UMaine WiSe-Net Lab, AMSAT partner to develop Maine’s first small satellite 

The University of Maine Wireless Sensing Laboratory (WiSe-Net Lab) and the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) have signed an agreement to collaborate on the building and operating MESAT1, Maine’s first small satellite, to be launched in space in the next three years. 

MESAT1 is the state’s first CubeSat — one of 18 small research satellites selected by NASA to carry auxiliary payloads into space between 2021–23. It is part of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative that provides opportunities for nanosatellite science and technology payloads built by universities, schools and nonprofit organizations to ride share on space launches.

MESAT1 is being led by UMaine, in partnership with the University of Southern Maine and a trio of K–12 schools — Saco Middle School, Fryeburg Academy and Falmouth High School.

A UMaine release about the NASA announcement earlier this year is online.

AMSAT is an educational organization that advances amateur radio participation in space research and communication. Since 1970, it has constructed and/or operated more than 20 amateur satellites, and has been a major influence on the “small satellite revolution.” 

UMaine’s WiSe-Net Lab, established in 2005, is involved in aerospace and space research. The lab was founded by Ali Abedi, assistant vice president for research and director of the Center for Undergraduate Research. Lab researchers have developed the first wireless sensor network for NASA’s lunar habitation project and launched wireless leak-detection to the International Space station. 

The MESAT1 initiative will enable K–12 students and teachers in Maine to access space data for educational and research purposes, and encourage students to pursue STEM careers.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745