For the first couple of days after the 3U KickSat-2 was deployed from Cygnus NG-10 last November, nothing was heard from the satellite. But in a February 16 post to AMSAT-BB, Nico Janssen, PA0DLO, reported receiving several short and weak transmissions from KickSat 2 — short telemetry bursts on 437.5077 MHz. Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University Zac Manchester, KD2BHC, is the principal investigator for the KickSat project, which NASA adopted as an official mission.
“Yes, KickSat-2 is alive,” Manchester told ARRL. “We have been tracking it since Thursday, [February 14,] and have been able to decode at least some packets. The signal is weak and we think the antenna did not properly deploy on the CubeSat.”
KickSat-2 is scheduled to deploy up to 104 tiny Sprite satellites into low Earth orbit. The Sprites then would transmit on 437.240 MHz at 10 mW, communicating with each other via a mesh network and with command stations on Earth. The Sprites, which are less than 2 square inches, are expected to reenter Earth’s atmosphere within weeks. Manchester did not indicate if attempts would be made to deploy the Sprites.