Open Source

The OreSat project is an open source project. This means two things: (1) we publish all of the source for our hardware and software, and (2) we license our work under an strong open source license. We’re pretty serious about being open source: we think it's the right way to run educational engineering project because everyone wins with open source. Also, we're a bunch of newbie amateurs and we know it: please, take our designs, and make them better! The more contributors, the better.

Some details:

  • All of our source (hardware, firmware, software, and engineering documentation) is hosted on Github under the OreSat organization. Like any open source project, you'll find dozens of source repositories; some are active and well maintained, some abandoned, but all should have a "readme" that tells you what it's for.

  • All of our hardware is licensed under the CERN Open Hardware License (specifically, the CERN-OHL-S).

  • All of our software and firmware is licensed under the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License (specifically, the GPL v3).

  • Older projects that are no longer maintained may be licensed under different licenses.

Note that we're not the first open source space project around: hats off to the Libre Space Foundation for being the oldest kid on the open source space block. We think they're great!

OPEN SOURCE and regulatory compliance

PSAS and the OreSat project complies with all of the applicable regulatory compliance that is applied to educational projects in the United States. For example, our satellite designs and papers fall under the Fundamental Research Exclusion of U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). This said, if there are things we are not able to publish, we simply don't publish them. Everything around those parts may remain open source, we simply won't publish that which we can't.

You may also see references to confidential documentation that we can't share. While we try to avoid proprietary or confidential components and/or systems, sometimes we can't. Again, we'll open source what's around them, and won't publish those parts.

Hey! You "open source" Space projects, be open source!

Be wary of "open source" space groups and projects (did you see us use air quotes there?). There are a lot of groups that claim to be open source, but really aren't. If you don't publish your source, people, you're not open source! We won't name names here, but we're looking at you, educational-CubeSat-groups-that-claim-they're-open-source.