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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS004 (2016)

ARLS004 Elementary School's SSTV CubeSat Now Set to Deploy from ISS
on May 16

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 004  ARLS004
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  May 12, 2016
To all radio amateurs

ARLS004 Elementary School's SSTV CubeSat Now Set to Deploy from ISS
on May 16

After postponements earlier this year, the STMSat-1 CubeSat
constructed by pupils at St Thomas More (STM) Cathedral School in
Arlington, Virginia, now is set to deploy from the International
Space Station on Monday, May 16, between 1400 and 1500 UTC. The
spacecraft is equipped with a slow-scan TV (SSTV) payload that will
transmit on the 70 centimeter Amateur Radio band (437.800 MHz).

The school won a NASA competition for the launch. The satellite is
the first to be designed and built by grade schoolers, who have been
supported by NASA technical advisors and local radio amateurs.
Transported to the ISS in December by an Orbital ATK Cygnus
spacecraft, the kit-built satellite first had been scheduled for
release in mid-February, but that event was postponed until early
March, before being put on hold again.

"The STM Sat-1 mission is to perform Earth observation and engage
grade-school students around the world as remote Mission Operation
Centers," the STMSat-1 website explains. The satellite project is
part of the school's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering,
Mathematics) education initiatives. St Thomas More includes students
from pre-kindergarten through grade 8. The project aims to engage
other schools around the world as "Remote Mission Operation Centers"

NASA's Technology Demonstration Office provided the school with a
mobile "clean room" to ensure that the construction phase met with
strict guidelines and standards for launch and deployment from the
ISS. The space agency also provided the school with an antenna, so
the school can receive the SSTV images and temperature readings the
satellite sends back. The students already have tested their CubeSat
by sending it aloft on a tethered balloon.

The SSTV camera onboard STMSat-1 will transmit a Martin-2 image
every 30 seconds. It will not transmit a beacon signal, however. The
youngsters are hoping it will send back images of Earth as seen from
space. The transmitter runs 3 W, and there is no onboard data
storage capability.

STMSat-1 has an estimated lifetime of at least 9 months.


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