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Latest News

CubeSat Kit logo

November 2007— CubeSat Kit Featured in NASA Tech Briefs

KySat1, a CubeSat Kit nanosae

NASA Tech Briefs featured an article on the CubeSat Kit and its use of PEM® brand fasteners in its construction.

The article is available in the printed NASA Tech Briefs and also online.


October 19, 2007— Various Additions to CubeSat Kit Website

CubeSat Kit logo

The datasheet for the CubeSat Kit Protoboard has been substantially updated to correct a variety of errors and outdated information. The schematics have been updated as well.

The CubeSat Kit forums are again open for registration and new users. To kick it off, a comprehensive post on getting started with the CubeSat Kit's software has been added.

Two new CubeSat-related presentations are now online: an informal presentation entitled "Small Spacecraft Missions -- How About Flying a CubeSat?" and an address from CICTA 2007 entitled "No Satellite Experience? No Problem. Put a CubeSat in Space!"


August 13-15, 2007— At the Small Satellite Conference 2007

SmallSat 2007 Poster

Pumpkin will be presenting the entire CubeSat Kit system at the 21st Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites in Logan, Utah USA from August 13-15. Please visit us in booth #74 in the exhibit.


August 11-12, 2007— 4th Annual CubeSat Developers' Summer Workshop

CubeSat Workshop poster

Pumpkin's Dr. Kalman will discuss new CubeSat Kit products and concepts on August 12 at the CubeSat Workshop that precedes the 21st Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites.

The presentation is available online in PDF and PPT formats.


August 6, 2007— CubeSat Kit System Chart Now Online

CubeSat Kit System Chart Detail

A large CubeSat Kit System Chart that shows all of the CubeSat Kit components, their masses, how they interact with another, and a wealth of CubeSat Kit-specific details is now available online.

The CubeSat Kit System Chart is suitable for large-format printing and can be used as a reference for CubeSat Kit customers and anyone else building CubeSat nanosatellites.


June 29, 2007— CubeSat PCB Specification is Revised

CubeSat Kit logo

A new v5 PCB specification drawing is now availalable online to CubeSat Kit customers. All new user PCBs should be designed to this specification to provide maximum forward and backward compatibility with the CubeSat Kit.

This revision of the CubeSat Kit PCB specification clarifies and simplifies a variety of issues and removes the four small corner cutouts that caused developers problems in their CAD systems.


June 9, 2007— CubeSat Kit Part of Regular Balloon Launches

BioLaunch B07C

Stanford's SSDL has completed their third BioLaunch balloon mission, B07C, with a successful launch and recovery.

The SSDL BioLaunch missions carry payloads that include single-board computers (SBCs) running WinXP or Linux that perform biological experiments, Stanford's CubeSat Kit-based KatySat picosatellite, and other tracking and telemetry hardware.

B07C's KatySat used a CubeSat Kit FM430 along with a preproduction CubeSat Kit Linear EPS Rev D, and performed in temperatures as low as -50C. Flight data from KatySat revealed the balloon burst time and enabled an estimation of the burst altitude of approximately 90,000ft (27.5km).

KatySat is the small box (a 1U skeletonized CubeSat Kit) in the center of the image at left. The larger box below it houses a Linux SBC, spectrometer, camera, and other BioLaunch hardware in an insulated box.


May 21, 2007— KySat1 Integration Milestone

KySat1, a CubeSat Kit nanosatellite

KySat has reached an important milestone. They just completed the first integration of their CubeSat Kit-based KySat1 nanosatellite, and verified their target mass of under 1kg.

More information at


April 25, 2007— CubeSat Kit on TV

CubeSat Kit logo

The CubeSat Kit was featured in the hands of Pumpkin partner Ecliptic Enterprises' president Rex Ridenoure on the evening news with at KGO TV ABC 7 in the San Francisco market. The video featured space spinoffs related to work that NASA has done. The video is also available on YouTube.

The CubeSat Kit is featured 1 minute into the video. An online transcript of the broadcast (entitled "NASA's Influence in Today's Technology", by Richard Hart) is also available.


April 20, 2007— First Contact made with MAST, runs Salvo RTOS on PIC18s


Tethers Unlimited, Inc (TUI) has successfully made contact with MAST, the Multi-Application Survivable Tether 3U-size CubeSat launched with six other CubeSats (including Libertad-1) on the Dnepr 2 launch of 17 April 2007.

Each of the three picsoatellites in MAST -- named Ted, Gadget and Ralph -- run Pumpkin's Salvo RTOS on TUI's own hardware. The TUI "Magic Boards" are based on Microchip's PIC18 PICmicro MCUs.

TUI has an online blog for the MAST mission.


April 19-21, 2007— CubeSat Developers' Workshop

CubeSat Workshop 2007 poster

The CubeSat Kit will be well represented at the 2007 CubeSat Developers' Workshop. Many CubeSat Kit users will also be attending, along with Pumpkin's Andrew Kalman and Adam Reif.

Dr. Kalman's presentation is entitled "How to Accommodate Additional Processors in the CubeSat Kit." and will take place from 2:45pm to 3:05pm on Thursday, April 19, in Technical Session II. Mr. Reif will moderate the Track A: Structure Technical Interchange Session from 8:30am to 9:15am on Saturday, April 21.

All of the workshop's presentations are now available online.


April 16, 2007— First CubeSat Kit Launch is a Success!

Libertad-1, a CubeSat Kit nanosatellite

Libertad-1, the first CubeSat Kit to be launched into orbit and Colombia's first satellite, is a success! Its 437.405MHz FSK 1200bps downlink was first received early Tuesday in New Zealand shortly after the CubeSat was deployed from the Dnepr Launch 2 morning.

We wish to extend our congratulations to the team at Universidad Sergio Arboleda, as well as a big thanks to all the people who have aided Pumpkin in developing the CubeSat Kit. This mission in particular is an excellent example of a successful, low-cost interdisciplinary space mission.


April 3, 2007— New CubeSat PCB Specification

CubeSat Kit logo

A new PCB specification drawing is now availalable online to CubeSat Kit customers. All new user PCBs should be designed to this specification to provide maximum forward and backward compatibility with the CubeSat Kit.

This revision of the CubeSat Kit PCB specification is an evolutionary one and encompasses all of the incremental changes that have been applied to the recent revisions of CubeSat Kit modules from Pumpkin and other third parties.


March 23, 2007— Announcing the FM430 Rev C Trade-Up Program

CSK FM430 image

Pumpkin is pleased to announce a very low-cost upgrade program for all CubeSat Kit customers with Rev B or earlier FM430 Flight Modules. For a limited time, CubeSat Kit customers can exchange their Rev A or Rev B FM430 Flight Modules (in any condition) for a new, tested Rev C FM430 Flight Module for a nominal cost that covers shipping and handling and one MSP430F1612 per FM430 (for their Development Boards). Further details will be announced shortly.

The machine-assembled Rev C FM430 Flight Modules have a variety of improvements (e.g. auto-resetting overcurrent monitors, 104-pin CubeSat Kit Bus connectors, gold plating, etc.) over the earlier ones, and we would like to see all of our customers upgrade to take advantage of these improvements.

Any customers who plan to attend the upcoming CubeSat Workshop can arrange to exchange their FM430s with Pumpkin directly at the workshop.


March 19, 2007— New Product Announcements

CSK Breakout Board image

Pumpkin now offers a low-cost Breakout Board module for the CubeSat Kit which enables easy connections of logic analyzers and/or SPI/I2C protocol analyzers to the CubeSat Kit bus. Probing bus signals with this module is a snap!

Microhard has announced a new transceiver module -- the MHX-2420. Like the MHX-920A, the MHX-2420 operates at speeds up to 230.4kbps, significantly faster than those of the older MHX-2400. Also, the MHX-920A and MHX-2420 incorporate a "slow mode" limited to 19.2kbps but with improved sensitivity for greater link margins. Lastly, the MHX-2420 has an "MHX-2400 compatibility mode" as well. All of Microhard's MHX transceivers that operate in unrestricted bands are available for purchase through Pumpkin.


February 23, 2007— Useful Hardware for Balloon-launched Missions

BeeLine GPS unit

Stanford's SSDL is proceeding rapidly towards a balloon-launched mission that includes a variety of CubeSat Kit and other hardware.

Balloon missions can easily use GPS data to plot their ascent, flight path and descent via Google Earth. Simple GPS transmitters like the BeeLine GPS make for a simple independent means of tracking the balloon and aiding in payload recovery.




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