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
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33090284

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/

AMSAT-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
http://www.britastro.org/radio/downloads/The_Generation_of_VLF_Emissions_by_Meteors.pdf

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/

AMSAT-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/

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
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150607-lightsail-deployment-initiatied.html

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
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/
http://twitter.com/@jasonrdavis

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

Bill Nye Boosts Science Guys and Girls: ‘Kids Are Natural Scientists’ on NBCNews.com
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/bill-nye-boosts-future-science-guys-girls-kids-are-natural-n370706

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.

73,
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

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

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
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/18/fox-1c-cubesat-to-fly-on-sherpa/

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

Tracking & Receiving the LightSail CubeSat

Artists impression of LightSail

Artists impression of LightSail

Jason Davis @jasonrdavis reports that LightSail, call sign KK6HIT, is operational again. Nine beacon packets on 437.435 MHz (AX.25, 9600 bps FSK) were received during 2:14 pm EDT pass on June 6, 2015.

Update: The sail started deploying at 1947 UT on June 7, 2015. A fully deployed sail would result in LightSail’s orbit decaying rapidly and burning up in the atmosphere potentially within a matter of days. Amateur radio operators around the world are encouraged to listen for LightSail and submit data. Details can be found at http://sail.planetary.org/missioncontrol

If you wish to try catching a glimpse of LightSail as it soars across the sky there are viewing tips at
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150607-lightsail-deployment-initiatied.html

For the latest information read Jason’s blog on the Planetary Society website http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/

Watch Tracking & Receiving the LightSail CubeSat using the free software Orbitron

OSCAR News Issue 210

OSCAR News 210 front coverIssue 210 of the AMSAT-UK amateur radio satellite publication OSCAR News was released on June 4, 2015. E-members can download it here.

The paper edition is usually posted 2-3 weeks after publication of the electronic issue.

In this issue:
• UAE to build new space research centre
• Clive Wallis G3CWV – 15 Sep 1932 – 27 Mar 2015
• 40 years and counting: the team behind Voyager’s space odyssey
• United Nations/South Africa Symposium on Basic Space Technology
• 29 MHz – the forgotten frequency for amateur radio satellites
• Pairing SDR dongles with Windows 8.1 tablets
• The ESEO Mission report
• Recent Breakup of a DMSP Satellite
• Fox-1 Development, Launch, and Frequency Coordination Status at Dayton
• Geostationary Transponder News
• FUNcube on-orbit missions update
• Colloquium 2015
• The new FUNcube Project – Nayif-1

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch

Membership of AMSAT-UK is open to anyone who has an interest in amateur radio satellites or space activities, including the International Space Station (ISS).

E-members of AMSAT-UK are able to download OSCAR News as a convenient PDF that can be read on laptops, tablets or smartphones anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Join as an E-member at Electronic (PDF) E-membership

There are two rates for the paper edition to cover the extra postage costs:
UK
Rest of the World (Overseas)

PDF sample copy of “Oscar News” here.

Join AMSAT-UK using PayPal, Debit or Credit card at
http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/category_9/Join-Amsat-UK.html

E-members can download their copies of OSCAR News here.

Return to Earth of Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF on NASA TV

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with Terry Virts and Anton Shkaplerov - Credit NASA

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with Terry Virts and Anton Shkaplerov – Credit NASA

The departure and return to Earth of ISS astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF will be broadcast on NASA TV during June 11, 2015.

With her on the return journey will be Terry Virts and Anton Shkaplerov. The three have spent more than six months performing scientific research and technology demonstrations in space.

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF using the amateur radio station in the ISS Columbus module

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF using the amateur radio station in the ISS Columbus module

Cristoforetti lifted off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on November 23, 2014, arriving at the ISS the following day. On December 15, 2014 she conducted her first Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contact on 145.800 MHz FM using the amateur radio station in the Columbus module.

“A big hello to the students of the schools Elena di Savoia in Bari and Alessandro Volta in Bitonto!” Cristoforetti enthused in her log. “It was fun talking to you, and thanks for the great questions!”

In the following months Cristoforetti went on to carry out more ARISS 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.

Cristoforetti holds the record for longest uninterrupted spaceflight for a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and on June 6 at 11504 GMT set the record for the longest single space mission by a female, surpassing the 194 days, 18 hours and 2 minutes logged by NASA astronaut Sunita “Suni” Williams KD5PLB (Space Station Commander 2012) during her mission to the International Space Station in 2007.

U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson KC5ZTD (Space Station Commander 2007) holds the cumulative female record for the most time spent in space on multiple flights with 376 days and she is now training to launch on her third flight in March 2016.

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF

NASA says coverage of the return begins at 10:40 a.m. EDT Wednesday, June 10, when Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts of NASA hands over command of the space station to cosmonaut Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).

At 6:20 a.m. the following day, Virts and Flight Engineers Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) and Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos will undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the space station and land in Kazakhstan at 9:43 a.m. (7:43 p.m. Kazakh time).

Their return wraps up 199 days in space, during which they traveled more than 84 million miles since their launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Nov. 24. Their return date was delayed four weeks to allow Roscosmos to investigate the cause of the loss of the unpiloted Progress 59 cargo ship in late April.

NASA Television will broadcast departure and landing activities at the following EDT times:

Wednesday, June 10

10:40 a.m. [14:40 GMT] – Change of command ceremony in which Virts hands over station command to Padalka

Thursday, June 11

2:30 a.m. [06:30 GMT] – Farewell and hatch closure coverage (hatch closure scheduled for 2:55 a.m.)
6 a.m. [10:00 GMT] – Undocking coverage (undocking scheduled at 6:20 a.m.)
8:30 a.m. [12:30 GMT] – Deorbit burn and landing coverage (deorbit burn scheduled at 8:51 a.m., with landing at 9:43 a.m.)
noon. – Video File of hatch closure, undocking and landing activities
10 p.m. – Video File of landing and post-landing activities and post-landing interviews with Virts and Cristoforetti in Kazakhstan

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with ISS HamTV Transmitter

Samantha Cristoforetti IZ0UDF with ISS HamTV Transmitter

When the Virts, Shkaplerov and Cristoforetti land in Kazakhstan Thursday, Virts will have logged 212 days in space on two flights, the first of which was on space shuttle mission STS-130 in 2010. Shkaplerov will have spent 364 days in space on two flights, the first of which was on Expedition 29/30 in 2011. This was Cristoforetti’s first flight into space.

Expedition 44 formally begins aboard the station, under the command of Padalka, when the Soyuz undocks. He and crewmates Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos will operate the station until the arrival of NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, who are scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan in July.

Kelly and Kornienko are spending one year in space, twice the typical mission duration, to provide researchers the opportunity to learn more about the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges faced by astronauts during long duration spaceflight.

For the NASA TV schedule and coordinate information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

For more information about the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station

For information about the Amateur Radio on the ISS (ARISS) program visit: http://ariss.org/

Samantha Cristoforetti​ IZ0UDF
https://www.facebook.com/ESASamanthaCristoforetti
https://twitter.com/AstroSamantha

Return to Earth of Expedition 42/43 Thursday, June 11, 2015

Return to Earth of Expedition 42/43 Thursday, June 11, 2015

ISS, Satellites and High Altitude Balloons

Sarah M6PSK and Kelly M6KFA demonstrate amateur radio at the Raspberry Jam May 30, 2015 - Credit M0PSX

Sarah M6PSK and Kelly M6KFA demonstrate amateur radio at the Southend Raspberry Jam May 30, 2015 – Image Credit M0PSX

Working the International Space Station,  amateur radio satellites and High Altitude balloons featured at two events over the weekend of May 30-31, 2015.

Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS Amateur Radio Station Equipment

Tim Peake KG5BVI training on ISS Amateur Radio Station Equipment

On Saturday, May 30 members of Essex Ham explained amateur radio to the Raspberry Pi community at the Southend Raspberry Jam event organised by the team from SOSLUG, the Southend-on-Sea Linux User Group, and aimed at encouraging people of all ages to get involved with programming, construction and technology.

The Essex Ham stand featured the popular “Send Your Name in Morse”, SDRs, Raspberry Pi and Arduino crossover projects, SSTV and data modes. A scrolling amateur radio video was shown and plenty of Essex Ham and Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) leaflets were handed out during the day.

A new feature for this Raspberry Jam was TeachMeet – A series of lightning talks – up to 8 minutes on a topic likely to be of interest. Pete M0PSX gave a lightning talk on amateur radio and working the International Space Station, outlining that contact is possible for amateurs using voice, image and data, and explaining the challenges of making contact. This was a nice tie-in with the Astro Pi – an experiment for young people involving astronaut Tim Peake KG5BVI and his upcoming trip to the ISS.  While on the space station Tim hopes to contact UK schools on 145.800 MHz FM using the call sign GB1SS.

Chris M6EDF launching SXHAM1 - Image Credit Ed Bye G8FAX

Chris M6EDF launching SXHAM1 – Image Credit Ed Bye G8FAX

Sunday saw the Shoebury East Beach Field Day where several amateur radio activities took place. As well as the usual HF and VHF stations there was also satellite operation. Steve M0SHQ regularly explains amateur satellites at the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society Skills Nights in Danbury. During the morning despite the inclement weather he worked Juan Antonio EA4CYQ via SO-50 FM satellite. 2.4 GHz was used during the day to control a drone.

Chris M6EDF launched his high altitude balloon SXHAM1 carrying a beacon on 434.3 MHz which reached an altitude of 26.7 km and could be heard over most of England and into Germany. The launch was filmed by Bob G0FGX and Nick 2E0FGQ from TX Factor, an online TV show dedicated to amateur radio, and the feature is intended to be used to promote HAB and amateur radio to youngsters – Keep an eye on http://www.txfactor.co.uk/ to see Chris and the balloon launch in a future show.

Read the Raspberry Jam event report at
http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/raspberry-jam-may-2015-report.html

Read the SXHAM1 High Altitude Balloon Flight report with launch video at
http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/sxham1-high-altitude-balloon-flight.html

TX Factor video Chris M6EDF filling the SXHAM1 balloon with helium - Image Credit 2E0DVX

TX Factor video Chris M6EDF filling the SXHAM1 balloon with helium – Image Credit 2E0DVX

Martlesham FUNcube Development Workshop Report

Martlesham FUNcube Development Workshop May 30-31, 2015

Martlesham FUNcube Development Workshop May 30-31, 2015

Having two live projects underway is proving an enjoyable challenge for the AMSAT-UK teams involved. Both the Nayif-1 CubeSat and our payload on ESEO will provide similar 1k2 BPSK FUNcube compatible downlinks so the teams have quite a lot in common.

Martlesham FUNcube Workshop 2 - May 30-31 2015The two teams got together for two days at BT’s Adastral Research facilities at Martlesham over the weekend of May 30-31.

As will be more fully reported in the next edition of the “OSCAR News”, the work concentrated on updating the suite of existing FUNcube software for the forthcoming Nayif-1 spacecraft and also the first power on for the combined CCT/EPS (computer and power) board for ESEO with its ATMEL AT32 microprocessor.

Nayif-1 CubeSat
http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/nayif-1/

ESEO http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/eseo/

Join AMSAT-UK and receive the new issue of OSCAR News due out soon
http://amsat-uk.org/new-members/join-now/

AMSAT-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
Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube
FUNcube http://FUNcube.org.uk/