Launched your "OWN" satellite into Low Earth Orbit

Launched your “OWN” satellite into Low Earth Orbit.

When we see last fryday the bring 60 small satellites in the low-Earth orbit for Musk’s new Starlink internet service. I think what can we do to this with less money and be all so active in space

After a search on the Internet I saw/found this:

AmbaSat-1: An IoT Space satellite kit

Once your satellite kit is assembled (you can add more sensors to it) and programmed (with your own code), it will be launched onboard on a commercial rocket which will deploy your satellite into Low Earth Orbit, where it will spend up to 3 months in space.

Once your AmbaSat satellite is released from the CubeSat container, it will power-up and begin sending data back to your Dashboard via The Things Network of Gateways. Your AmbaSat-1 is fully Things Network (TTN) compliant so as well as viewing data in your Dashboard, you can sign-up for a TTN account and access your satellite’s sensor data directly using a range of different TTN extensions.

When “your satellite” is finally in space! You have control! true the AmbaSat Dashboard.

And you are you own Satellite Operator.

I have backed, and I hope the project will started, and I will publish here the result’s off building, testing, launced, and the first data.

See the “The AmbaSat-1” printed circuit board (PCB)
All the board components – MCU, transceiver, voltage regulator, resistors, etc :

See how the lauche will in the below animation.

See at Kickstarter :


Yes, I have, has not every one ?

But to those that have not, when I last talked to the ESA about this, it was clear you cannot get permission to operate in the ISM (i.e. TTN) bands from space, so whats the point ?

There was this comment in the FAQ;

“How are frequencies for different ITU regions handled when the satellite is in orbit?”

Originally there was no plan to handle or adjust frequencies to match the different ITU regions. However, we have since had communication from several organisations, including TTN, requesting that this be included. We are considering the possibility to include a GPS module and make frequency modifications to respect ITU & TTN.

So in other words; no particular interest in legal operation.

Cannot contact the originator of the Kickstarter project, and you have to back it to add comments.

You could report the project to kickstarter. Sounds harsh but we need to consider the implications of hardware in space ‘polluting’ the ISM bands by not adhering to the standards. Rogue nodes on earth (and there are plenty nodes not adhering to legal standards due to faulty software) have limited impact. The same behavior in space would be a totally different situation.

Could be an idea.

The entire FAQ steers away from the legalities and as they probably already know normal (cheap) GPSs dont work at that altitude or speed.

Lots of stuff, diferent kits etc, for sale.

Technically it looks dubious too and very little detail provided before you spend your money. With solar panels on only one side you need some form of storage as satellites tend to spin and roll, so the solar panels (very small) are not always pointing at the sun.

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I’ve looked at the project and while I understand some people will be drawn to put something in space for the kick of doing it, I personally feel we humans have put plenty of pollution there already. It seems we aren’t learning from our mistakes and after oceans and mountain peaks we are now going for the next ‘space’ to pollute with all kinds of debris.

May-be I should start voting green now I’m getting older :wink: Too bad voting for the next euro parliament was a couple of days ago…


You actually can. I did*, through the faq section, and that’s how my question (that you quoted) got into the faq. I asked a battery of questions, and got replies by the originator. (7 of the 26 faq entries are from me.)

However, I agree that the legal and “spectrum polluting” questions are a concern.

I would like a project like this to succeed, and they claim making good progress with FCC approval, but I don’t see how adhering to regulations will be possible.

Full disclosure: I have backed the project. This might make my opinion biased.

*before becoming a backer


They claim that they think they will get FCC approval, nothing more. This is very different to getting it.

Cant see how FCC has the power to ‘permit’ satellites to breach the ITU ISM band use rules.

I also just dont understand how a spinning, rotating, plate with a solar panel on one side only will ever have enough power for long enough to boot up and get a TTN packet away.

For anyone following this thread, this is what the originator claims regarding FCC

At the moment our estimate is 100% that FCC will approve. We have all greens with their traffic light criteria and no issues to report.

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Take a look at their twitter - see

Very interesting.

Ambsat publishes a link to an update on the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) as a justification that the use of ISM bands from space is legal.

Wrong of course, and I would not be surprised if Ambsat realises this.

Device construction has to comply with RED of cource, but the use of the device also has to comply with the respective ITU frequency plans.

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I’ve also had another thread with them about the GPS on Twitter. They’re operating higher and at a faster speed than the UBlox unit will function

would you mind sharing a link to your conversation? Searched twitter but wasn’t able to find it.

Indeed, what was the response on the GPS issue ?

I sense a noticable level of missinformation in their comments. There are GPS that work ‘in space’ but they are not cheap. I cannot see how a simple small panel with a couple of solar cells with intermittent exposure to the sun could power a GPS for long enough to get a fix. The panels dont appear to have any power strorage either.

Yet they tell everyone;

“We are considering the possibility to include a GPS module and make frequency modifications to respect ITU & TTN”

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GPS thread -

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Thanks for that, apparently Ublox now have a ‘low cost’ GPS for use in low Earth orbit;

"Among the many prototypes onboard the nanosatellite was a world premiere: a small, relatively low‑cost GNSS receiver board. Based on four u‑blox NEO‑M8T GNSS modules with experimental firmware, the board was designed by a team of researchers from ETH Zurich’s Institute of Geodesy and Photogrammetry, led by Professor Markus Rothacher.

Tailored specifically to extraterrestrial operation, the board weighs in at under 100 grams, costs less than US$ 1000,

What a bargain.

I also have joined this KickStarter and think it is interesting in concept but likely with serious flaws in execution.

I have put a LoRa radio in LEO with an experimental FCC license in 2016. There were clear restrictions on usage but nothing inherent about the ISM band - rules were basically the 915 MHz ISM rules. However, my project only operated over CONUS and this KickStarter has no such explicit limitations … which is dubious marketing to say the least. There is no way this project works IMO over Europe at 25 mW … or over the ROW. FCC is the ITU gateway … in my case … only for CONUS … in this KickStarter case … totally unclear. Anywhere there is a Things Network with 868 or 915 MHz network with some power and speculative link budget? And pray for ITU approval?

I am skeptical of this KickStarter relying on the Things Network as its de facto ground station network using LoRaWAN as its unmodified protocol. But curious. I see nothing in the KickStarter that deals with the real problems of link budget, antenna design, power budget, protocol, … the list does go on … but … that being said … I do think its … possible.

And … the launch provider they have chosen is … dicey. So if you contribute … think of it as risk money.

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With some experience of small satellites I just cannot see how a plate with solar cells on one side only, that is spinning and rotating, and has no apparent power storage, could have power for long enough to establish a connection to TTN in the first place.

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Now … we are getting into the execution flaws part. And no apparent state storage as well since there will be power cycling as this thing tumbles. The radio has big power surges between off, idle, RX and TX states. And actually between EU and US TX states. Now conceivably … one could listen on various TTN bands to discover what part of the world one was on in lieu of GPS BEFORE transmitting. Big difference on power consumption between 14 dBm in EU and 20 dBm in US.

What the ITU (or FCC for a US launch) will not allow is transmitting on a band that is NOT allowed on a part of the world your sat is traveling over. So either GPS … or use a “pilot” transmission from the ground before transmission. 915 MHz prohibited in EU and 868 MHz prohibited in US. FCC will NOT approve 868 MHz. Must show it is DISABLED in the code while over CONUS. At least 2 years ago.

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Exactly. It is an terrible mistake to confuse having your equipment type approved with complying with the relevant licensing regime in place. I wonder what Lacuna Space has to say considering they are also planing to operate ISM bands