February 19 2014
Building a satellite is a big challenge. It takes a bunch of different skillsets to pull off your operational satellite. For example the $50Sat team had 3 team members and Prof Twiggs helped guide them. Whether you are Diy, Ham Radio or a School/University team, spreading the load will make life easier.
Get a leader
You need a PocketQube champion to get early momentum. That is probably the person reading this post. They don’t need to be the most outgoing or knowledgeable, the key here is passion.
You need to create a level of excitement in others that this is going to happen and if they don’t get involved they are missing out on a life changing opportunity.
Use example of successful teams. Two Universities have PocketQubes on Orbit, why shouldn’t yours? The $50sat team built their satellite on a shoestring budget and it is still operational. The open-sourced designs are online, maybe you could add to this with your team?
Space has the power to get grown adults acting like little kids. Use that to inspire others that they can contribute to the NewSpace movement in some tangible way, for less than the price of a new car.
Getting a team of people with different skillsets helps. With a team leader in place you need technical people. You may buy parts of the shelf such as structures or jigs, but you also may want to get your hands dirty.
Generally speaking people who are interested in electronics, Pcb design and construction will be really valuable. Software and coders can help as well, as even the most simple satellite will need some software to do something useful.
Mechanical engineers or more classical ‘makers’ can also be a really valuable asset. A team will likely use the amateur radio bands and needs a ham radio operator. Maybe befriend your local ham radio operator and see if they would like to help you out in return for helping get your satellite launched. Otherwise one team member will need to take those exams.
Non-technical people should also be viewed as a valuable asset. You need to promote your cause, get funding, social media and PR (invariably linked to funding). They can also handle outreach and building a core base of evangelists for your project which may be of help when you run into a challenge or two.
Building a team isn’t easy, but definitely will help down the road as you encounter challenges. Hopefully this brief blog has gave you lots of ideas!
Start your PocketQube project today :)
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