News Events

September 3, 2011 - 5:12 pm CST

*** On 3 September 2011 from 2-6 pm, AggieSat Lab will once again have a table at the MSC Open House on campus. Team members will be available to answer questions about the AggieSat Lab program and recruit new students for the team.

*** On 26 August 2011, the AggieSat4 team and the University of Texas Bevo-2 team visited NASA Johnson Space Center to complete the next milestone in the LONESTAR Mission 2 campaign, their Preliminary Design Review. The Aggies are grateful to NASA JSC Program Manager Darryl May, area experts, and contractors for reviewing and critiquing the students’ designs. Next up is preparation for the Critical Design Review this Fall 2011. Launch is planned for January 2013 with release from the International Space Station into low Earth orbit.

Aug11PDR

 









 

*** The team is in full swing this summer working toward the design of AggieSat4. Please contact us if you would like to join in on this exciting endeavor.

Summer 2011

 









*** On 25-29 July 2011, AggieSat Lab members conducted a very successful Space Camp entitled “Universe Expedition” at the Brazos Valley Children’s Museum. Children ages 4-10 learned about stars, planets, rockets, satellites/experiments, and astronauts (what people have done in space).

 

*** On 23 May, AggieSat Lab hosted Dr. Jer-Chyi (J.-C.) Liou from NASA Johnson Space Center who presented to the students on the important issue of orbital debris.

 

*** The PDR (Preliminary Design Review) for LONESTAR Mission 2 has been scheduled for Friday, 26 August 2011 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Student team members will present their design solutions to NASA personnel and contractors.

 

*** Undergraduate students Rebecca Sewell and David Dwyer from Texas A&M University, and graduate students Henri Kjellberg and Katharine Brumbaugh from The University of Texas at Austin, comprise the Interface Monitoring Team. This team is tasked with ensuring AggieSat4 and Bevo-2 successfully meet joint mission requirements for advancing technologies enabling autonomous rendezvous & docking.

 

*** On 11 May, AggieSat Lab students were hosted by College Station Middle School for a lecture on “Living and Working in Space” for 7 class periods. Each period featured a half-hour presentation followed by question and answer periods. The talk itself covered the history of the space race, spacecraft, what it is like to live and work on the International Space Station, and what NASA is planning in the future. The middle-school students were all engaged and excited, and asked a wide array of questions. The 7th graders were especially inquisitive about life in orbit and the specifics of the physics behind getting to and from space. The teachers asked their students how they felt about going into space, and thoughtful discussions on the pros and cons of safety and engineering as well as the benefits of going to space resulted.

“I can not tell you how much we appreciate you coming to speak to our classes on Wednesday. We all commented on how much we as teachers learned and the kids are just alive with information. Being a guest speaker to a bunch of junior high students is no easy task but you guys nailed it!  Thanks again for taking time out of your day and schedules to visit us. It really was incredible.  Regards, Makala Gerland, College Station Middle School, 7th and 8th Grade Science”

Our AggieSat students very much enjoy meeting and working with the community.  Please contact us if you would like for us to visit your group or organization.

 

*** Equipped with updated mission objectives and launch-vehicle and deployment interface requirements, bi-weekly telecons among NASA Johnson, MEI, AggieSat Lab students, and the University of Texas at Austin have begun to work toward the 2nd mission for LONESTAR. AggieSat4 (AGS4; 50 kilograms) and its partner satellite (cubesat Bevo-2) will be launched and deployed together from the International Space Station (ISS) as a combined unit. After deployment from the ISS, AGS4 will release Bevo-2 and conduct on-orbit operations. These operations feature taking visual images, operating DRAGON, stabilizing and pointing, and crosslink communicating with each other. The launch date is now expected in 2013. The culmination of this four-stage project, the fourth mission, is planned for a joint rendezvous and docking between two satellites. Interested students of any major can contact us about joining this exciting and rewarding opportunity. Also, there is provision for third-party payloads on AggieSat4 if an organization desires to test a system or component in the space environment.

 

*** At the invitation of the Houston Aggie Women, on 28 March 2011, students Rebecca Sewell and John Graves traveled to the Tour 18 golf course in Humble TX to present on AggieSat2 and the Lab at a fundraiser sponsored by Reveille Club of Houston and Golfapalooza. The Lab is grateful for the sponsorship and support provided on behalf of our students. Lab members are available and excited to present on their work to interested organizations and community groups. Please contact us for more information.

 

*** Undergraduate student and AggieSat4 Program Manager Rebecca Sewell and graduate student William Hafer were invited to present at the Workshop on Aerospace Payload Quality for Academia, hosted by Auburn University and NASA. The workshop was held on Thursday, 17 March 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as part of NASA’s Quality Leadership Forum (QLF).  The students’ presentation was entitled “AggieSat Lab: Lessons Learned and the Path Forward”. Becky was then invited to participate in a VIP tour of the NASA Kennedy Space Center on 18 March 2011.

 

*** Lasse Maeland successfully completed his PhD defense on 10 March 2011. His dissertation topic was “Evaluation of Coarse Sun Sensor in a Miniaturized Distributed Relative Navigation System: An Experimental and Analytical Investigation”. He is a co-Founder of VectorNav Technologies in Richardson, Texas, a small company that specializes in MEMS inertial measurement units and orientation sensors, and he will now join the company.

Lasse Maeland

 











 

*** AggieSat Lab team members talked about their experiences and opportunities for students at Aggieland Saturday, an annual campus-wide open house for prospective students and their families, on 19 February 2011.

Becky Sewell

 










 

*** AggieSat Lab congratulates Mr. David Kanipe, NASA JSC, on the occasion of his retirement, and thanks him for his vision and dedication in establishing and sustaining LONESTAR. Members of the team travelled to NASA JSC 1 February 2011 for his retirement party.

David Kanipe












*** AggieSat students Becky Sewell, David Dwyer, Austin Probe, and Andrew Vasquez presented on AggieSat4 to peers and industry at the Aerospace Engineering Department’s AERO 401 “Aerospace Vehicle Design” Critical Design Review on 8 December 2010.


CDR Presentation











*** AggieSat students volunteered to work the AggieSat Lab table at the Fall Fest at the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley on Saturday 23 October 2010.

 

*** Texas A&M students present on AggieSat2, AggieSat4 and the LONESTAR campaign to Dr. Ellen Ochoa (Deputy Directory, Johnson Space Center), Helen Lane, and Melanie Saunders (all from NASA JSC) on 16 September 2010.

Visit from NASA JSC











*** Texas A&M students participated in Web-Ex preliminary review with NASA JSC, contractors, and UT 3 September 2010. NASA JSC LONESTAR Program Manager David Kanipe (1st picture; left: plaid shirt, light pants) came to Texas A&M for the review.  This was in preparation for a formal LONESTAR Mission 2 kick-off review at NASA JSC on 10 September 2010.  While in Houston, the team stopped in for a visit with MEI (2nd picture).

AggieSat4 Telecon
MEI Visit Houston












*** Summer 2010 students presented an end-of-summer Internal Design Review of AggieSat4 on 24 August 2010.

AggieSat4 Design Review
AggieSat4 Design Review












*** Summer 2010 students worked every day of the week with scheduled meetings at 8:30 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, and most were volunteers. In the picture, they are listening to the lecture portion of a class on soldering “Soldering 101” under the direction of AggieSat staff person Joe Perez.

Soldering Class












*** In Summer 2009, three AggieSat Lab students (Zachary Itkoe, Rebecca Sewell, and Devin Stancliffe) interned at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center. Devin Stancliffe successfully completed his Masters defense on 18 June 2010 and joined Lockheed Martin Space Systems on 28 June 2010 as a Guidance, Navigation, and Control analyst. Devin’s thesis topic was “Analysis and Design of a Test Apparatus for Resolving Near-Field Effects Associated with Using a Coarse Sun Sensor as Part of a 6-DOF Solution”.

Devin Stancliffe












*** The AggieSat2 team was invited to display hardware at NASA JSC’s “INNOVATION : 2010” on 28 April 2010.  In the 1st picture are shown a quarter-scale conceptual design of AggieSat4, the 2nd mission in the LONESTAR campaign, the AggieSat2 engineering development unit (EDU), and a laptop with a slideshow.  In the back are undergraduates Sarah Atkinson and Rebecca Sewell, graduate student John Graves, undergraduate student Harry Hernandez, Dr. Helen Reed and Joe Perez. In the 2nd picture, students speak to NASA dignitaries and personnel about LONESTAR.

LONESTAR Display
LONESTAR Display












*** Following the success of AggieSat2, Mr. Guy Norris from Aviation Week and Space Technology visited the Lab on 7 April 2010.  Here is the link to his article:

Aviation Week & Space Technology Article on AggieSat2

*** Mr. John Graves was a Student Scholarship Competition Winner at the AIAA Responsive Space 2010 Conference in Los Angeles, 8-11 March 2010. He presented the paper “The Role of Responsive Architectures in Educating Students”.

AggieSat2 reentered the Earth’s atmosphere on 17 March 2010 after 230 days in orbit. The last orbit data posted by the Air Force for AggieSat2 was taken on the 17th at 5:27:02 UTC. AggieSat2 was over the North Pacific ocean at the time, on the descending node leg of its orbit and falling below 97 km. The spacecraft re-entry footprint is likely along the subsequent orbit track. Approximately 4 hours before, at 1:34:46 UTC AggieSat Lab received its last beacon from the spacecraft capping AggieSat Lab’s first end-to-end mission.

During the 230 day flight, 99 contacts were made by students at Texas A&M, and another 30 contacts were officially reported by amateur radio operators globally. 19 Texas A&M students actively participated in direct ground operations, and the team collected DRAGON GPS data for NASA Johnson Space Center for mission success.

AggieSat Team during an AggieSat 3 design session

February 5, 2010 - 9:29 am CST

Our 5” cubesat AggieSat2 continues to operate on orbit downlinking data to our ground station. The students have operated the satellite 3 times this week, continued the DRAGON download, and have 2 more communication opportunities set for this weekend. We are at the 190-day mark, and an altitude of 281 km. Space Command has notified us that we should burn up around 8 March 2010.

In parallel, undergraduate and graduate students are engaged in the preliminary design phase for the Lab’s next mission (AggieSat4) in the LONESTAR campaign with DRAGON Johnson Space Center (David Kanipe, DRAGON Program Manager).

January 6, 2010 - 9:33 am CST

Members of AggieSat Lab successfully conducted a communication pass with AggieSat2 around 5:00 p.m.CST today. Though the maximum elevation was only 42 degrees, two-way communication was maintained for roughly one minute. During communications a health request was made and additional DRAGON GPS data was downloaded.

Students are currently making preparations for another communication pass with AggieSat2. This communication pass will take place at 1:08:00 a.m. CST, January 7th. Maximum elevation is 71.78 degrees with a total horizon-to-horizon time of eight minutes and forty-five seconds.

December 8, 2009 - 4:14 pm CST

November 30th, 2009 - 3:20 p.m. CST

Another communication pass was conducted with AggieSat2 on November 28th at 9:00 a.m. CST. Maximum elevation of the pass by AggieSat2 was 68 degrees. However, despite a good angle, only beacons were received from the satellite. Now that Thanksgiving holiday is over, additional passes will be taken by students over the following two weeks.

Our Mission Control page has been updated with a new list of Flight Controllers. Over the past two months more of our students have been trained and certified for flight controller positions required to communicate with AggieSat2. That list has been updated with all students who are currently certified.

November 23rd, 2009 - 11:40 a.m. CST

We apologize for our lack of updates regarding our organization or mission operations. Over the past several weeks our Lab has been transitioning from AggieSat2 towards development of a new satellite. Communication operations are still on-going with AggieSat2 as it continues to orbit earth. Our estimated life expectancy for the satellite is one to two months before re-entering earth's atmosphere. However, despite these operations, Lab emphasis has been redirected towards the development of the next satellite in the LONESTAR campaign. This satellite, to be named AggieSat4, will focus on the concepts revolving around Attitude Determination and Control. AggieSat4 began this fall semester, in August, and has a projected launch date around 2011 with NASA.

To help facilitate development of our new satellite, over a dozen new students were brought into our program. You can see our updated list of participating students on the Team page. If you would be interested in participating please use either our Contact form or Getting Involved form.

As for our on-going communication efforts with AggieSat2, our flight operations teams report that on the 22nd of November, two way contact was made over a ~2 minute period at 49 degree maximum elevation. A dropout in our communication link made sending the Set Clock and Set Next Window commands difficult. Therefore it took around a minute to start downloading DRAGON data. After DRAGON data stopped downloading, AggieSat2 continued to beacon for a while before we encountered a Loss of Signal. Our total amount of accumulated DRAGON data downloaded increased from 4.97% to 5.25%, or a total of approximately 8 KB of data acquired.

Further contacts were also made on November 19th and 20th for an additional 4 KB downloaded for a total of 12 KB through this successful weekend. Another pass is scheduled tonight, the 23rd, at 7:18 p.m. CST. Lab members are currently planning the pass schedule over Thanksgiving break that fits in with many team members' holiday schedules. AggieSat2 has been in orbit 116 days and is currently at an altitude of 166 nautical miles (308 km).

November 7th, 2009 - 12:50 p.m. CST

Preperations will be underway shortly for a communication pass scheduled for 5:31 p.m. this afternoon. This communication pass will focus on downloading further DRAGON data from our AggieSat2 satellite.

November 6th, 2009 - 2:35 p.m. CST

Two ground passes were taken on the night of the 5th and morning of the 6th (at 6:40 p.m. and 2:38 a.m. respectively). The first pass was a test of a concept for getting doppler shift capability out of our primary radios which have a complicated frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) protocol onboard. The satellite was heard in shifted fashion but synchronization could not be maintained with the radios in this mode. No data was taken.

The second pass was performed with normal settings and resulted in a small amount of additional data downloaded. Satellite was in good health and working on a charge. The current accumulated DRAGON file size is now 117 kB.

There will be additional communications opportunities on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

October 26th, 2009 - 4:15 p.m. CDT

Students at AggieSat Lab are preparing for two communication passes with AggieSat2 in the next twenty-four hours. Each pass is dedicated to downloading further GPS data stored on-board the satellite. One pass is scheduled for tonight at 11:42 p.m. CDT. It's a high elevation pass at 89 degrees. However, due to weather conditions within the College Station area, management will continue to evaluate whether to abort the pass for tonight. Additionally, there is another pass scheduled for 7:41 a.m. CDT tomorrow morning. This second pass is a lower elevation at only 59 degrees.

October 24th, 2009 - 2:00 p.m. CDT

AggieSat Lab is currently participating in The Children's Museum of the Brazos Valley's 11th Annual Fall Festival taking place today. Multiple students from AggieSat are in attendance to entertain children and answer questions that both children and their parents might have about our organization or space in general.

October 21th, 2009 - 10:40 a.m. CDT

AggieSat Lab will be participating in The Children's Museum of the Brazos Valley's 11th Annual Fall Festival on October 24, 2009. Drop by and see the exciting events happening at AggieSat. We'll have several members of our lab in attendance to present our current AggieSat2 satellite prototype to kids and parents. In addition, students from AggieSat will be available for any questions kids might have about satellites, or parents might have about our organization.

October 20th, 2009 - 9:15 a.m. CDT

Last night, students were able to resume communications with AggieSat2 after almost a week of poor weather conditions and work out at the remote ground station. AggieSat2's health status was successfully polled and the satellite's on-board clock updated. Unfortunately students were not able to download additional GPS data as a result of poor reception from the satellite. Further attempts will be conducted later in the week as additional high elevation passes become available.

October 11th, 2009 - 8:28 p.m. CDT

The first data collected by the DRAGON payload began downloading at approximately 6:30 a.m. CDT on October 10th, 2009. This first 6000 bytes cover part of the initialization of the device which was started on September 4th to collect one orbit of data (~5400 seconds). While the data will require further downloads to complete and examination at Johnson Space Center to analyze, it is a wonderful start to mission specific operations. A new amplifier system for the ground station is also undergoing final assembly to expand our usable communications envelope despite complications caused by the failure separation at mission's start back in late July. Future ground passes will focus on raw data downloads using the new amplifier to piece together the first orbit's worth of DRAGON data. The ultimate mission goal is to retrieve two full orbits.

AggieSat2 has been alive and functional in the space environment for 73 days thus far.

September 14th, 2009 - 8:35 p.m. CDT

On September 26th, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. CDT, a presentation will be held by a member of AggieSat Lab at the Hudnall Planetarium, on Tyler Junior College campus, in Tyler, TX. This presentation is part of the planetarium's Public Astronomy Lecture Series which AggieSat Lab gave a presentation to over a year ago. Hudnall Planetarium is open to members of the general public with a small admission fee to support the Planetarium's on-going operations. If anyone, including groups, would like to attend and you live near Tyler, use these directions to attend our presentation at the Apache Rooms, located in the Rogers Student Center, on the Tyler Junior College campus. Our presentation should last about 45 minutes and will cover the opportunities AggieSat Lab provides undergraduate students for gaining expertise on engineering projects which test their knowledge and teach them new skills. Additionally a discussion of the effort which went into building and launching our satellite, AggieSat2, will be given. Finally, we'll cover all the experiences we've gained as a result of operating a satellite in space, the issues we've encountered, and how students with the help of Amateur Radio Operators overcame those difficulties. Following the lecture, there is a short Question and Answer session for members of the public to ask any questions they have about AggieSat Lab, its satellite, or opportunities for students and the general public to get involved.

If your organization would be interested in having members of AggieSat Lab give a presentation please contact us at Dr. Helen Reed

September 14th, 2009 - 10:45 a.m. CDT

Our communication window opportunities over the weekend were scrubbed do to adverse weather in the Bryan/College Station area. Depending on weather forecasts for this week, further communication opportunities might also be scrubbed until weather conditions improve.

September 5th, 2009 - 5:10 p.m. CDT

Students have been working over this weekend to make preparations for our next attempt to download DRAGON data. These preparations include conducting mock communication passes using our Engineering Design Unit in the Lab. Operators who will be responsible for downloading data during an actual pass will conduct a full mock pass with the Engineering Design Unit uses the same set of procedures and time frames.

Tomorrow, we should be able to place video of our Client software in action. We've been able to record our ground station operators while they've used Client to conduct mission operations. We're hoping to start placing several of those videos on our website tomorrow and over the course of this week.

September 4th, 2009 - 6:30 a.m. CDT

Our 5:45 a.m. CDT communication pass was scrubbed about an hour ago. A thunder storm was traveling south from North Texas towards the Bryan/College Station area. Therefore our flight team made the decision to abort a communication attempt with AggieSat2. Another attempt will take place early next week.

September 3rd, 2009 - 10:15 p.m. CDT

AggieSat Lab can proudly say it's officially begun the process of completing objectives for the AggieSat2 mission. Ground station operators were able to command AggieSat2 to record DRAGON data during a 9:00 p.m. CDT communication pass today. This first round of recording was scheduled for ninety minutes beginning immediately after the satellite left the communication window. We're expecting to begin downloading data, recorded during those ninety minutes, during tomorrow's 5:45 a.m. CDT pass. To complete mission objectives, and therefore consider AggieSat2 a success, two ninety minute recording sessions must be downloaded to our ground station.

DRAGON data record command success.

September 2nd, 2009 - 10:35 a.m. CDT

AggieSat Lab suspended operations over the weekend so students would have an opportunity to prepare for classes and get their living situations finalized. Operations began again on August 31st with an influx of student members who took off this previous summer. A communication pass was taken this morning around 6:46 a.m. CDT, our first in the past week. Ground operators were able to successfully poll the satellite's health, set its clock, set a new communication window for September 4th, and get an updated number of health records stored on the satellite (Which is currently over 9000). No updates will be sent over Twitter and Facebook until later this month due to internet reliability at the Riverside campus. We'll post a news update when we begin to using Twitter again.

August 26th, 2009 - 9:20 a.m. CDT

Preparations are underway out at Riverside campus for a 9:30 a.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2. Ground operators plan on utilizing this communication pass to download additional health records from the satellite for evaluation prior to beginning the recording of GPS data later in the week.

August 24th, 2009 - 1:20 p.m. CDT

Only beacons were received during our 10:27 a.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2. No two-way communications were established during the pass over. Further attempts will be made later in the week (Wednesday and Friday) to establish communications with our satellite and download further health data.

August 24th, 2009 - 10:15 a.m. CDT

Preparations are underway at our Riverside Campus ground station for a 54 degree maximum elevation pass with AggieSat2. This pass should occur at 10:27 a.m. CDT and provide us with at least health data from our satellite.

August 22nd, 2009 - 1:15 p.m. CDT

We updated our Mission Control page with the new two-line elements. Also, during our early morning pass on the 21st, we managed to poll AggieSat2's health multiple times. Those updates were sent automatically to Twitter and then Facebook. This will constitute the first known satellite to Tweet and update Facebook. Those status updates have been posted at the bottom right of our Mission Control page as well.

August 22nd, 2009 - 12:40 p.m. CDT

No communication passes will be conducted with AggieSat2 today. All passes are low passes and would therefore not provide an ample window for downloading data. Communication attempts with AggieSat2 will begin again on either Sunday or Monday.

August 21st, 2009 - 4:00 p.m. CDT

A satellite tracking gadget has been added to our Mission Control page so that anyone can have an immediate update as to the location of our satellite.

August 21st, 2009 - 12:10 p.m. CDT

During our 11:09:11 a.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2, our radios synchronized six times with a total of four beacons being received. Unfortunately we were unable to conduct two-way communications as hoped, but give the medium elevation of this pass, four beacons are exceptional. There will be additional medium to high elevation passes beginning early next week which we're hoping will provide an opportunity to download additional health records.

August 21st, 2009 - 9:40 a.m. CDT

Preparations are underway for our 11:09:11 a.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2. Team members will leave for Riverside Campus in a few minutes to begin setting up the ground station equipment for the pass.

August 21st, 2009 - 4:15 a.m. CDT

Our communication pass at 3:09 a.m. CDT was a success. We managed to accomplish all our goals including polling the satellites health, setting the satellites time, and setting the next communication window. Now our satellite will enter its standby mode, which turns off its radios and awaits until it arrives in the next communication window. Once that times arrives the radio will be powered on and the satellite will begin beaconing every five seconds.

Our next communication pass will be at 11:09:11 a.m. CDT today. Preparations will begin around 10:10 a.m. CDT for another medium elevation pass with the satellite.

August 20th, 2009 - 9:45 a.m. CDT

No communication passes will be conducted with AggieSat2 today. A maximum elevation of 27 degrees is available but, instead of attempting contact with our satellite, we'll spend today continuing our efforts to improve our ground station. There are two medium elevation passes tomorrow which we might take advantage of depending on our work today.

August 19th, 2009 - 3:40 p.m. CDT

AggieSat2's status was upgraded today to Operational by AMSAT. Our status update was a result of our successful poll health responses from AggieSat2 on Monday. While we're glad for the updated status by AMSAT, we're taking this time to continue our efforts to capitalize on our limited data capability so that we can begin operations which work towards mission success. You can check AMSAT's website for additional information regarding our satellite in addition to those of other organizations.

August 19th, 2009 - 2:00 p.m. CDT

Our ground support software, Client, showing health data received from AggieSat2 after transmitting a poll health request.

Posted to the right is a screen capture of our ground support software, Client, during our communication pass this afternoon. As shown, we received a successful beacon indicating a 96% charge level during our scheduled communication window. However, no health data is displayed in the upper right corner of Client since we never received a response to our poll health request.

August 19th, 2009 - 1:20 p.m. CDT

Our communication pass at 12:10 p.m. CDT was a success, though ground crews were unable to conduct two-way communications with AggieSat2. However, we received twelve beacons from AggieSat2 which indicated a 97% charge on the batteries, before dropping to 96% after transmitting for a full minute. After today's earlier pass in which we set a communication window, AggieSat2 entered standby mode. Standby mode causes the satellite to keep both radios powered off until it reaches the next communication window. This allows for power to be conserved when the satellite is not over College Station. This afternoon AggieSat2 came into the schedule window, powered on it's Microhard radio, and entered a "Fast Beacon" mode , thereby transmitting a beacon every five minutes. Despite receiving those beacons, AggieSat2 did not respond to poll health requests nor were ground crews able to download any additional health records.

August 19th, 2009 - 12:50 p.m. CDT

Below is a table which explains several of the fields on the front panel of Client. Each field has its title listed with a short explanation of what that field indicates as to the satellite's health state.

AggieSat2 Health Data
Title Explaination
Battery Celsius temperature of the battery pack inside AggieSat2.
EPS Celsius temperature of our Electrical Power System electronics board inside AggieSat2.
Microhard (Downlink Radio) Celsius temperature of our Microhard radio. This radio acts as both our uplink and downlink radio.
Maxtream Celsius temperature of our Maxstream radio. Normally this radio acts as our uplink radio but we're not currently using it. Therefore it's powered off inside the satellite.
Current (Milliamps) This value indicates the amperage going into (If positive) or out of (If negative) the batteries.
Accumulated Current (Milliamp Hours) This value indicates the accumulated amperage going into (If positive) or out of (If negative) the batteries since AggieSat2 last restarted.
Charge Level A percentage at which the battery is charged to. If an "Unknown" value is indicated then the batteries have not fully charged since the last reset.
Charge Status Values are either "Charging...", "Not charging.", or "Unknown.". An "Unknown." value is only indicated when we've not received a charge status from the satellite.

August 19th, 2009 - 11:50 a.m. CDT

Our ground support software, Client, showing health data received from AggieSat2 after transmitting a poll health request.

Our screen capture of Client following our successful communication with AggieSat2 earlier this morning is post to the right. It shows the temperature values, battery current, and accumulated current as reported by our poll health response. Also, at the both center, you'll see a value listed in the "Next Comm" box. Our satellite indicated that it accepted the next communication window for this afternoon.

August 19th, 2009 - 11:25 a.m. CDT

Preparations are underway at Riverside Campus for a 12:10:18 p.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2. It has a maximum elevation of 69 degrees providing a great opportunity for further two-way communications with our satellite.

August 19th, 2009 - 5:40 a.m. CDT

Our 4:10 a.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2 was an incredible success. We were able to poll the current health of our satellite, set the satellite clock, upload a new communication window, and download 38 health records. A total of 5,493 records as of 4:10 a.m. CDT were saved on-board AggieSat2 though that number increase as we record a new health record every five minutes. Our poll health response was posted to Twitter and Facebook about an hour after the pass had concluded simply because we decided not to automate tweeting at this time. Our next communication window was set for 12:10 p.m. CDT this afternoon.

August 19th, 2009 - 2:40 a.m. CDT

Preperations are underway for a 4:10 a.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2. Flight members are gathering material and moving over to the Riverside campus.

August 18th, 2009 - 7:30 p.m. CDT

Pearland A&M Club




Members of AggieSat Lab gave a presentation to the Texas A&M Club of Pearland, TX on August 13th. Our presentation covered the build process of AggieSat2, current mission operations, and our plans for the next LONESTAR mission. If you would be interested in having members of AggieSat Lab give a presentation at your organization please contact us either through our form or by e-mailing Dr. Helen Reed.

August 18th, 2009 - 4:10 p.m. CDT

Yesterday Texas A&M Foundation published a blog article called Out of this World which covers our current AggieSat2 project as well as an insight into our next mission planned for 2012.

August 18th, 2009 - 12:10 p.m. CDT

After yesterday's successful pass our lab members are making preparations for tomorrow's high elevation passes which should yield similar or better results than yesterday. To maximize those results we'll be streamlining our pass procedures to maximize the very limited amount of time we have during each pass. Also, we'll be spending the majority of today practicing those refined procedures using our Engineering Design Unit and flatsat at our Lab.

August 17th, 2009 - 6:15 p.m. CDT

All deployment pictures we've received from NASA, showing AggieSat2 and BEVO1 deploying from the Space Shuttle Endeavour, have been posted to Facebook. We'll look into posting those on our AggieSat2 project page in the next few days. Additionally, we'll start posting pictures of our mission control center and operations next week.

August 17th, 2009 - 6:10 p.m. CDT

Our Mission Control page has been updated with the latest two-line elements for AggieSat2. Additionally, we've posted the health data received from AggieSat2 during our pass earlier today. Only health data from one response has been posted, but we're planning on posting the other at a later time today.

August 17th, 2009 - 5:20 p.m. CDT

Our ground support software, Client, showing health data received from AggieSat2 after transmitting a poll health request.

We've attached a picture of our ground support software, Client, to the right. Temperature values for each sub system within AggieSat2 are indicated a the top right of Client. As shown, the radios, electrical power system, and command and data handling system are all within single digit Celsius degrees. A positive value is show for the current which indicates that the batteries were charging at the time of polling the satellite health. Accumulated current is -3917 indicating the satellite just came out of eclipse. Lastly, the charge level for the batteries is unknown but the satellite does indicate that it's charging.

August 17th, 2009 - 2:50 p.m. CDT

Today at 1:11:59 p.m. CDT we received eight poll health responses including battery and temperature data from AggieSat2 during a 79 degree pass over College Station. The satellite, as expected, went temporarily into fast beacon mode (1/5 Hz). We synchronized the spacecraft clock but lost COMMs before we could send it the next exact communications window and get the cumulative health data since launch. Since the next window was not set, the spacecraft will re-enter its standby mode and patiently await our next opportunity to talk to it.

While the duration of usable COMMs is still short (under a minute) this is the first recorded instance of two way data communications between Earth and AggieSat2. This is a significant improvement over the individual beacons we had been receiving at first. The data recorded today gives local battery data and subsystem temperatures.

We will try to capitalize on this development in the near future and hope that it remains consistent or improved from here on out.

We'll post the health data later today, including a screen shot of our ground support software, Client.

August 16th, 2009 - 5:30 a.m. CDT

We had a communication pass with AggieSat2 at 4:52:08 a.m. CDT this morning. This pass had a maximum elevation of 31 degrees. During the pass we had six separate synchronizations between our ground station and satellite radios. Two of our synchronizations lead to ground operators receiving beacons from the satellite. To this date this has been our most successful pass with AggieSat2.

August 14th, 2009 - 6:45 p.m. CDT

Today we received a total of five synchronizations with three synchronizations leading to our ground crews receiving three beacons. No other data was received from AggieSat2.

August 12th, 2009 - 6:45 p.m. CDT

Our 2:47 p.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2 was also successful. Though the pass only had a maximum elevation of 47 degrees, our ground station radio synchronized four times with the satellite thereby allowing ground crews to receive three beacons. Further effort will be put towards analyzing reasons for AggieSat2 potentially not hearing our transmissions towards itself.

August 12th, 2009 - 2:30 p.m. CDT

Our flight team will be conducting another communication pass at 2:47 p.m. CDT with AggieSat2. It's a 47 degrees maximum elevation pass providing a good chance for receiving a beacon.

August 12th, 2009 - 1:30 p.m. CDT

Our ground support software, Client, showing a 90% charge on AggieSat2's batteries.

This morning at 6:52 a.m. CDT four complete beacons were received from AggieSat2. Also, for the first time, the battery charge fuel gauge displayed on Client showed AggieSat2 with a 90% battery level after coming out of eclipse. This was the first time a beacon indicated a charge level on the batteries due to the team catching the beacons before 24 hour, no contact watchdog time reset. Our satellites watchdog timer causes the satellite to reset if it fails to receive communications from the ground. After resetting all information regarding it charge level is forgotten. By receiving the charge level we have a positive indication of a very healthy satellite 13 days into free flight. The team hopes that work on the ground or dynamics up in space will help AggieSat Lab get through the separation failure and finally reach into full communications with AggieSat2.

August 12th, 2009 - 11:20 a.m. CDT

Also on August 10th we conducted a pass around 3:30 p.m. CDT in which our flight team once again received two beacons, except that these beacons were received at 67 degrees maximum elevation. Therefore, it would seem communications with our satellite are becoming easier despite all the changes our ground station has undergone. Continued effort will be made to enhance our ground station receiving and transmitting capabilities while still making attempts to communicate with AggieSat2.

August 12th, 2009 - 11:00 a.m. CDT

On August 10th during our 7:48 a.m. CDT communication pass we were able to get two radio synchronizations and receive two full beacons from AggieSat2. Those beacons were received 40 seconds apart, indicating that we missed a beacon half way between them, and that we have at least a 40 second window at 87 degrees elevation which we're able to hear AggieSat2. This pass followed the complete reconfiguration of our ground station at Riverside Campus. We're now placing our radio beside our ground station antenna with only a few feet of coaxial cable. Additionally, our passes are conducted on laptops right beneath the tower rather than in our Lab. We've reduced most if not all RF loss within the system through this reconfiguration of our station. However, since we're still unable to establish long term communications with our satellite we'll continue to look into other ground station enhancements including amplifiers and low noise amplifiers.

August 5th, 2009 - 4:10 p.m. CDT

AggieSat2 deployment from Space Shuttle Endeavor

Additional pictures have just been released by NASA which show our satellite still attached to The University of Texas' BEVO1 satellite as they were deployed from the SSPL. To the right is an image, courtesy of NASA, of both satellites attached with the Space Shuttle Endeavour payload bay in the background. AggieSat2 is satellite closest to the launcher, on the right side of the picture. This picture was taken within seconds of deployment as both AggieSat2 and BEVO1 were ejected from the SSPL. Additional pictures will be posted to the AggieSat2 project page as we receive them from NASA. All pictures are compressed for viewing on the page, but by clicking on the image, a full resolution picture can be downloaded.

August 5th, 2009 - 12:00 p.m. CDT

AggieSat2 deployment from Space Shuttle Endeavor


Several pictures were released yesterday by NASA which show our satellite still attached to The University of Texas' BEVO1 satellite following deployment. To the right is an image, courtesy of NASA, of both satellites attached with the earth shown at the bottom. AggieSat2 is the top most satellite with only a small square of green showing through the center of each panel. This picture was taken within minutes of deployment as both AggieSat2 and BEVO1 floated away from the shuttle. Therefore, we're still uncertain as to the current configuration of both satellites following the departure of Endeavour. Additional pictures will be posted to the AggieSat2 project page as we receive them from NASA. All pictures are compressed for viewing on the page, but by clicking on the image, a full resolution picture can be downloaded.

August 4th, 2009 - 8:05 p.m. CDT

Pictures have been released by NASA which show our satellite still attached to The University of Texas' BEVO1 satellite following deployment. Both satellites were supposed to separate immediately following deployment from Space Shuttle Endeavour on Thursday. However, both satellites remained attached at least for the immediate time after deployment. We're not sure to the extent which both satellites have separated or what's current state of our radio antennas. Given our satellite's state, it could partially explain our poor reception at our ground station. However, we're not aware of our satellite's current situation, and we're confident in our ground station modifications which are underway tonight.

August 4th, 2009 - 4:16 p.m. CDT

Our short term option requires the elimination of all potential RF loss within our ground station system. This will be accomplished by running a shorter cable, only a few feet in length, between our antenna and radio. We'll be able to eliminate any loss in the 80 foot cable we're currently using. Additionally, we'll isolate the radio from surrounding computer equipment contained within the hub building used by other university entities and ourselves. Our final configuration will consist of a laptop running our Client software, connected over Ethernet to an Ethernet-to-Serial device, which then connects directly into our radio. Lastly, our radio will be housed in an enclosed container on the antenna tower, connected to that antenna by only a few feet of coaxial cable. Assembly of this configuration will be conducted tonight with a short system level integration test either today or tomorrow. We'll attempt to conduct a pass tomorrow using the new configuration.

August 4th, 2009 - 11:20 a.m. CDT

Graduate managers and undergraduate students held a Lab wide meeting earlier this morning around 8:30:00 a.m. CDT. Discussion focused on ways to mitigate RF interference and loss within our ground station at Riverside Campus. AggieSat2 has been reported by Amateur Radio Operators as transmitting a strong signal from Germany to Dallas, TX, and all the way to Japan. However, we've had difficulty establishing communications with our satellite except for two beacons we've received; one Thursday night and one Saturday morning. Students are spending today researching equipment and ground station modifications that could allow a reduction in RF interference and a boost in gain. Therefore no communication attempts will be made with AggieSat2 until tomorrow, at the earliest. Two options have been assembled for ground station modifications which can be conducted in hopes of boosting reception with AggieSat2. One option is a short term solution which will be implemented in hopes of contacting our satellite beginning tomorrow. Our second option is a long term plan to facilitate communications with AggieSat2 over the remainder of this year. However, assembly of our second option will take several weeks as parts are ordered and shipped to our Lab.

August 3rd, 2009 - 7:05 p.m. CDT

Our 6:22:12 p.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2 was unsuccessful. Mission Controllers did not receive any beacons from the satellite nor did the radios synchronized.

August 3rd, 2009 - 6:05 p.m. CDT

Preparations are underway for our 6:22:12 p.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2. We'll once again attempt to establish communications with AggieSat2.

August 3rd, 2009 - 1:10 p.m. CDT

Our communication pass at 10:22 a.m. CDT was unsuccessful. We were unable to establish communications with AggieSat2 but we were able to synchronize our satellite and ground station radios. Following the pass, graduate managers held a short conference meeting to determine the immediate future of mission operations. Until a final decision is made, students will focus their efforts on evaluating our ground station configuration for possible RF loss within the system.

August 3rd, 2009 - 10:50 a.m. CDT

AggieSat2 has been listed through AMSAT under the designation "AggieSat-2".

August 3rd, 2009 - 10:40 a.m. CDT

AggieSat2 has been listed through Heavens-Above under the designation "DRAGONSAT".

August 3rd, 2009 - 10:00 a.m. CDT

Preparations are underway for our 10:22 a.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2.

August 2nd, 2009 - 8:30 p.m. CDT

Our tests, which concluded three hours ago, provided inconclusive data. Signal strength data was collected from multiple ground based devices as a means of evaluating existing ground station equipment. However, preliminary data provides inconclusive results. Further analysis will be conducted tomorrow around noon time. Further more, no communication attempts were made with AggieSat2 today as a result of ongoing tests. Our Mission Control page will be updated with additional passes, for tomorrow, some time later tonight.

August 2nd, 2009 - 2:20 p.m. CDT

Students conducted a pass with AO-51, around 8:00 a.m. CDT this morning, to test our ground station antenna using a spectrum analyzer. We're in the process of evaluating our antenna configuration and checking for loss within the system. Later this afternoon, students will conduct an extensive test of our ground station antenna configuration using a spare radio used last week for flight team training. We'll then compare the power measurements from the spare radio, as received from several ground station devices, for performance evaluation.

August 1st, 2009 - 8:00 p.m. CDT

AggieSat2 passed overhead as expected with our students analyzing the signal using the spectrum analyzer. They're in the process of leaving Riverside Campus and returning to Mission Control. Upon their return a conference will be head to determine the state of our satellite and radios. However, their initial information indicates a strong signal being transmitted by AggieSat2.

August 1st, 2009 - 6:30 p.m. CDT

Preparations are currently underway to reconfigure our remote ground station to support testing of our satellite radio. A spectrum analyzer will be attached to our antenna out at Riverside Campus and a spectrum scan conducted while our satellite is passing overhead. AggieSat2 will pass over College Station around 2009/08/02 00:20:22 UTC or 7:20:22 CDT. From this analysis we can determine signal strength emanating from our flight radio. Utilizing this information we'll have a more complete picture of AggieSat2's current state of health while in space.

August 1st, 2009 - 11:40 a.m. CDT

AggieSat2 heard again! We were able to receive a single beacon during our communications window as AggieSat2 passed directly overhead. We were unable to send or receive any further communications between our mission control and AggieSat2. Our beacon indicates that the satellite has not yet achieved a full charge on the batteries. Our satellite indicates this state by reporting an unknown charge level on the battery pack. Preparations will begin around 5:00 p.m. CDT for a communication pass scheduled around 7:00 p.m. CDT tonight.

August 1st, 2009 - 10:45 a.m. CDT

Preparations are underway for our 11:20:40 a.m. CDT communication pass scheduled for today. A group of students are stationed at our remote ground station to analyze the signal transmitted by AggieSat2 using a spectrum analyzer. We'll take that information and compare it to what should be expected from our satellite and what amateur radio operators have been receiving. Given that information we'll be able to determine what signal strength we're receiving from AggieSat2 and back out the current state of our satellite.

July 31st, 2009 - 9:05 p.m. CDT

During our 8:37:01 p.m. CDT communication pass our satellite and ground station radios synchronized with one another, though only for a few seconds. During the pass we did not receive any beacons or data from our satellite. We'll attempt to establish communications during the 11:20:27 a.m. CDT communication pass scheduled for tomorrow.

July 31st, 2009 - 7:45 p.m. CDT

We did not receive any data from AggieSat2 during our 7:11:03 p.m. CDT communication window. We'll begin making preparations for the communication pass scheduled for 8:37:01 p.m. CDT.

July 31st, 2009 - 5:00 p.m. CDT

Students utilized a spectrum analyzer and our Engineering Design Unit to determine if we could validate information amateur ham radio operators have sent us over the past 24 hours. By operating our EDU in its On Orbit mode we can simulate the current state of our satellite in space. With this setup, a spectrum analyzer was able to receive a synchronization signal from the EDU radio consistent with data received by amateur operators. The synchronization signal is sent for a duration of five seconds at which point the radio is powered off for fifteen seconds. This repeats on a cycle of 1/20 Hz for as long as our satellite is in its current state.

July 31st, 2009 - 4:17 p.m. CDT

We're in the process of evaluating information submitted to us from multiple amateur radio operators who've received a signal from AggieSat2. If you have either received contact from AggieSat2 or have recorded data, we would love to know about it. Please contact us through Dr. Helen Reed and we will reply immediately.

July 31st, 2009 - 12:50 p.m. CDT

AggieSat2 passed through our communication window without our mission control receiving any data. We'll make another attempt to communicate with our satellite around 7:00 p.m. CDT tonight. Currently operations at our remote ground station have been suspended and our secondary flight team recalled as a storm approaches College Station, TX

July 31st, 2009 - 12:35 p.m. CDT

Preperations underway for our next communication pass at 12:37p.m. CDT.

July 30th, 2009 - 8:50 p.m. CDT

AggieSat2 heard!!! AggieSat Lab Mission Control successfully received a single beacon from AggieSat2 at 2009/07/31 1:23:16 UTC. This was our first long duration opportunity for communications with our AggieSat2 satellite. Further news will be posted later tonight.

July 30th, 2009 - 2:15 p.m. CDT

We were unable to communicate with AggieSat2 during its 1:55 p.m. CDT pass. Except for a lack of communications with the satellite, operations at mission control went flawlessly. Flight members breezed through procedures with little difficulty indicating the level of exceptional training students have undergone over the past two weeks.

July 30th, 2009 - 1:00 p.m. CDT

We've decided to attempt an extremely short communication pass to occur at 1:55 p.m. CDT. Maximum elevation for this pass is 5.8 degrees limiting the satellite to short window in which it'll appear above the horizon. Our ground station antenna tower has been raised by our flight team out at the remote ground station. Preperations are underway to attempt contact with AggieSat2.

July 30th, 2009 - 12:15 p.m. CDT

Our 12:18 p.m. CDT communication pass has been scrubbed due to lightning in the area of our remote ground station. Communications is scrubbed as our antenna tower is still in its lowered position. AggieSat2 will pass over College Station again at 8:18 p.m. CDT at which point we'll attempt communications again.

July 30th, 2009 - 11:45 a.m. CDT

Preparations are underway for our 12:18 p.m. CDT communication pass with AggieSat2. Max elevation for this pass is 68 degrees allowing for an extended communication window. A second flight team is standing by at our remote ground station to raise our antenna tower following an evaluation of weather conditions.

July 30th, 2009 - 11:37 a.m. CDT

Satellite




As described in a previous post, students at AggieSat Lab had an opportunity to witness DRAGONSAT deployment from Endeavour's payload bay earlier this morning. Deployment was broadcasted live on NASA TV while AggieSat lab members watched from their mission control. Posted to the right is an image taken at mission control of the launch as shown on NASA TV. At the center of the image is a bright dot which represents the combination of The University of Texas's BEVO1 and our AggieSat2 satellite.

July 30th, 2009 - 10:05 a.m. CDT

After deployment, AggieSat Lab controllers began monitoring a thunder storm in the Bryan College Station area and have lowered the Ground Station antennas for safety. Controllers are confident that the storm will dissipate before afternoon communication passes become available. However, due to the weather, our 10:50 a.m. CDT communication attempt has been scrubbed.

July 30th, 2009 - 8:05 a.m. CDT

Deployment! Space Shuttle Endeavour deployed DRAGON satellites at 7:34:30 CDT from the shuttle's payload bay. Deployment was reported as a complete success by astronauts on-board Endeavour. Students at our mission control facility at the Munneryln building were elated to see both University of Texas's BEVO1 and Texas A&M's AggieSat2 satellites eject from the payload bay after three years of anticipate.

July 30th, 2009 - 7:05 a.m. CDT

Our team is standing by for deployment of AggieSat2 by the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

July 28th, 2009

Flyover









AggieSat Lab ground station team members took a break from ground station training and practice to watch a beautiful triple pass of the Space Shuttle, Space Station, and Progress Supply vehicles over College Station. This photograph shows Endeavour carrying AggieSat2 and Bevo-1 over College Station on Tuesday the 28th of July at about 9:14 p.m. CDT. The International Space Station can also be seen just entering the image at the time the exposure ended. AggieSat Lab members took the opportunity to shout well wishes to the satellite and enjoy the sight of NASA's youngest Orbiter with Aggieland's first satellite in tow. The photograph was taken by lab member Michael Smith with a Nikon D60 at Riverside Ground Station on a 30 second exposure.

July 23rd, 2009

The final flight version of the Spacecraft Client interface software was released today with all the changed requested based on procedure and operations training. Operations teams will be conducting a final full system ground station test on Saturday and then will be repeating operations procedures to work up certification prior to AggieSat2's release from the Space Shuttle on Thursday.

July 20th, 2009

Happy 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing and Moonwalk.

This week AggieSat Lab engineers Hutson Betts, Micaela Landivar, Sarah Atkinson, Chris Bertsch, Emeke Ede, John Graves, and Jennifer Turner are working hard to practice procedures for upcoming AggieSat2 flight operations. These students are putting the spacecraft client software through its paces and working out ergonomic changes to flight procedures through testing to tweak them for flight. All of these team members will be accumulating time practicing spacecraft operations to prepare themselves for AggieSat2 deployment. Also this week the final configuration of the ground station radios will be installed at Riverside Ground Station for final functional checkout (a training configuration for operating amateur satellites had been used up to this point).

July 18th, 2009

Astronauts Dave Wolf and Tim Kopra completed the first spacewalk of STS-127 while AggieSat2 sits patiently in the payload bay awaiting deployment on flight day 16. The Japanese Exposed Facility is now "onboard" the Space Station itself after today's walk.

July 17th, 2009

Space Shuttle Endeavour rendezvoused and docked with the International Space Station today.

July 16th, 2009

AggieSat2 is spending its first full day in space during the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. Endeavour's crew is performing tile inspections to ensure a safe reentry at the end of the mission while it catches up to the International Space Station.

July 15th, 2009

AggieSat Team at launch Shuttle




After a near record of five scrubs AggieSat2 finally ascended to orbit onboard Endeavour at 5:03 p.m. central. Several AggieSat Lab students and our principal investigator, Dr. Helen Reed, were at NASA's Banana Creek viewing site for the launch, a mere 3 miles away. AggieSat Lab now joins an exclusive group of universities and private entities that are capable of their own satellite operations. Gig'em Aggies!!!

July 12th, 2009

NASA has again delayed the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour due to weather near the launch pad today. They're beginning a 24-hour reset starting with the removal of fuel from the external fuel tank. Endeavour's launch has been rescheduled for July 13th, 2009, at 6:51 p.m. EST.

July 11th, 2009

NASA has delayed the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour due to lightning strikes encountered at the launch pad yesterday. Engineers are currently reviewing all electronic systems on board the space shuttle to ensure no systems were affected. Endeavour's launch has been rescheduled for July 12th, 2009, at 7:13 p.m. EST.

June 17th, 2009

Once again NASA has scrubbed Endeavour's scheduled launch for 5:40 a.m. EST this morning. NASA's next launch opportunity to launch won't be until July 11th at 7:39 p.m. EST.

June 16th, 2009

AggieSat Lab's software development team has taken the initiative and integrated interactive features into our mission control network. Through these features, you'll have an opportunity to become a follower of Texas A&M's AggieSat2 throughout its mission this summer. One feature involves software incorporated into our ground support software, Client, which allows AggieSat2 to tweet using the on-line social network Twitter.com. Every time we receive a health status update or a confirmation from the satellite for a new communication window, our Client application will update the AggieSat2 twitter feed. Everyone following that feed will instantly receive a text message on their phone with the current health of our satellite. Also, AggieSat2 has a Facebook account which may be followed throughout the mission as we update its content, photos, and status. Additionally, the Facebook profile will be updated anytime AggieSat2 twitter feed is updated, thereby providing two options to remain updated instantaneously upon contact with our satellite.

June 15th, 2009

NASA has rescheduled Endeavour to launch on June 17th, at 5:40 a.m. EST.

June 13th, 2009

As stated above NASA scrubbed the space shuttle Endeavour launch scheduled for 7:17 a.m. EST this morning. Therefore our ejection from the space shuttle could potentially be pushed into July. Further information will become available Sunday afternoon.

June 9th, 2009

AggieSat2 satellite is currently residing inside the Space Shuttle Endeavour on launch pad 39A. NASA set their expected launch date for June 13th at 7:17 a.m. EST.

Last night, AggieSat Lab's Riverside ground station made its first satellite contact with the Amateur Satellite AO-51 at 6:31 p.m.. AO-51 operates on a similar frequency to AggieSat2 and similar output power. Despite difficulties from a low angle, extreme distance pass, AO-51 was received while passing over Panama, and tracked over the Eastern United States and Canada in the first integrated RF and tracking test of the new facility. Voice communications were received clearly with only 10 kHz of Doppler shift. In late June, when AggieSat2 is deployed from Endeavour, this station will be receiving flight telemetry and data.

To support communications during mission operations, AggieSat Lab will utilize an application called Client. Client is Aggiesat Lab's ground support software for sending commands to AggieSat2 and parsing responses. With Client, any Aggiesat Lab member can instantly begin communicating wi