Onboard UPSat, a science unit (mNLP) is integrated. The science unit (designed by the University of Oslo and supplied through VKI as part of the QB50 program) will be used for plasma measurements during the mission duration.

As part of the payload, an Image Acquisition system is also integrated with the purpose to record pictures on demand.

UPSat is scheduled to be launched with the QB50-ISS launch campaign towards ISS, for deployment through the Nanoracks launcher.

Subsystems of UPSat
Subsystems of UPSat

UPSat can be broken down in 7 distinct subsystems:

  • EPS (Electrical Power System)
    • An EPS designed from scratch around an STM32L1 MCU, utilizing software MPPT, harnessing power from 7 solar panels and having a 3-cell battery system.
  • OBC (On board Computer)
    • An OBC designed from scratch around an STM32F4 MCU, with software built around FreeRTOS Operating System
  • ADCS (Attitude Determination and Control System)
    • An ADCS designed from scratch around an STM32F4 MCU, determining attitude and position through sensor fusion (GPS, magnetometer, accelerometer, gyro, sun sensor) and controlling through magneto-torquers and a spin torquer.
  • SU (Science Unit)
    • (see above)
  • COMM (Communications system)
    • An COMM designed from scratch around an STM32F4 MCU, using the TI CC1120 transceivers, with contingency around TX operations.
    • A custom Antenna deployment system with integrated GPS antenna.
  • IAC (Image Acquisition Component)
    • A Linux board (DART-4460) running OpenWRT operating system controlling:
    • A b/w USB Camera (MU9PM-MH) with 1 / 2.5’’ sensor size.
  • Structure
    • The structural sub-system is based on a “hybrid” approach of both Aluminum (frame) and CFRP components (4 faces), built in-house.

Additionally from the flight segment (the actual satellite), the UPSat mission includes the construction and operation of a fully functional ground station (for telemetry acquisition and command/control) as part of the SatNOGS network (an open source and distributed satellite ground station network).