KySat-1, -2


Kentucky Space


KySat-2 is the second satellite to be entirely designed, built, and tested by students of the University of Kentucky and Morehead University. Development of the satellite began in 2011, shortly after the launch of KySat-1. KySat-2 features a 5 megapixel digital camera, a temperature sensor, a 3-axis MEMS rate gyroscope, a 3-axis magnetometer, and a “stellar gyroscope” which was developed by University of Kentucky students. Once in orbit, the satellite will use RF signals to communicate with the ground station, receiving commands and transmitting data and photos.

NASA-Catalog: 39384


437.405 MHz, 9k6 FSK AX.25 FM, 1 watt, 15 – 45 sec beacon interval





Orbital Parameter

NORAD                   39384
COSPAR designator       2013-064-E  
Inclination             40.507
RA of A. Node           222.863
Eccentricity            0.0002165
Argument of Perigee     321.128
Revs per day            15.24152979
Period                  1h 34m 28s (94.47 min)
Semi-major axis         6 871 km
Perigee x Apogee        492 x 495 km
BStar (drag term)       0.000860810 1/ER
Mean anomaly            38.947


The primary objective of KySat-2 is proof of concept. Using lessons learned from KySat-1, SSL has spent the past two years designing, revising, and optimizing KySat-2. KySat-2 will demonstrate key technologies developed by University of Kentucky and Morehead University students. These include a distributed network computing architecture, power and radio systems, and a “stellar gyroscope” for attitude determination. If successful, KySat-2 will serve as a standard on which to base future satellites built by the lab.


KySat Engineering Model
[78 Bytes KISS Frame (without CRC)]
ctrl: 3   PID: F0 {UI}   59 Payload Bytes

from KK4AJJ to CQ:
 1 > D5 CE 36 63 33 16 0F 00 00 00 00 06 03 05 03 06 03 06 03 27
21 > 32 FF F4 0A 42 00 01 03 B1 00 00 00 00 00 43 FF FE FF FE 27
41 > 32 03 03 07 03 05 03 FD BE 17 00 01 00 2E 30 77 3A 94 05 

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Kentucky Space

KySat Engineering Model

NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites also called ELaNA mission has selected a Kentucky built satellite called KySat-1 to fly in its “Glory” mission scheduled for February 2011. The satellite was designed and developed by the Kentuky Space, a non-profit consortium of members including several universities across the state including Kentucky Community and Technical College System. The satellite is about 4 inches and weighs around 2.2 pounds. The satellite includes a camera and a 2.4 gigahertz industrial scientific and medical band radio that will be used to test high-bandwidth communications that will support a scientific outreach program for grade schools students.

NASA-Catalog: ?


145.850 MHz, FM


436.975 MHz, FM 1k2 AFSK and CW beacon (FM)




The satellites were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 10:09:45 UT Friday, March 4 on an Orbital Sciences Taurus XL rocket. The rocket’s fairing, the part of the rocket which covers the satellite on top of the launcher, did not separate properly so the Taurus XL did not have enough velocity to enter orbit.

CW beacon

FM modulated pseudo-CW beacon every five minutes. The frequency of the audio signal is 400 Hz @ 32 wpm. The message is encoded using ITU-R M.1677 International Morse Code. The message that will be transmitted is “KYSAT-1? followed by the battery voltage to the tenth volt, e.g. 7.8v, and the processor temperature to the hundredth degree C, e.g. 12.34C, i.e. an entire sample message will look like KYSAT-1 7.8v 12.34C.sound e.g. KYSAT-1 65.5V 24.16C

AX.25 Digital Beacon

FM modulated AX.25 encoded digital beacon every 2.5 minutes. The digital beacon consists of a header, six binary-coded decimal numbers separated by commas, and a 8 bit bitfield consisted of eight ascii bytes showing either a 1 or 0.

  • The header is T#
  • The BCD are three digit numbers which correspond to, in order:
  • The bitfield is eight 1 or 0 which will display a 1 if during the current day, from left to right:

soundi.e. a complete packet will look like: T#120,086,120,086,086,115,10001111

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