DIY Satellite Platforms
Building a Space-Ready General Base Picosatellite for Any Mission
Publisher: Maker Media, Inc
Final Release Date: January 2012
Pages: 86

Want to build your own satellite and launch it into space? It’s easier than you may think. The first in a series of four books, this do-it-yourself guide shows you the essential steps needed to design a base picosatellite platform—complete with a solar-powered computer-controlled assembly—tough enough to withstand a rocket launch and survive in orbit for three months.

Whether you want to conduct scientific experiments, run engineering tests, or present an orbital art project, you’ll select basic components such as an antenna, radio transmitter, solar cells, battery, power bus, processor, sensors, and an extremely small picosatellite chassis. This entertaining series takes you through the entire process—from planning to launch.

  • Prototype and fabricate printed circuit boards to handle your payload
  • Choose a prefab satellite kit, complete with solar cells, power system, and on-board computer
  • Calculate your power budget—how much you need vs. what the solar cells collect
  • Select between the Arduino or BasicX-24 onboard processors, and determine how to use the radio transmitter and sensors
  • Learn your launch options, including the providers and cost required
  • Use milestones to keep your project schedule in motion
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oreillyDIY Satellite Platforms
 
4.5

(based on 2 reviews)

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Interesting Read - Worth It

By Noel

from Manville, NJ

About Me Developer, Maker

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

  • Costly Hobby

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly DIY Satellite Platforms:

The DIY Satellite Platforms book by Sandy Antunes was a fun and interesting read. The book is goes over the basics of putting together your own picosatellite in an easy to read format. Things such as power considerations, sensors, transmitting data are covered.

The book also covers the relatively high cost of this hobby. An investment of $8k to $12 depending on the launch provider is probably out of reach for most hobbyists, but is feasible for universities and perhaps clubs. I think that the author's upfront and very forward comments about the cost is a nice touch. Also, his experiences with contacting launch providers are important. It may be possible to modify the satellite concept in this book to produce a more cost effective experiment using weather balloons as a vehicle to the upper atmosphere.

I can't wait to see the author expand on the topics of programming, launch, and sensor design. This book was worth the money spent.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

"DIY Satellite Platforms" by Sandy Antun

By healthyfatboy

from Nashua, NH

About Me Engineer, Maker

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy to understand
  • Simple
  • Unique

Cons

  • Expensive hobby
  • Out of reach

Best Uses

  • Expert
  • Independently Wealthy
  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly DIY Satellite Platforms:

Sandy Antunes makes a great attempt to explain how to put a micro satellite into space so you can do your own space experiments. The idea is great and very intriguing but there is one downfall that will prevent most people from really entering this hobby: cost. With a minimum $12k to start out, not including launch costs, this is a very expensive hobby that will be out of reach for many.

As a guide to explaining the basics of what is necessary to get started and what kind of conditions your satellite will need to endure, it does a nice job of giving you the basics of what to watch for. It's an interesting read that will pique the interest of anyone considering space-based experiments.

Personally, I was a bit disappointed, but not surprised, with the book because of the high cost of entry into the hobby. Having used the Arduino for lost cost projects, I thought I might be able to get into this hobby at a low cost considering the fact that the Arduino was used as part of the project. It is still very low cost comparative to other satellite systems that are launched but still much out of reach for me, which was disappointing.

Overall, the book is a nice gateway into this out of the world hobby, but it does come at a cost that I, and most others, will not be able to afford.

Disclaimer: This book was received as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program. All comments represent my thoughts and opinions.

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