Two brothers, also college students, have formed a company to build cubesats for researchers


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The competition heats up: Two brothers, also college students, have formed a company to build cubesats for researchers.

Mark and Eric Becnel are aiming their company Radiobro at providing turnkey cube satellite services to researchers who have experiments they’d like to fly, but who don’t have the resources to build their own satellites to fly them. “There’s an unfilled niche there in supplying a need if a scientist wants to take an experiment and fly it in space,” Eric Becnel said. “The idea is to provide that researcher with an off-the-shelf solution.”

The solution will encompass both the hardware and software necessary for the research to take place and be monitored, the brothers said. “Maybe you’ve got a launch opportunity and a window to launch,” Mark Becnel said. “We can help you by delivering that satellite in as fast as 12 months.”

This is the kind of creative capitalism the American aerospace industry hasn’t seen from its new engineers in years. In my experience giving lectures at student chapters of the AIAA, aerospace students have routinely been focused on looking for a job, either at NASA or with one of the big aerospace companies. These guys are instead trying to create their own. I say, they have the right idea, and have picked the right venue at exactly the right time. If they do it right, they and their company Radiobro stand to be a big success.

One comment

  • CubeSat in a Box

    AMSAT-NA’s FOX-class 1U cubesats are designed to be a flight-proven cubesat-in-a-box for researchers – just plug-n-play your experiment. Fox-1 will be on an ElaNA launch in 2Q14. Once Fox-1 launches and proves itself (technically the next few already have ElaNA slots), the bus architecture will be offered FREE (just buy the solar cells) to researchers as long as the satellite can be used as an OSCAR after it’s primary mission is over. Plus AMSAT will provide the satellite management and telemetry reception .

    AMSAT has been out in the open about FOX-class bus for the last 3 years … Sounds like some UAH students didn’t do a complete assessment of the marketspace. They might want to work with AMSAT and get some experience.

    Plus there’s always Pumpkin and the other commercial builders too…

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