May 22, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

Via the ARRL: WISA Woodsat Successfully Completes Stratospheric Test Flight

The world’s first wooden CubeSat successfully completed a test flight into the stratosphere in June. WISA Woodsat is constructed using birch plywood panels in a 1U configuration measuring 10 centimeters square. Nine small solar cells will power the satellite, which will orbit at an altitude of 500 – 550 kilometers. The novel spacecraft will carry several amateur radio experiments as well as photo downlinking, including selfies. A goal of the project is to determine how well wood products will perform in space.

During the recent test, a functional model of the WISA Woodsat climbed 19 miles into the sky tethered to a weather balloon. The satellite’s camera captured a “selfie” video of the balloon bursting. A parachute deployed to take the nanosatellite back to Earth, where it was recovered intact, lodged in a spruce tree.

The test satellite and a duplicate “spare” version, were manufactured at UPM Plywood’s Savonlinna, Finland, factory. The company sells its construction-grade panels under the WISA trademark. The panels were thermo-vacuum dried and processed on a CNC machining center.

The wooden satellite is based on a basic, versatile CubeSat format, Kitsat, which is designed with educational use in mind.

Read more – via American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources