregon and later used to estimate the impact of cirrus clouds on climate change, which will help improve future climate models

OreSat's tertiary mission is to demonstrate three innovative technologies for university-class CubeSats:

  • DxWiFi: OreSat will demonstrate the functionality of DxWiFi, an inexpensive, long distance, open source S-band amateur radio communication technology with a 2 Mbps bidirectional data link.
  • Alta Devices Single-Junction CVD Solar Technology: OreSat will demonstrate the space-readiness of a new type of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) solar cell, manufactured by Alta Devices. Alta Devices is providing the cells in-kind for the OreSat mission.
  • The OreSat Bus: The OreSat bus is an open source, modular card/backplane system that replaces standard CubeSat PC-104 stacks. The OreSat bus can scale from 1 to 3U CubeSats, and includes solar panels, battery packs, and radio systems.

It was selected in 2017 by NASA to be launched as part of the ELaNa program.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Portland State University
Contractors: Portland State University
Equipment: Cirrus Flux Cam, DxWiFi
Configuration: CubeSat (2U)
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: 2 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
OreSat - (via NASA ELaNa program) with ?