Perth uni builds sandwich-sized satellite

Known as a cubesat, Curtin University's technology will be fully tested on the ground before launching next year.
Known as a cubesat, Curtin University's technology will be fully tested on the ground before launching next year.

A SATELLITE the size of a sandwich has been created by a Perth university, with plans on the horizon to launch it into space.

Known as a cubesat, the mini satellite will be fully tested on the ground before it’s launched into space next year on a resupply rocket to the International Space Station.

From there, it will be released into the orbit to take pictures of Australia.

It took a team of 12 staff and student engineers from Perth’s Curtin University to develop the satellite.

The full moon pictured as the International Space Station orbited 254 miles above the Pacific Ocean last month. Picture: NASA

Curtin’s Phil Bland said the team has managed to fit all the systems required to operate the satellite – including the power, computer, steering and communications – on a single circuit board “about the size of a rather small sandwich”.

“Having everything on a single circuit board means there is more room for what the satellite is carrying, which in this case will be a camera that will capture beautiful images of Australia taken from orbit,” Prof Bland said.

The project is part of a larger program at the university’s new Space Science and Technology Centre, which aims to advance both WA industry and research and help build the state’s space engineering capabilities.

The university hopes it can eventually help fly a WA mission to the moon.

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