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AAUSAT4

a 1U cubesat from Aalborg University fact sheet here

ABOUT THIS PAGE

This (main page) is now our live log. For more info see in menu on right.


161012 Operation continues

AAUSAT4 is still operated from Aalborg. We use our antenna system located in Thule, Greenland and operate it from Aalborg. Actually we can do it from any location where we can get internet access to our Ground server at AAU.

160511 Map of AAUSAT4 listeners

We would like to thank all the radio amateurs around the world who have listened for AAUSAT4 beacons and helped verify our satellite is alive and well. We've therefore made a map featuring the location, callsign, date and time of receival based on all the messages we got from HAM listeners.


160507 1 MByte download of data

We have now retrieved more than 1 Mbyte data from space.

At one pass we can download up to 20kbyte. This number might look relatively low, but we prefer to use our FEC protocols which gives a high robustness for bit errors, and it costs more than 50% of the bandwidth. We can bypass this but we prefer not to do that.

Log from a pass today - we got 18900 bytes down of raw AIS sample data in one pass

[2016-05-07 12:30:39.3] Beacon received: 8000mV 23C
[2016-05-07 12:30:39.3] Beacon OK. Start of download 
[2016-05-07 12:30:39.7] Starting data download
[2016-05-07 12:32:19.3] BTP client exited
[2016-05-07 12:32:19.3] 18900 bytes of raw sample downloaded. Size of 0c.i file is now 1026760 bytes
[2016-05-07 12:32:19.4] No response on beacon. Download finish for this pass

160505 We have now got our official TLE

A TLE is an orbit descripton which is used for calculating pointing with our antennas. So 2016-025E is now known as AAUSAT 4(norad id #41460)

Below is the TLEs for us and the two other cubesats on the same launch.

Pleas note that TLE's are updated on regulary basis due to small changes in the orbit (drag ,...)

OUFTI-1                 
1 41458U 16025C   16127.01661768  .00003160  00000-0  18358-3 0  9996
2 41458  98.2194 135.0834 0176157 208.1947 150.9644 15.00775304  1450

E-ST@R-II               
1 41459U 16025D   16127.21651130  .00002758  00000-0  16093-3 0  9997
2 41459  98.2201 135.2953 0175977 207.5293 151.6516 15.00792552  1483

AAUSAT 4                
1 41460U 16025E   16127.48314411  .00004655  00000-0  26762-3 0  9998
2 41460  98.2168 135.5780 0176122 206.5937 152.6167 15.00821374  1528

160505 status - all is ok

As subject states - all is ok. Below is a plot of battery voltage and charging for the first nine days. As you can see voltage is rock stable :-) (it's the red crosses. Please ad 7000 mV to get correct voltage.


The plot shows battery voltage and charging (add 7000mV to the read battery voltage) - rock stable


The first ten days in space is comming closer now. Are space craft is in good condition and all is working.

AAUSAT4 has been running stable without any reboot and we are running 9600 baud smoothly.

All logs etc are pulled down on reggulary basis.

It is no secret that our AIS receiver has not shown some correct received AIS messages up until now. So we are in the process getting raw IQ sampling (approx 750kHz samplings frequency) down from space (we have now 0.5MB down). The idea is to fine tune the AIS receiver when we get a closer look on the raw data.

Wondering why data is missing around day 7: Well - We took a day off and after 48 hours of no uplink AAUSAT4 did revert to 2400 baud which is part of our onboard safety system. And as we were on the beach :-/ our ground station was still at 9600 baud. Thats why. So the procedure was: configure ground to 2400 baud, tell AAUSAT4 to change to 9600 baud, and finally set ground to 9600 baud again.

stay tuned



160501 22:30 Status for the first days

AAUSAT4 has had very nice start on life i orbit

  • Full two way communication
    • 2400 - 9600 baud with Fail Error Corrective protocols - just rocks :-)
    • EPS maintaining battery voltage with plus-minus less than 100 milli Volts
  • Detumbling works. It is now estimated to less than 5 degress a second which is in the region of what we can expect from our sensors.
  • Log system on board works
  • Got all log data down
  • Thule Greenland up and running
    • The winter has been tough to the elevation onthe rotor so it is for the time being fixated to 10 deegrees. But we get data down :-)

Testing has slowly started on our AIS receivers and we are downloading the first raw samples from space for analysis on ground.

We are not downloadning over Europe these day to give e-st@r-2 radio silence to communicate without any possible interference from us. So this has of course a sligth impact on our down load bandwidth. But it is worth it for all of us.

stay tuned


160428 23:39 9600 baud at Greenland :-)

At the 23:39 pass conducted from Greenland 9600 baud GMSK modulation was tested with success.

Until now AAUSAT4 has been running 2400 baud so stepping up to 9600 is increasing downlink capabilities with a factor 4 !!!

We will the following days do a more detailed investigation of link speed and error level at the communication channel.

We are running af combination of Viterbi an RS forward error correction which can handle more than 10% or even more errors in the link.

We have reverted to 2400 baud - just to be safe - up in space :-)

Stay tuned


160428 17:00 Aalborg Pass

We were able to retrieve a load of telemetry data from the start of mission until now. The following screenshot shows the initial change in Earth magnetic field, observed by the satellite and the resulting change after the de-tumbling.


The plot shows the initial tumble rate to the left and the resulting to the right. It should be noted that the data sequence represents two individual time intervals and is sampled with 1/10 Hz.



160428 13:00 Nice webpages from:

We are getting lot a positive feedback from all round the world. Thanks.

We will next week try to do a follow up on these. Until now here is a few links.


Our CW beacon (C) EA4GPZ

EA4GPZ has also a very nice image of our CW(Morse) beacon. We say thanks a lot to hi and all others helping us.



160428 08:00 Happy birthday AAUSAT-II

Today AAUSAT-II celebrates its eight years birthsday.

Congrats from AAUSAT4 team

Here is a small movie from the days of AAUSAT-II. Enjoy it :-)


160427 18:35 Decreasing tumbling rate

We had a very good pass over Aalborg and Thule.

We have re-calibrated the ADCS and it seems like the tumbling rate is decreasing. We are looking forward to see how it looks tomorrow. We've left the de-tumbling algorithm running, and we will try to estimate the tumbling rate again tomorrow, hoping to see that it has slowed further down.

160427 18:11 Nice waterfall from PE0SAT


Waterfall plot from PE0SAT.

The image shows radio communication for a pass. Starting from left and ending on right side.

You can see the Doppler shift for the radio due to the high velocity of AAUSAT4 (7.7 km/sec). When AAUSAT4 is approaching the frequency is high (left side) and the frequency gradually falls especially when passing and ends low on right side where AAUSAT4 finally goes behind the horizon.

The orange "boxes" are packages from AAUSAT4 to our ground station in Aalborg. So you can see we ar getting lot of data from space :-)

160427 Passes the coming days

It is for object 2016-025C. There is no identification of AAUSAT4 but the objects 2016-025b/025C/025D are very close to each other. Times are in UTC, add two hours to get danish local time (CEST).

Upcoming passes for 2016-025CE
Observer: aalborg, 
LAT:57.02 LON:9.54
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 AOS                  TCA                  LOS                  Duration  Max El  AOS Az  LOS Az
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2016/04/27 13:25:46  2016/04/27 13:30:09  2016/04/27 13:34:33  00:08:46    6.59   72.90  352.96
 2016/04/27 14:57:22  2016/04/27 15:03:37  2016/04/27 15:09:53  00:12:31   23.20  119.12  349.35
 2016/04/27 16:31:11  2016/04/27 16:38:08  2016/04/27 16:45:04  00:13:53   81.01  164.71  343.89
 2016/04/27 18:07:48  2016/04/27 18:13:47  2016/04/27 18:19:46  00:11:57   16.17  214.15  334.39
 2016/04/28 04:03:08  2016/04/28 04:07:54  2016/04/28 04:12:39  00:09:31    8.66   30.83  127.18
 2016/04/28 05:37:26  2016/04/28 05:43:50  2016/04/28 05:50:14  00:12:48   49.98   18.05  182.87
 2016/04/28 07:12:31  2016/04/28 07:18:38  2016/04/28 07:24:45  00:12:13   28.85   11.55  231.45
 2016/04/28 08:47:50  2016/04/28 08:52:22  2016/04/28 08:56:54  00:09:04    7.90    7.37  279.53
 2016/04/28 13:25:56  2016/04/28 13:30:18  2016/04/28 13:34:40  00:08:44    6.52   72.81  353.17
 2016/04/28 14:57:30  2016/04/28 15:03:45  2016/04/28 15:10:00  00:12:30   23.11  119.08  349.43
 2016/04/28 16:31:19  2016/04/28 16:38:15  2016/04/28 16:45:12  00:13:52   81.23  164.64  343.89
 2016/04/28 18:07:55  2016/04/28 18:13:54  2016/04/28 18:19:53  00:11:57   16.20  214.00  334.33
 2016/04/29 04:03:17  2016/04/29 04:07:59  2016/04/29 04:12:41  00:09:24    8.45   31.14  126.68
 2016/04/29 05:37:34  2016/04/29 05:43:56  2016/04/29 05:50:17  00:12:42   49.47   18.11  182.70
 2016/04/29 07:12:39  2016/04/29 07:18:44  2016/04/29 07:24:48  00:12:08   28.66   11.49  231.46
 2016/04/29 08:47:58  2016/04/29 08:52:28  2016/04/29 08:56:57  00:08:59    7.77    7.17  279.76
 2016/04/29 13:26:02  2016/04/29 13:30:23  2016/04/29 13:34:43  00:08:40    6.44   72.67  353.40
 2016/04/29 14:57:36  2016/04/29 15:03:50  2016/04/29 15:10:04  00:12:28   22.99  119.01  349.52
 2016/04/29 16:31:24  2016/04/29 16:38:20  2016/04/29 16:45:16  00:13:52   81.47  164.54  343.90
 2016/04/29 18:07:59  2016/04/29 18:13:58  2016/04/29 18:19:57  00:11:57   16.23  213.84  334.26
 2016/04/30 04:03:23  2016/04/30 04:08:01  2016/04/30 04:12:39  00:09:16    8.22   31.47  126.13
 2016/04/30 05:37:39  2016/04/30 05:43:58  2016/04/30 05:50:17  00:12:37   48.90   18.18  182.49
 2016/04/30 07:12:44  2016/04/30 07:18:46  2016/04/30 07:24:48  00:12:03   28.48   11.43  231.45
 2016/04/30 08:48:03  2016/04/30 08:52:30  2016/04/30 08:56:57  00:08:53    7.65    6.95  279.98
 2016/04/30 13:26:07  2016/04/30 13:30:25  2016/04/30 13:34:43  00:08:36    6.35   72.49  353.65
 2016/04/30 14:57:39  2016/04/30 15:03:52  2016/04/30 15:10:05  00:12:26   22.85  118.90  349.62
 2016/04/30 16:31:26  2016/04/30 16:38:21  2016/04/30 16:45:17  00:13:50   81.73  164.41  343.90
 2016/04/30 18:08:01  2016/04/30 18:13:59  2016/04/30 18:19:58  00:11:57   16.26  213.66  334.19
 2016/05/01 04:03:26  2016/05/01 04:08:00  2016/05/01 04:12:34  00:09:07    7.99   31.83  125.54
 2016/05/01 05:37:41  2016/05/01 05:43:57  2016/05/01 05:50:13  00:12:31   48.28   18.25  182.26
 2016/05/01 07:12:46  2016/05/01 07:18:45  2016/05/01 07:24:44  00:11:58   28.32   11.37  231.41
 2016/05/01 08:48:05  2016/05/01 08:52:29  2016/05/01 08:56:53  00:08:48    7.52    6.72  280.17
 2016/05/01 13:26:08  2016/05/01 13:30:24  2016/05/01 13:34:40  00:08:32    6.24   72.26  353.92
 2016/05/01 14:57:39  2016/05/01 15:03:51  2016/05/01 15:10:03  00:12:24   22.67  118.76  349.73
 2016/05/01 16:31:25  2016/05/01 16:38:20  2016/05/01 16:45:14  00:13:49   82.00  164.26  343.92
 2016/05/01 18:07:59  2016/05/01 18:13:57  2016/05/01 18:19:55  00:11:56   16.29  213.46  334.12


160427 07:40 Aalborg Pass

AAUSAT4 have survived the night. All systems are green. We will proceed the next passes by trying to reduce the angular velocity of the spacecraft.


160426 First day in space

The first day in space has been very exiting.

  • AAUSAT4 is in nice condition
    • Inside temperatures between 20 and 30 Centigrade
  • We have downloaded all house keeping, logs etc
    • Charging, batteries etc seems ok
  • We have been able to communicate with 5W in uplink.
  • Running 2400 baud up and downlink
  • Observed a stable rotation approx 90 degrees/second

So we are happy - very happy

The coming days we will continue with our LEOP procedures

(LEOP: Launch and Early OPerations)

stay tuned


160426 15:42 First evening pass

Long pass - intersection between Aalborg and Thule footprint :)

We have initiated a procedure to investigate the potential tumbling. Basically, we disabled the magnetorquers and turned on the ADCS1 again to gather data. We continue operation in next pass.

We would like to emphasize that there is no critical situation at all but standard procedure in our LEOP operations.

stay tuned


160426 10:47 Pass #3 at Greenland


Waterfall of pass, download of full a full log.

AAUSAT4 is still charging! We requested a full log. The waterfall plot of the recieved date showed a tumble rate of approximatly 1/5 Hz. We will keep the ADCS1 turned off until we have a better pass.

The connection is even better when we from Aalborg Tx with a 200 W =)


160426 09:12 Pass #3 at Aalborg

AAUSAT4 is healthy!!! Batteries are still charging. We have observed a slight increase in the angular velocity, which have lead us to turnoff the ADCS1 subsystem until next pass.


160426 07:43 Pass #2 at Aalborg

Still in business - everything is OK :-)

Charging of batteries ok and again two way communication.

It seems that our prelimenary TLE is a little bit off track.

stay tuned


160426 07:01 Comment to AIS bootcount

On the image below there is a high boot count on AIS2. This is not a problem but do only reflect the numebrs of test or reboots on the linux based AIS2 receiver.


160426 06:02 Pass #1 at Aalborg

Handover from Greenland. Beacons received and full two way communication.

We have got log data down and carried out some housekeeping.

  • 8 V on batteries
  • good power production
  • Aalborg ground uplink with only 5W - not so bad ...

A very good pass

We are just happy now :-)

stay tuned


160426 05:55 Pass #2 at Greenland

Nothing received but might be due to a very non optimal pass.

At 06:02 handover to Aalborg GND was carried out.

stay tuned


160426 05:30 Prep for first Aalborg pas


Prep morning bread :-)

Waiting on next pass morning bread was prepared outside :-) like the evening meal last night



160426 04:15 CEST - Pass #1 at Greenland

A low pass. About 7.9 deg max elevation. 38 packets received (down), 34 transmitted (uplinked). Many on 0 bit-errors and 0 byte-errors. Last 1/3 of the pass lost due to missing line of sight in that direction. 7.9V on the batteries. 20 deg C inside temperature.


Beacons received in first pass

23:35 Track AAUSAT4

Our TLE as given below should be accurate enough. We will come up with new TLEs when they arrive.

stay tuned


23:31 ESA report Sentinel 1B transmitting

Has been in contact with their Svalbard groundstation.

Congrats to ESA :-)

23:05 First stage off 2nd stage on work

23:02 Lift off


Lift off (C) ESA


Enjoy the ESA video from launch



Just before launch


Just before gogo



160425 22:59 All lights still GREEN :-)


160425 22:13 Mobile tower retracted for launch


One step closer to launch (C) ESA

One step closer to launch. The mobile tower is now being retracted and we are awaiting :-)



160425 20:30 TLE calulated

AAUSAT4
1 00003U 00001A   16116.99330001  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0  0018
2 00003  98.2172 124.4782 0152400 241.4610 358.4169 15.02516156 00011

160425 16:49 All GREEN


All green including launcher (C) ESA

Green for all subsystems including launcher :-)

This means the fail indication from yesterday has been fixed and we assume a lot of real testing has been carried out.

So we will be at Fredrik Bajersvej 7C this evening

stay tuned


160425 15:08 Launch scheduled for 23:02|


Our Soyuz after liquid fuel transfer - (c) ESA

See ESA twitter about launch

citing ...

The second in the two-satellite Sentinel-1 radar mission is targeted for launch on Soyuz flight VS14 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on 25 April at 23:02 CEST (21:02 GMT)

The launch was originally planned for 22 April but weather conditions and a technical issue delayed liftoff.

Streaming from Kourou starts at 22:40 CEST (20:40 GMT).


160425 12:40 Info from ESA - launch today ?

from http://esa.int

UPDATE 25 April at 10:30 CEST: 
Activities are underway in Kourou to replace the inertial unit of Soyuz VS14 
that was affected by an outage during yesterday's launch countdown.
The result of a new technical review is expected around 13:30 CEST/11:30 UTC.

Liftoff of the Soyuz launcher is currently targeted for 
25 April at 23:02 CEST/21:02 UTC, pending the outcome of the review.

160424 22:28 Launch postponed III


Soyuz in mobile gantry - (c) ESA–Manuel Pedoussaut, 2016

Launch is postponed at least 24 hours.

From ESA twitter 22:23

  • An anomaly has occured on the SYZ Inertial Measurement Unit.
  • Stop for tonight.
  • Work in progress to confirm launch tomorrow.

as usual stay tuned



160424 20:14 Updated TLE

Updated TLE based on todays expected launch

AAUSAT4
1 00001U 00001A   16115.99330001  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0  0015
2 00001  98.2172 123.4893 0152400 241.4610 358.4169 15.02516156 00011



160424 19:45 GREEN LIGHT


Our Soyuz with mobile gantry - (c) ESA

No changes in situation. Launch are coming closer.

stay tuned



160424 18:30 GREEN LIGHT FOR LAUNCH !


ESOC control says ok (image by ESA)

Fueling og the Soyuz rocket has startet.

stay tuned


160424 18:02 Count down ongoing

Last news from Kourou is that countdown is ongoing so with a little luck there is now 5 hours to launch.

stay tuned


160423 20:47 Launch postponed another 24 hours

Due to weather conditions the launch is delayed another 24 hours. Next attempt is Sunday 24. April 23:02:13

See ESA's offical statement here

Stay tuned


160423 10:34 New TLE ?

Launch is delayed 24 hours so people ask: what about new TLE.

We are communicating at UHF band with an openening angle on antennas of maybe 20 degrees - so it should give no problem using yesterdays TLE.

We will ofcourse update the TLE when we got a new one. It is safe and enough accurate to use the 160422-launch-tle. The error will be minor.

Stay tuned


AAUSAT4
1 00001U 00001A   16113.99330000  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0  0012
2 00001  98.2172 121.5194 0152400 241.4610 358.4169 15.025161   00014

First passes Sunday 24 April (based on old TLE)

Time                Satellite              Azm  Elv  Mag Range S.Azm S.Elv
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016-04-24 04:02:08 AAUSAT4               29.4  0.0    ?  3015  67.2   1.0
2016-04-24 04:07:17 AAUSAT4               79.3  9.0    ?  2048  68.3   1.6
2016-04-24 04:12:11 AAUSAT4              129.8  0.0    ?  2847  69.3   2.1

2016-04-24 05:36:26 AAUSAT4               17.8  0.0    ?  3027  86.7  13.1
2016-04-24 05:43:14 AAUSAT4              100.4 52.3    ?   760  88.1  14.0
2016-04-24 05:49:33 AAUSAT4              183.8  0.0    ?  2818  89.4  14.9

2016-04-24 07:11:25 AAUSAT4               11.8  0.0    ?  3037 107.3  25.8
2016-04-24 07:17:51 AAUSAT4              302.3 28.6    ?  1153 108.7  26.7
2016-04-24 07:23:54 AAUSAT4              231.4  0.0    ?  2842 110.2  27.4


160422 18:00 Launch postponed 24 hours

We just got message from Arianespace that the launch will be Saturday evening (23/4) 23:30 danish/european summertime

Next attempt will be to 23. April 23:03


160422 17:30 Launching a barbecue session outside MCC

We all needed some real food bef launch


HAM people helping us see here

Just 13 hours to launch. We are very honoured to have help from our friends around in Europe

  • Mike Rupprecht, Germany (DK3WN)
  • Jan v Gills, The Netherlands(pe0sat)
  • Lars Mehnen, Austria (OE3HWM)
  • Omar Frits Eriksson, Denmark (OZ3CC)

Order of deployment

  1. e-st@r
  2. AAUSAT4
  3. UFTI-1

160418 Setup for the first days

Our grund station in Aalborg will be on duty :-) and Mike Rupprecht (DK3WN) in Germany has volountered to continue as ground station with our bluebox and MCC client. We are honoured that he will be part of the crew as for AAUSAT5.


The first passes

We have simulated location of AAUSAT4 for the first passes with Orbitron.

Below is three pictures

  1. Start of first pass - 06:02 danish local time (04:02 UTC)
  2. Top point at first pass - only 9 degrees above horizon at 06:07 local time
  3. Second pass starts at 07:36 local time (05:36 UTC) up to 52 degrees above - nice
  4. Top of pass at 07:43 local time (05:43 UTC)

See the rest below. Pleace note that the times below is UTC time so you have to add 2 hours to danish(european) summertime

First pass is low so the distance to AAUSAT4 is long. Next pass is a nice pass with good conditions for radio contact.

We know there is many pictures, but ... we thought it wouyld be nice to see :-) Stay tuned :-)

FIRST PASS


Very first time we can see AAUSAT4 from Aalborg at 06:02 local time



Highest elevation of first pass at only 9 degrees at 06:07 local time


SECOND PASS


AAUSAT4 entering line of sight in Aalborg at second pass at 07:36 local time



Highest point at second pass at 07:43 local time. AAUSAT4 is close to Aalborg and can be seen 52 degrees above horizon



AAUSAT4 leaving line of sight af second pass at 07:49 local time.


160418 Orbit insertion for AAUSAT4

Below you can see where AAUSAT4 will be released from the launch vehicle. It happens 23:50 UTC which is 01:50 european summertime.


Orbit insertion of AAUSAT4 23:50 CEST.


160416 The launch campaign crew in Kouru


Launch crew a Kouru launch site.

Pierro Galeone from ESA and the three FYS crews. From AAU it is Anders and Mikael. The box on the table contains

  • AAUSAT4
  • OUFTI-1 from University of Liège, Belgium
  • Est@r-II from Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy


160414 Lifetime

Simulation states a lifetime of around 7 years.

AAUSAT4 will start flying in a slight elliptic orbit (453 km to 660km)

160414 Simulation of passes the first days

BAsed on prelimenary information from ESA the passes for teh first days at Aalbrog and Thule has been calculated.

There is three line for each pass:

  • starting of pass
  • highest elevation of pass
  • end og pass

So the very first pass below

  • starts at 04:02 UTC (6:02 Central European Summer Time) and comes from 29.4 degrees (NE)
  • is at top point at 04:07 (6:44) still at a low angle above horizon of 9.0 degrees
  • end of pass 04:12 (6:12) leaving 130 degrees (SE)

A pass is normally good if max elevation is above 20 degrees

If you go further down passes for the Thule antenna is also calculated


AAUSAT4
1 00001U 00001A   16113.99330000  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0  0012
2 00001  98.2172 121.5194 0152400 241.4610 358.4169 15.02516156 00014

First 2 days passes:

Location      : Aalborg (9.9141 E, 57.0516 N)
Time zone     : UTC
Search period : 2016-04-23 00:00:00
                2016-04-25 00:00:00

Time                Satellite              Azm  Elv  Mag Range S.Azm S.Elv
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016-04-23 04:02:08 AAUSAT4               29.4  0.0    ?  3015  67.2   1.0
2016-04-23 04:07:17 AAUSAT4               79.3  9.0    ?  2048  68.3   1.6
2016-04-23 04:12:11 AAUSAT4              129.8  0.0    ?  2847  69.3   2.1

2016-04-23 05:36:26 AAUSAT4               17.8  0.0    ?  3027  86.7  13.1
2016-04-23 05:43:14 AAUSAT4              100.4 52.3    ?   760  88.1  14.0
2016-04-23 05:49:33 AAUSAT4              183.8  0.0    ?  2818  89.4  14.9

2016-04-23 07:11:25 AAUSAT4               11.8  0.0    ?  3037 107.3  25.8
2016-04-23 07:17:51 AAUSAT4              302.3 28.6    ?  1153 108.7  26.7
2016-04-23 07:23:54 AAUSAT4              231.4  0.0    ?  2842 110.2  27.4

2016-04-23 08:46:35 AAUSAT4                8.3  0.0    ?  3044 131.2  37.1
2016-04-23 08:51:21 AAUSAT4              323.8  7.8    ?  2193 132.5  37.6
2016-04-23 08:55:59 AAUSAT4              278.5  0.0    ?  2918 133.8  38.0

2016-04-23 10:21:33 AAUSAT4                8.1  0.0    ?  3053 160.4  44.4
2016-04-23 10:24:02 AAUSAT4              346.5  1.5    ?  2839 161.2  44.5
2016-04-23 10:26:30 AAUSAT4              324.7  0.0    ?  3002 162.0  44.6

2016-04-23 11:54:08 AAUSAT4               29.1  0.0    ?  3073 192.3  45.2
2016-04-23 11:56:21 AAUSAT4               10.1  1.2    ?  2913 193.1  45.1
2016-04-23 11:58:33 AAUSAT4              351.0  0.0    ?  3044 193.9  45.1

2016-04-23 13:24:26 AAUSAT4               73.8  0.0    ?  3073 221.4  39.7
2016-04-23 13:28:56 AAUSAT4               32.9  6.4    ?  2396 222.7  39.3
2016-04-23 13:33:24 AAUSAT4              352.1  0.0    ?  3050 224.0  38.8

2016-04-23 14:56:00 AAUSAT4              119.5  0.0    ?  3047 245.8  29.7
2016-04-23 15:02:17 AAUSAT4               54.3 22.7    ?  1429 247.3  28.9
2016-04-23 15:08:35 AAUSAT4              349.1  0.0    ?  3052 248.8  28.1

2016-04-23 16:29:45 AAUSAT4              164.9  0.0    ?  3027 266.9  17.4
2016-04-23 16:36:40 AAUSAT4              254.5 80.3    ?   683 268.3  16.5
2016-04-23 16:43:40 AAUSAT4              343.9  0.0    ?  3061 269.8  15.5

2016-04-23 18:06:14 AAUSAT4              214.0  0.0    ?  3039 286.9   4.6
2016-04-23 18:12:13 AAUSAT4              274.4 15.6    ?  1754 288.1   3.8
2016-04-23 18:18:16 AAUSAT4              334.8  0.0    ?  3069 289.4   3.1

2016-04-24 04:00:43 AAUSAT4               30.0  0.0    ?  3000  66.8   1.1
2016-04-24 04:05:45 AAUSAT4               78.8  8.6    ?  2073  67.8   1.7
2016-04-24 04:10:33 AAUSAT4              128.3  0.0    ?  2834  68.8   2.2

2016-04-24 05:34:58 AAUSAT4               17.9  0.0    ?  3019  86.3  13.2
2016-04-24 05:41:44 AAUSAT4              100.1 50.2    ?   772  87.7  14.1
2016-04-24 05:48:00 AAUSAT4              182.8  0.0    ?  2803  89.0  15.0

2016-04-24 07:09:57 AAUSAT4               11.8  0.0    ?  3027 106.8  25.9
2016-04-24 07:16:23 AAUSAT4              301.7 29.1    ?  1129 108.3  26.8
2016-04-24 07:22:24 AAUSAT4              230.6  0.0    ?  2827 109.7  27.6

2016-04-24 08:45:07 AAUSAT4                8.2  0.0    ?  3036 130.6  37.3
2016-04-24 08:49:54 AAUSAT4              323.4  7.9    ?  2174 132.0  37.8
2016-04-24 08:54:31 AAUSAT4              277.8  0.0    ?  2902 133.3  38.2

2016-04-24 10:20:07 AAUSAT4                7.7  0.0    ?  3045 159.8  44.6
2016-04-24 10:22:35 AAUSAT4              346.2  1.5    ?  2831 160.7  44.8
2016-04-24 10:25:02 AAUSAT4              324.5  0.0    ?  2990 161.5  44.9

2016-04-24 11:52:46 AAUSAT4               28.1  0.0    ?  3067 192.0  45.6
2016-04-24 11:54:54 AAUSAT4                9.8  1.1    ?  2916 192.7  45.5
2016-04-24 11:57:01 AAUSAT4              351.4  0.0    ?  3035 193.5  45.4

2016-04-24 13:23:02 AAUSAT4               72.9  0.0    ?  3074 221.2  40.1
2016-04-24 13:27:29 AAUSAT4               32.6  6.2    ?  2410 222.5  39.7
2016-04-24 13:31:54 AAUSAT4              352.2  0.0    ?  3045 223.8  39.3

2016-04-24 14:54:33 AAUSAT4              118.7  0.0    ?  3053 245.7  30.1
2016-04-24 15:00:50 AAUSAT4               53.8 22.2    ?  1449 247.2  29.4
2016-04-24 15:07:05 AAUSAT4              349.2  0.0    ?  3046 248.7  28.6

2016-04-24 16:28:15 AAUSAT4              164.0  0.0    ?  3035 266.8  17.9
2016-04-24 16:35:11 AAUSAT4              253.0 82.7    ?   679 268.2  16.9
2016-04-24 16:42:10 AAUSAT4              344.0  0.0    ?  3052 269.7  16.0

2016-04-24 18:04:41 AAUSAT4              213.0  0.0    ?  3042 286.8   5.0
2016-04-24 18:10:42 AAUSAT4              273.8 16.0    ?  1728 288.0   4.3
2016-04-24 18:16:47 AAUSAT4              335.0  0.0    ?  3062 289.3   3.5

and at Thule:

Location      : Thule (68.0731 W, 76.5322 N)
Time zone     : UTC
Search period : 2016-04-23 00:00:00
                2016-04-25 00:00:00

Time                Satellite              Azm  Elv  Mag Range S.Azm S.Elv
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016-04-23 00:37:26 AAUSAT4              242.4  0.0    ?  3072 303.5   5.5
2016-04-23 00:43:14 AAUSAT4              299.0 12.9    ?  1906 304.9   5.2
2016-04-23 00:48:59 AAUSAT4              356.0  0.0    ?  3030 306.3   4.9

2016-04-23 02:15:25 AAUSAT4              279.9  0.0    ?  3078 327.1   1.7
2016-04-23 02:20:13 AAUSAT4              323.9  6.7    ?  2359 328.3   1.6
2016-04-23 02:24:58 AAUSAT4                8.2  0.0    ?  3031 329.4   1.4

2016-04-23 03:53:38 AAUSAT4              313.9  0.0    ?  3079 351.0  -0.6
2016-04-23 03:57:39 AAUSAT4              349.7  4.1    ?  2593 352.0  -0.7
2016-04-23 04:01:36 AAUSAT4               25.5  0.0    ?  3021 352.9  -0.7

2016-04-23 05:31:07 AAUSAT4              339.0  0.0    ?  3073  14.8   0.2
2016-04-23 05:35:14 AAUSAT4               15.9  4.4    ?  2550  15.8   0.3
2016-04-23 05:39:16 AAUSAT4               52.9  0.0    ?  2999  16.7   0.3

2016-04-23 07:07:35 AAUSAT4              354.9  0.0    ?  3071  38.1   2.4
2016-04-23 07:12:35 AAUSAT4               41.4  7.7    ?  2241  39.4   2.6
2016-04-23 07:17:27 AAUSAT4               88.5  0.0    ?  2964  40.5   2.8

2016-04-23 08:43:28 AAUSAT4                6.6  0.0    ?  3068  61.2   6.6
2016-04-23 08:49:27 AAUSAT4               66.3 14.9    ?  1740  62.6   6.9
2016-04-23 08:55:12 AAUSAT4              126.6  0.0    ?  2934  64.0   7.2

2016-04-23 10:19:01 AAUSAT4               17.2  0.0    ?  3067  84.2  11.8
2016-04-23 10:25:41 AAUSAT4               90.3 29.3    ?  1173  85.8  12.2
2016-04-23 10:32:01 AAUSAT4              163.9  0.0    ?  2913  87.3  12.5

2016-04-23 11:54:18 AAUSAT4               28.6  0.0    ?  3071 107.5  17.3
2016-04-23 12:01:17 AAUSAT4              114.5 60.5    ?   735 109.3  17.7
2016-04-23 12:07:52 AAUSAT4              199.3  0.0    ?  2911 110.9  18.0

2016-04-23 13:29:19 AAUSAT4               42.1  0.0    ?  3075 131.6  22.1
2016-04-23 13:36:18 AAUSAT4              317.5 73.5    ?   678 133.4  22.4
2016-04-23 13:42:56 AAUSAT4              232.1  0.0    ?  2927 135.1  22.6

2016-04-23 15:04:03 AAUSAT4               59.0  0.0    ?  3073 156.6  25.3
2016-04-23 15:10:55 AAUSAT4              340.5 49.3    ?   841 158.4  25.5
2016-04-23 15:17:30 AAUSAT4              261.3  0.0    ?  2948 160.2  25.6

2016-04-23 16:38:30 AAUSAT4               80.4  0.0    ?  3078 182.2  26.3
2016-04-23 16:45:20 AAUSAT4                3.7 44.3    ?   907 184.0  26.3
2016-04-23 16:51:56 AAUSAT4              286.1  0.0    ?  2970 185.8  26.3

2016-04-23 18:12:53 AAUSAT4              106.4  0.0    ?  3073 207.7  24.9
2016-04-23 18:19:48 AAUSAT4               26.1 53.8    ?   808 209.5  24.7
2016-04-23 18:26:31 AAUSAT4              306.1  0.0    ?  2991 211.3  24.6

2016-04-23 19:47:30 AAUSAT4              136.4  0.0    ?  3069 232.5  21.4
2016-04-23 19:54:31 AAUSAT4               45.7 84.8    ?   673 234.3  21.1
2016-04-23 20:01:22 AAUSAT4              321.8  0.0    ?  3006 236.0  20.8

2016-04-23 21:22:42 AAUSAT4              169.3  0.0    ?  3071 256.5  16.5
2016-04-23 21:29:39 AAUSAT4              251.4 50.7    ?   843 258.2  16.1
2016-04-23 21:36:29 AAUSAT4              334.4  0.0    ?  3014 259.9  15.7

2016-04-23 22:58:48 AAUSAT4              204.6  0.0    ?  3069 279.9  11.0
2016-04-23 23:05:22 AAUSAT4              274.7 25.2    ?  1336 281.5  10.6
2016-04-23 23:11:51 AAUSAT4              345.3  0.0    ?  3020 283.1  10.3

2016-04-24 00:35:54 AAUSAT4              241.7  0.0    ?  3073 303.2   5.9
2016-04-24 00:41:43 AAUSAT4              298.5 13.1    ?  1895 304.6   5.6
2016-04-24 00:47:28 AAUSAT4              355.7  0.0    ?  3024 306.0   5.3

2016-04-24 02:13:52 AAUSAT4              279.1  0.0    ?  3080 326.8   2.0
2016-04-24 02:18:41 AAUSAT4              323.3  6.8    ?  2351 328.0   1.9
2016-04-24 02:23:25 AAUSAT4                7.7  0.0    ?  3020 329.1   1.8

2016-04-24 03:52:07 AAUSAT4              313.5  0.0    ?  3074 350.7   0.2
2016-04-24 03:56:06 AAUSAT4              349.0  4.1    ?  2590 351.6   0.2
2016-04-24 04:00:02 AAUSAT4               24.8  0.0    ?  3011 352.6   0.2

2016-04-24 05:29:37 AAUSAT4              338.7  0.0    ?  3069  14.4   0.5
2016-04-24 05:33:41 AAUSAT4               15.2  4.3    ?  2552  15.4   0.5
2016-04-24 05:37:41 AAUSAT4               52.0  0.0    ?  2990  16.4   0.6

2016-04-24 07:06:06 AAUSAT4              354.8  0.0    ?  3065  37.8   2.7
2016-04-24 07:11:03 AAUSAT4               40.9  7.5    ?  2247  39.0   2.9
2016-04-24 07:15:52 AAUSAT4               87.6  0.0    ?  2954  40.1   3.0

2016-04-24 08:41:59 AAUSAT4                6.4  0.0    ?  3063  60.8   6.8
2016-04-24 08:47:55 AAUSAT4               65.6 14.6    ?  1748  62.2   7.1
2016-04-24 08:53:37 AAUSAT4              125.7  0.0    ?  2918  63.6   7.4

2016-04-24 10:17:32 AAUSAT4               17.0  0.0    ?  3064  83.8  12.0
2016-04-24 10:24:10 AAUSAT4               89.6 28.7    ?  1181  85.4  12.4
2016-04-24 10:30:28 AAUSAT4              163.1  0.0    ?  2901  86.9  12.8

2016-04-24 11:52:49 AAUSAT4               28.4  0.0    ?  3070 107.1  17.5
2016-04-24 11:59:47 AAUSAT4              113.6 59.5    ?   736 108.8  17.9
2016-04-24 12:06:20 AAUSAT4              198.6  0.0    ?  2897 110.5  18.3

2016-04-24 13:27:51 AAUSAT4               41.8  0.0    ?  3069 131.2  22.3
2016-04-24 13:34:49 AAUSAT4              317.0 74.1    ?   672 133.0  22.6
2016-04-24 13:41:25 AAUSAT4              231.5  0.0    ?  2915 134.7  22.9

2016-04-24 15:02:34 AAUSAT4               58.7  0.0    ?  3077 156.2  25.6
2016-04-24 15:09:27 AAUSAT4              339.6 49.4    ?   835 158.1  25.7
2016-04-24 15:16:00 AAUSAT4              260.8  0.0    ?  2939 159.8  25.9

2016-04-24 16:37:02 AAUSAT4               79.9  0.0    ?  3077 181.8  26.7
2016-04-24 16:43:52 AAUSAT4                3.0 44.2    ?   905 183.7  26.6
2016-04-24 16:50:26 AAUSAT4              285.7  0.0    ?  2961 185.5  26.6

2016-04-24 18:11:25 AAUSAT4              105.8  0.0    ?  3072 207.4  25.3
2016-04-24 18:18:19 AAUSAT4               26.1 53.3    ?   809 209.2  25.1
2016-04-24 18:25:00 AAUSAT4              305.8  0.0    ?  2976 211.0  24.9

2016-04-24 19:46:01 AAUSAT4              135.8  0.0    ?  3071 232.2  21.8
2016-04-24 19:53:02 AAUSAT4               46.6 84.0    ?   672 234.0  21.5
2016-04-24 19:59:51 AAUSAT4              321.5  0.0    ?  2993 235.8  21.2

2016-04-24 21:21:13 AAUSAT4              168.7  0.0    ?  3068 256.2  16.9
2016-04-24 21:28:10 AAUSAT4              251.3 51.3    ?   834 258.0  16.5
2016-04-24 21:34:58 AAUSAT4              334.2  0.0    ?  3003 259.6  16.1

2016-04-24 22:57:17 AAUSAT4              203.9  0.0    ?  3071 279.7  11.4
2016-04-24 23:03:52 AAUSAT4              274.3 25.5    ?  1324 281.3  11.0
2016-04-24 23:10:20 AAUSAT4              345.0  0.0    ?  3011 282.8  10.7

160401 AAUSAT4 at Kouru

Anders and Mikael is these days at Kouru - the launch site - for integrating AAUSAT4 on the launch vehicle

stay tuned

160317 AAUSAT4 well integrated

Mikael has returned from ESTEC and AAUSAT4 is now safe in the launch POD.

Stay tuned

160312 AASUAT4 on way to space

Tomorrow - Sunday 13. march - AAUSAT4 and Mikael will travel to ESTEC for integration of AAUSAT4 in a POD with the two other satellites in ESA FYS expedition.

Next week Mikael and Anders and AAUSAT4 will travel to Kouru for launch.

Launch is scheduled to 22. April

stay tuned

14-11-14 - Vibration Test at ESTEC - Day 5

The final day of the test campaign mostly consisted of a meeting with the entire FYS!-team, in which we discussed the non-conformances that had occurred during the test campaign, including ideas for their origin and what could be done to solve them. For AAUSAT4, the main concern was the protuding antennas and the issue we experienced with the SWISS. We discussed how we could further investigate these issues when we arrived back in Aalborg, so we will be able to solve then and the vibration test can be redone at a later time. This way, we will hopefully soon have a satellite that is ready for takeoff! :-)

14-11-14 - Vibration Test at ESTEC - Day 4



AAUSAT4 in it's transporting case ready to go home

AAUSAT4 as it is being pulled out of the P-POD deployer

Today started with us performing a Low Level Sine sweep, which showed that everything inside the satellites seemed to be fine. We had a videographer stop by to shoot some video of the vibration testing, which is to be used for a video about the FYS!-program. After the sweep the FYS!-team spent a few hours dismounting the satellites form the deployer, after which the visual inspection of both satellites began.

For AAUSAT4, a few spots had appeared on the solar panels. Also, some greasy residue, probably from the deployer, had appeared on the frame. It was also observed that the antennas had protruded on 3 out of 4 sides, with the two sides with the longer UHF antennas protruding the most. This could suggest that the cause of the protrusion lies in the wire holding the antenna, as a result of it being stretched during the test. Nothing can however be concluded yet, before AAUSAT4 has been inspected more in-depth. A few NCR’s (non-conformances) were raised during the visible inspection, because of the protruded antennas and the dust/spots/grease.

After the visual inspection had concluded, a Reduced Functional Test (RFT) was conducted, to see if AAUSAT4 was performing properly.
Unfortunately, this was not the case, since the satellite did not perform as expected in a few parts of the test.
It appeared as if there were some problems communicating with the satellite over CAN, and additionally the SWISS self-test failed. The SWISS subsystem is a pure software subsystem that contains the LOG and the FlightPlanner, which enables us to upload operations to the satellite which it is supposed to perform later in its orbit. As of now, we do not yet have any ideas as to what might be the cause of the problems, but it is something we will look into, when performing a closer inspection and diagnostic of AAUSAT4, when we get back to Aalborg.

During the RFT, we were interviewed for the previously mentioned FYS! video.
After the RFT, the entire testing procedure was finished, and we packed everything up and started writing some of the many non-conformance reports we have to fill out. Tomorrow will consist of a debriefing meeting to summarize what has happened during the test campaign, and what will happen from now on with OUFTI-1 and AAUSAT4.

Photos from today are now on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/118193674@N04/sets/72157648831307898/

14-11-12 - Vibration Test at ESTEC - Day 3



AAUSAT4 mounted in the P-POD launcher

One of the slightly protruded antennas on AAUSAT4

Today, the actual vibration test begun. We started by doing a High Level Sine Sweep, where the frequency varied from 10 Hz to 200 Hz, but with much greater amplitude than the Low Level Sine Sweep from yesterday. After the sweep was completed, we went to inspect the satellites. Unfortunately, we observed that the antenna on the visible side of AAUSAT4 had extruded slightly due to the vibration. This could be interpreted as a partial deployment, but since the wire that was holding the antenna was still intact, it was more a displacement than a partial deployment.
It did however result in a discussion with the entire FYS!-team on whether we should continue the test campaign, based on if there would be an increased risk of the antennas deploying, as well as what the cause might be for the displacement. During the discussion, it was decided to continue the campaign, since we were very certain that the risk of the antennas deploying had not increased, and that there was no risk of the antennas harming neither AAUSAT4 nor OUFTI-1 in the unlikely event of an unintended deployment.
The next step in the test campaign was to conduct a Random Vibration test, where the vibrations happened at random frequencies. In-between the High Level Sine and the Random test, a Low Level Sine Sweep was conducted, to see if the resonance point of the satellites had changed, thus indicating that something may have moved inside the satellites. This was not the case, and it was also observed that the antennas on AAUSAT4 had not moved any further either.
After this, we went for lunch and meanwhile, the orientation of the deployer was changed to shake the satellites in the longitudinal direction (i.e. in the up-down direction). The procedure for this axis was the same as with the first axis, with the difference that the amplitude of the vibrations was greater, since the longitudinal axis is where the greatest acceleration will happen during launch. Afterwards another Random Vibration test was conducted. However during the inspection after the Random Vibration test, it was observed, that the wire holding the antenna on OUFTI-1 had breached. This unfortunate event led to the decision to stop the test campaign, since there was no reason to keep testing two satellites that were not going to pass the test.

After this decision was made, we all decided to go to the event happening at the Space Expo center at ESTEC, which took place in conjunction with ESA trying to land the spacecraft “Philae” on a comet, as a part of the Rosetta mission. Here we saw a livestream from the ESOC (European Space Operations Centre) from which Rosetta is being operated. Luckily, it seemed like the landing went well, although Philae might have rebounded from the first landing and then landed again. Overall, the event was very interesting, and it was very cool to be right at the center of things, at the moment when such an exciting and incredibly rare event takes place.

Tomorrow, the plan is that we will do another Low Level Sine Sweep, just to make sure that nothing inside the satellites is broken, followed by the removal of the satellites from the deployer.

The photos are now on our Flickr page:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/118193674@N04/sets/72157648831307898/

14-11-11 - Vibration Test at ESTEC - Day 2



AAUSAT4 at the shaking table at ESTEC

AAUSAT4 being inspected while in the 3U P-POD luncher at ESTEC

Our second day at ESTEC started with us checking if the kill switches on the satellite were pressed as they are supposed to be when the satellite is in the deployer. We also conducted a visual inspection, to make sure nothing had happened to the satellite after we mounted it in the deployer yesterday. After this, the FYS! Team started preparing for the actual vibration test. This involved checking if the vibration table functioned properly, as well as mounting the deployer on the vibration table. The team also mounted accelerometers onto the vibration table and the deployer as well as on OUFTI-1 and the dummy load separating AAUSAT4 and OUFTI-1 in the deployer, but not onto AAUSAT4 since there was not room to mount it on the satellite without the risk of doing structural damage.

Meanwhile, a committee from the ESA administration stopped by and had a brief tour of the cleanroom, and an introduction to the purpose of AAUSAT4 and OUFTI-1. After this, a Test Readiness Review (TRR) was held. A TRR is a meeting where everyone participating in the test are present, and are held to decide whether or not the satellites are ready to be tested. During this review, the plan for the testing is also discussed.

For the vibration test, the plan is to test one axis at a time (one axis per day was expected as a realistic timeframe), with a visual inspection of the satellites in between each change of axis. The TRR also involved discussing if there were any non-conformances on the satellites that would invalidate the test. Since this was not the case, it was decided to begin the testing by conducting a Low Level Sine test i.e. vibrating the satellites with G-forces at lower levels than those in the real test. This was done to make sure everything performed as expected. After the Low Level Sine test, a visual inspection of the satellites was performed. After this, it was decided to stop for the day and begin the actual vibration test tomorrow, which were are looking forward to.

The photos from today have been uploaded to our Flickr page:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/118193674@N04/sets/72157648831307898/


141110 - Vibration Test at ESTEC - Day 1

In preparation for the vibration test of AAUSAT4 at the ESTEC facilities, the weekend was spent completing the Mission Test and preparing the satellite. This was done by rewinding the antennas and securing all the screws and connectors with epoxy, as well as performing an RFT (reduced functional test) to make sure the satellite was performing as expected.

After getting up at 4 AM to catch our plane to the Netherlands, we landed in Amsterdam around 7:30, and then took the train and bus to the ESTEC facility. Here we were greeted by the Fly Your Satellite! Team, and immediately headed to the cleanroom to perform a visual inspection of the satellite to make sure it had not been damaged during transportation.

After the visual inspection, an RFT was performed, to make sure the satellite was also performing as expected after transportation.

During the vibration test, AAUSAT4 is accompanied by the Belgian OUFTI-1 satellite, another satellite which is part of the FYS!-program. After lunch, we had to measure the dimensions of the satellite, to verify that it complies with the requirements, so we are sure that it will fit in the deployer.

Then it was time to fit the CubeSat’s in the deployer very carefully, and start tightening the springs in the bottom of the deployer, to make sure the satellites are firmly secured, so they are not bumping into each other during the test.

After spending a few hours observing the ESA staff doing this, we decided to head back to our Bed n’ Breakfast and conclude our first, long, day here in the Netherlands. Tomorrow, we will begin the actual vibration test.

Photos are now on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/118193674@N04/sets/72157648831307898/

Nov 2014 - Final ESA Test

We will in middle of November carry out the last tests at Estec - stay tuned.

Thanks to SparNord :

A very good history atSpar Nord Fonden and AAUSATs

Test campaign at ESTEC

The purpose of our stay at ESTEC is to expose AAUSAT4 to two different environmental tests: a thermal vacuum test and a vibration test.
The purpose of the thermal vacuum test is to place AAUSAT4 in an environment like the one present in orbit. This means placing AAUSAT4 in a thermal vacuum chamber which can pump out all the air thus creating a vacuum, and then also heat and cool the satellite while it's inside. The satellite will undergo several hot and cold cycles like it would in space. While these thermal cycles are performed we will be monitoring the health of the satellite by performing small functional tests which are designed to test all satellite functionalities work as expected.
The vibration test will expose the satellite to g-forces and vibrations it will experience during the rocket launch in to space. This will be done by placing the satellite on a shaker which is able to shake the satellite at specific frequencies with specific loads (g-forces). We will be performing functionality tests both before and after in order to establish the health and functionality of AAUSAT4.

Photo gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/118193674@N04/sets/72157645615820712/


140711 Day 4 at ESTEC

With the satellite already at 0 degrees we were already well on our way to reach the minimum non operational temperature of -20 degrees. Most of the day was spent on waiting for the temperature to first settle at the minimum non operational temperature and afterwards get it up to the minimum operational temperature (at -10 degrees). At this point a new RRFT was performed in order again establish the health and well being of AAUSAT4. While the RRFT was passed without any problems, we encountered some discrepancies during temperature readings.
In this case it was a temperature sensor on one of the sides that was giving a reading outside of the acceptable range (a difference of over 10 degrees). Also an internal temperature sensor was giving a reading which was outside of the expected range (over 2 degrees). It was concluded that the non acceptable reading of the side was due to a wrong bias (the sensor not being callibrated correctly), which we will be able to handle after the thermal vacuum test. For the internal sensor the difference was attributed to the subsystem being in thermal transition. We had just turned the subsystem on, prior to making the reading so the temperature sensor under test and the control temperature sensors were giving different measurements do to th distance between them. So in reality the reading is most likely thermally delayed.
After these non conformances had been reported the day was at an end, and we turned off the satellite and the thermal vacuum chamber was set to ambient temperature for the weekend.


140710 Day 3 at ESTEC


Performing a Reduced Reduced Functional Test (RRFT)

A happy student during thermal vacuum test

So after a night in vacuum we were eager to see if AAUSAT4 was still well. The thermal vacuum chamber had reached a pressure of 10 nanobar during the night and by visual inspection the satellite seemed okay. We proceeded to start the hot cycle.
The goal of the day was to reach the maximum non operational temperature (55 degrees), stay there for 1-2 hours, then go down to the maximum operational temperature (45 degrees) and do an RFT and then go down to 0 degrees preparing for the cold cycle to be done next day.
The maximum non operational hot temperature was reached faster than expected, using only 3 hours. We dwelled there for a little over an hour and then proceeded to lower the temperature down to the maximum operational temperature.
At this point we performed a "Reduced Reduced Function Test" (RRFT) which is a reduced version of the RFT in order to save time. The RRFT test only takes between 15-20 minutes to perform where the RFT takes between 35-40 minutes to perform. This RRFT was done succesfully. However, we encountered a peculiar result. The malfunctioning temperature sesnor from day 2 was now reading temperatures in the correct range. From here we decided to not do anything about it and see how the temperature sensor will act in the coming days and temperature cycles.
After the RRFT was done and passed during the hot cycle, we set a new set point for the thermal vacuum chamber at 0 degrees, where it would dwell for the night while AAUSAT4 would be turned off.


140709 Day 2 at ESTEC


Jesper, Kasper and Mathias ready to test!

AAUSAT4 inside the thermal vacuum chamber

The day started off where the other left off. Basicly we were to finalize all of the integration of AAUSAT4 in to the thermal vacuum chamber. While it had been established that we could charge the satellite and monitor voltage, we still did not know whether communication was possible through wire or radio.
We attempted to perform a RFT with the satellite hanging inside the thermal vacuum chamber with attached wire, but with the door still open. However, it was not possible to communicate with AAUSAT4 via our groundstation. At first we were concerned that the cable through which we were attempting to communicate was too long, though the cable was tested at AAU.
It was established that it was a simple case of using a wrong software version for the groundstation. A quick restart with the correct version and we were able to do an RFT. During the test we discovered that one of our temperature sensors on our side panels are giving incorrect readings. When working with ESA this means that we had to submit a "Non Conformance Report" (NCR) explaining what was wrong and what action we recommend be taken. Since the component is not mission critical we recommended that the test should proceed.
After the RFT was done we could now close the chamber. Before the thermal vacuum test could be initiated though, we were to have Test Readiness Review (TRR) which is a meeting that will establish if the test is allowed to be initiated. At this meeting we had the ESA education department personel and the test facility personel present. The status of AAUSAT4 was reviewed, as well as the integration and the NCR with the faulty sensor was discussed. It was finally agreed by all parties that the thermal vacuum test could be initiated.
Directly following the TRR we started pumping out air of the thermal vacuum chamber and which will establish an environment with vacuum but ambient temperature levels.
When we reached an acceptable vacuum level (in this case 90 nanobar), we did a new RFT to ensure that AAUSAT4 was still functioning. After the good health of the satellite had been establiblished we (and the satellite) were ready for the first hot temperature cycle. However, the day was at an end and the AAUSAT4 was turned off and left in vacuum during the night.


140708 Day 1 at ESTEC


Mathias integrating AAUSAT4 in the thermal vacuum chamber

AAUSAT4 integrated in the thermal vacuum chamber

After a long nights drive we arrived at our Bed n Breakfast at 1:30 in the night only to be at ESTEC the next morning. Upon arrival at ESTEC we were greeted by the Fly Your Satellite! team who are going to be helping and overseeing us throughout our stay at their facility.
Almost immediately we went to the testing facility with all of our equipment and of course our satellite AAUSAT4. The first test we are to perform is the thermal vacuum test. So most of our first day was spent on establishing a testing station beside the thermal vacuum chamber. After the testing station had been established it was time to turn our attention to AAUSAT4. It had been almost a 9 our drive here, so it was of great interrest to perform a visual inspection of the satellite and also to perform what we call a "Reduced Functional Test" or "RFT". The RFT is a test designed to quickly establish if AAUSAT4 is in good health and that nothing is broken (electrically). The visual inspection did not show any signs of damage from the trip, and during the RFT only a few kinks were encountered which were caused by issuing a wrong command during the test. But the RFT was also passed and the satellite was in fact in good health after the long trip.
After these initial tests the satellite was intergrated in to the thermal vacuum chamber. This meant hanging the satellite in suspension inside the thermal vacuum chamber and attaching electrical connections through wire to monitor the satellite health. During this thermal vacuum test the satellite will primarily be operated by wired electrical connection, but we will also be testing the radio communication and attempt issuing commands by radio.
Finally after the thermal chamber integration it was established that our most basic electrical connections to the satellite worked and that we could charge the satellite batteries through wire. At this point it was late afternoon and it was time to go home to our hotel.


As of July 2014 we are now in test at ESA/ESTEC. Follow news below.

140707 Test at ESTEC

The team has now started testing at ESTEC. It will last until July 25th so that will our best tested cubesat ever !

Stay tuned


Another nice ESA FYS video



140708 - Updated sponsorlist


Our sponsors

To put it very short - Without sponsors no satellites !

  • Gold++ Sponsor
    • Sparnord Fonden
  • Gold Sponsors
    • Søfartsstyrelsen
    • Printca
    • Marel Denmark
    • Hytek Aalborg
  • Silver Sponsors
    • Mekoprint
  • Bronze Sponsors
    • Cobham
    • Rohde-Schwarz

140707 - On way to test AAUSAT4

Now the team has lelft Aalborg heading ESTEC in the Netherlands.

AAUSAT4 will tested for 2 weeks at ESTEC's pro facilitites.

We will come back with more news the coming days.

140313 - FYS Phase 2 Kick-Off Workshop at ESTEC


Thermal vacuum chamber at ESA

Yesterday we had our first day of visit at ESA for the kickoff workshop for FYS phase 2. We heard a lot of people present the different tests that AAUSAT4 and AAUSAT5 are going to undergo. The tests are mainly a thermal vacuum and vibration test. The picture below shows one of the big vacuum chambers that ESA has in their laboratory.



140207 - ESA Phase 1 Review

We have now come through af number of RIDs and have now the best documentation we have made on any our satellite - thanks to ESA. The documentation has now to pass a Phase1 Review at ESA.



131203 - October Assembly of AAUSAT4


Assembly of AAUSAT4.

During the assembly of AAUSAT4 back in October a lot of pictures were taken. These pictures have now been combined to a gif, showing the steps of the AAUSAT4 assembly procedure.

As you can see the whole stack is assembled and is operational before integration in the Frame. The modular structure of the AAUSAT4 eases development both in the early and later stages of the project.



131125 STATUS - 100 days

Since August we have upgraded an documented AAUSAT3 according to ESA requirements.

We do call it AAUSAT4 and will fly a modernized version of our AIS receiver which has shown very good performance on AAUSAT3. Furthermore an upgrade of our ADCS system and removal of our static ADCS (read magnet) will give an even better performance - we hope.

So all are very tired but also happy with the result.


June 2013

As time of writing - June 2013 - we are happy to announce that we have been pre qualified together with five other cubesat projects to be on ESA Educations cubesat flight.

We hope we can fulfill their requirements.

The first workshop at Estec is 26-28. June 2013 and we will be there :-)

Follow our AAUSAT4Logbook


If you want to ... build satellites as part of studying for electronic engineers we have room for you this autumn :-)

Email us and lets have a discussion

Jens(jdnATes.aau.dk) and Jesper(jalATes.aau.dk) - management


AAUSAT4

FM is based on AAUSAT3 HW and SW. AAUSAT3 has gained flight heritage since 25. February 2013 and we are happy to say that all our sub systems are working beyond expectations.

On AAUSAT4Background is why we - only 100 days after launch of AAUSAT3 - is very close to FM for AAUSAT4 and an ESA launch.

This has been a very pleasant surprise for us and has given birth to our fourth generation of space students - mainly from 6th semester.

Stay tuned for the coming weeks :-)

So until further notice please visit AAUSAT3 for a description of AAUSAT4.

AAUSAT4 STATUS 20130809

The AAUSAT3 mechanical design is currently being updated for the AAUSAT4 mission. Changes includes simplification of production and integration, and solar panels on all 6 sides. Hence we have to change the frame and the antenna to fit the 1U height, why not make some performance enhancements to the antenna. Spoiler alert: Will AAUSAT4 include antenna (polarization) diversity for AIS?



For more information please contact Jens (jdnATes.aau.dk) or Jesper (jalATes.aau.dk)