A tiny satellite small enough to fit in your pocket could put Perth on the space industry map.
The OzQube-1 satellite, is a small 5 centimetre cube and was primarily built take pictures of Australia from space.
PocketQube inventor, Stuart McAndrew says Australia, especially Perth, is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to space exploration, education and innovation.
He hopes his tiny satellite and its educational program will be a stepping stone for students to learn the skills needed to put the next Rover on Mars.
His inspiration to create the tiny satellite came from his desire to “build something cool” and this ticked all the boxes.
Despite its size, it’s still structured like bigger satellites with the same functionality in a smaller circuit board.
It’s not clear when the PocketQube will be shot into orbit for the first time, but McAndrew says he’s working on getting the satellite perfect before they launch.
McAndrew comes from an IT background and has built his own electronics. He write down what he wanted the satellite to do, then developed the hardware within the constraints.
“You can create custom circuit boards for less than $20. Years ago that cost thousands of dollars to do. So all these things are within the reach of someone that doesn’t have a huge amount of resources,” he says.
McAndrew’s business partner Conrad Pires says they hope to sell their services to the public in the near future.
Pires believes that advancements in space technologies have had strong impacts on our lives.
“You never know what common problems out there could be solved… with a space-related solution,” says Pires.
Everything from the Internet, GPS, checking the weather, electronic communication, to subscription television is impacted by satellites.
In the video below OzQube creator Stuart McAndrew explains how his tiny satellite works.