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The launch of WISA Woodsat is delayed due to frequency licensing

Press Release 15.10.2021 16:00 EEST

WISA Woodsat’s target launch date has been postponed from the end of 2021 to first half of 2022 due to a change requirement in radio equipment.

WISA Woodsat has been designed to cater for multiple missions from material science, space education and awareness to promoting and facilitating radio amateur communication with and via satellites. The radio system of the satellite has been designed for operating on the radio frequency spectrum dedicated for the radio amateurs. This part of the radio spectrum has been commonly used by the specific radio amateur satellites, but also university and non-commercial nanosatellites.

Use of these radio frequencies is coordinated by the International Radio Amateur Union, IARU. Despite the support from the Finnish Amateur Radio League, IARU has declined WISA Woodsat’s application to use radio amateur frequencies for the communication with the satellite. IARU did not support the application because the satellite’s primary mission is not radio amateur activity.

“We are definitely a material science mission but serving radio amateur community and making satellite communication available for schools, science centres and all interested around the globe has been our other important target from the very beginning of the program”, says WISA Woodsat Mission Manager Jari Mäkinen from Arctic Astronautics.

“To our great disappointment, we can't serve the radio amateur community with the LoRa-repeater mission as we had hoped and planned. We will continue to share the pictures and data online, but the technical aspect has been diminished due to this decision”, continues Samuli Nyman, WISA Woodsat Chief Engineer, Arctic Astronautics.

Building and testing a new radio system as well as licensing a new commercial radio frequency will unfortunately delay the launch of the satellite to 2022. WISA Woodsat’s original and ambitious target was to launch the world’s first wooden satellite on the Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021, within the same year the project was announced.

Arctic Astronautics is currently working with Rocket Labs, the carrier of the satellite, to find the earliest possible new slot for the launch.

For further information please contact:
Ari Voutilainen, tel. +358 40 6719995, e-mail: ari.voutilainen (at) upm.com
Jari Mäkinen, tel. +358 40 550 9198, e-mail: jari (at) kitsat.fi

Pictures and video for mediahttps://materialhub.upm.com/l/bH9_mdR7TTTB
WISA WOODSAT™ internet: wisawoodsat.space
WISA WOODSAT™ Instagram and Twitter: @wisawoodsat

UPM, Media Relations
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media@upm.com

About WISA Woodsat
WISA Woodsat is the world’s first satellite using wood in its primary structure. It is made of WISA-Birch plywood, which is coated against strong UV radiation using a new atomic layer deposition method. The comparison panels are coated with industrial UV lacquer. WISA Woodsat will be launched to space from New Zealand using Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. The mission is exploring the behaviour of plywood in space for a period of two years. The countdown to WISA Woodsat’s launch can be followed on the mission website wisawoodsat.space and in social media channels with the handles @wisawoodsat and #wisawoodsat.

UPM Plywood
UPM Plywood offers high quality WISA® plywood and veneer products for construction, vehicle flooring, LNG shipbuilding, parquet manufacturing and other industrial applications. In 2020 UPM Plywood sales was EUR 400 million and it had 2,100 employees. UPM has five plywood mills and one veneer mill in Finland as well as plywood mills in Russia and Estonia. – www.wisaplywood.com

WISA, WISA WOODSAT and WOODSAT are trademarks of UPM Plywood.

UPM
We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As the industry leader in responsibility we are committed to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the science-based targets to mitigate climate change. We employ 18,000 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 8.6 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore – Beyond fossils. www.upm.com

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Arctic Astronautics
Arctic Astronautics is a start-up from Finland, which has created the Kitsat educational satellite and the related STEM teaching material package. Kitsat is a fully functional one-unit CubeSat, specifically made for educational use with earthly components. It can be also used for stratospheric flights or easily upgraded with space-qualified parts into a qualified satellite, as demonstrated with WISA Woodsat(TM). Arctic Astronautics graduated from the European Space Agency's Business Incubation Center in Finland in 2020. – www.arcticastronautics.fi

Huld
Huld is a European technology design house with experience from the space industry since 1989. It is now also reaching out to the New Space industry combining software and testing knowhow with tailor-made additive manufacturing mechanisms and out-of-the-box thinking. Huld provides the additively manufactured deployable camera boom and related structures for the mission. – huld.io