QB50p2 FM Transponder Tested

QB50p1 and QB50p2 - Image Credit ISIS

QB50p1 and QB50p2 – Image Credit ISIS

AMSAT-Francophone report that the FM transponder on QB50p2 (EO-80) has been tested. A Google English translation of the post on their website reads:

On June 19, 2014, two 2U CubeSats QB50p1 and QB50p2 were launched as part of the QB50 precursor program into a polar orbit at an altitude of 680 km.

The satellite QB50p2 (object 40032) is equipped with a secondary FM transponder payload developed by AMSAT-F.

On Tuesday, June 16, 2015 almost 1 year after launch the AMSAT-F FM transponder on QB50p2 was activated by the main control station in The Netherlands for the duration of an orbit. At the Polytechnique in Palaiseau, we were able to receive telemetry in CW and put into action the FM transponder with an output of 1.5W.

A very strong signal was received at Palaiseau and by F6HCC in Brittany. The transponder was turned off at the end of the orbit.

In a few weeks, the transponder should be activated permanently. The signal is very strong, we will probably use a lower power level of 500 mW or 1 watt. We will inform you later.

QB50p1 (EO-79 / FUNcube-3) is equipped with a linear transponder for SSB and CW. The first tests were successfully completed in April and its transponder should also be enabled full-time in a few weeks.

Gérard – F6FAO

QB50 Amateur Radio Information https://www.qb50.eu/index.php/precursor-amateur-radio-operator

AMSAT-Francophone http://tinyurl.com/AMSAT-Francophone

The IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel Status pages list these frequencies for the two satellites:

QB50p1 (FUNcube-3) has a VHF 9600 bps BPSK telemetry downlink plus a linear U/V transponder for SSB/CW communications similar to that already flying on FUNcube-1 with an output of 400 mW.
• 145.815 MHz 9600 bps BPSK telemetry beacon
• Inverting SSB/CW linear transponder 400 mW PEP
– 435.035 – 435.065 MHz Uplink LSB
– 145.965 – 145.935 MHz Downlink USB

QB50p2 has  a VHF 9600 bps BPSK telemetry downlink plus a separate RF payload from AMSAT-Francophone which will comprise of a FM voice transponder with UHF uplink and VHF downlink. It can also transmit FX25 telemetry at 9600 bps.
• 145.880 MHz 9600 bps BPSK telemetry beacon
• 145.840 MHz 9600 bps FSK FX25

To use the FM voice transponder Paul Stoetzer N8HM suggests programming these frequencies into your rig’s memories:

EO-80 AOS - TX 435.070 MHz 210.7 Hz CTCSS, RX 145.840 MHz
EO-80 2   - TX 435.075 MHz 210.7 Hz CTCSS, RX 145.840 MHz
EO-80 TCA - TX 435.080 MHz 210.7 Hz CTCSS, RX 145.840 MHz
EO-80 4   - TX 435.085 MHz 210.7 Hz CTCSS, RX 145.840 MHz
EO-80 LOS - TX 435.090 MHz 210.7 Hz CTCSS, RX 145.840 MHz

AOS = Aquisition Of Signal. TCA = Time of Closest Approach. LOS = Loss Of Signal

OSCAR Numbers for QB50p1 and QB50p2 CubeSats

Amateur Satellites at Skills Night

Steve Hedgecock M0SHQ sending Packet Radio to the ISS

Steve Hedgecock M0SHQ sending Packet Radio to the ISS

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society Skills Nights, are hosted by the CARS Training Team and continue to be a popular and appealing event, especially for newcomers to the hobby.

There was an excellent turnout on the evening of Monday, June 15 with 68 people signing in.

A major highlight of this month’s event was a live demonstration of amateur APRS packet data on 145.825 MHz FM from the International Space Station (ISS) as its flew overhead. Steve Hedgecock M0SHQ had clear reception and even managed to get a few of his own packets sent and relayed by the ISS.

Andrew Garratt M0NRD in Newark-on-Trent was one of those who received Steve’s packets and he immediately sent an eQSL.

Steve had received his new Elk 2m/70cms Log Periodic satellite antenna from the AMSAT-UK shop just a few days before and it performed admirably. During the evening Steve explained how to get started with amateur satellites. They can be received on handheld rigs and worked using low power, just 5 or 10 watts. Further information can be found at http://amsat-uk.org/beginners

On May 31 Steve M0SHQ was filmed making contacts via the SO-50 satellite by the team from the TX Factor TV show so you may see him in one of their future videos.

Satellites were just one aspect of great evening, with a wide range of activities from home construction to how to operate portable taking place. Read the report on the evening at http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/skills-night-june-2015-report.html and http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/skills/cars-skills-jun2015.htm

The next CARS Skills Night will be on Monday, July 20. It’s free to attend and all are welcome.

International Space Colloquium at Guildford

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch Rev4 20100609The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium will be held on July 24-26 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, UK.

Among the speakers will be:
Peter Guelzow DB2OS with an update on AMSAT-DL projects, including the Phase 4 satellite
Chris Brunskill, formerly of Surrey Space Centre (SSC), now working at the Space Catapult at the Harwell Campus. He will be presenting an extremely novel project aimed at schools and education
• It is hoped the BATC will be able to demonstrate live Digital TV reception from the International Space Station, using the Ham TV system
Drew Glasbrenner KO4MA, from AMSAT North America will be attending, and presenting the latest news of the FOX satellite(s) due for launch later this year, and also on their Phase 4 project

The Colloquium is open to all further information is at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with ISS HamTV Transmitter

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with the HamTV transmitter in the ISS Columbus module

Help needed to receive NanosatC-BR1

NanosatC-BR1 Engineering Model – Image CRS/CCR/INPE-MCT, UFSM

NanosatC-BR1 Engineering Model – Image CRS/CCR/INPE-MCT, UFSM

The first Brazilian CubeSat, NanosatC-BR1, is experiencing battery issues for the last several months and it now seldom emits a beacon in CW on 145.865 MHz.

For some time, Paulo PV8DX, was able to detect a beacon signal when the satellite was over the Caribbean sea during daylight. But now, no more signals have been detected.

We would like to request assistance from hams in the northern hemisphere to see if NanosatC-BR1 is still transmitting any signals.

Any help will be much appreciated.

73, Edson PY2SDR
Email: ewpereira<at>gmail.com

NanosatC-Br 1 http://amsat-uk.org/2014/02/23/brazilian-cubesat-nanosatc-br-1/

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF back on Earth

Samantha Cristoforetti, IZ0UDF back on Earth June 11, 2015

Samantha Cristoforetti, IZ0UDF back on Earth June 11, 2015

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF along with Anton Shkaplerov and Terry Virts landed safely on Thursday, June 11 in Kazakhstan after a three-hour ride in their Soyuz spacecraft. They left the International Space Station (ISS) at 1020 UT in a Soyuz TMA-15M landing by parachute on the Kazakh steppe at 1344 UT.

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with ISS HamTV Transmitter

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with ISS HamTV Transmitter

Samantha is the seventh ESA astronaut and the first female ESA astronaut to complete a long-duration mission in space. She set new records for longest single time in space for an ESA astronaut and female astronauts in general.

She set a new record for single mission duration by a female astronaut with 199 days in space on her first flight, surpassing the previous record of 195 days set by Sunita Williams KD5PLB as a flight engineer on Expeditions 14 and 15 from December 2006 to June 2007.

Samantha carried out a number of ARISS amateur radio school contacts and was involved in the Blank Test Transmissions from the new ISS HamTV digital television system on 2395 MHz which were received by radio amateurs around the world.

Take a Panoramic Tour of the ISS Columbus Module, look out for the HamTV transmitter

Anatoly Zak http://www.russianspaceweb.com/iss_soyuz_tma15m.html#landing
ESA http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Futura/ESA_astronaut_Samantha_Cristoforetti_back_on_Earth
NASA http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/expedition-43-crew-departs-space-station-lands-safely-in-kazakhstan

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) http://ariss.org/

FUNcube at Goonhilly

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

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

On Thursday, June 11, BBC TV News featured radio amateur Dr Chris Bridges 2E0OBC who was explaining about the FUNcube-1 CubeSat and FUNcube Dongle SDR at the Goonhilly Space Operations training event.

Twenty-four delegates from across Europe and the United States are at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall to learn about satellite communications, and how to control orbiting spacecraft.

The four-day course, which runs until Friday, June 12, is aimed at giving science graduates with an interest in working in the space industry a first-hand idea of operating satellites. Staff said they believed it was the only course of its type in Europe teaching how to operate such equipment.

Chris 2E0OBC appears at 0:33 into the BBC TV report. Watch the video at

Space missions course at Goonhilly takes off http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-33087598

Goonhilly Space Mission Operations 2015 event http://spaceops.uk/

Web http://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
Flickr https://flickr.com/groups/AmsatUK
YouTube https://youtube.com/AmsatUK
FUNcube http://FUNcube.org.uk/
Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube
Join us at http://amsat-uk.org/new-members/join-now/

The Generation of VLF Emissions by Meteors

VLF Pulses and Meteor Echos on the same Screen - Credit Dr David Morgan 2W0CXV

VLF Pulses and Meteor Echos on the same screen – Credit Dr David Morgan 2W0CXV

Radio amateur Dr David Morgan 2W0CXV has published an article about the possibility of the generation of Very Low Frequency (VLF) emissions in the range 1 to 10 kHz by an ionised meteor trail. He used a FUNcube Dongle SDR as part of the equipment for his experiments.

This article reviews the interesting, but not widely known, possibility that an ionised meteor trail can generate Very Low Frequency (VLF) emissions in the range 1 to 10 kHz. The work of several academic authors is referenced to describe the phenomenon and explore the physical mechanism that may be involved.

In this article he discusses the possibility of amateur radio astronomers being able to detect meteor radar echoes and simultaneous Very Low Frequency (VLF) signals in an attempt to establish a causal connection.

Download the article from

Join the BAA-RAG Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/baa-rag

BAA Radio Astronomy Group http://www.britastro.org/radio/

Radio Astronomy and SDR Dongles http://amsat-uk.org/2015/02/12/radio-astronomy-and-sdr-dongles/

Web http://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
Flickr https://flickr.com/groups/AmsatUK
YouTube https://youtube.com/AmsatUK
FUNcube http://FUNcube.org.uk/
Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube
Join us at http://amsat-uk.org/new-members/join-now/

Picture confirms Solar Sail deployment

LightSail Solar Sail Deployed

LightSail Solar Sail Deployed

An image taken by the LightSail CubeSat and downloaded on 437.435 MHz 9600 bps AX.25 packet radio has confirmed the deployment of its Solar Sail.

LightSail Altitude

LightSail Altitude

Bill Nye “The Science Guy” @BillNye tweeted – This just in: a complete image of ‪#‎LightSail‬ in space! The future of space travel…

The sail started deploying at 1947 UT on June 7, 2015. It is expected that LightSail’s orbit will now decay rapidly resulting in the satellite burning up in the atmosphere in a matter of days.

If you wish to try catching a glimpse of LightSail as it soars across the sky there are viewing tips at

See a graph of the declining altitude

For the latest information read Jason’s blog on the Planetary Society website or follow him on Twitter

LightSail http://sail.planetary.org/missioncontrol

Bill Nye Boosts Science Guys and Girls: ‘Kids Are Natural Scientists’ on NBCNews.com

OSCAR Numbers Assigned for BRICsat (NO-83) and PSAT (NO-84)

PSAT PSK31 Transponder received by Peter Goodhall 2E0SQL May 26, 2015

PSAT PSK31 Transponder received by Peter Goodhall 2E0SQL May 26, 2015

The following message has been sent by the OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan W3XO to Bob Bruninga WB4APR and the team at the US Naval Academy.

You have requested OSCAR numbers for BRICsat and PSAT built by you and your associates at the U.S. Naval Academy.

From everything I can determine, these satellites meet all of the requirements for OSCAR designations.

Therefore, by the authority vested in me by the AMSAT-NA President, I hereby confer the designation, Naval Academy OSCAR 83 on BRICsat and Naval Academy OSCAR 84 on PSAT These designations can, of course, for convenience, be shortened to NO-83 and NO-84.

I, and the entire amateur satellite community, hope for successful missions for both NO-83 and NO-84 and congratulate you and the rest of the Naval Academy team who designed, built and tested these two OSCAR spacecraft.

William A. (Bill) Tynan, W3XO
OSCAR Number Administrator

NO-84 PSAT, a student satellite project named in honor of USNA alum Bradford Parkinson, of GPS fame, contains an APRS transponder for relaying remote telemetry, sensor, and user data from remote users and Amateur Radio environmental experiments or other data sources back to Amateur Radio experimenters via a global network of Internet-linked ground stations.

PSAT is another APRS satelliite that can digipeat user packets just like the original PCSAT (NO44) and the packet system on the ISS. PSAT also supports the same digipeating alias of ARISS so that users do not have to change any parameters when using any of these three APRS transponders.

See http://www.aprs.org/psat.html

NO-83 BRICsat-P (Ballistic Reinforced Communication Satellite) is a low cost 1.5U CubeSat built by the US Naval Academy Satellite Lab in  collaboration with George Washington University, that will demonstrate on-orbit operation of a Micro-Cathode Arc Thruster (µCAT) electric propulsion system and carries an Amateur communication payload.

see http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/bricsat-p.htm

PSAT: 145.825 – 1200 baud AX.25 telemetry – digi off
PSAT PSK31-5: 435.350 FM down, 28.120 SSB PK31 uplink – Brno University

BRICsat: 437.975 – 9600 baud telemetry evry 20s
BRICsat PSK31-6 – same as PSAT but PSK TLM on 375 Hz (PSAT on 315 Hz)

How to work the PSK31 satellites http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/how-to-work-psk31-satellites/

OSCAR Numbers Policy http://www.amsat.org/?page_id=2478
IARU Amateur Radio Satellite Frequency Coordination http://www.iaru.org/satellite.html

[thanks to ANS and Bill Tynan, W3XO for the above information]

Fox-1C Update Video

AMSAT FOXAMSAT-NA Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton N0JY has released a video update on the AMSAT Fox-1C engineering model testing.

The Fox-1C CubeSat is planned to fly on the SHERPA deployer

The FundRazr for AMSAT Fox-1C is at https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/6pz92/sh/561Zd

Fox CubeSats http://www.amsat.org/?p=4143

Watch Fox1C EM