CubeSats are a fantastic engineering project touching so many aspects of engineering.  AIAA OC Section is developing a CubeSat project for high school students.  We had the privilege of attending a presentation by Dr. Jordi Puig-Suari at AIAA OC Section.   He suggested we start with the ground station – which is an excellent place as it requires research to determine what satellites exist, how to track, frequencies and modulation used and so much more.  Below are links to our article on how to build your own ground station as well as presentations we made at ASAT 2015

Build Your Own Satellite Ground Station

This article explains how to use a $20 Software Defined Radio, a Low Noise Amplifier, a home built antenna, your PC and free software to build a simple Satellite ground station.  You can listen to NOAA satellites and receive weather pictures as well as listen to CubeSats and Amateur Radio operators talking through the OSCAR (Orbital Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio)

How to build your own simple and inexpensive ground station

AIAA OC Rocketry Presentations from ASAT 2015

The first presentation explains the AIAA OC Sections CubeSat project (in planning during 2015).  The second presentation shows the ground station with some videos with the ground station in action.

Engaging High School Students in a CubeSat Project (3MB PDF)

Building a Simple Ground Station (11MB PPT – be patient – uses videos below)

Video:  NOAA Weather Satellite  (26MB – used in above PPT)

Video:  Slow Scan TV from ISS  (21MB – used in above PPT)

Video: UKube-1 (Funcube 2/AO-73)  (17MB – used in above PPT)

Video:  Fuji-Oscar 29 (JAS-2) (26MB – used in above PPT)

For the actual CubeSat, the LibreCube is the current forerunner as being both functional and affordable  LibreCube is an open source CubeSat project in Europe.