4. Jan. 2023

Testing new technologies directly in space is the current top development trend. Cubesat satellites are only 10 cm on each side, but in many ways they can take over the role of larger satellites and at a lower cost. Special pressure sensors or an alternative solar power system can now be tested by specialists from BD SENSORS, Spacemanic and researchers from CEITEC BUT and FEEC BUT. On 3 January 2023 at 15:56, their nanosatellite BDSAT-2 was successfully carried by a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral into orbit around the Earth. 

The space experiment is composed of two parts. It will test pressure sensors for demanding space applications, but will also investigate the use of supercapacitors as an innovative solution for storing electricity from solar cells in satellites.

The first BDSAT nanosatellite was launched in early April 2022, but stopped transmitting radio signals after a few weeks. BDSAT-2 picks up where the first attempt left off. And so far, successfully. The ground station that receives radio signals from the satellite and controls it remotely is already processing the first telemetry data. The ground station is located in the Laboratory of Experimental Satellites at the Institute of Radioelectronics FEEC BUT in Brno.

Both satellites were developed by the BD SENSORS and BUT teams in the clean rooms of the Buchlovice-based BD SENSORS company within the MIT Nanosatellite project for experimental verification of sensor systems in orbit. The on-board computer, primary power supply and communication antennas were supplied by Spacemanic.

The testing will have several scenarios that will, for example, test the function and usability of the supercapacitor bank in the harsh environment of space. This type of power bank could replace conventional battery power systems in the future and reduce their weight. "As the satellite orbits, it is turned towards the Sun for part of the flight and charged by solar panels. During the shadow flight, the energy from this source will be consumed," explained CEITEC BUT director Radimir Vrba, who is involved in the project as the principal investigator for the BUT. 

Radio amateurs from all over the world can also use the satellite data. All information about the project and the satellite can be found on the project website https://www.bdsat.cz/

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