WREN: The First Satellite YOU Can Fly (Canceled)
WREN: The First Satellite YOU Can Fly (Canceled)
The only satellite in Earth orbit that YOU can control DIRECTLY ! You are the pilot. Launch is this year!
The only satellite in Earth orbit that YOU can control DIRECTLY ! You are the pilot. Launch is this year! Read more
Even nowadays space is not opened to the public, but we will change that - this year !
We are four guys in a garage, and we have dedicated ourselves to open space for everyone. For that purpose we designed the miniaturized satellite WREN. It’s a so called Pocketqub-Femtosatellite. It has only 5x5x5cm³ of volume and 250g of mass, and fits perfectly into your hand, like a tennis ball. Despite of its size, it even has real thrusters.
It can be remotely positioned by you in every direction and it has a camera onboard for taking pictures from outer space. It will be released into a polar orbit before the end of this year on board of the UNISAT-5 deployer, which is launched inside a DNEPR Rocket from Yasni in Russia. In the little interview Video just below, you will experience how we will get our little Baby "pocketqub WREN" into Orbit.
It will race around the globe every 98 minutes, passing every point of the earth during each day, seven days a week, just waiting for the command to be remotely flown by you.
WREN is equipped with a camera, a gyro and a magnetic field sensor. Those three components will form an adaptive feedback guidance system which helps you to easily navigate the satellite by your own by using its momentum wheels and microthrusters. The camera is equipped with an image processing system which can find the position of the sun and the earth automatically. This technology will make the control of the satellite more easy. With the camera system you can of course remotely take pictures of the earth, the sun and other space objects. You can navigate the satellite directly in order to make your own picture.
The communication up- and downlink will be performed at 437,405 MHz, a frequency in the 70cm amateur radio band which has been kindly assigned to us by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Wren will be flying in a sun synchronous orbit at 700km of altitude at an incredible speed of 7500 m/second, so that it will take only 98 minutes to fly one time all around the planet. Practically, a link is possible for about 10 minutes from a single ground station, up to three times a day. The mission control software is equipped with prediction algorithms in order to predict the flyby- time according to your location, so you can prepare yourself for the upcoming communication window and take control over the satellite again.
We hope that amateur radio enthusiasts will join our network and provide a link from time to time to use WRENs lifetime as long as possible.
Send a message into deep space
You can send a message into deep space. Of course it will be also receptable on earth. Everytime WREN sends his status to earth, it will also send out one of the saved messages.
If WREN survives for years, your message will be sent several times into the deep far universe.
The rocket launch is scheduled the 25th November this year.
Wren is currently in the final assembly process and will be integrated into the deployer in October this year, after the shaker test.
We will be helped out with a professional ground station after launch for the first weeks, but we want to build our own mobile groundstation to be able to establish the link for you anytime.
Don't forget to look into our project updates. There you find some videos and reports about the current statusabout what's going on in our project at the moment:
We will also publish the plans for the groundstation as soon as it is ready and working, so everybody can build it!
How do we get into space so cheaply?
Bringing one kilogram of mass into orbit costs about 50000$. Rockets must carry their fuel all the way up, so the laws of physics make them big, heavy and expensive.
So how do we fly so relatively cheaply?
First, we are light, about 250 grams. And we fly piggyback on a bigger satellite called "UNISAT-5". This satellite, together with some others, are all stored in one rocket, so the costs for the launch will be shared according to the mass. Wren will be stored in a deployment unit called MRFOD.
The rocket will go up in November and will release UNISAT-5 and other satellites. Wren will be released into space out of Unisat about one month later.
Please Spread the message
We want to bring space into your living room. To achieve this we need your help, not only by asking you for backing us with money but also by telling the story to everybody you know who may be interested in space. We also need amateur radio guys who would like to take part in project and follow Wren all along its way around the planet by listening its beacon and messages you pledged for, being heard. Our blogs and webpages, reports and videos are just a few components of the whole message. You are the messengers, you are the carrier of the idea of transporting space into everybody's living room - and beyond!
This great artwork has been made by Forcer, a member of the demoscene group TRSI. Watch more prods at the demoscene archive page: pouet
Risks and challenges
Although the DNEPR rocket is very reliable, it could fail. In that case we will get the launch costs back and we will try to catch another launch opportunity.
Another scenario is flying rock - when the satellite simply doesn´t work after launch.
To avoid this, we are performing many tests to make sure it will survive the launch and operate in the harsh space environment which includes many thermal cycles each day, solar radiation and degradation of the materials.
If the worst case occurs, we can send another satellite up, depending on the total pledge.
We try to make the control of the satellite very easy, but don´t expect an action game. The downlink is about 0.1 kB/second, so there will be no realtime video stream. To shoot a picture, you need to change the heading of the satellite and take a coarse thumbnail picture first. Maybe you will need to stabilize the position manually. Then you can trigger the download in SSTV format. The download will take about two minutes.
Controlling a satellite is more like a strategic game - you have to plan what to do in the right moment to make it perform the way you want it.
- (30 days)