O'Reilly logo

DIY Satellite Platforms by Sandy Antunes

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Core Work (5 months)

  • Core satellite build (sans payload)

    • Creating schematics
    • Ordering PCB boards and parts for chassis and main boards.
  • Sensors work (the payload)

    • Designing and testing sensors
    • Creating sensor test lab
    • Choosing final sensor mix
  • Core satellite integration
  • Sensor integration
  • Programming
  • Checklist
  • Telecommunications

    • If amateur band, obtain ham license
    • If regulated band, begin licensing
    • Contact IARU once launch is set
    • Build low-power ground station in test bench
    • Determine and acquire final ground station equipment
  • Build and buy for processor (processor reference board)

    • Buy reference kit
    • Set up with laptop/PC
    • Learn editor and file transfer utilities (hello world)
  • Buy and build for sensors

    • Option 1: Test sensors using COTS interface
    • Option 2: Test sensors using processor reference board
  • Primary buy schedules: flight and flight spare

    • PCB fabrication outsourcing versus fabbing yourself
    • Chassis and structural: prebuilt versus custom design
    • Platform PCB boards: power, communications, processor
    • Antenna: design and fab (or part of kit)
    • Instruments: ordering parts
  • Assembly

    • Build dummy skeleton (full-scale reference model)
    • Build full, real hardware, no-electronics mechanical model
    • Solder all PCBs with full electronics, test in isolation
    • Complete any mechanical parts

Note that actual soldering of any single board typically takes 2–4 hours, depending on the complexity of the board. You’ll often want to do that in two segments—first all SMT parts, ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required