The AMSAT-UK educational amateur satellite project – FUNcube – features a 435 to 145 MHz Linear Transponder for SSB/CW operation and a telemetry beacon for schools to receive. The project has received major initial funding from the Radio Communications Foundation (RCF) and is being developed in collaboration with ISIS-Innovative Solutions in Space BV. For the most up-to-date information about this project visit www.funcube.org.uk
FUNcube is an educational single CubeSat project with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics.
It will support the educational Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives.
The target audience consists of primary and secondary school pupils and FUNcube will feature a 145 MHz telemetry beacon that will provide a strong signal for the pupils to receive.
A receiver, the FUNcube Dongle, has been developed that plugs into the USB port of a laptop to display telemetry and messages in an interesting way.
The satellite will contain a materials science experiment, from which the school students can receive telemetry data which they can compare to the results they obtained from similar reference experiments in the classroom.
FUNcube is the first CubeSat designed to benefit this group and is expected to be the first UK CubeSat to reach space.
On November 21, 2013 FUNcube-1 was launched from the Yasny launch base located in the Orenburg Region, Russia on a Dnepr Launch Vehicle that will insert multiple satellites into a 600 km, 97.8º inclination sun-synchronous orbit. In such an orbit the satellite passes over the British Isles and Europe approximately 3 times in the morning, and 3 in the evening, every day, perhaps allowing the morning passes to be used for educational purposes and the evening passes for Amateur Radio communications.
FUNcube carries a UHF to VHF linear transponder that will have approx 300 mW PEP output and which can be used by Radio Amateurs worldwide for SSB and CW communications.
Measuring just 10 x 10 x 10 cm, and with a mass of less than 1 kg, it will be the smallest ever satellite to carry a linear transponder and the choice of frequencies will enable Radio Amateurs to use their existing VO-52, DO-64, HO68 and similar stations.
A key feature of the satellite is the absence of an over complicated, multi-faceted, multi-tasking On-Board Computer. For reliability and maximum power efficiency, the design has been kept as straight-forward as possible with satellite control being achieved using simple commands.
AMSAT-UK has more than 350 individual members and is one of more than 20 such groups worldwide. AMSAT-UK teams have provided hardware for more than 10 satellites over the past 35+ years including SSETI Express in 2005.
Recently AMSAT-UK has been involved with the development of hardware and software for a number of satellite projects including the European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO), UKube-1, P3E, ARISSat-1, the Columbus module on the ISS and also the GENSO Ground station network.
The Radio Communications Foundation is a Registered Charity (Number 1100694) set up in 2003 to fund efforts to bring the wonders of radio into the classrooms, universities and any other public place where hands on demonstration can influence understanding.
The RCF funding for FUNcube is made possible through the generous bequest from a “silent key” who wanted the hobby that he loved brought to the attention of others. Any one wanting to make a bequest in their Will so that their name can live on in the hobby, or anyone simply wanting to make a donation, should visit http://www.commsfoundation.org/
• Inverting SSB/CW transponder 300 mW
- 435.150 – 435.130 MHz Uplink
- 145.950 – 145.970 MHz Downlink
• 145.935 MHz BPSK Telemetry 300 mW
Satellite Tracking http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/satellite-tracking/
A recent presentation about the FUNcube project by Graham Shirville G3VZV and Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG can be viewed online at http://www.batc.tv/streams/amsat1311 or downloaded from http://www.batc.tv/vod/Funcube1.flv
A PDF of the slides from that presentation is here FUNcube_Colloquium2013a
PowerPoint slides from a FUNcube presentation given by Dave Johnson G4DZ can be downloaded from http://funcubetest2.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/funcube_oct2013fin.ppt
FUNcube-1 Talk for Local Clubs http://amsat-uk.org/2013/10/25/funcube-1-talk-for-local-clubs/
FUNcube-1 Deployed !!! http://amsat-uk.org/2013/11/21/funcube-1-deployed/
AMSAT-UK on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/AMSAT-UK/208113275898396
AMSAT-UK on Twitter https://twitter.com/AMSAT_UK
FUNcube Yahoo Group http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/
FUNcube contact: Graham Shirville G3VZV email: g.shirville at btinternet.com