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DIY Satellite Platforms by Sandy Antunes

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Budgets

There are five budgets concerning your picosatellite:

Cost
This is a soft limit because you can always try fund-raising if you exceed your allowance. How much can you afford to spend? If $12,000 is too much, find a cheaper hobby.
Weight
This is a hard limit. All picosatellites have a capped weight limit that you know in advance (e.g., 1 kilogram entire payload, leaving about 200 grams for the experiment part).
Power
This is also a hard limit. Your power budget, discussed in Chapter 4, is the amount of power you have via a battery that recharges from solar cells, versus the number of electronics and transmitters you wish to power.
Bandwidth
A negotiated hard limit, bandwidth is traditionally space-based astronomy’s greatest limiting factor. Getting your data down to Earth is yet another budgeted item. You will typically have a limited upload and download capacity because of licensing and spectrum sharing regulations, and you must ensure your data gathering needs fit into those limits.
Processing
A soft budget is the speed of your onboard computer, which has to be fast enough to deliver your data at the given fidelity to your transmitter, including any real-time onboard processing desired.

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