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RFTSat 1

RFTSat 1 [NNU]

The RFTSat 1 (Radio Frequency Tag Satellite) is a 3U CubeSat mission by the North Nazarene University to test backscatter radio communication between CubeSat and remote wireless sensors.

It is a technology demonstration mission to test a system for deploying small, wireless sensor tags from the spacecraft that harvest RF energy and communicate with the spacecraft using backscatter radio. The sensor tags could be used to sense many phenomena including, but not limited to, acceleration, electric field strength, magnetic field strength. The wireless sensor tags will provide flexible sensor communication mechanism and reduced mission risk by reducing the complexity of the deployable boom design.

The objectives of the mission are:

  • Collect space weather data wirelessly from an energy harvesting RF tag
  • Demonstrate data collection with different distances between the reader and tag
  • Provide sustained data throughout the satellite’s life RFTSat subsystems will be built primarily using commercial off the shelf (COTS) components.

It was selected in 2017 by NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) to be launched as part of the ELaNa program.

RFTSat 1 was launched on the ELaNa-27 mission on board of Dragon CRS-18 and transfered on the ISS to the SEOPS Slingshot deployer on Cygnus CRS-11. It was deployed on 8 August 2019 after Cygnus CRS-11 departing from the ISS.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: North Nazarene University
Contractors: North Nazarene University
Equipment: RFID reader/tag system
Configuration: CubeSat (3U)
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Mass: x kg
Orbit: 400 km × 400 km, 51.6° (typical)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
RFTSat 1 2019-022G 25.07.2019 CC SLC-40 Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Dragon CRS-18, IDA 3, ORCA 1, Quantum Radar 3, NARSScube 2


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