Establishing Communication Systems

How important are the L-3 Cadet Radio and the ISISpace Antenna to STF-1? No matter how fascinating the results of STF-1’s multiple experiments are, they aren’t worth anything at all if we can’t view the results on Earth. Because of this, the radio and antenna are vital to mission success. The radio’s “store and forward” capability is what allows it to store up to 4GB of experimental results throughout each orbit, before forwarding the results to the ground station when it is in sight. Additionally, the radio is equipped with a microprocessor that allows the ground team to communicate with STF-1’s on board computer. Ultimately, this system allows the CubeSat to relay data findings and receive commands from the ground team, making it one of the most important systems on West Virginia’s First Spacecraft.

Recently, the STF-1 Team received both the radio and the antenna that will be used in conjunction with it. Pictured below (top), the team runs an initial checkout on the L3 Cadet Radio, while they look over the ISISpace Antenna (bottom).

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If you’d like to learn more about the four science experiments STF-1 will be carrying out in space, make sure to check back on this website over the course of the next several weeks for our new video blog series, where we will interview each of the four teams responsible for the four science objectives on STF-1. Below is a list of each team and their project:

  • WVU Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering – GPS and IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit)
  • WVU Physics and Astronomy – Space Weather
  • WVU Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering – III-V Nitride Materials
  • NASA IV&V – Earth Science Camera

While some of these topics may look fairly intimidating, there’s no need to worry. Each of these teams will be explaining their project in terms that we can all understand! Lastly, make sure to get involved with the video blogs by submitting any questions you have for the scientific teams to John.P.Lucas@ivv.nasa.gov. Before each video, we’ll select a couple of the best questions to ask the team we’re interviewing!


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