At the 2014 AMSAT Space Symposium AMSAT Vice President – Engineering Jerry Buxton announced the plan for the next generation of AMSAT satellites. “The door is open for everyone, to submit their ideas. AMSAT Engineering has a long term strategy and this is the first step.”
The Engineering long term strategy includes the following goals
- Advancement of amateur radio satellite technical and communications skills
- Enhance international goodwill
- Grow and sustain a skilled pool of amateur radio satellite engineers
- Establish and maintain partnerships with educational institutions
- Develop a means to use hardware common to all opportunities
With respect to the last goal Jerry said “Within the bounds of the type of satellite it takes to achieve any of the various orbit opportunities, let’s consider in those plans the possibility of developing a platform that can suit any and all orbits. Perhaps a modular CubeSat, using a common bus as we did in Fox-1, which gives great flexibility in building and flying different sizes and configurations of CubeSats with simple common-design hardware changes.”
Submissions should be thorough and contain the following information. The purpose of the proposal is not just in suggesting an idea; being an all-volunteer team AMSAT needs your help in carrying out the idea.
- Implementation – CubeSat platform
- Estimated timeline
- Cost – volunteer resources, commercial (COTS) units
- Launch – how does it get to orbit
- Strategy – how it fits into AMSAT’s Engineering long term strategy
As mentioned above the idea should be based on the CubeSat platform. This is the standard through which we will look for launches in the foreseeable future.