Congratulations on purchasing Kitsat!
Setting up your new satellite is easy.
Just follow these steps and your stairway to space is ready faster than you perhaps thought.
Check that you've got everything:
USB cable (Type 2 to mini)
A ring hook for hanging the satellite
And a computer with Windows 10 operating system and a connection to the internet.
Download the documentation and software:
Getting Started Guide
Ground station software
Run the software installer and leave the program open.
The software is also used for updating the satellite and ground station system. If you have any questions regarding the software, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other software releases:
Look at the top side of the satellite and find the power switch. Open with the solar panel on that side by. unscrewing the screws with the screwdriver.
The solar panel is attached to the satellite boards (power distribution unit) with a thin wire. Either detach gently the wire or put the solar panel down without stressing the wire.
Find the USB port on the computer board of the satellite. Attach the USB cable to it and the other side to the computer.
The red LED should be now on as a signal that the satellite is charging.
Switch the satellite on.
Please note the two power switches: one inside near the USB port and the other on the top. They both should be "on". The second LED lights up, the satellite beeps and the satellite is operational.
The "Status" text on the upper left corner of the software should be now "Satellite connected".
Click "File" and "Update Satellite Firmware".
If/when the firmware is the most recent, check if the satellite is responding: by commanding "Beep 1" on the Terminal (bottom right) the satellite should beep. The full list of commands is at "View" and "Satellite Command List".
Pressing "Ping" on "Test Connection" (top left) you can also check the connection: now the reply in the Terminal window (bottom right) is "RX: 1".
Click "Run" below the "Flight Script" and see what happens. There should be commands and replies in the Terminal and the real-time measurements (graphs in the middle) should be alive.
Move, tilt and shake the satellite and check if it responds.
Stop the Flight Script and turn the satellite sideways. Click "Stream Image" on the top right. The camera activates now and the image area should show a photo stream from the camera. Stop stream.
Look at the "Battery voltage" graph and numbers (you may need to scroll down). If it is below 4 Volts, leave the satellite charging via the USB for a while. The graph may jump up and down at this phase before settling.
If you're testing the satellite indoors, it's normal for the GPS doesn't find your location.
If you have any problems, make sure that the satellite is fully charged and the software and firmware are up to date. A video guide about updating these is here:
Switch the satellite off (preferably by top switch) and detach the USB cable. Attach it to the ground station. Make sure the antenna is attached and secured by turning it to the box.
The ground station software shows now "Groundstation connected" on the Status box (top left).
Select the "Satellite ID" on the middle on left: default is 1.
Click "Run" on the "Flight Script" and the graphs should now be alive again. The satellite is now connected to the ground station via the radio link.
If nothing happens (except commands on the Terminal), select another Satellite ID.
The satellite, ground station and ground station software are now up and running, and you can use the satellite. If you move the satellite further away, the connection remains and you can for instance take photos while the satellite is not visible.
The easiest way to use the satellite is to take photos, but you can find other activities on Spaceplace. To take a photo, stop the Flight Script and click "Take Picture" (below the photo window in the top right corner). After a second or two, the image name appears and the photo starts downloading.
The photo doesn't come instantly just like with your mobile phone or normal camera. Kitsat sends the photo to the ground station just like the real satellites do, line by line. If the transmission is interrupted, click "Continue downloading".
If you can, hung the Kitsat somewhere outdoors (three or roof) and test it again. Now also the GPS should get a signal. The kit comes with a ring hook that can be attached to the top plate.
Flying Kitsat in the stratosphere is an ultimate challenge. The conditions up there are almost like in space. And if you want to fly higher and launch your Kitsat to space, we can help you!
If you have any problems, don’t hesitate to contact us.