Portland State Aerospace Society

Paving the way for global climate science

OreSat0 is a fully open source CubeSat satellite system built from scratch by the Portland State Aerospace Society, an interdisciplinary student group at Portland State University. Roughly the size of a tissue box, the tiny satellite includes everything larger satellites have — including solar panels, batteries, a color camera, and an amateur radio system.

Slated to be Oregon’s first satellite, OreSat0 is the first of three satellites being built by the students. It’s mission is to test the modular, expandable, open source, and education-friendly OreSat CubeSat system. With this first flight under their belt, PSAS will build its next, larger satellite for the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI). This second CubeSat has a global climate science and STEM outreach mission: it will help refine global climate models  by measuring the global distribution of high altitude cirrus clouds.

For the launch of OreSat0, PSAS worked with global launch services provider Spaceflight Inc, just a short drive north in Seattle, to manage all aspects of the launch process. Spaceflight will integrate OreSat0 into its Sherpa-LTC1 orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) in its WA-based facility. As part of Spaceflight SXRS-6 mission, the Sherpa vehicle will hitch a ride aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifting off no earlier than January 2022 and will carry OreSat0 to space and deploy it to its desired orbit.

Members of the Portland State Aerospace Society | Photo by Patric Simon

PSAS Faculty Advisor Andrew Greenberg added, “This is such an exciting first mission not only for our team, but for all of Oregon. We couldn’t be more pleased to work with our Pacific Northwest neighbor Spaceflight to get OreSat0 launched so quickly and efficiently. It’s been a fantastic learning experience for our students to work closely with Spaceflight’s integration engineers and mission experts, and it’s been such a pleasure letting them take care of all the integration, launch, and deployment details. They’ve really allowed us to focus on getting ready for hand off, and our mission operations. It’s a great partnership.”

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