ArduSat is a nonprofit corporation, established in 2012 by Peter Platzer, Jeroen Cappaert and Joel Spark, all of them alumni of the International Space University. The concept behind the corporation is simple but also very novel, namely to provide cheap and global access to space in an uncomplicated way (see also www.nanosatisfi.com for further info).
The concept is based upon the ArduSat satellites which are on their turn based upon the well-established CubeSat architecture (10 x 10 x 10 cm) with as prime target educational applications. In order to ensure maximum access, open source standards are used, facilitating access to and from a large community of users. The satellites were delivered to ISS and are deployed this week.
The International Space University is equipped with an automated ground station via a close collaboration with the ESA GENSO project of the ESA Education office. The station is able to operate in the Amateur radio bands of VHF and UHF band (up- and downlink) but it can also receive downlink data in the S-band. It is therefore perfectly equipped to receive the ArduSat signal, operating in the Amateur UHF frequency of 437 Mhz.
A cooperation between ISU and its alumni on this project, also opening the way for the use of the ground station as demonstration for the ISU students, was therefore natural and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between both parties.
Prof. Angie Bukley, who signed the MOU on behalf of ISU stressed the importance of such cooperation as follows: “Cooperative activities between universities and private enterprise most often result in win-win situations. In this case, we are providing a much needed asset to Nanosatisfy while ISU faculty and students derive substantial benefit from learning the nuances of communicating with a satellite in orbit executing an important educational mission.”
On the other hand the CEO of ArduSat, ISU alumnus Peter Platzer, expressed his satisfaction on this endeavor:”We are delighted to cooperate with ISU on providing affordable access to space to students all across the world. With more and more CubeSats being launched by Universities we are committed to providing a ground station network to help those projects take maximum advantage of their ambitious satellite missions. Our collaboration with ISU’s ground station is an important step towards that goal.”
Further information can be found under: http://www.nanosatisfi.com/2013/02/ardusat-has-a-launch/