It was designed and built by New Zealand radio amateurs supported by Massey University (Auckland) and various corporate sponsors.
The Satellite was designed and built from scratch because of the impacts of ITAR restrictions/bans on technology sharing and was mothballed for a few years during the period of uncertainty and is now being prepared for flight.
The key activity is testing and selecting the best batteries to replace the existing batteries. Additionally we would like to upgrade the original solar "cells" with newer higher grade cells but this depends on time and funding, not to mention the authorisations to procure "Space Grade" materials.
The design life expectancy of this "bird" is in excess of seven (7) years and past AMSAT Satellites have continued to function well beyong a decade. KiwiSAT is an amateur radio satellite but does not have an OSCAR designation until after it's launched.
The Satellite, slightly larger than a basketball, is designed to connect with amateur radio stations worldwide, and to carry out experimental work in small satellite Attitude Determination and Control (ADAC)
There are three functions on board the Satellite:
1) Satellite Attitude Control Experiment for Massey University
2) Climate Change Research
3) Amateur Radio Communications Transponder.
Launch planning is underway. The Launch partner has yet to be agreed. However the team is exploring both local (NZ) and international launch opportunities.
Our next biggest hurdle is to raise the required NZ$1.5M (US$1.1M including contingency) to launch the Satellite.