Hello Team SkyCube!
We'll soon send you a survey asking for your mailing address, T-shirt size, and other questions about how you'd like to use your SkyCube messages and images, so we can get a sense of what's most important to you during the mission.
T-Shirt Design Contestants
Speaking of T-shirts, here are the designs you submitted. We'll ask you to pick a winner in our upcoming survey, so please save this email! Here is T-shirt design "A":
Here is T-shirt design "B":
Here is T-shirt design "C":
Here is T-shirt design "D":
In case there is no overwhelming winner, we may bring in an artist to create a design that combines attributes of all four. So don't forget to vote!
Our T-shirt manufacturer, Infini-Tees of Phoenix, AZ, specializes in manufacturing astronomical and scientific apparel, and we're pleased to be working with them.
SkyCube 1/3-scale 3D models
Andy Filo, at NASA Ames, has just sent us ten beautifully-manufactured, 1/3-scale, 3D-printed SkyCube models. We'll be sending them to their sponsors shortly. Here's what the assembly line looks like:
The 3D printing and assembly cost is about $100 each in small volumes. So unless we get orders for several hundred units, these models will be expensive to produce. If anyone else would like a SkyCube model, please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com! The more we can produce, the less they'll cost.
Most of our engineering work in the past two weeks has been software-related, so there aren't a lot of pretty pictures to show you at this time. Here are some of the things we've accomplished recently:
- Completed modular drivers for the radio and camera.
- Completed lightweight flash-memory filesystem, including error correction and redundancy to deal with cosmic-ray hits and other space-related issues (radiation, etc.).
- Optimizations to reduce compiled code size by almost 30% - greatly increases what we can do with our very limited 256KB of available storage.
- A Windows program that uses an inexpensive off-the-shelf software-defined-radio (SDR) USB dongle to decode SkyCube's radio transmissions. It works in the lab, and it might just give you an inexpensive way to decode SkyCube's "tweets" from space. More results TBD.
We do have a lot of work ahead of us, though! We'll keep you updated as things progress. In the meantime, keep your eye out for our upcoming survey. And keep looking up!
-Tim, Chris, Joe, Rouslan, Scott, Mark, Kevin, David, and the rest of Team SkyCube