Cute-1.7 + APD Laboratory for Space Systems

Cute-1.7 + APD Project - Overview -

Small Satellite Project (SSP)

Laboratory for Space Systems (LSS), Tokyo Institute of Technology

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Cute-1.7+APD is the successor of the Cute-1 nano-satellite, developped and built by the second generation of students of the Tokyo Institute of Technology Matunaga Laboratory for Space System (LSS). The Avalanche Photo Diode sensor module, or APD, embarked on this 20cmx10cmx10cm nano-satellite was also developped by the Tokyo Institute of Technology Kawaii Laboratory.

"Cute-1.7+APD"-#1 is scheduled for placement into orbit as a subpayload of the JAXA M-V-#8 Rocket in february 2006. The separation mechanism for release in orbit was also developped at the Tokyo Institute of Technology Matunaga Laboratory for Space System. It is based on the TSD(Tokyo-Tech Separation System Demonstration) experiment regarding CUTE-1.

Cute-1.7 + APD project is a satellite development project mainly by students at Laboratory for Space Systems, Tokyo Institute of Technology. To launch our satellite in 2006, the project has started in January, 2004. Our satellite, named Cute-1.7 + APD, will be 200mm x 100mm x 100mm in size. It will be the second satellite made in Tokyo Institute of Technology after the first one, CUTE-I, was launched in June, 2003.
This project is based on the international CubeSat project.

Cute-1.7 + APD will be launched as a sub-payload on the 3rd stage of Japanese solid rocket M-V-8 on Feb. 18, 2006. Main satellite is ASTRO-F. The planned orbit of "Cute-1.7 + APD " is 250-280km in perigee height and 750km in apogee height, so lifetime of "Cute-1.7 + APD " is estimated much less than one year for the shortest due to atmospheric reentry. The exact lifetime is dependent on the actual rocket flight condition and atmospheric density.

"Cute-1.7 + APD II" is a follow-on satellite to the "Cute-1.7 + APD," and much improvements will be conducted in many components of "Cute-1.7 + APD II", in particular, for amateur communications system, camera system, APD sensor and so on, based on the experiences acquired in the development and operation of "Cute-1.7 + APD." The launch of "Cute-1.7 + APD II" is planned to 2006Q3.

The web site will be updated as progress is made on the development of this project.

The Goals of This Project

To facilitate future microsatellite development by demonstrating a new design methodology. To share experiment opportunities using real satellite with space engineering enthusiasts.

Project Overview PowerPoint(Created at 2004-01-25, subject to change)
Mission Scenario PowerPoint(in Japanese)
Details of Simple Radio Link Layer

Amateur radio satellite

Amateur Frequency Use

Cute-1.7 + APD project team proposes using an amateur radio frequency for communication between the satellite and its ground station. We will operate our satellite, recognizing that radio-frequency spectrum is a precious finite resource and that an amateur satellite should be operated for the purposes stated in IARU's guidlines, that is

  1. To provide communication resources for the general amateur radio community and/or
  2. To conduct technical investigations in all respects consistent with the Radio Regulations.

About Cute-1.7 + APD's digipeater with store-and-forward functionality.

Frequency coordination for Cute-1.7 + APD project was completed by IARU at December 5, 2004. Cute-1.7 + APD will use:


*2 USSS: University Space Systems Symposium, Symposium by space engineering majors from Japan and US.

Papers and Presentations

Public Relations

Why 1.7?

The name of this project is Cute-1.7 + APD Project. You might think 'CUTE-II' seems suitable for the name of the second project after CUTE-I project. But when a new idea of this project came up, there already existed CUTE-II project in progress, where a satellite will be larger and its launch date will be later. Because this project expected earlier launch date than CUTE-II, a number greater than one and less than two was needed. It was finally named as Cute-1.7 + APD, one with a lucky number seven.



Your comments and suggesti?ns are welcome, please write to:
Masafumi Iai, Cute-1.7 Project Manager

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