BIRDS 5 Missions

BIRDS 5 missions are to be executed by a constellation of 3 satellites which are 2x 1U and 1x2U CubeSats. The satellite are meant to address problems currently faced in the participating nations which are Japan, Uganda and Zimbabwe as well as various technological demonstration. The problems are mainly with the objectives to save human lives from disasters, improve agriculture, aid to the achievement of sustainable goals such as access to clean water and food security. The BIRDS 5 satellite houses some technologies for space weather monitoring, data relay on board image processing as detailed in the missions bellow.

BIRDS 5 1U Internal View

Multispectral Camera Specifications

1Ras PI zero W512MB RAM
2Monochromatic  Lens Ground Resolution of less than 100m Ground Swath 255kmx203km at 410km. Field of view 83º (H)
3µSD CardKingston 64Gb
4FiltersEdmund optics   720nm CWL, 10nm FWHM, 12.5mm Mounted Diameter680nm CWL, 12.5mm Dia., Hard Coated OD 4.0 10nm Bandpass Filter550nm CWL, 12.5mm Dia., Hard Coated OD 4.0 10nm Bandpass Filter790nm CWL, 10nm FWHM, 12.5mm Mounted Diameter
5CasingConductive polyacetal resin (round bar)

Land Use and Cover The satellite images taken by multispectral camera made by BIRDS 5 members with a spatial resolution of 100m shall be used to investigate land Use and cover such as crop health, soil adjusted vegetation index, cultivated area and leaf chlorophyll index using NDVI Images.

Soil Fertility Moreover, the multispectral camera shall be used to capture images of the member countries. The images shall facilitate analysis of the nitrogen/fertility level of soil using GIS software.

Water Quality Assessment Satellite images of dams and lakes captured by a BIRDS 5 made multispectral camera shall be used as a demonstration of water quality assessment using 1U satellite with spatial resolution of 100m.

Attitude Visualisation Satellites attitude visualisation is obtained by getting the gyro data and solar panel voltage. 3D satellite models are also visualised based on these results. This mission assists in accurate image capturing of targeted areas of concern from the participating countries.

Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) digipeater APRS shall provide digital message relay service to the amateur radio community by means of digipeating. The APRS digipeater on-board BIRDS-5 CubeSats will use 145.825 MHz for both receiving and transmitting signals. 145.825 MHz is a standard commercially available frequency used by other satellites such as ARISS and LAPAN-A2.

BIRDS-NEST BIRDS-NEST (NEST = Network of Educational SaTellites) is a phone application displaying data of BIRDS satellites. BIRDS-NEST is free, providing knowledge and raising awareness about space around the world.

On-board Image Classification On the Image Classification mission,  the satellite classifies the images based on machine learning algorithms and downlink the results. This improves the efficiency of the data downlink process and a large CubeSat image dataset shall be created for future machine learning applications. 

Particle Instrument for Nano-satellite (PINO) PINO carries solid-state detectors, which are designed to detect high-energy electrons in space.  PINO’s field-of-view directs along the geomagnetic field since the high-energy electrons precipitate along the magnetic field lines. PINO provides monitoring of the space environment at an altitude of approx. 400km, which could be useful for forecasting space weather.

Store-and-Forward (S&F) S&F mission demonstrates data/message system in line with the Universal Amateur Radio Text. S&F mission has 2 primary aims:

  • To collect solar illumination measurements from remote sensors and forward the data to the ground stations.
  • To collect data related to possible disaster predictions such as landslides.

Attitude Determination and Control System

BIRDS 5 uses a passive ADCS that shall align the satellite to the magnetic north using permanent magnets. The passive system also contains hysteresis dampers that will slow the satellite from tumbling