PUCP-Sat-1 & Pocket-PUCP


PUCP-SAT-1 is the first satellite of Peru. This project involved the design, construction, testing and put in orbit of this LEO satellite for academic and research purposes. The satellite was joined it’s italian launcher in Rome and was later taken to the Russian cosmodrome in Jasny, where it was launched on November 21, 2013 in an historic event for Peru.

The beginnings of this project dates back to 1990, when Institute for Radio Astronomy’s founder, Dr. Jorge Heraud, back then a member of the Peruvian Radio Club, raises the possibility of launching a satellite for communications. A similar initiative was taken up in the university (PUCP), in order to put a satellite into orbit for academic and research purposes, receiving the support of the rector, which the university council ratified in late 2008. This long run project officially started in January 2009, with the construction of institute’s building with appropriate facilities for the development of satellites, for example, a class 1000 clean room. After the construction of the satellite and machines required for certification and function tests (vibration, thermal and vacuum tests), the satellite was completed in late 2012; however, the agreed launch with an italian private group was postponed one year, until November 2013. PUCP-Sat-1 joined its italian launcher in Rome, to then be integrated into Russian Dnepr rocket in Jasny. Finally, almost 4 years after the formal start of the project, the 21st of November 2013, the satellite was successfully launched and put in orbit from the Russian cosmodrome in Jasny, which started the space age in Peru. Fifteen days later, the second satellite of Peru, Pocket-PUCP, was released from inside of the PUCP-Sat-1, in an unprecedented event for this type and size of satellites.


Several people with different positions have contributed to the project, from different areas of knowledge and expertise. Here is a summary of participants:

INRAS Engineers & Research Team

  • Jorge Heraud P., Ph.D. Investigator & Project Director (jheraud@pucp.edu.pe)
    Professor. Director, Institute for Radio Astronomy
  • Rafael Vilchez .- E. Eng. Software & hardware engineering and development
  • Daniel Menéndez .- E. Eng. Satellite stabilization, PC boards
  • Neils Vilchez .- Cameras, hardware engineering and development
  • Jhonnell Fernandez .- Pocket-PUCP satellite development, Tx, Rx
  • Victor Centa .- Vibration machine construction, vacuum chamber, Tests
  • Joaquin Peralta .- Vacuum chamber development & construction
  • Felipe Carrero .- E. Eng. Antenna design and construction, deployment of Pocket-PUCP
  • Fedra Trujillano .- Antenna design and construction, deployment of Pocket-PUCP
  • Augusto Yipmantin .- Ground station yagi-array upgrade – construction. Administration
  • Jose Hernandez .- Ground station control software development

Associate Research Professors at PUCP

  • Jorge Moreno, Ph.D. Co-investigator
    Professor. Head, Physics Electro-Acoustics Laboratory
  • Manuel Yarleque, Ph.D. Co-investigator
    Professor. Head, Telecommunications Laboratory
  • Hugo Pratt, E. Eng. Co-investigator
    Professor, Electronic Engineering Section
  • Antonio Lira, Ph.D. Co-investigator
    Researcher, Institute for Radio Astronomy
  • Gonzalo Galvez, Ph.D. Co-investigator
    Professor, Head, Physics Vaccum Thin Film area
  • Sayda Mujica, Ph.D. Co-investigator. Biological Sciences area
  • Ruth Manzanares, MSc. Co-investigator
    Professor, Head, Mechanical Engineering Manufacture Lab.

INRAS Associates, former and recent students

  • Juan Jave .- E. Eng. Ground station, satellite orbit, launch procedures and deployment
  • Joel Fernandez .- E. Eng. EPS design, Solar panel development
  • Alvaro Tejada .- Physics student, vacuum test chamber
  • Omar Piminchumo .- M.Eng. Thermal design for satellite test chamber
  • Diana Postigo .- E. Eng. EE former student Vacuum and thermal test chamber design
  • Otto Velarde .- E. Eng. EE former student, Ground Station software development
  • Jose Cerna .- EE former student – Satellite communications, Tx, Rx
  • Christian Cahuas .- EE former student – Pocket-PUCP Satellite deployment
  • Victor Aparicio .- EE student. Vacuum chamber tests
  • Arturo Mozombite .- EE former student – Future satellite design
  • Angela Sanchez .- EE student – Future satellite design

Satellite Specifications

The PUCP-Sat-1 project consists of two satellites, launched as one. The second, smaller satellite will be deployed in orbit from the larger PUCP-Sat-1; a summary of parameters is given in table 1.

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