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CubeSat Project in College of Science and Technology, Nihon University, Japan

The APRSAF secretariat received the following message from Miyasaki Yukio, the associate professor of College of Science and Technology, Nihon University:

The students in our laboratory have developed a type of nanosatellite called a CubeSat, which measures 10 cubic centimeters and weighs 1 kg. The satellite is called SEEDS (Space Engineering Education Satellite). As its name implies, the purpose of developing SEEDS was to give the students a practical education in space engineering. The CubeSat project was proposed by Prof. Twiggs of Stanford University in 1999. More than 100 university laboratories, companies, and research institutes have been developing CubeSats. We are going to launch SEEDS into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 630 km using the Indian PSLV rocket. The launch date has not been determined yet, but we are preparing for a launch in September or October this year. The main mission of SEEDS is very simple - to demonstrate the bus system of our nanosatellite. SEEDS has components such as gyrosensors, geomagnetic sensors, temperature sensors, and a newly-developed transceiver. We will downlink the sensor data from SEEDS to our ground station and monitor its performance. SEEDS also has an IC voice recorder, and before SEEDS was launched we recorded some voice data and image data that had been converted to voice data. SEEDS will transmit this voice data on an amateur radio frequency so you can enjoy it.

SEEDS is a tiny satellite, but even so it was very hard for the students to develop a system that works well in space. Through this project, I expect the students to realize how hard space development is, and at the same time I hope they can feel the satisfaction of succeeding in their work.

We are now developing our second satellite, called SPROUT. SPROUT is three times larger than SEEDS, and its main mission is to demonstrate a deployable membrane structure. Our ultimate goal of these nanosatellite projects is to establish a cycle of demonstrating our research using our satellites.

Several countries in South-east Asia have started developing nanosatellites. Nihon University is now preparing to collaborate with those countries in nanosatellite development. Some universities are planning to observe the Earth with small telescopes on nanosatellites. We welcome contact from anyone who is interested in using or developing nanosatellites.

Yasuyuki Miyazaki (
Associate professor,
Department of Aerospace Engineering,
College of Science and Technology,
Nihon University, Japan.


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