PCsat Success! and follow-on payloads
Bruninga RE, et al. (2002). "PCsat Success! and follow-on payloads." 16th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites
PCsat was designed and built as a student project at the US Naval Academy and launched on 29 Sept 2001 on the Kodiak Star mission as an experimental communications payload to not only introduce students to space systems engineering, but also to begin a series of experiments in low cost spacecraft telemetry system and data communications for mobile satellite users. An additional unique feature of PCsat was the integration of multiple worldwide Internet linked ground stations allowing around the world access to satellite telemetry and communications live from anywhere. PCsat was a complete success and it has been used by thousands of users in its first 9 months of flight. It has validated the viability of our using off-the-shelf AX.25 for all Telemetry Command and Control as well as supporting a bent-pipe mission. As our first satellite, we have a lot of lessons learned and experiences with spacecraft operations and many ideas for the future. This paper sumarizes the design details for PCsat and highlights of the first year in space including what we have learned and what new experiments we want to do on our nextcommunications mission.