• Renae Kiely

ACRUX-1: You had questions, we’ve got answers

Updated: Dec 7, 2019

Friday, 21 June 2019


We’ve heard your questions to our social media call-outs – and now we’re here with answers!


What orbit will it be launched into?


The ACRUX-1 will be launched into 450km altitude 45 degree inclination.


What frequency does ACRUX-1 transmit on, and what modulation/packet format does it use?


The frequency ACRUX-1 transmits on is 437.2 MHz. It uses modulation and packet format of GMSK 9600 bps 12.5 kHz AX.25.


For additional information on ACRUX-1’s beacon telemetry, check out this page for details.


Will you be able to access it via receivers around the globe, or as it passes over?


Yes, anyone can tune in from anywhere! Keep in mind that it will beacon once every 10 seconds.


How do you shield your hardware?


The engineering team decided not to use any form of radiation shielding for electronics on ACRUX-1. The reason was primarily because of mass and volume constraints.

Radiation damage will occur over time; however, because the mission does not have a required lifetime, even operating for a few weeks would constitute success. It was decided that the time and effort of attempting to shield electronics would be better spent elsewhere.


What is integration testing?


Integration testing refers to the testing activities we do to ensure that all the subsystems in the satellite work together properly. This can start very simply, for example, by testing whether the flight computer board can control the radio in isolation.


As things get more developed, the integration testing becomes more detailed. One such instance is when we fully integrate the satellite by putting everything inside and assembling it: we then need to do testing to ensure all subsystems can communicate and operate properly when linked together.


There’s also something known as the integration process, which ACRUX-1 recently underwent at the SpaceFlight facilities in the U.S. We’ve recently posted about this on our social media channels – check them out for a cool video of the integration process for launch!


What were the biggest challenges and setbacks during your journey?


Some of the biggest challenges and setbacks for us in launching the ACRUX-1 into space include the regulatory boundaries of the Australian space industry, lack of relevant facilities available here in Australia, and taking care of the launch procedures itself.


If you would like to read more on the challenges we have encountered during our journey, feel free to read over our past post about it here, and keep your eye out for more posts about our journey towards  getting ACRUX-1 into space!


What impacts will ACRUX-1 have?


In a recent post, we shared what mission success means for ACRUX-1, which also covers what it will do in orbit.


However, back here on the ground, ACRUX-1 has had a positive impact on many of our volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to ensure “ground control success”. Our volunteers, who are university students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, have gained unparalleled experience from ACRUX-1 – a CubeSat project that is the first of its kind in many respects for Australia. This experience is an invaluable asset that will better prepare them for real jobs in the future.

ACRUX-1 was both a technical and educational endeavour, and we’ll be sharing more about what we think ACRUX-1 means for the future of education and industry leading up to our launch window.


Now that it has been sent overseas for launch, what’s next for MSP?


Even before ACRUX-1 was (literally) out of our hands, we’ve been working behind the scenes on gearing up for our next project. We can’t really disclose it at this point, but we plan to make announcements soon after the launch on our website. 


If you are curious to learn more about ACRUX-1 and its journey to space, stay tuned on our social media accounts. We’ll be posting a lot of major updates there and sharing more posts as we begin the final countdown to our launch window opening on Thursday, 27 June!

Written by Laila Amal and Renae Kiely

Edited by Megan Toomey

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