Frequently Asked Questions
AmbaSat-1 is a satellite which is designed to operate in Low Earth Orbit for up to 3 months.
Sounds fantastic. What about the electronics, communications, space debris, etc. Read on and let's find out more...
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What comes with the AmbaSat-1 kit?
A. The AmbaSat printed circuit board. All the board components – MCU, transceiver, voltage regulator, solar panels, resistors, etc. Your chosen sensor. FTDI (USB to serial) programmer
Full AmbaSat Dashboard Access (for testing, launch day, data receipt). Sample programming code, templates, libraries. Online support + community help (via the Dashboard).
If you’ve backed the rocket launch version then you also get Hardware and Software code review Pre-launch testing. Your AmbaSat-1 in space!
Q: Can the satellite, components and sensors deal with conditions of space?
Yes. LEO temperatures range from –170°C to 123°C so your satellite will experience these ranges. However, it will be spinning and in and out of sunlight so this will even out the heat distribution to a functioning level, except when in darkness.
Q. What kind of orbit with the satellite have?
Your satellite will have an equatorial orbit. This gives AmbaSat-1 the best means of communicating with the TTN Gateways.
Q. What happens to my satellite after it’s spent up to 3 months in space?
Your satellite’s orbit will gradually decay over a period of time. Eventually it will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere where it will burn up. No space debris is left in orbit.
Q. Will my satellite work on Earth?
Yes, your satellite will work just as well on earth. There are over 5000 TTN Gateways spread around the globe which are capable of receiving data.
Q. Will my satellite cause space debris?
No, your AmbaSat-1 will not cause any space debris. After about 3 months its orbit will decay and eventually it will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere where it will burn up.
Q. Who is the rocket launch company?
The rocket launch company is InterOrbital Systems. They offer the best cost entry into space.
Q. How is my Low Earth Orbit satellite powered?
AmbaSat-1 is powered by solar cells. These provide 2.2v of power at about 80mAh of current.
If you choose the ‘Earth-only’ kit build then your satellite is powered by 3v – 2xAA batteries.
Q. What does “1U” mean?
CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. CubeSats are built to standard dimensions (Units or “U”) of 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm. They can be 1U, 2U, 3U, or 6U in size, and typically weigh less than 1.33 kg (3 lbs) per U. NASA’s CubeSats are deployed from a Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer, or P-POD.
Q. How fast is my satellite travelling?
Usual LEO orbital velocity is around 7.8 km/s (28,080 km/h). Equatorial low Earth orbits (ELEO) are about 17,500 mph.
Q. How long will my satellite stay in orbit?
Between 3 weeks and 3 months. There are several factors involved, including altitude and drag.
Q.Can I really fly my own code?
Yes, you can!. Your satellite will undergo full bench testing prior to launch and will be ‘powered-on’ for a 4-week period to soak-test the hardware and firmware.
Q. What communication frequency does the transceiver broadcast on?
The RFM95 transceiver broadcasts on frequencies between 863MHz to 928MHz. The exact frequency is configurable in firmware.
Q. Is this Open Hardware/Software?
Yes, all AmbaSat-1 software will be distributed under GNU GPL, a widely-used free software license, which guarantees end users the freedom to run, study, share and modify the software. The AmbaSat-1 hardware is free hardware design, meaning hardware that users are free to use and to copy and redistribute with or without changes
Q. Do I need a radio license to receive signals from my satellite?
A radio license is NOT needed to receive signals from your satellite. However, different countries specify different frequency plans. See: https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/docs/lorawan/frequency-plans.html
Q. What if there are more backers than places on the rocket?
There are enough slots for up to 200 AmbaSat-1 satellites. If there are more than 200 backers then we will schedule additional rocket launch slots with Interorbital systems.
Q. What is TTN?
The Things Network. A global open LoRaWAN™ network with over 5000 Gateways spread around the world. https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/
Q. How will I know when my satellite is launched?
You will receive a notification via your chosen method (SMS/text, email, app) which lets you know that your satellite has been launched and is on its way to sending live data from space.