Skip to main content

William G. Clapp papers and models

Identifier: 04-03---001

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials relating to William G. Clapp’s involvement with several Weber State projects to create and launch satellites. The collection contains proposals, technical materials, photographs, and promotional materials relating to the design, fabrication, and operation of satellites, as well as replicas or prototypes of satellites including NUSAT I, WeberSat and one of its sister OSCAR microsatellites, and ADSAT.


  • circa 1980-1998


Biographical / Historical

Joining the faculty of the Computer and Electronics Engineering Technology (CEET) Department in 1984, Dr. William Clapp was involved with several projects at Weber State to design and create satellites.

The Northern Utah Satellite (NUSAT, retrospectively renamed NUSAT I), launched in 1986 from the Space Shuttle Challenger, was used to calibrate Federal Aviation Administration radars; it was also notable for being the first satellite launched directly from a Getaway Special Canister (or “GAS Can”) on the Shuttle. Clapp assisted project lead Robert Twiggs with the development of NUSAT I.

Working with AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), Clapp developed WeberSat, a microsatellite launched in 1990 with three similar sister satellites. WeberSat included a full-color camera capable of transmitting digital images of the Earth, as well as amateur radio packet storage and relaying.

ADSAT, the Astronaut Deployable Satellite, was a project in the early 1990s to create a small satellite, roughly the size of a pizza box, that would be manually thrown into orbit by a Shuttle astronaut. Clapp conceived of ADSAT as a way to increase interest in science and technology education. The satellite was designed to transmit information in a synthesized voice to inexpensive receivers in elementary and middle school classrooms. Several prototypes were built, but ADSAT was not selected for launch by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

In 1993-1994, Clapp worked on developing an AMSAT Phase 4 satellite, which would have been placed in geostationary orbit. The AMSAT Phase 4 satellite was designed to have been launched on board an Ariane 5 rocket launched by the European Space Agency from French Guiana, but the mission was cancelled prior to launch.

Launched in 2000, JAWSAT, the Joint Air Force Academy – Weber State University Satellite, was the first Air Force satellite launched from a commercial facility. JAWSAT contained several small satellites, including one from Weber State University. Clapp assisted CEET faculty member and project lead Jay (now Jennifer) Smith with the JAWSAT preparations.

CATSAT, the Cooperative Astrophysics and Technology Satellite, was a joint project with the University of New Hampshire and the University of Leicester. Developed to study gamma ray emissions in space, the satellite was built in the mid-to-late 1990s, but the project was cancelled prior to its scheduled December, 2001 launch. Weber State was responsible for the development of the satellite’s structural frame and flight control.


11 Linear Feet (1 document case and 3 coroplast boxes) : Two of these items are satellite models, the third is a stand for one of the models.

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Material was acquired from William G. Clapp, except for a small number of related photographs that was added from the Archives’ general photograph collections (2011-010).


Accruals are expected.

Related Materials

Department of Computer and Electronics Engineering Technology Records, 15-02-000. Jennifer (Jay) Smith Collection, 15-02-002.

Separated Materials

Two folders of material related to the Department of Computer and Electronics Engineering Technology were moved to collection 15-02-000 during the processing of this collection.

Andrew Rabkin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Weber State University Archives Repository

3921 Central Campus Drive Dept 2901
Ogden UT 84408