Radio amateurs asked to help track and decode the F-1 CubeSat

FSpace Team Phạm Quang Hưng, Đinh Quốc Trí, Khánh Has, Thu Trong Vu XV9AA, Hong Thai Pham, Dao Thang picture taken by Nguyễn Trần Hoàng

The F-1 CubeSat, callsign XV1VN, developed by the FSpace team of young engineers and students at the FPT University, deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, October 4 at 15:44 UT. A Google English newspaper report with pictures of the F-1 team’s attempts to receive the satellite after deployment can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/Chungta-F-1-Article. F-1 Keps (1998-067CP) are at http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt.

On Sunday, October 7 Thu Trong Vu XV9AA provided this update:

So far the team has received several mixed reports about F-1 status, there is no definite conclusion yet. We will continue to collect information and analyze the situation, this afternoon we will hold a team meeting to discuss different situations that may happen with the little satellite up there. Please continue to help us listening for F-1 on 437.485 in daylight and 145.980 in the dark, thank you!

FSpace F-1 Amateur Radio CubeSat

F-1 was expected to begin transmitting beacon alternatively on its main and backup channels 30 minutes after deployment. Telemetry and beacon data from F-1 contain critical information about the satellite’s health (battery & solar cell voltages, temperature readings) and they are very important to the team. Thus, we would like to ask the amateur radio community to help in tracking and receiving data from F-1 CubeSat.

Here’s a quick summary of F-1’s frequencies:

-  145.980 MHz: main channel, 1.0W RF output, FM, AFSK 1200bps, one telemetry packet every 30 seconds, operates in the dark by default (but can be commanded later to operate in sunlight as well)

- 437.485 MHz: backup channel, 0.2W RF output, FM, PWM CW beacon, each beacon transmission lasts about 20 seconds then 60 seconds delay, only operates in sunlight

More information and guide to download F-1 telemetry decoder can be found at http://fspace.edu.vn/?page_id=27. Decoded data can be submitted to us via the telemetry decoder or by sending to me directly (thuvt@fpt.edu.vn), audio records are highly appreciated.

Please feel free to send me a message if there is any question. We would really appreciate your kind support!

73, Thu XV9AA
F-1 CubeSat Project Manager
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F-1 carries a low-resolution C328 camera for an earth observation mission. The camera is capable of a maximum resolution of 640 by 480 pixels with 8 bit color. Images will be downloaded when commanded by the FSpace ground station.

There is a 3-axis magnetometer (developed by Angstrom Space Technology Center, Uppsala University, Sweden) and several temperature sensors.

The satellite’s callsign is XV1VN and the communications subsystem is built around two Yaesu VX-3R amateur radio handheld transceivers. One will operate on UHF the other on VHF.

Initially F-1 will be in virtually the same orbit as the International Space Station and the latest ISS Keplerian Two Line Elements can be used to determine its position. See the ISS Fan Club real-time tracking at http://www.issfanclub.com/

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs / KEPS) for new satellites launched in past 30 days are at
http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt

Free Satellite tracking software
• SimpleSat Look Down http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=8217
• Gpredict http://gpredict.oz9aec.net/
• Orbitron http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=9051

ISS Amateur Radio CubeSat Deployment http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=10119

F-1 CubeSat – AMSAT-UK Certificate of Participation