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The CubeSat Project became a success with over 100 groups developing satellites and currently (October 2009) 33 Cubesats in orbit, another 24 awaiting launch, and at least an additional 30 looking for launch opportunities. Success rates have been surprisingly high considering that these satellites are developed by inexperienced students often as the first spacecraft from their institutions with this many institutes participating in the CubeSat program, the educational benefits are tremendous.
Started in 1999, the CubeSat Project is a collaborative effort between California Polytechnic State University, and Stanford University’s Space Systems Development Laboratory. The objective of the project is to provide a standard platform for the design of CubeSat for (Student, Space, and Study Satellite). A common deployer is used, significantly reducing cost and development time and enabling frequent launches. This allows multiple high schools, colleges, and universities from around the world to develop and launch their own low budget educational CubeSat without having to interface directly with launch providers.
CubeSats are small. They typically measure about 10 centimeters across and weigh about 1 kilogram. A CubeSat can be held in the palm of your hand, making use of standardized shapes that enable them to be economically produced over a short period of time. They are considered ideal for students who can see a CubeSat designed, built, tested, launched and operated in space while they are still in school.
Is focused on student education, so that students execute almost all the activities and obtain a lot of experience in the process of developing a whole system of very small sized satellite carries most of the sub-systems (e.g. structure, on-board computer, communication, attitude control, antennas) that exist on large satellites and allowed students to develop the necessary skills and experience needed to succeed in industry after graduation.
The satellite project is a joint venture of many undergraduate and postgraduate students and young engineers from different collages and institutes. Working in teams to design, construct, test, launch, and operate the cubeSat.
Phases of progress
The project of Sudanese educational satellite couldn't be born in a one day so the idea is to divide the task into three phases each phase with
its own requirements, scientific mission and educational benefits.
Each phase follow the philosophy of a low cost and rapid development along with aggressive experimentation.
The first phase will put our nation Institutes name among the other worldwide space science educational community.
When we started this, I thought that it made sense for everybody to collaborate, Many interesting staff will joint the project from many different Sudanese educational and none educational institute.
The first phase:
Establishing a University Satellite Ground Station.
Fabricate the satellite and its scientific payload.
Launch our satellites.
The CubeSat project has the potential to make space projects available to a large audience of students and professionals alike, which do not have the resources to develop large or non-standard spacecraft.
Ground Stations, bringing space science one step closer to the classroom.
Building and lunched our educational CubeSat will put our nation among
other worldwide space science community.
This is a high tech low cost project an asset for more steps in space and telecommunication science in Sudan.