“Our mission is to construct a low-cost satellite that is trackable by amateur radio receiver and visible from earth to the unaided eye.”
Space has a reputation for being complicated. The public perception is that any attempt to understand the science of space will be not only frustrating, but nearly impossible for anyone without professional experience. This gap between the space industry and its market strains what really should be a cooperative relationship between producer and consumer.
Our mission is a campaign to change the public’s perception of the space industry. We intend to show that space technology is accessible to non-professionals, and therefore open the field of micro-satellite design to entrepreneurs outside university programs and government agencies . Our satellite will be low-cost and constructed in a short time-frame by a small group of amateurs. It will simplistic enough to be reproducible and accessible to non-professionals.
Moreover, the satellite will be highly accessible to the public eye. It will transmit a radio–frequency signal that can be read by anyone; this will confirm the satellite’s existence and facilitate locating it. Most importantly, under the correct conditions, it will be visible to unaided-eye of an observer on earth via an optical beacon. This mission will demonstrate to consumers that a basic understanding of extra-terrestrial engineering is both reasonable and worthwhile.
Our project will serve as a model to other potential small satellite makers that want information on implementing low tech methods for LEO-Earth communcations. This information will be helpful both as a baseline for more complicated systems or for initial planning for implementing similar systems.