Apr 8, 2016

Student-designed ‘FemtoSats’ aim to bring cost of satellite deployment below $1,000

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

Got a grand burning a hole in your pocket? You could get a new laptop — or you could send this tiny, palm-sized satellite to space. That’s what a team of engineers at Arizona State hope, anyway: their “FemtoSats” are meant to be as cheap a space-bound platform as has ever been devised.

At just 3cm per side and 35 grams (that’s about 1.2 inches and 0.077 pounds, dogs of the Imperial system), the SunCube 1F is the prototype FemtoSat. It’s powered by a salvaged scrap of solar panel (they don’t make them small enough off the shelf), the tiny unit includes propulsion, imaging, communication, and data collection.

“The design standard bootstraps from the Cal Poly CubeSat standard and is extensible, allowing major customization,” wrote Jekan Thanga, the ASU assistant professor who heads up the project, in an email to TechCrunch.

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  1. Sam says:

    WOW, this is amazing :) I want one!