Mission Statement

The mission of IrishSat is to undertake the process of launching CubeSats through NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI). Throughout this process, IrishSat seeks to educate, develop, and innovate at the University of Notre Dame. IrishSat seeks to educate the next generation of astronautical engineers at Notre Dame through hands-on experience with fundamental concepts of design, construction, testing, and implementation as related to satellite operations. IrishSat consists of five projects, each incorporating communications, power, orientation, structural mechanics, and scientific testing that allow for the successful performance of a satellite in orbit. IrishSat seeks to conduct research in a low earth orbit environment capable of pushing the boundaries in a variety of fields including astrophysics, communications, and others.


The long term vision for the team is to be capable of fully autonomous CubeSat operations at the University of Notre Dame. After completing a communications ground station and CubeSat testing equipment, IrishSat is ready to develop a CubeSat proposal and participate in the CSLI with all design, construction, and testing performed on campus.


ProtoSat is IrishSat’s first step in its long term goal of designing, building, and launching Notre Dame’s very first satellite. The goal of this project is to simulate a complete Cubesat mission on the ground. ProtoSat includes three subsystems: Attitude Determination and Control, Power, and Computing. ProtoSat has developed an air bearing to mimic the frictionless environment in space, solar panels to power the system, and a Kalman filter to accurately determine how the satellite is moving in space. Future plans for this project include magnetic field integration and wireless data transmissions.

Ground Station

The ground station allows for two-way communication with IrishSat’s future satellites while in orbit. The ground station is currently located on the roof of the Nieuwland Hall of Science. It consists of two antennas, one for transmitting and another for receiving, and a rotator. As the satellite passes over the view of the sky, the rotator will lock onto its position, pointing the antennas at the satellite and establishing a communication link. The next goal of the ground station is to be able to successfully communicate with the ISS.

IRIS 2.0

IRIS 2.0 is the second iteration of a high-altitude mission focused on testing research satellites at heights of over 100,000 feet. The satellite contains NASA-funded, IR nano-antenna arrays that measure radiation from the sun as a function of altitude. This project mimics a true CubeSat mission by implementing communications, power, and orientation control that all must function in the harsh environment of space. The IRIS project serves as a way to continuously test new experimental research that could one day be included on a CubeSat.

Link to 2022 Launch Livestream :

Orbital, Attitude, Thermal (OAT) Lab

The OAT Lab is a CubeSat testing lab with the goal of simulating the environment in low-earth orbit. This project works closely with ProtoSat by testing their system. The OAT Lab focuses on simulating three features: the sun, magnetic fields, and gravity. The OAT Lab has developed a Helmholtz cage that can generate a specific electromagnetic field based on the voltage signal applied, a lighting system that powers the solar panels, and a ball bearing that the satellite mounts to in order to be tested on the air bearing. In the future, the OAT Lab plans to venture into temperature control, to test components in the low temperatures of space.

IrishSat EDU

IrishSat EDU is the knowledge base of IrishSat. IrishSat EDU is a hub of tutorials, lectures, and presentations on each of our projects and subsystems all created by our own members. The purpose of IrishSat EDU is to educate new members and teach them technical skills like soldering, laser cutting, and many more. Future plans for IrishSat EDU include creating a YouTube channel, so IrishSat content can be viewed by the public.

Leadership 2022-2023

  • President– Zach Zarzaur (23′)
  • Chief Technical Officer – Ambroise Curutchague (23′)
  • Research Director – Juwan Jeremy Jacobe (24′)
  • Faculty Mentor – Professor Scott Howard

Leadership 2021-2022

  • President – Will Karpick (Co-Founder)
  • Chief Technical Officer – Owen Kranz (Co-Founder)
  • Research Director – Drew Langford