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£4,034 pledged of £35,000 goal
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By StaDoKo
£4,034 pledged of £35,000 goal
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About


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.
http://kck.st/176VG5e

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.

System overview

WREN System Overview
WREN System Overview

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.

Project Status

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.

Project updates:

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:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1467273745/wren-fly-a-real-spacecraft-by-yourself/posts

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.

Wren will be waiting inside this MRFOD in the satellite "UNISAT-5" for his release into the open space
Wren will be waiting inside this MRFOD in the satellite "UNISAT-5" for his release into the open space

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!  


The Team

Bastian Döen, Matthias Stahnke, Paul Kocyla, Sacha Tholl
Bastian Döen, Matthias Stahnke, Paul Kocyla, Sacha Tholl

Events

Jesco von Puttkamer (worked with Wernher von Braun, calculated the flight paths for the first Moon landing with Apollo11) supporting our mission. He studied on the RWTH-Aachen like some of us, and we are very proud to have met him
Jesco von Puttkamer (worked with Wernher von Braun, calculated the flight paths for the first Moon landing with Apollo11) supporting our mission. He studied on the RWTH-Aachen like some of us, and we are very proud to have met him
Matthias presenting WREN at a science slam
Matthias presenting WREN at a science slam

Art

Look what this brave pilot has on his arm. Do you want to have one of these, too?
Look what this brave pilot has on his arm. Do you want to have one of these, too?

This great artwork has been made by Forcer, a member of the demoscene group TRSI. Watch more prods at the demoscene archive page: pouet



Ground Tests

Sun simulation test for testing WRENs solar panels
Sun simulation test for testing WRENs solar panels
Paul posing after successful high vacuum test of WRENs pulsed plasma thrusters
Paul posing after successful high vacuum test of WRENs pulsed plasma thrusters
Sacha posing for WRENs mission control center
Sacha posing for WRENs mission control center

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.

Challenges:
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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.55

    Give your words wings. Every pledge is a big help, so we want to reward you not only with a "thanx". You can put a message consisting of 500 characters into WRENs memory. This message will fly over everybody´s head each day. If you want your message beeing transmitted, look at the pledges below.
    Further, you can send us a photo of yourself, and we will post your face and your name on our website in the tab "Beleevers". You are someone who took part in the project by making the mission happen.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $8

    Insider News, Videos, Announcements. We inform you in detail whats going on right now with WREN. If there is an event, eg mobile ground station uplink, public events, maker faires, parties and so on - you get informed and invited to join. Additionally we will send you a certificate via email that attest you as an official member of the Wren comunity. Previous reward included!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $16

    Send a message down to earth and out to the universe! Whenever WREN sends his status, one of these messages will be also transmitted. Spread your word over the entire universe, may it be heard! (up to 8 characters). Previous rewards included!

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    Limited 4 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About $31

    Mission Patch.
    You will get a funky mission patch, designed by the demoscene group TRSI. People who played computer games on the C64 and AMIGA back in the 80ies and 90ies will remember them as Red Sector and Tristar.
    You want your name on it? Look at the next pledge!
    Rewards #1 and #2 included!

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    Pledge £20 or more About $31

    Send a message down to earth and out to the universe! Whenever WREN sends his status, one of these messages will be also transmitted . Spread your word over the entire earth, may it be heard! (up to 16 characters). Rewards #1 and #2 included!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $39

    Personalized Mission Patch. Its the TRSI Mission Patch as described above, but your name is stitched on it. Put it on your leather jacket and get ready to fly!
    Rewards #1 and #2 included!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $78

    You get a big Poster (80cm*60cm) of the TRSI cyberpunk pilot with our mission badge on his arm.
    Shipping within Europe is free.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $155

    CONTROL MADE EASY, TAKING PICTURE INCLUDED. Control WREN the easy way. You want to control a real spacecraft, but you dont want to put much effort into studying the theoretical stuff? No problem. You get a live access to WREN, and we tell you what to do, after a short advice.
    The cool thing: Its not just for play, you will participate in a real space mission, eg testing WRENs navigation systems and miniaturized thrusters.
    Rewards #1 and #2 included!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £300 or more About $466

    Control WREN on your own the more advanced way. Get the experience. Fly the spacecraft on your own after beeing adviced how it works in a piloting seminar. You can freely choose what to do, eg changing attitude and taking pictures.
    We establish the radio link for you, so you can fly from your PC anywhere in the world. This pledge is limited due to the valuable uplink time, so get it now.
    Rewards #1 and #2 included!

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    Pledge £300 or more About $466

    Put your name on the solarpanels or on the antenna.
    Or some other text, for example an "I love you" message or a hello to the aliens (up to 10 characters).
    Rewards #1 and #2 included!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $777

    Full Control for one week. We'll give you a code and you can fully control WREN with an amateur radio for seven days after your first login. Full control includes setting attitude, firing thrusters and shooting pictures. This pledge is interesting for people with an amateur radio licence and a suitable equipment, who are permitted by law to setup communication with satellites. We can only establish a link to WREN for a certain amount of pledgers. To make more people happy, we decided to give full control to people who are able to establish the link by themselves. We will provide you the Mission Control Software.
    Rewards #1 and #2 included!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,555

    Lifelong Full Control. Yes, thats true. You can fully control WREN with an amateur radio anytime you want during its entire lifetime. Full control includes setting attitude, firing thrusters and shooting pictures. This pledge is interesting for people with an amateur radio licence and a suitable equipment, who are permitted by law to setup communication with satellites. We can only establish a link to WREN for a certain amount of pledgers. To make more people happy, we decided to give full control to people who are able to establish the link by themselves. We will provide you the Mission Control Software.
    Rewards #1 and #2 included!

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Funding period

- (30 days)