SHERPA to deploy CubeSats in LEO or GTO

SHERPA in Orbit - Credit Spaceflight Inc

SHERPA in Orbit – Credit Spaceflight Inc

ISIS‬ have been selected by SpaceFlight Inc. to provide QuadPack nanosatellite dispensers for the 2015 SHERPA launch. They will provide the capacity to deploy 84 3U CubeSats. Future SHERPA launches aim to go to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).

ISIS QuadPack Deployer - Credit ISIS

ISIS QuadPack Deployer – Credit ISIS

Following next year’s launch, Spaceflight are planning two launches each year, one to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and the other to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). A GTO is a highly elliptical orbit which may have an apogee of 35,786 km and a perigee around 300 km.

Seattle Astronomy report SHERPA is capable of carrying up to 1,500 kilograms total although the first mission, set for the third quarter of 2015, will only be 1,200 kilograms.

The first SHERPA will not have its own propulsion system, but future models should, enabling even greater maneuverability and precision in delivering satellites to their intended destinations.

Read the ISIS press release at
http://www.isispace.nl/cms/index.php/news/press-releases/138-isis-selected-by-spaceflight-inc-to-provide-quadpack-nanosatellite-dispensers-for-2015-sherpa-launch

Seattle Astronomy – First SHERPA launch from Spaceflight, Inc. set for next year
http://www.seattleastronomy.com/blog1/2014/05/first-sherpa-launch-from-spaceflight-inc-set-for-next-year/

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

Wirral Grammar School for Girls to launch 434 MHz Balloon

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

Pupils at Wirral Grammar School for Girls are planning to launch a High Altitude Balloon equipped with 434 MHz telemetry and Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) transmitters.

The launch is planned for Wednesday, July 16 at around 11:00 BST from Middletown Hill near Welshpool, weather permitting. The balloon will be a 1200g Hwoyee with Helium and the transmitter details are:

Callsign: WG3
Frequency: 434.300 MHz
Mode: RTTY 50,7n2 470 Hz shift

Callsign: WG3TV
Frequency: 434.350 MHz
Mode: RTTY 300,8n2 610 Hz shift SSDV + telemetry

The balloon will carry a Raspberry Pi A with RFM22B based daughterboard. The radio coverage area could extend up to a radius of 700 km which would make it receivable throughout the British Isles.

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

See received SSDV images on the web at http://ssdv.habhub.org/

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:
ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Follow the launch day chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

Listen to Balloons via the Web

Radio amateurs Noel G8GTZ, Martin G8JNJ and Phil M0DNY from the Southampton University Wireless Society, have established an Internet accessible WebSDR receiver near Basingstoke in the UK. It has special helix antennas optimised for balloon and satellite reception in the 144 and 434 MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. Listen using the WebSDR at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

BYOB ‪CubeSat‬ Day July 25 – Free Registration

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC / 2E0OBC and STRaND-1

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC / 2E0OBC and STRaND-1

The free BYOB ‪CubeSat‬ Day takes place in the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford on Friday, July 25. The day will include ad-hoc tours to SSC’s cleanroom, ground–station, and new CubeSat experimentation facilities.

Following on from the success of our 2013 event, Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and AMSAT-UK invite CubeSat developers to bring their equipment to a ‘Bring Your Own Board’ (BYOB) workshop. The aims are to demonstrate your latest CubeSat developments, to foster new partnerships and links within the UK and EU community, and encouraging more interaction with AMSAT-UK and the International Space Colloquium (July 26-27 more info at: http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/).

The workshop is free to register. Opening times are from 9 AM to 4 PM, after which there will be an Amateur Satellite Beginners Session.

You will be able to see real satellite hardware from Clyde Space, ISIS, Satellite Applications Catapult, AMSAT-UK and the Open University.

Registration details at http://www.surrey.ac.uk/ssc/news/events/ssc_and_ee/2014_byob_cubesat_workshop.htm

MEO and HEO satellite orbits

Orbits - Illustration by B. Jones, P. Fuqua, J. Barrie, The Aerospace Corporation

Orbits – Illustration by B. Jones, P. Fuqua, J. Barrie, The Aerospace Corporation

David Bowman G0MRF describes the coverage area that might be provided by an amateur radio Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite (MEOSAT). He suggests there is a region of space that would be optimum for such satellites.

The Van Allen radiation belts are separated into two layers. The lower layer is comprised of high energy protons between 600 and 6000km. The second belt is essentially electrons and that occupies altitudes above 12,000km.  So a MEOSAT could avoid damaging radiation by orbiting in the “safe zone” between 7,000 and 11,000 km.

Read David’s MEO article at http://g0mrf.com/MEOSAT.htm

Watch the MEO satellites presentation given to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium 2009
Video made by the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) Slides here

Elliptical Satellite Orbits

The paper Revisiting elliptical satellite orbits to enhance the O3b constellation by Lloyd Wood, Yuxuan Lou and Opeoluwa Olusola of the University of Surrey is now available for download.

Orbital altitudes of satellite systems

Orbital altitudes of satellite systems

Early low-orbiting satellites were launched into Highly Elliptical Orbits (HEO) as a result of not having much control over trajectory. Circular orbits with minimal eccentricity offer consistent altitudes, with the benefits of consistent free space losses and link budgets throughout the orbit, and soon became the norm. Highly elliptical orbits fell from favor for communications use.

Highly elliptical orbits can be used to provide targeted satellite coverage of locations at high latitudes. We review the history of use of these orbits for communication. How elliptical orbits can be used for broadband communication is outlined. We propose an addition of known elliptical orbits to the new equatorial O3b satellite constellation, extending O3b to cover high latitudes and the Earth’s poles. We simulate the O3b constellation and compare this to recent measurement of the first real Internet traffic across the newly deployed O3b network.

Download the paper from http://arxiv.org/pdf/1407.2521v1 Source page http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.2521

Orbit Perturbation Analysis

The orbits of satellites at altitudes above 2500 km can decay faster than might at first be expected. The Dash-2 satellite was a 1 kg 2.5 meter diameter balloon launched on July 19, 1963 with the West Ford Needles. The 3500 km orbit, originally circular, increased in eccentricity rapidly under the action of solar radiation pressure. Dash 2 reentered the Earth’s atmosphere less than 8 years later on April 12, 1971.

Read the paper Atmospheric Density Variations at 1500-4000 km Height Determined from Long Term Orbit Perturbation Analysis by Bruce R. Bowman
http://sol.spacenvironment.net/~JB2008/pubs/JB2006_AAS_2001_132.pdf

Medium Earth Orbiting satellites by David Bowman G0MRF http://g0mrf.com/MEOSAT.htm

MEO slides from the presentation given by David Bowman G0MRFDownload PDF Here

Earth’s Safe Zone http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solarsystem/safe_zone.html

Amateur Radio CubeSat to HEO ? by Brent Salmi KB1LQD
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/09/02/amateur-radio-cubesat-to-heo/

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

Surrey Space Centre – UK CubeSail Satellite

CubeSail in Space

CubeSail in Space

CubeSail is an exciting, ground-breaking educational satellite project at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) that hopes to launch into a 680 km Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) from India in December 2014.

CubeSail Layout - Surrey Space Centre

CubeSail Layout – Surrey Space Centre

A key feature is the deployment of a 25 square metre sail structure, which will be used to demonstrate the propulsive effect of solar radiation pressure (i.e. solar sailing) and will demonstrate the de-orbiting capabilities of the sail as a drag augmentation device. CubeSail will be the first launched three-axis stabilised solar sail.

CubeSail will build on small satellite experience at SSC, such as the STRaND-1 nanosatellite, launched on February 25, 2013. Furthermore, the mission critical sail deployment mechanism has undergone an extensive testing and validation process as part of the ESA Gossamer Deorbiter project carried out at SSC. The CubeSail project is also financially and technically supported by world leading industrial partners, Astrium and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

CubeSail is a 3U CubeSat project with a 6kg mass, the mission aims are :

• Technology Demonstration 1: Deployable Sail- The CubeSail satellite will deploy a large (up to 5×5 metre) square aluminised Kapton sail, using novel CFRP deployable booms.

• Technology Demonstration 2: Solar Sailing – The CubeSail mission will demonstrate ‘solar sailing’ in LEO by utilising the solar radiation pressure on the reflective sail to change its orbital inclination.

• Technology Demonstration 3: Attitude Control CubeSail is equipped with 3-axis-stabilizing attitude determination and control system. A novel capability of this system is pointing via a centre-of-mass/centre-of-pressure (COM/COP) offset.

Technology Demonstration 4: Drag Deorbiting -The satellite will deorbit much more quickly than otherwise due to its deployable sail. Satellite pointing will be optimized by the attitude control system for maximum drag.

• Outreach – The satellite will provide beacons for which amateur satellite users and ham radio users will be able to receive. Proposing a 9600 Bit/s AX.25 RC-BPSK downlink  

The IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel have coordinated a downlink frequency of 435.240 MHz.

Watch CubeSail flyby

CubeSail http://www.surrey.ac.uk/ssc/research/space_vehicle_control/cubesail/

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium takes place on the weekend of July 26-27, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

Amateur Radio Society Receives Award

Surrey EARS - Mascot Stevie Stag in Near-Space

Surrey EARS – Mascot Stevie Stag in Near-Space

The Surrey Electronics and Amateur Radio Society (EARS) have received the Special Interest Society of the Year award.

The Society say “Surrey EARS has been working hard to be one of the best societies on campus and this year our work has been officially recognised. At the student awards ceremony we received the award for Special Interest Society of the Year and just recently have been recognised as a Gold Society by the students union. This is a great achievement for us and we hope to do even more in the coming year”.

On Saturday, July 26 members of Surrey EARS will be giving a presentation on their recent high altitude balloon flight to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, the event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

Surrey EARS make newspaper front page
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/05/23/surrey-ears-make-newspaper-front-page/

Surrey EARS https://www.ussu.co.uk/ClubsSocieties/societies/ears/Pages/home.aspx

Chelmsford landing planned for SSDV Balloons

Image from the SUPER balloon launched by Dave Akerman M0RPI on July 12, 2014

434 MHz SSDV image from the SUPER balloon launched by Dave Akerman M0RPI on July 12, 2014

Radio amateur Philip Crump M0DNY plans a number of High Altitude Balloon (HAB) flights this weekend transmitting Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV).

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

The launches will take place from Gilwell Park near Epping Forest and the balloons are expected to land around Chelmsford in Essex.

They are planned as part of the Gilwell 24 Scouts Activity event, taking place from 9am Saturday, July 12 through the night to 9am Sunday, July 13 in Gilwell Park. The plan is to monitor predictions/weather, prepare the payload, launch when convenient, then Philip M0DNY will chase, recover and repeat, up to 2 additional times.

The balloons are 100g hwoyees, and so are only expected to reach around 14 km altitude due to the weight, and increasing chances of wet landing for a longer flight. A Raspberry Pi is being used for the SSDV, and will store images as well as short but frequent video clips.

Due to tracker issues Philip may be flying a borrowed SUSF tracker on 434.613 MHz, replacing his one on 424.125 MHz.

The USB frequencies used will be
• 434.200 MHz – G24HAB – 600 baud SSDV
And either:
• 434.125 MHz – GILWELL24 – 50 baud RTTY
Or:
• 434.613 MHz – GILWELL24 – 50 baud RTTY + 300 baud TurboHAB FSK (SSB)

The 434.613 MHz tracker will alternate between 50 baud RTTY and 300 baud binary TurboHAB. To decode the binary error corrected format you need this decoder: http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/mfb2g09/decoder/decoder.jar , which has been updated since last time. To decode the binary protocol you first need to change ‘Encoding’ to BIN and ‘Baud’ to 300. Upon changing the callsign and position you need to press ‘Update’ for the new data to be used. It will be interesting to see the relative performance, the error correction should make most difference where there is noise or fading.

First launch is tentatively scheduled for 2pm BST Saturday. Philip will post updates on Twitter and #highaltitude. There will most likely be a live stream of the launches check http://batc.tv/ch_live.php?ch=3

David Akerman M0RPI and Heston Blumenthal with balloon - Image credit M0RPI

David Akerman M0RPI with balloon – Image credit M0RPI

Dave Akerman M0RPI is also launching on Saturday between 10-11am from Ross On Wye. His balloon will be transmitting on three frequencies one of which will be Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV).

$$SUPER: 434.450 MHz, 300 baud RTTY, 880 Hz shift, USB, 8, N, 2, SSDV
$$UAD: 434.480 MHz, Domino EX22
$$UAR: 434.475 MHz, 50 baud RTTY, 400 Hz shift, USB, 7, N, 1

There should be live video streaming on BATC.TV The chase car is M0RPI_chase:
http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi
http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi_chase

The balloons should have a radio range of up to 700 km providing coverage over a large part of the British Isles and into Europe.

Listen to the Balloons via the Web

Radio amateurs Noel G8GTZ, Martin G8JNJ and Phil M0DNY from the Southampton University Wireless Society, have established an Internet accessible WebSDR receiver near Basingstoke in the UK. It has special helix antennas optimised for balloon and satellite reception in the 144 and 434 MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. Listen using the WebSDR at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/

See the received SSDV images on the web at http://ssdv.habhub.org/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:
ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Follow the launch day chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at
http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society have a new short training course for those wishing to become radio amateurs starting on September 4. To find out more speak to Clive G1EUC on
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
E-mail: training2014 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/training/

What is Amateur Radio ? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft fires thrusters for a return to Earth

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

AMSAT-DL report a team of engineers, space enthusiasts and radio amateurs have succeeded in firing the thrusters of the NASA-abandoned ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft.

The plan on Tuesday, July 8, was to fire the thrusters for a total of 7 sequences with breaks for telemetry analysis. While this would have resulted in a velocity change of 7 m/s, the course correction is required for the lunar swing-by on Aug 10, 2014 then to enter a stable orbit around Earth. However after the first firing sequence the remaining sequences were cancelled due to the returned telemetry data, which is being analyzed. A second attempt was planned for July 9.

The ISEE-3 Reboot Project (IRP) team attempted this main trajectory correction maneuver following a first short thruster firing on July 2, which increased the rotation rate of the spacecraft to the required value. This was possible due to international collaboration between the IRP, and a team of AMSAT-DL and Bochum observatory with its 20 m diameter radio telescope which received and processed critical real-time data of the maneuvers.

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

While the IRP has access to the Arecibo observatory which, at 305 m diameter, is the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, downlink support from Bochum is required as Arecibo cannot transmit and receive simultaneously.

Two members of the AMSAT-DL Bochum team will be giving presentations on their reception of ISEE-3 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

Real-time telemetry from ISEE-3 is displayed at http://amsat-dl.org/

ISEE-3 http://spacecollege.org/isee3

Read the Daily Mail story at
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2684345/Zombie-spacecraft-rescued-abyss-fires-thrusters-time-20-years.html

UKube-1 Signals Received

UKube-1 Launch Cake

UKube-1 Launch Cake

The UKube-1 satellite was successfully launched on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 1558 UT from Pad 31/6 at Baikonur in Kazakhstan. The 145.840 MHz beacon signal was received by the UKube team in Chilbolton at 19:16 UT.

It had been expected the first signal would be received over South Africa at about 18:52 UT but no signals were heard. The UKube team at Chilbolton and radio amateurs across the British Isles and Europe anxiously awaited the satellite coming within range, when it did a strong signal was heard from the satellite. The FUNcube-2 beacon on 145.915 MHz was also activated and received well.

Practical Wireless magazine VHF columnist Tim Kirby @G4VXE was one of the radio amateurs listening, he tweeted “Pleased to receive CW from UKube-1 on the first pass over the UK”.

Signals have also been received from DX-1 and the SSTL research satellite TechEdSat which were on the same launch as UKube-1.

UKube-1 carries a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards which provide an educational beacon for use by schools and a linear transponder for amateur radio communications. Presently, commissioning of the spacecraft is continuing, and there may be future occasions when the 145.915 MHz FUNcube  telemetry transmitter will be activated during this period. The transponder is not expected to be available until later in the mission.

UKube-1 in flight configuration in the cleanroom at Clyde Space Ltd - Credit Steve Greenland

UKube-1 in flight configuration in the cleanroom at Clyde Space Ltd – Credit Steve Greenland

The first submitters of UKube-1 telemetry data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse were:
- DK3WN
- OO1A
- F-60429
- G0PGL
- G4GUO
- PD3T
- M0LTC
The current UKube-1/FUNcube-2 Rankings can be seen at http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/ranking.html?satelliteId=1

The UKube team has asked that all stations continue to monitor the downlinks and where possible to forward their reports as follows:
- CW beacon on 145.840 MHz to operations@funcube.org.uk and steve.greenland@clyde-space.com
- FUNcube telemetry (when activated) on 145.915 MHz – your existing dashboard will not display properly (except for the Fitter Messages!) but it WILL be forwarding it to the Warehouse correctly and the data will be very useful for the team.

UKube-1 CubeSat at Clyde Space

UKube-1 CubeSat at Clyde Space

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

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

Nico Janssen PA0DLO has posted on the AMSAT Bulletin Board that Doppler measurements suggest that UKube-1 is either object 40074, 2014-037F, or object 40075, 2014-037G. The separation between these objects is now only 1 s, so no more than 7.5 km.

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs) ‘Keps’ of new satellites launched in past 30 days http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt

UKube-1 frequencies:
• 145.840 MHz Telemetry downlink
• 145.915 MHz FUNcube subsystem beacon
• 400 mW inverting linear transponder for SSB and CW
- 435.080-435.060 MHz Uplink
- 145.930-145.950 MHz Downlink
• 2401.0 MHz S Band Downlink
• 437.425-437.525 MHz UKSEDS myPocketQub Downlink

Watch UKube-1 CubeSat payload animation

Watch the launch vehicle integration of UKube-1 and the other satellites

Watch the Soyuz roll out

Watch the launch

There will be a presentation on the UKube-1 FUNcube-2 amateur radio payload at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, the event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

Peter Goodhall @2E0SQL made this recording of UKube-1 CW and Data
https://soundcloud.com/peter-goodhall/ukube-1-satellite-first-pass-over-the-uk

UK Space Agency announcement https://www.gov.uk/government/news/successful-launch-for-uk-space-agencys-first-cubesat-mission

UKube-1 (United Kingdom Universal Bus Experiment 1)
https://eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/u/ukube-1

UKube-1 Launch Information http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/03/ukube-1-launch-information/

DX-1 Satellite http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/04/dx-1-appeal-to-radio-hams-from-dauria-aerospace/

PhD Student Receives FUNcube Dongle SDR

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

The University of Birmingham reports that Graham Kirkby, a PhD student in the Space Environment and Radio Engineering group, School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, has won the prize for the best student presentation at the 2014 UK CubeSat Forum Workshop

The workshop was hosted by the Satellite Applications Catapult Centre and brought together 150 representatives from over 100 organisations in the UK and international CubeSat community.

Graham’s research focuses on the development of antennas for the Wideband Ionospheric CubeSat Sounder Experiment (WISCER). CubeSats are small satellites that conform to the CubeSat standard developed by CalPoly and Stanford University. WISCER is a 3U cubesat (10×10×30 cm) that aims to provide measurements of the wideband ionospheric radio channel as a precursor to future space radars.

The prize included a FUNcube Dongle Pro, kindly donated by AMSAT-UK. This is a small USB software defined radio that has been developed to allow communications with the FUNcube CubeSat.

Source: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/eece/news/UK-cubesat-forum-workshop.aspx

FUNcube Dongle SDR http://FUNcubeDongle.com/