The publication by the British Astronomical Association Radio Astronomy Group (BAA-RAG) can be downloaded in both hi-res and lo-res versions.
Issue 2 and the previous Issue 1 can be downloaded from the BAA-RAG site at http://www.britastro.org/radio/downloads.html
Join the BAA-RAG Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/baa-rag
The AMSAT News Service (ANS) reports Patrick Stoddard WD9EWK has been working the new AO-73 satellite from his back yard. Most of the time, he has been using his normal portable all-mode satellite station – two Yaesu FT-817NDs, Elk handheld 2m/70cm log periodic antenna. On November 30 he replaced one of the FT-817NDs with a Kenwood TH-F6A – using its all-mode receiver to copy the downlink. December 1 he used an Icom IC-R20 receiver for the downlink. He’s used these radios in the past on other satellites, and for some hamfest demonstrations on VO-52 Patrick had used the FT-817ND/TH-F6A combination. He has made a series of videos (satellite audio combined with slideshows) from several AO-73 passes he has worked. They are available at:
One of the AO-73 videos contains audio from two passes, and is about twice as long as the others which have audio from a single pass.
Watch WD9EWK working AO-73/FUNcube-1 from Scottsdale AZ (DM43bn) – Dec 1, 2013 0542 UT
After working these passes, he is convinced that this new satellite performs as well as VO-52, for both its uplink and downlink. This is a very good thing! AO-73 hears very well, as long as you’re careful to match the polarization of the satellite’s antennas. The downlink is strong enough to allow the use any of these radios as the receiver on higher passes. For lower passes, he will probably use his second FT-817ND for the downlink receiver. It is good to know that, at least on the higher passes, there are lots of options for a downlink receiver. On the same higher passes, he learned that he can cut the power down from 5W to 1W and even 500mW. High power is not necessary to be heard through the transponder.
Patrick’s next project with AO-73 will be using a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ as the downlink receiver, for both the transponder and telemetry, while working the transponder with an FT-817ND as his transmit radio. He reinstalled HDSDR and its ExtIO DLL for the Pro+ Dongle on his 64-bit Windows 7 laptop, and it is working well. He will be installing the FUNcube-1 Dashboard software. Patrick has an old netbook running Linux, and is curious to see how the dongle works with that operating system. His hope is to be able to use the dongle and a laptop as the downlink receiver, without being wiped out by the 5W signals from an FT-817ND.
If all is successful, he believes he will have a new combination for his all-mode satellite station that he can use for upcoming demonstrations. Using the dongle and dashboard software during daytime AO-73 passes at hamfests would be something different, and a great thing to show off to the hamfest crowds.
Patrick thanks all who worked on getting this satellite built and launched. “Even with the transponder on only for the nighttime passes, it has been fun to be on a new satellite so soon after its launch.”
ANS thanks Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK for the above information
AMSAT News Service (ANS) http://ww2.amsat.org/?page_id=443
Rizwan Merchant KF5BNL writes: I am pleased to announce the first public release of the CAPE-2 GroundStation Software Lite Edition has been released. The software will help decode, receive data and send limited commands to the satellite in orbit. For more information, refer to the link below.
For all users, please use this program when tracking CAPE-2, and try issuing both commands, and send us back the results. The data obtained from these commands are very valuable to the team, and we appreciate the help and support from everyone the past few weeks.
UPDATE: Following the requests from the community to allow users to input custom baud rates for the serial settings, I have released a newer version of the ground station software. Please uninstall your old copies, and install the new one.http://ulcape.org/cape-2-ground-station-software-lite-edition/ Thank you all very much!
Rizwan Merchant KF5BNL
Thanks and please email me at Rizwan at DigitalPhoenixProductions dot com if you need any help with the software.
Call Sign: KF5BNL
CAPE website http://ulcape.org/
CAPE-2 Text-to-Speech heard in Japan
Minotaur-1 ELaNa-4 satellites http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/elana-4-cubesats/
An incredibly enthusiastic, intelligent, visionary, and motivated young woman, Abigail Harrison is setting her sites on being the first astronaut to land on Mars. Starting in 5th grade with the GEMS program (Girls in Engineering, Mathematics and Science) to being invited as guest blogger for NASA’s ISS blog, corresponding with Italian astronaut Luca Parmatano KF5KDP / IR0ISS, and attending the legendary Russian Soyuz space launch as a VIP guest, Abby is well on her way. Currently, she juggles dual high school and college courses, gymnastics, blogging, and public appearances. With a deep appreciation for space exploration of the past, Abby has already embraced its future.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Watch What’s your Mars? Abigail Harrison at TEDxTampaBay
Astronuat Abby http://AstronautAbby.com/
BBC News: US Teenager’s Space Ambitions
Italian radio ham in quarantine prior to launch to ISS
High School Student’s RocketHub Project
The British Amateur Television Club (BATC) has made available videos from the RSGB Centenary event held on December 5, 2013 at Imperial College, London.
Three videos are available from the batc.tv site:
- “Amateur Radio: a 100 years of introducing technology” by Peter Chadwick, G3RZP
- “Amateur Radio: looking to the future” by Lee Hudson, M0LMH
- Questions & Discussion and closing remarks by Bob Whelan, G3PJT, RSGB President
You can either watch them online or download them to a PC, by following these steps:
1) Go to http://batc.tv/
2) Click on the “Film Archive” icon near top left
3) Select “RSGBIET Meeting” from the Category drop down menu
4) Click on the “Select Category” button
5) Select the video required from the Stream drop down menu
6) Click on the “Select Stream” button
7) Click the play button or download from the link under the video
Further information on the BATC can be found at http://www.batc.org.uk/
The Sleaford Standard newspaper reports that a school science club is turning pupils into amateur radio fans after they were given the technology to communicate with a satellite.
The group of students based at St George’s Academy in Ruskington have been gathering data from space since the FUNcube satellite was launched on November 21.
The club was started up in September by ICT technician and licensed radio operator Paul Dickson 2E0CUP [newspaper has wrong name] and they have been provided with an antenna and a computer attachment to receive the signals thanks to support from the Friends of St George’s Ruskington and sponsorship from an educational group called STELAR. They were only one of five schools sponsored by STELAR to have a FUNcube Dongle USB radio receiver.
Read the Sleaford Standard story
St George’s Academy – Aiming high to achieve excellence for all
Schools Working With STELAR
Science and Technology through Educational links with Amateur Radio (STELAR)
FUNcube Yahoo Group http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/
BBC TV visit FUNcube station at RSGB National Radio Centre
At 07:14:30 UT on Friday, December 6, 2013 a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 3-East (SLC-3E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s Central Coast.
In addition to a classified satellite for the US spy satellite agency the National Reconnaissance Office it carried 12 CubeSats four of which have amateur radio payloads.
Justin Foley KI6EPH has made available these TLE’s for the CubeSats:
1 00001U 13340.43204282 .00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 00000
2 00001 120.4882 227.3527 0301576 340.0281 093.1359 14.65461765000012
1 00003U 13340.43620949 .00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 00004
2 00003 120.4882 227.3673 0301594 340.0232 115.1268 14.65472149000014
1 00005U 13340.44037616 .00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 00000
2 00005 120.4883 227.3812 0301504 340.0132 137.1239 14.65467927000012
Further information on the CubeSats on the Atlas V GEMSat Launch 2013 http://cubesat.org/index.php/missions/upcoming-launches/134-l39-launch-alert
Follow the launch day chat on the #cubesat IRC channel see
Space Flight Now story http://spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av042/131206launch/
MCubed-2 Live Telemetry and Tracking http://exploration.engin.umich.edu/blog/?page_id=1933
Delfi Nanosatellite Program Manager, Jasper Bouwmeester PC4JB, provides this update on the Delfi-n3Xt satellite which was launched November 21 and carries a 435/145 MHz linear transponder.
Dear Radio Amateurs,
Here is a status update about Delfi-n3Xt operations.
New DUDe telemetry client
Attached is an improved DUDe client. The phase locked loop is a bit more improved and the signal indicator is adjusted. The previous version indicated a center frequency of 1600 Hz, which was some heritage from Delfi-C3. The transmitted bandwidth of Delfi-n3Xt is about 4500 Hz, so with a center frequency of 1600 Hz the lower part of the band which would ‘virtually’ be below 0 Hz is actually reflected back inverted in the low audio frequencies causing more perceived noise. The best tuning center frequency is about 2200 Hz.
I have received many questions in the past weeks, so here are some hints to increase successful packet demodulation.
- The carrier frequency of the ITRX, which is currently the transmitter being on, is really close to 145.870 MHz. Please note however that the carrier is suppressed and we are actually transmitting in upper side band (USB). The receiver should thus be in upper side band and tuned to 145.870 MHz plus/minus Doppler. The center tuning frequency is the center of the USB signal, not the carrier. If your equipment allows this you can automate Doppler correction with e.g. WXTrack.
- The most optimal input level is when the signal strength indicator reaches about 25% of the slider. If the slider hits the red, distortion of the signal is already present. But even just below the red, we have discovered that packet loss is significant. In a next DUDe version we will adjust this slider such that it becomes intuitive again. If signal level is too high, adjust the gain of your receiver audio output first as if you are just adjusting the line-in or mic input of your sound card in the record volume control you may still overdrive your signal. This hint of course only applies to people which are not successful in receiving any other satellite (like Delfi-C3 ) yet with the same setup.
- The standard filter in the ICOM 910 receiver is about 2.5 kHz. This is too narrow for Delfi-n3Xt and demodulation becomes difficult. You will not reach a continuous packet demodulation if you do not have a bandwidth of at least 3.5 Khz. Most optimal is about 4.5 kHz.
- In case you use a software defined radio (e.g. the FunCube dongle) you can best record about 25 kHz and put a digital 4.5 kHz bandwidth filter around the signal. HDSDR software can support automated Doppler correction in combination with WXtrack.
- The TLEs have now named correctly “Delfi-n3Xt” in the TLE-new list.
- You may replay and SDR recording with DUDe open if during the pass you were not able to demodulate many packets. However, for our server it would be better to do this only once as otherwise the database will be flooded by duplicates. You can off course practice a bit first with an offline DUDe client. You can simply do this by extracting the attached zip file to a different folder an not using your log in details. In principle, an automated Doppler correction with the latest TLEs will already yield a very good result which can hardly be beaten by manual tuning.
- We kindly ask you not to share audio or SDR recordings with other radio amateurs, or at least ask them not to log in to our server with DUDe as we really would like to correlate the data to geographical location as well as the origin (see also the contest below).
Radio Amateur Contest
We are very grateful to all radio amateurs who are collecting telemetry or are attempting to. So far, we have seen less data coming from around the world than with our previous satellite Delfi-C3. Probably one of the main reasons is buggy telemetry client we have released before and the difficulties of demodulation a 2400 bit/s with many equipment. I hope the new DUDe client and the hints above will help many of you to demodulate Delfi-n3Xt data. A possible second reason is that we are not unique anymore with the tens of CubeSats being launched in the past months. Therefore we would like to do something back to the radio amateurs taking the effort to receive our latest satellite. We will soon announce a contest where we will provide prizes to radio amateurs with high packet rates in our database. You can see the top 50 here: http://delfi-n3xt.lr.tudelft.nl/statistics.php . Prizes and rules are still to be determined, but you can already start increasing your packet rates as we will start counting from the launch date. Our own ground station is of course excluded.
In the past weeks we have seen that the batteries became more and more discharged. Also during passes we noticed that the incoming power was fluctuating more than expected, sometimes even causing the satellite going in to eclipse mode with the radio off in the Sun. We have discovered the cause of this. The maximum power point trackers go into an sleep mode if there is insufficient power to overcome their own consumption for 15 seconds. It is activated every 25 seconds to check the latest power status. If the satellite is tumbling more than 14 degrees/s, this is not a problem as we reach sufficient power within 15 seconds (hence no sleep mode). If the satellite is however tumbling between 1 deg/s and 14 deg/s, the power tracker is many times in sleep mode and misses part of the incoming energy because of the 25 seconds wait time. Below 1 deg/s the problem becomes less again. As we are successfully detumbling to about 2-4 deg/s, but have not yet been able to tweak attitude parameters such that we go below 1 deg/s we have this issue. We have decided to turn of the power hungry subsystems, including attitude control and S-band transmitter to recharge the batteries and think of a more sustainable solution. Don’t be shocked if you see a lot of odd parameters, like undeployed solar panels, as these are just zeroes in the data. Please note that the S-band transmitter is currently off, so there is no signal at 2405 MHz.
Jasper Bouwmeester PC4JB
Delfi Nanosatellite Program Manager &
Researcher Small Satellite Technology
Chair of Space Systems Engineering
Delft University of Technology
Telemetry reception http://www.delfispace.nl/operations/delfi-n3xt-telemetry-reception
Dnepr Yasny launch http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/dnepr-november-2013/
The Mid Ulster Amateur Radio club will be hosting the special event callsign GI100RSGB over the weekend Dec 6-8
We hope to be active on most operational satellites from Friday 3pm UT, however the current storm blowing in N. Ireland may slow down antenna setup.
An ideal opportunity to work this special event call on a rare mode
Updates will be posted at
73 Pete Mi0VAX
Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club
How to work SSB satellites
How to work FM satellites
RadCom article – Getting started on satellites
Satellite Tracking http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/satellite-tracking/
Triton-1 was launched on a Dnepr on November 21, it has a 435/145 MHz FM to DSB transponder which is expected to be available for amateur radio use about 3 months after launch. The PI9CAM report says:
On November 29 we had an exciting day at PI9CAM.
We were asked to rescue a satellite!
On November 21, 14 satellites were launched. One of them is TRITON-1, built by the Dutch ISIS group.
First all was OK, but when a transmitter was switched on to keep the temperature on board high enough something went wrong. Harmonic noise of that transmitter desensed the receiver in such a way that the command station could not get any commands into the satellite….
It’s rather normal that satellite software resets every now and then. But it appeared this satellite software was very stable. Not one reset took place……
To try to regain command over the satellite PI9CAM was asked to help. The link budget predicted we might just be able to ‘cut through’ the noise with our 25 m dish and 400W on 70 cm.
So people from ISIS and CAMRAS met in Dwingeloo at PI9CAM in the early morning of November 29.
Mr. Murphy decided to join us that day….
First we found out that we connected the wrong cable up in the focusbox when we last worked on the frontend.
So we had no power on 70 cm….
It was raining and there was strong wind but the only way to get this right was to go up to the focusbox at 15 m high with the elevator….
We worked as fast as we could to prevent much water going into the focusbox.
I have never been so wet…..
But we managed!
Due to this we missed the first good pass of the satellite….
During the second pass the wind was really strong and probably because of that something went wrong when the dish started tracking the satellite at AOS. It more or less was blown into maximum safety position. This can only be reset by doing manual elevation. So we lost the second pass and two people got very wet by elevating the dish manually. But again we managed….
The third pass was only available at 21.00 so we had a lot of time to test tracking and to play with the freshly installed satellite tracking software. Even a few bugs were found and removed going through the software.
At 21.00 we were ready for it and everybody was very tense….
As soon as the satellite was above our TX limit of 10 degrees elevation we started transmitting. After 10 seconds we received good news from the ISIS ground station. We successfully switched off the transmitter of the satellite and the groundstation had control over the satellite again!
Everybody was very happy! We even had some champagne to celebrate this successful collaboration!
And we were all very proud of ‘our’ 57 year old and restored dish. Old, but still going strong!
(PE4WJ (ISIS), PA3CEG, PE1NUT, PE2HRM, PE0SHF, PE1CHQ, PA3DSS and PA3FXB)
Thanks to PE0SAT for passing on this information.
ISIS Triton-1 amateur radio operator page http://www.isispace.nl/HAM/
ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space http://www.isispace.nl/
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket is set to launch from Space Launch Complex 3-East, or SLC-3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s Central Coast. As well as a classified satellite for the US spy satellite agency the National Reconnaissance Office it will carry 12 CubeSats four of which will have amateur radio payloads. Justin Foley KI6EPH writes:
We are pleased to announce the launch of 12 CubeSats, currently scheduled for Friday, December 6, 2013 at 0713 UT from Vandenberg AFB in California, USA. Several of the CubeSats are carrying beacons in the amateur frequencies and we invite all who are able to track to participate.
For more information please keep an eye on http://spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av043/status.html and http://cubesat.org/index.php/missions/upcoming-launches/134-l39-launch-alert
As usual we will be using the #cubesat IRC channel to coordinate object identification.
Justin Foley KI6EPH
CubeSats on the Atlas V GEMSat Launch 2013 http://cubesat.org/index.php/missions/upcoming-launches/134-l39-launch-alert
Follow the launch day chat on the #cubesat IRC channel see
The project’s Kickstarter page says:
Space exploration has traditionally been expensive, many spacecraft launched today are the size of a truck and can cost over $1 billion dollars. CAT will be tested on a CubeSat, a small satellite the size of a loaf of bread. CubeSats cost 1,000 to 10,000 times less to develop and launch than conventional satellites. As scientific and commercial space technologies get exponentially smaller, it becomes easier (and less expensive) to place small but powerful sensors on a CubeSat platform. The CAT engine can propel this miniaturized equipment to exciting new locations previously unreachable at such a low price.
Traditional university research funding starts with seed data, a small seed grant, a government grant and a large number of gates to go through over many years. We’d like to leverage Kickstarter funds to compress that timeline and go from initial seed data to flight in about 18 months, a much faster time scale than is possible with traditional grants. We love the idea of “Citizen Explorers” helping fund this project and are excited to have our backers be part of the journey.
While we have obtained some external funding, this mission may never happen without your help. Research funding is notoriously slow and filled with red tape. Technology demonstration missions can take over ten years to go from concept to launch. We want to do more faster, getting CAT from the drawing board to space in record time. With your help, we will be assembling everything into one compact thruster unit and testing integrated components in the lab, then in Earth orbit. If we reach stretch goals, we could be testing CAT in interplanetary space at a destination of your choice!
Our base funding goal of $50,000 is enough to add specialized equipment to the satellite to observe the plasma plume ejected by the CAT engine. Integrating a high-resolution camera and associated subsystems is critical to validate our theories on plasma flow along a magnetic nozzle and complete our test matrix when CAT is on-orbit. Because this is an entirely new type of engine, we need a camera in order to directly observe how the super heated plasma follows the magnetic nozzle and then detaches to create thrust. Without a camera we can’t know precisely when the plasma is being created. Basically, we need to see the engine actually creating plasma to verify our assumptions. On Earth it’s easy for us to observe the plasma during testing, but in space it’s much more difficult.
Watch CAT: Launch a Water-Propelled Satellite into Deep Space
Read a New Scientist story at
Craig Kief KE5VSH posted this on the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB):
Jin KB3UKS and I launched two CubeSats a week or so ago. The first is Trailblazer (mine) and the second is DragonSat (Jins). Trailblazer is from the Configurable Space Research at the University of New Mexico (KE5VSH) and DragonSat is Drexel University.
Our problem is that we haven’t heard from our satellites yet.
There could be a variety of different reasons. First, the satellite didn’t survive delivery. Second, our antennas didn’t deploy or third, we have poor ground stations. As you can imagine, I am hoping for the third. I am pasting the TLE which is openly available on space-track and Celestrak in this email. It is very close (I believe) to our birds.
If you have a chance, could you please keep your ears open in case you might hear us.
Please email any packets for Trailblazer to myself at craig.kief<at>cosmiac.org and for DragonSat to Jin Kang KB3UKS at kang<at>usna.edu
Thanks again most sincerely,
Trailblazer 437.425 MHz, AX.25, 9600 bps (there is another satellite with the same tx freq as mine there as well).
On my packets, if you see C0 00 A8 84…. You will provide me with a wonderful gift. I beacon every 50 seconds
DragonSat 145.870 MHz, AX.25, 9600 bps. Beacons every 30 seconds.
1 39382U 13064C 13325.87382098 .00041511 00000-0 18318-2 0 39
2 39382 40.5103 239.5017 0004316 318.4599 41.5592 15.20995117 275
Satellite Tracking http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/satellite-tracking/
Minotaur-1 ELaNa-4 launch http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/elana-4-cubesats/
AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/maillist/
The N2YO satellite tracking website provides live video streaming from the International Space Station (ISS) alongside a track showing the position of the ISS over the Earth.
The Ustream video from the station is available only when the complex is in contact with the ground through its high-speed communications antenna and NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. During “loss of signal” periods, you will see a blue screen. Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it sees a sunrise or a sunset every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but also may provide spectacular views of city lights below.
Live streaming from the ISS http://www.n2yo.com/space-station/
HD Video Cameras sent to ISS November 25, 2013 http://www.urthecast.com/launch
The US segment of the ISS uses a data link in Ku band to connect to a NASA server. The link provides a data rate of 10 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload available about half the time through a network of ground stations.
In October 2012 the first laser communication link with the Russian segment of the ISS was established paving the way for higher speed broadband links to the ISS in the future. Read the RIA Novosti article in Google English.
AMSAT-UK initially produced a short bulletin called OSCAR News to give members advice on amateur satellite communications. Since those early days OSCAR News has grown in size and the print quality has improved beyond recognition. Today, OSCAR News is produced as a high-quality quarterly colour A4 magazine consisting of up to 40 pages of news, information and comment about amateur radio space communications.
An additional advantage is that the PDF should be available for download up to 2 weeks before the paper copy is posted.
The Membership year lasts for 12 months starting on January 1 each year.
If you join after July 31 of any particular year, then you will receive complimentary membership for the whole of the following year, i.e. join on November 12, 2013, and you have nothing more to pay until Dec 31, 2014.
Now is a very good time to join.
Take out an Electronic membership here http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/category_9/Join-Amsat-UK.html
E-members can download their copies of OSCAR News from http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/on
A sample issue of OSCAR News can be downloaded here.
The WREN Team have released a video showing you how to use the WREN Decoder/Commander App.
The tiny PocketQube satellite WREN is just 5x5x5 cm yet is equipped with a camera for Slow Scan TV (SSTV) using the Martin-1 format, a gyro, a magnetic field sensor, momentum wheels and pulsed plasma microthrusters. The camera has an image processing system which can find the position of the Sun and the Earth automatically.
The WREN Decoder/Commander App uses the RTS pin of the com port to trigger TX of the radio (we use an ICOM 910h) for commanding. Decoder and Commander in one package.
Watch How to use the Decoder/Commander to send commands to Pocketqube Satellite WREN
The SSTV PocketQube WREN is currently in a mode where it beacons on 437.405 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift) for 1.6 seconds then listens for 6 minutes on that frequency for any commands. If none are received it goes to sleep for 2 minutes before transmitting the beacon again.
Because the beacon is so infrequent the approach currently being used is to send commands to WREN on 437.405 MHz whenever you think it is in range.
Thanet Radio and Electronics Club member Patrick Kirkden M0ZPK was the first person in the UK to achieve a confirmed reception of WREN.
Hope you can catch WREN and have fun commanding it.
WREN Decoder/Commander App Download https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pvzyr01216dab1k/uf4MQWEn5y
WREN on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/StaDoKo
WREN a Ham Radio Slow Scan TV PocketQube Satellite http://amsat-uk.org/2013/10/24/wren-a-ham-radio-sstv-pocketqube/
Commands for WREN SSTV Released http://amsat-uk.org/2013/11/28/commands-for-wren-sstv-released/
Satellite Tracking http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/satellite-tracking/
Dnepr Yasny launch http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/dnepr-november-2013/
To start with a few stats:
From the acquisition of the first signal by ZS1LS on Thursday, November 21 we have had a steady stream of data flowing in.
A few Data Warehouse statistics as at 12:00 UT, Nov. 28, 2013:
- over 12MB of unique data uploaded and stored
- 424 user registrations since 2013-11-17
- 319 users have have uploading data
- 41388 Real-time entries
- 11754 Whole Orbit Data entries
- 77940 High Resolution entries
We are very grateful for all this data which is invaluable to the command team – please continue to send it to the Warehouse if you can and encourage other to do so.
Fitter Message 9:
What are the funny characters in the FM9 slot?
Well the command stations can re-purpose FM9 to either be a “normal” fitter message or to carry the debug data that is displayed at the bottom of the Dashboard. This carries info about various status flags and other parameters.
The format is described here
“in short Fitter message 9, when we are running in debug mode starts of with 0xFF that’s how we know its debug, then what follows is just a byte for byte copy of some of the in memory structures from the running MCU, filling up the rest of the fitter message is an MCU program trace (read from right to left) the letter indicates the source file, the number is the line number in that source file. The spaces are where the MCU has finished processing and has gone back to wait for more events.”
Schedule for next few days:
We plan to command FUNcube-1 into continuous amateur/transponder mode for a few orbits on either the 09:22 UT or 10:58 UT passes over the UK tomorrow. We will be doing this to see how this change affects the on-board temperatures. We will switch it back to the normal autonomous schedule either 12:35 UT or 20:31 UT passes depending upon the results of these tests.
No other changes to the operating schedule are currently planned.
UPDATE December 1:
Apologies to everyone who was expecting the transponder to be active during daylight today.
A late change of plan by the team means that we did not send that command but concentrated on testing some other functionality. As a result, the sharp eyed will notice that one of the ANTS Data sensor channels has been commanded “OFF” (this shows as failed” on the Dashboard). It does NOT indicate any problem with the on board systems though.
The spacecraft will continue with its autonomous schedule for the time being.
Nico, PA0DLO, has recently emailed his observations which align with our own understanding of the current situation:
“AMSAT-OSCAR-73, ZACube 1 and HiNCube were launched from the same ISIPOD.
As they initially were close together, the JSpOC decided to release only one TLE set for this cluster under object number 39417 (2013-066B). Now the distances between these satellites are slowly increasing. So the question is – which satellite is object 39417?
Detailed Doppler measurements show that ZACube 1 is now about 25 s early compared to the TLE for object 39417, while OSCAR 73 is about 11 s early. This seems to indicate that object 39417 is actually HiNCube.
Hopefully TLEs for OSCAR 73 and ZACube 1 will be published soon.”
The F’SATI Satellite team at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology is looking for your support to collect telemetry.
“We encourage radio amateurs to listen for the UHF beacon on 437.345 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift). It will be a great help if they can log the raw data from the TNC and send it to Leon at ldutsteenkamp<at>gmail.com” Francois Visser said.
“The team will be going through a commissioning process for the next two weeks to make sure everything works fine. Then we’ll turn on the ADCS to command the satellite into a spin, where after the HF antenna will be rolled out. Only then we’ll turn on the beacon. So far we have tested the downlink and uplink, checked system status, uploaded command scripts and all looks nominal. Battery voltage varies between 7.6 and 8.2 V, and on-board temperature between 12 and about 26 degrees C. The telemetry also shows that the ISIS antennas deployed on the first try”.
TshepisoSat / ZACUBE-1 telemetry decoder http://tinyurl.com/SatSoftwareDK3WN/
Satellite Tracking http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/satellite-tracking/
PicoDragon is a 1U CubeSat that was deployed from the International Space Station on November 19.
It was developed by the Việt Nam National Satellite Center (VNSC), University of Tokyo and IHI aerospace.
The satellite, callsign XV9PID, carries a 100mW CW beacon on 437.250 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift). It is understood there is also a 1200 bps AFSK 800mW AX.25 telemetry beacon that can operate on 437.365 MHz and a camera for Earth imaging.
Nam Dương writes:
I’m member of PicoDragon Project also known as PDG. We found that the PicoDragon is a very weak signal when in darkness (eclipse), and strong signal when in sunlight. If you have a ground station, please help us to recover the 437.250 MHz CW signal of PDG. We want to recover the CW signal both when it is in eclipse and in daylight.
If you have any comment or information for PDG, please send it to my email pdg<at>vnsc.org.vn or post to the PDG Facebook page.
Thank you so much.
Welcome to PicoDragon Project, and welcome to Việt Nam.
Firefly carries a Very Low Frequency (VLF) receiver covering from a few ten’s of Hz to to tens of kHz to measure the radio waves emitted by lightning. It was launched November 20 on a Minotaur-1 rocket and NASA have released a video about the satellite.
The YouTube description reads:
Somewhere on Earth, there’s always a lightning flash. The globe experiences lightning some 50 times a second, yet the details of what initiates this common occurrence and what effects it has on the atmosphere – lightning may be linked to incredibly powerful and energetic bursts called terrestrial gamma ray flashes, or TGFs — remains a mystery. In mid-November, a football-sized mission called Firefly, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, will launch into space to study lightning and these gamma ray flashes from above.
The NSF CubeSat program represents a low cost access to space approach to performing high-quality, highly targeted science on a smaller budget than is typical of more comprehensive satellite projects, which have price tags starting at $100 million. The CubeSat Firefly, by focusing its science goals, will carry out its mission in a much smaller package and at a considerably lower cost.
The Firefly mission also emphasizes student involvement as part of the ongoing effort to train the next generation of scientists and engineers. Students at Siena College, in Loudonville, N.Y., and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, in Princess Anne, Md., were involved in all phases of the Firefly mission.
Watch NASA | Firefly Mission to Study Lightning
This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10645