UNSW satellite alive and well

Last month we reported that UNSW engineers were unable to make contact with their recently deployed satellite, UNSW-EC0. Yesterday, they did.

"We’re not overly concerned yet.”

Project Leader Elias Aboutanios with the UNSW-EC0 satellite

Speaking last month about the unsuccessful attempt to communicate with UNSW-EC0, project leader Elias Aboutanios' words were well founded.

The research team from UNSW's Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) reported yesterday that "UNSW-EC0 is now active and talking to us".

Aboutanios is ecstatic, saying "this story shows that, not only can we do space when it is easy, but that we can overcome difficulties when things don’t go our way. We can go into contingency planning, we can diagnose faults and failures, we can formulate hypotheses and establish a strategies to test them and solve them, and we can reach out and work with the international community where necessary [...]. The UNSW name is now flying in space!"

UNSW-EC0 is the first Australian satellite in 15 years to enter orbit, making this is a unique and special achievement for ACSER, the faculty of Engineering and UNSW alike.

Aboutanios would like to acknowledge the talent and effort of the UNSW-EC0 team over the years and the last few weeks, saying "I want to especially mention the Ground Station team, under the leadership of Joon Wayn Cheong, for the world-class work they did to revive both satellites. It has been an been a privilege to work with these guys. I am grateful for that and very proud of them."

This has been a true and productive international collaboration, with the following key team members and collaborators also acknowledged: 

  • Ben Southwell
  • William Andrew
  • Luyang Li
  • Timothy Gao
  • Barnaby Osborne
  • Dimitrios Tsifakis (ANU)
  • Radio Amateur enthusiasts from around the world

More information regarding ACSER and the UNSW-EC0 project can be found on the ACSER website.


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