The AggieSat Lab is a Student Satellite Program under the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University that is currently involved in a single satellite project, AggieSat2. In 2004, Dr Helen Reed left Arizona State University (ASU), and the satellite lab she had started at that institution, to join the Texas A&M faculty and establish the AggieSat Lab. Previously, at ASU she led development of two spacecraft; ASUSat1 launched in January 2001, and Three Corner Sat (3CS) launched in December 2004. She brought her expertise, equipment, and graduate students to Texas A&M to establish AggieSat Lab in 2005. Dr. Reed is a professor working with the fluids group at Texas A&M and provides overall leadership for the lab with a passion for mentoring and teaching students with hands on experiences. She serves as the lab's Principal Investigator and primary mentor. Her efforts have established lasting relationships between the lab and NASA, the Air Force, and corporate partners for AggieSat projects. Being a student organization at Texas A&M provides lab members with opportunities to work with students from other departments in coordinating satellites through both the design and fabrication processes. With students from all majors working together, AggieSat Lab provides an exemplary learning environment for undergraduate students.
AggieSat Lab is open to all Texas A&M students of U.S. citizenship. Undergraduates and graduates of all majors, who meet the above requirement and are interested in participating in satellite design, fabrication and testing, can call us at our primary number, (979) 845-2826, or use our Contact Us form listed above.
Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch Countdown
NASA will attempt to launch the Space Shuttle Endeavour at 7:39 p.m. EST, July 11th, 2009, for a rendezvous with the International Space Station. If launched, AggieSat2 should be ejected from Endeavour's payload bay roughly fifteen days later.
June 17th, 2009
Once again NASA has scrubbed Endeavour's scheduled launch for 5:40 a.m. EST this morning. NASA's next launch opportunity to launch won't be until July 11th at 7:39 p.m. EST.
June 16th, 2009
AggieSat Lab's software development team has taken the initiative and integrated interactive features into our mission control network. Through these features, you'll have an opportunity to become a follower of Texas A&M's AggieSat2 throughout its mission this summer. One feature involves software incorporated into our ground support software, Client, which allows AggieSat2 to tweet using the on-line social network Twitter.com. Every time we receive a health status update or a confirmation from the satellite for a new communication window, our Client application will update the AggieSat2 twitter feed. Everyone following that feed will instantly receive a text message on their phone with the current health of our satellite. Also, AggieSat2 has a Facebook account which may be followed throughout the mission as we update its content, photos, and status. Additionally, the Facebook profile will be updated anytime AggieSat2 twitter feed is updated, thereby providing two options to remain updated instantaneously upon contact with our satellite.
June 15th, 2009
NASA has rescheduled Endeavour to launch on June 17th, at 5:40 a.m. EST.
June 13th, 2009
As stated above NASA scrubbed the space shuttle Endeavour launch scheduled for 7:17 a.m. EST this morning. Therefore our ejection from the space shuttle could potentially be pushed into July. Further information will become available Sunday afternoon.
June 9th, 2009
AggieSat2 satellite is currently residing inside the Space Shuttle Endeavour on launch pad 39A. NASA set their expected launch date for June 13th at 7:17 a.m. EST.
Last night, AggieSat Lab's Riverside ground station made its first satellite contact with the Amateur Satellite AO-51 at 6:31 p.m.. AO-51 operates on a similar frequency to AggieSat2 and similar output power. Despite difficulties from a low angle, extreme distance pass, AO-51 was received while passing over Panama, and tracked over the Eastern United States and Canada in the first integrated RF and tracking test of the new facility. Voice communications were received clearly with only 10 kHz of Doppler shift. In late June, when AggieSat2 is deployed from Endeavour, this station will be receiving flight telemetry and data.
To support communications during mission operations, AggieSat Lab will utilize an application called Client. Client is Aggiesat Lab's ground support software for sending commands to AggieSat2 and parsing responses. With Client, any Aggiesat Lab member can instantly begin communicating with our satellite, provided of course that it is within our communications window, and conduct several minutes of mission operations. With Client, a user can download data regarding the satellite's temperature, battery level, and various other health related information, as well as mission critical DRAGON GPS data. With the ability to set the satellite's communication windows as well as manage and maintain the radio communications, Client is not only a centerpiece for obtaining information, but also a crucial tool for maintaining the mission for as long as the satellite is in orbit.
For further questions regarding AggieSat2, its mission or our Lab, you're welcome to contact us at anytime. You may reach us through our online contact form, e-mail, or directly by phone. Our lab is open between 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., though we could potentially respond to e-mails around the clock.
June 5th, 2009
Described next are updates on recent month's activities regarding the Space Shuttle Endeavour and AggieSat Lab. On May 26, 2009 students from AggieSat Lab raised the ground station tower out at Texas A&M's Riverside campus and established ground equipment in support of the upcoming mission. On May 31st, the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-127, was rolled out from launch pad 39B to pad 39A as part of its final launch preparations. Lastly, on June 3rd, Endeavour was given go for launch at Flight Readiness Review, for June 13th at 7:17 a.m. EST.