By Jacob Lauser (

The SEDSAT 1 microsatellite will be the first satellite built by the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. It is due for launch in the summer of 1998 with the NASA JPL New Millennium Space Probe. Conceived several years ago as a research project in remote sensing downlink systems, the satellite will be a unique resource for education and research. The project will use multi-spectral remote sensing cameras to image the earth. This is nothing new except that all of the satellite’s data will be loaded directly onto the Internet, providing an easily accessible wealth of information to the public. It also carries an Amateur Radio packet repeater system that will allow storage and forwarding of digital messages and images. Not only will this satellite provide a public access imaging system, but it will also test some of the newest technology in the form of NiMh batteries and experimental hardware. Reprogrammability and on GPS tracking allow flexibility in its mission, but the satellite’s main function will be to image the earth. Although work is still being done, members are confident they can provide a mobile IP link to the satellite for continual access to the World Wide Web rather than periodic downloads from the satellite. The satellite was built in cooperation with several universities including The University of Alabama and MIT. The University of Arizona SEDS chapter will be in charge of the telecommand ground station that controls the satellite via Amateur Radio frequencies. Chris Lewicki, a graduate student in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, is coordinating station construction and is confident that it will be up and running by early summer