FUNcube-1′s Birthday

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Hi Folks,

It seems amazing to us that FUNcube-1 – AO73, was launched nearly one year ago, in fact at 07:10 UTC on 21 Nov 2013. The very first signals were received by ZS1LS in South Africa at 07:37 UTC and he was even able to upload the resulting data to the Warehouse so the results could be seen immediately.

We are extremely happy to say that, since then, the satellite has been performing very satisfactorily, the battery voltage doesn’t drop below 8 volts, and becomes fully charged within about 7 – 10 minutes after re-entering sunlight from eclipse.

Howard Long G6LVB working AO-73 while Ciaran Morgan M0XTD captures the downlink passband data using a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and Microsoft Surface Tablet

Howard Long G6LVB working AO-73 while Ciaran Morgan M0XTD captures the downlink passband data using a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and Microsoft Surface Tablet

On Friday 21 Nov 2014, we will be celebrating the satellite’s first birthday. To mark the occasion, we will be activating the transponder earlier than normal – late on Thursday 20 Nov, so that it will be available for use during the whole of Friday. So please make as many contacts as possible through the transponder during Friday, FUNcube’s actual birthday. You are invited to make a note of any stations worked on this day, or any other comments on the FUNcube Forum. Please use the existing “FUNcube-1′s Birthday” topic, under the Welcome heading. The URL of the Forum is http://forum.funcube.org.uk/

Please also remember the ’73 on 73′ Award which is kindly being organised by Paul Stoetzer N8HM. See http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/73-on-73-award/ for more details.

Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG talking about FUNcube-1 to students at Abbeys Primary School in Bletchley

Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG talking about FUNcube-1 to students at Abbeys Primary School in Bletchley

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking all of our ‘users’, both those who download telemetry and forwarding it to the warehouse, and of course, all users of the transponder. This telemetry data is invaluable, both as an educational resource and to enable us to see how the spacecraft systems are performing and surviving. So far we have collected almost 400MB of unique data via stations from all around the world.

Of course we are hoping that the satellite continues to function nominally for several more years to come even though we may never reach AO7’s record!

73s AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL

First 73 on 73 Award issued to Wyatt Dirks AC0RA

First 73 on 73 Award issued to Wyatt Dirks AC0RA

The AMSAT-UK Flickr Group is at https://www.flickr.com/groups/amsatuk/
Please upload your pictures of amateur satellites, satellite ground stations, satellite demonstrations or any other satellite related event.

73 on 73 Award http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/73-on-73-award/

Data Warehouse – Telemetry Archive http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/

Dashboard App – Telemetry Decoder http://funcube.org.uk/working-documents/funcube-telemetry-dashboard/

Ham radio launches to deep space

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH Internal Structure

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH Internal Structure

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH is going to launch on a mission into deep space on November 30, 2014 carring a 7 watt CW transmitter on 437.325 MHz.

It will fly with the asteroid mission Hayabusa 2 and another amateur radio satellite Shin’en 2.

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH will have an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to a deep space orbit between Venus and Mars. Its inclination will be almost zero, which means Shin’en 2 will stay in the Earth’s equatorial plane. The distance from the Sun will be between 0.7 and 1.3 AU. An Astronomical Unit (AU) is 149,597,871 km.

ARTSAT2 DESPATCH  Deep Space Sculpture

ARTSAT2 DESPATCH Deep Space Sculpture

The team have released the following information:

1. Despatch CW Format is now available!

Yesterday, we opened a wiki which explains how to join the “Cooperative data reconstruction,” the main mission of Despatch.  In this wiki, you can find the CW format as well as how to report the data you received.
http://despatch.artsat.jp/en/Cooperative_Data_Reconstruction

2. Despatch Tracking page is opened!

Since Despatch is injected into an Earth escape trajectory, TLE is unavailable. Instead, we opened a web-page for the spacecraft tracking (both antenna-pointing and receiver-tuning).
http://api.artsat.jp/pass/

Please go to the page and enter your geographic location, and you will get nearby passes and a table with 1 minute steps that gives you AZ, EL, Freaquency, and so on. As the apparent movement and the change of the Doppler shift are slow, manual pointing of the antenna and tuning of the receiver every 10 minutes or so will do.

3. Reception Report page is opened!

We opened a web page in which you can report the data you received.
http://api.artsat.jp/report/

Thanks in advance and all the best,

Akihiro Kubota, ARTSAT project

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH
Web http://despatch.artsat.jp/en/Main_Page
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/artsat
Twitter https://twitter.com/DESPATCH_ARTSAT

Shin’en2 and Japanese Asteroid Mission
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/01/japanese-asteroid-mission-to-carry-amateur-radio/

RSGB Youth Committee Chair Announced

Chair of RSGB Youth Committee Mike Jones 2E0MLJ

Chair of RSGB Youth Committee Mike Jones 2E0MLJ

The Radio Society of Great Britain has appointed 17-year-old Mike Jones, 2E0MLJ, as Chair of the RSGB Youth Committee.

Mike was originally licenced as M6TMJ and is currently studying Forensic Science and Criminal Psychology at City College Plymouth. He is a member of the QRZ.com Staff helping on the database forum and is also Younsters On The Air (YOTA) Month Co-Ordinator for the UK.

At the RSGB Convention in October Mike gave an excellent presentation on July’s successful YOTA-UK event held in Wolverhampton which was organised by young people, for young people. As well as Mike 2E0MLJ the YOTA-UK organising committee included Marie-Ann M6UWS, Dax M6DAX, Jenny M6HFA and Rachel M6SOO.

Read the RadCom article on IARU Region 1 YOTA and YOTA-UK at http://www.ham-yota.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/UK%20YOTA%20Report%20from%20RadCom.pdf

Follow YOTA-UK on Twitter @YOTA_UK

2E0MLJ on Twitter @MikeJ1997

OSCAR Locator App

OscarLocator-1Tom Doyle W9KE has developed a Windows satellite tracking App that reproduces the graphical display of the original cardboard OSCARLOCATOR .

Most tracking programs use an equirectangular projection which is by far the easiest to program and shows the entire Earth at once. A 3D model is often used which helps visualize orbits but does not show the entire Earth at the same time.

Tom remembers having an easier time visualizing the orbits back in the day (1970′s) when amateurs used cardboard OSCAR Locators with overlays. This Windows program lets you visualize orbits OSCAR Locator style.

Download the OSCAR Locator from http://www.tomdoyle.org/OscarLocator

Other Apps by Tom can be downloaded via http://www.tomdoyle.org/

40 Years of Tracking OSCAR-7 http://amsat-uk.org/2014/11/09/40-years-tracking-oscar-7/

SatNOGS Win Hackaday Prize

SatNOGS - Satellite Networked Open Ground Station

SatNOGS – Satellite Networked Open Ground Station

The open-source amateur satellite tracking project SatNOGS has won the Hackaday 1st prize and an amateur radio SDR won 3rd prize.

Six months ago Hackaday challenged their readers to realize the future of open, connected devices, The prize was a ticket to travel into space. The winners were announced at the Electronica trade show in Munich on November 13.

The SatNOGs project is a thrilling example of the benefits of a connected world. It opens up the use of satellite data to a much wider range of humanity by providing plans to build satellite tracking stations, and a protocol and framework to share the satellite data with those that cannot afford, or lack the skills to build their own tracking station. The hardware itself is based on readily available materials, commodity electronics, and just a bit of 3D printing.

Read the Hackaday article at
http://hackaday.com/2014/11/13/satnogs-wins-the-2014-hackaday-prize/

Ham Radio in Hackaday Prize Finals
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/11/08/ham-radio-in-hackaday-prize-finals/

SatNOGS – Satellite Networked Open Ground Station https://satnogs.org/

Chelmsford’s involvement in Rosetta

Computer generated image of Rosetta

Computer generated image of Rosetta

The UK Deputy Prime Minister congratulated one of the Chelmsford companies involved in developing key equipment for the successful Rosetta mission.

On Thursday, November 13 the Deputy PM @DPMoffice tweeted
Huge congratulations to @e2v in Chelmsford, who’ve been part of history on #Rosetta mission #spacehistory #RGF @spacegovuk

e2v developed the specialized sensors on which both Rosetta and Philae depend.

On Rosetta:
• OSIRIS – the high resolution imaging camera. It has a narrow field and wide field camera.
• NAVCAM – the navigation camera.
• VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) – which maps and studies the nature of the solids and the temperature on the surface of the comet. It also identifies gases, characterizes the physical conditions of the comet and has helped to identify the best landing site (e2v’s devices are in the visible element of this instrument).

On Philae:
• ÇIVA (Comet nucleus Infrared and Visible Analyzer) – six identical micro-cameras take panoramic pictures of the surface of the comet. A spectrometer studies the composition, texture and albedo (reflectivity) of samples collected from the surface.
• ROLIS (Rosetta Lander Imaging System) – a CCD camera used to obtain high-resolution images during the descent of the lander and take stereo panoramic images of areas sampled by other instruments.

Read the e2v announcement at
http://www.e2v.com/news/scientists-ready-to-discover-the-origins-of-earth-with-help-from-high-performance-technology-company-e2v/

e2v was not the only Chelmsford company involved in Rosetta, the Intermediate Frequency Modem System (IFMS) was developed by BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre in Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex
http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_175611/supporting-the-rosetta-mission

Watch IFMS: The Interplanetary Smartphone Supporting the Rosetta Mission

A number of radio amateurs work at both companies.

Radio amateurs have been listening to Rosetta’s signal on 8421.7869 MHz since January 2014 when it was 805 million km away from Earth, see
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/01/23/radio-amateurs-receive-rosetta-signals/

Chelmsford Amateur Radio Skills Night Monday November 17
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/november/essex_amateur_radio_skills_night.htm

49.9 MHz Backscatter Radar 16 kW with 64 Antennas

First 18 of the 49.9 MHz radar antennas pointing skywards

First 18 of the 49.9 MHz radar antennas pointing skywards

An impressive back-scatter radar on 49.9 MHz is currently being constructed in Ethiopia.

The Bahir Dar coherent backscatter radar is being assembled by researchers from the University of Oulu, Finland and Boston College, USA.

The radar will operate at 49.9 MHz with a 16 kW solid-state transmitter and 64 antennas. The sampling is based on a number of USRP X300-series boxes (the USRP was developed by Matt Ettus N2MJI).

Backscatter radar http://blog.sgo.fi/2014/11/bahir-dar-coherent-backscatter-radar.html

Lassi Roininen on Twitter https://twitter.com/LassiRoininen

Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sodankyl%C3%A4-Geophysical-Observatory/551697518290573

Predictions App for Deep Space Ham Radio Satellite

ARTSAT2 DESPATCH  Deep Space Sculpture

ARTSAT2 DESPATCH Deep Space Sculpture

Two amateur radio satellites ARTSAT2: DESPATCH (437.325 MHz CW) and Shin’en 2 (145/435 MHz linear transponder + 437 MHz WSJT) should be launched into deep space at the end of November.

Masahiro JI1IZR has announced that prediction software is available for ARTSAT2: DESPATCH:

One of the new deep space small satellites, “ARTSAT2: DESPATCH”, will be launched on the end of this month.

I developed a predict utilities that display the information got from the Web API data provided by the “ARTSAT” project team.

You can get the utilities and information from:
http://ji1izr.air-nifty.com/ham_satellite/in_english/index.html

You will also have the information of the satellite “ARTSAT2: DESAPTCH” from:
http://artsat.jp/en/project/despatch
http://pre.artsat.jp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/despatch_abstract_en_ver1.0.1.pdf

I appreciate your notice for the project.

Thank you.

Masahiro Sanada JI1IZR

Art and Ham Radio in Deep Space http://amsat-uk.org/2013/11/03/art-and-ham-radio-in-deep-space/

Shin’en 2 has a linear transponder http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/01/japanese-asteroid-mission-to-carry-amateur-radio/

4M – End of Mission

LX0OHB-4M amateur radio lunar payload - Credit LuxSpace

LX0OHB-4M amateur radio lunar payload – Credit LuxSpace

The JT65B amateur radio payload, which successfully completed a lunar flyby, has fallen silent after transmitting for 438 hours.

During the afternoon of November 10 the battery voltage dropped from 13.1V to 12.1V and continued falling. The last signal was received by Rein W6SZ at 01:35 UT on November 11 when the battery voltage had fallen to 8.4 volts.

Ghislain LX2RG posted the following to the Moon Net list:

Here at Luxspace, we have to thank you all for the reports, for the tracking, and we also hope that we provided you with the challenges you expected.

4M may possibly awaken from time to time if illumination becomes better.

We shall now endeavor to prepare the next one.

Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (4M) LX0OHB-4M http://moon.luxspace.lu/blog/

4M Lunar Payload http://amsat-uk.org/2014/10/15/4m-lunar-payload-integrated-keps-released/

40 Years of Tracking OSCAR-7

Satrack showing OSCAR 7 (AO-7)

Satrack showing OSCAR 7 (AO-7)

William Leijenaar PE1RAH shows how people tracked satellites in the time before PC’s and AMSAT Argentina show how it’s done today.

ARRL OSCAR LocatorIn the 1974 radio amateurs tracked OSCAR 7 (AO-7) using an OSCARLOCATOR that comprised a polar great circle map and overheads for each satellite.

40 years later OSCAR 7 is still operational when in sunlight and thanks to William Leijenaar PE1RAH you can now download the map and overheads to make your very own OSCARLOCATOR. Read his article at
http://www.qsl.net/pe1rah/oscarlator.htm

AMSAT Argentina has recently released the online satellite tracker Satrack, use it at http://amsat.org.ar/sat.htm

The PC version can be downloaded from http://amsat.org.ar/Satrack.htm

Special Event Station for 40th Anniversary of OSCAR 7 Launch
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/10/31/special-event-station-for-40th-anniversary-of-oscar-7-launch/

OSCAR 7 in Space

OSCAR 7 in Space