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The AmbaSat Dashboard can be used for testing and debugging | Photo source

Build-your-own mini satellite opens space exploration to all


IoT experts AmbaSense created build-and-code kits for solar-powered Sprite satellites that can be purchased in various stages of completion

Spotted: Personal mini space satellites open up new dimensions of exploration. Space is no longer available to only astronauts and entrepreneurs. The AmbaSat-1 IoT space satellite kit provides unlimited opportunities for individual space exploration. Created and built by United Kingdom Internet of Things (IoT) business and technology experts AmbaSense, funding for the kits are being raised on IndieGoGo.

Classed as a Sprite satellite, the AmbaSat-1 is 35mm square and only a few millimetres thick. Using a low power wide area network (LoRaWAN) radio transceiver, the tiny spacecraft sends data back to its owner’s AmbaSat internet dashboard. Makers do not specialist equipment to monitor their satellites.

The AmbaSat-1s are launched into low earth orbit from an Interorbital Systems rocket launch. Interorbital Systems is a rocket, satellite and spacecraft manufacturing company that also provides space launch services. Bundled into groups of 200 aboard the rocket, the AmbaSat-1s fly into orbit approximately 250 kilometres above Earth. At that point, the solar cell will power the spacecraft for three months as it circles the planet.  

Makers may buy kits in various stages of completion and with a range of tools. All kits come with full construction instructions and coding support for everyone from complete beginner to advanced expert. The satellites are available as either a battery-powered option or a solar-powered version. The satellites launched into space must be solar-powered. AmbaSat-1 is open source, and all its technology is developed in-house. The company hopes its mini-satellites make space a much more accessible area for exploration, particularly for those working to save the environment.  



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