Although Washington State is a leader in the Aerospace industry and the technology sector, no university in the state has launched a CubeSat despite a growing interest in microsatellites across the country.
A 3U Cube Satellite, dubbed the HuskySat-1, is being developed by an interdisciplinary team at the University of Washington and will be launched into Low Earth Orbit to become the first amateur satellite from Washington state. This CubeSat will demonstrate the capabilities of new technologies being developed at the University of Washington and expand the capabilities of CubeSats as a whole. In particular, a high-thrust pulsed plasma thruster (PPT), and high-gain communications system will form the core technology suite on board the satellite.
The primary mission objectives are:
- Delivery of system by August 2018
- 3 months of operation
- Operational PPT with measurable ∆V
- Downlink of 100kb using high frequency K-band antenna
The secondary mission objectives are:
- 3-6 months of operation
- Measure between 100 m s to 250m s ∆V
- 100Mb downlink from a reflectarray antenna
- Flight of camera payload from local High School
- Establish ground station with high frequency capabilities
- Lay groundwork for future CubeSat missions
- Open hardware and software licensing
- Publishable results
The majority of the HuskySat-1 is being developed at the UW. The satellite is broken up into different subsystems. Each component is designed to be modular so that they can be most easily developed independently from each other and reused for future missions.