Can any hobbyist build a satellite? Our DIY guide steps you through designing and building a base picosatellite platform tough enough to withstand launch and survive in orbit. If you have basic maker skills, you can build a space-ready solar-powered computer-controlled assembly suitable for attaching instruments and rocketing into space.
Our fundamental premise is that anyone can build a satellite. In Chapter 1, we cover things you can do in space, science and engineering concepts, art/science hybrids, AMSATs, and the potential for advanced concepts such as constellations of satellites. Invent the future!
Chapter 2 discusses the basics of electronics, parts, PCB fabrication, and dealing with suppliers, and has some notes on learning reflow soldering. Chapter 3 then looks at the primary picosatellite chassis that you will use. Choose CubeSats or TubeSats, and you’ll find a variety of rigid frame designs, all with the purpose of giving you an instrument bay for your mad experiment.
By the end of this book, you should have a strong grounding in the requirements for building a picosatellite that will launch into space. We also recommend the other books in this series: our design, testing and integration book Surviving Orbit the DIY Way, designing a mission goal using the power of science with DIY Instruments for Amateur Space, and getting your data back to ground with DIY Data Communications for Amateur Spacecraft.
In the meantime, I have picosatellites to build! (See Figure 1.)
The following typographical conventions are used in this book:
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