TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Student team in University of ArizonaUnited States, build a satellite micro with a unique antenna similar to a volleyball. The Cubesat, which they named CatSat, is expected to be the answer for high-speed and low-cost communication and data transmission using small satellites.
The antenna will serve the communication device. When it slides, its form is still folded. However, once in Earth orbit and ready for work, the antenna will inflate using a combination of helium and argon gases. Its surface area is used to increase speed downlink.
The CatSat will serve a dual purpose in addition to testing the new model’s antenna. The box-shaped instrument will probe the Earth’s ionosphere to study the propagation and changes of high-frequency radio signals in the upper atmosphere. Together with other existing components, CatSat will transmit high-resolution images at speeds previously unattainable by cubesats of comparable size.
Hilliard Paige, a University of Arizona engineering student who became CatSat’s principal systems engineer, said he saw his antenna concept as a wayfinder for future missions. “After a successful launch, this inflatable antenna will be the first of its kind in space,” Paige said in an online release from the university.
Professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, Chris Walker, also believes that the technology demonstrated by CatSat will open the door to the possibility of moon, planetary and space missions in the future using micro satellites, aka cubesats. Walker co-founded a company called Freefall Aerospace which developed the beach volleyball antenna.
Walker was also involved in submitting the initial proposal for the CatSat student satellite to NASA under the Cubesat Launch Initiative in 2019. The proposal received NASA approval, and CatSat was given a launch vehicle – the Firefly Aerospace Alpha rocket, which will lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. .
the plan, student satellite it will be sent into orbit at an altitude of 547 kilometers. If successful, the CatSat volleyball antenna will then transmit a real-time image of Earth. “CatSat does not yet have a target launch date, although it is expected to be confirmed later this year,” said a University of Arizona official.
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