CubeSat VIOLET deployed, awaiting first signal

Submitted by admin on Wed, 2024/04/17 - 22:00

CubeSat VIOLET was deployed from the ISS last week, but its antenna may not yet have released.  Attempts to contact from the UNB team will be made periodically.  The orbit of VIOLET at this time is very close to the ISS, so you can find out when VIOLET may be within range at Heavens Above web site (you may need to adjust for your location, and be sure to select "all passes".).  UNB will be using 145.910 (only 6 watts pointed towards VIOLET).  If and when VIOLET is transmitting, it will be on 436.830.  You would need a means to decode AX.25 to see any data -- otherwise you will just hear a digital noise.

CubeSat VIOLET was launched from Kennedy Space Centre on March 21.    You can watch a replay of the launch and return of the rocket's first stage at the NASA YouTube link below.

CubeSat NB is a first-of-its-kind partnership among the New Brunswick Community College, the Université de Moncton and the University of New Brunswick. Our goal is to educate students as we design, build and test New Brunswick's first cube satellite, a CubeSat. Our CubeSat is named VIOLET, after the purple violet, New Brunswick's flower.  CubeSat VIOLET was delivered to NanoRacks LLC at John H. Chapman Space Centre, the Canadian Space Agency headquarters, November 28, 2023. Deployment into space would be in April or May, 2024. VIOLET's mission is to study the upper atmosphere and space weather.

Dr. Brent Petersen (VE9EX, VE9UNB VE9VLT VE9CNB) of the Electrical Engineering Department at UNB explained how the the word, "launch" differs from "deployed", and "first contact".  "The word 'launch' means VIOLET will go on a rocket from the Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station (ISS) along with supplies such as food for astronauts."

VIOLET was "deployed" from the ISS and placed into space orbit.  There were three satellites deployed at the same time. The first one out of the deployer was Killick-1 from Memorial University/C-CORE. The second one into space was QMSat from the University of Sherbrooke. The third one out was VIOLET. Of the 14 CubeSats planned for launch into space from the Canadian CubeSat Project, VIOLET will be the last one deployed into space.

Brent Petersen VE9EX

Dr. Brent Petersen VE9EX

"Within a few minutes to a few hours of VIOLET being deployed, we will attempt to make our first radio contact with VIOLET. We have to make radio contact by sending a radio transmission to VIOLET when it is near UNB. We hope VIOLET will answer our radio transmission," said Dr. Petersen.

Regarding the orbit, as VIOLET would be deployed from the ISS, it starts its orbit from the same altitude as the ISS, around 400 km above the surface of the Earth. After approximately three months to six months, the orbit of VIOLET could be as low as 250 km above the surface of the Earth where VIOLET is entering the upper atmosphere. Since VIOLET has a mass of only 2 kilograms, it will burn up completely.

For more information about VIOLET, including modes and frequencies to listen for, visit the site:

Watch a replay of the launch here: