PhoneSat CubeSats with Ham Radio Payloads Launched

Antares Rocket Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Antares Rocket Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Three PhoneSat CubeSats with amateur radio payloads were launched on an Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares(TM) rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in eastern Virginia on Sunday, April 21.

The three PhoneSats carry amateur radio payloads on 437.425 MHz, each transmits at intervals so all three are receivable during a pass. Roland Zurmely PY4ZBZ received them on the second orbit on April 21 at 22:52 UT, see http://www.qsl.net/py4zbz/phs.htm and Mike Rupprecht DK3WN reported receiving all three on Monday April 22, see http://www.dk3wn.info/p/?p=32755

The callsign of all three satellites is KJ6KRW and they transmit using AFSK (1200 bps) modulation, AX.25 packet coding. The two PhoneSat 1.0 satellites, Graham and Bell, transmit with a periodicity of respectively 28 seconds and 30 seconds. The PhoneSat 2.0 beta satellite, Alexandre, transmits with a periodicity of 25 seconds.

Watch PhoneSat: Small Satellites Use Smart Phones For Brains

PhoneSat was chosen as one of the winners in the Aerospace category for the Popular Science magazine “Best of What’s New 2012″ awards. The PhoneSat is a technology demonstration mission consisting of three 1U CubeSats intended to prove that a smartphone can be used to perform many of the functions required of a spacecraft bus.

The satellite is built around the Nexus smartphone which will be running the Android operating system and will be enclosed in a standard 1U CubeSat structure. The main function of the phone is to act as the Onboard Computer, but the mission will also utilize the phone’s SD card for data storage, 5MP camera for Earth Observation, and 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis magnetometer for attitude determination.

One of the nanosatellites, powered by the HTC Nexus One smartphone, will send back pictures of Earth. The other two, running on the Samsung Nexus S, will have two-way S-band radio allowing them to be controlled from Earth.

The satellites have no solar cells and operate on battery only so will only have a lifetime of about a week,

An updated website with telemetry info is now available.
http://www.phonesat.org/packets.php

The Antares launch included the commercial DOVE-1 satellite, a technology development experiment that is believed to be using 2420 MHz.

PhoneSat http://www.phonesat.org/

Preliminary TLEs / ‘Keps’ are at http://phonesat.org/phonesat.txt
TLEs / ‘Keps’ for recent launches http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt

Check the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) for the latest information http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/maillist/

Thanks to AMSAT News Service (ANS), AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-UK and Samudra Haque N3RDX / S21X for the above information.

Antares CubeSat Launch Scrubbed

The planned launch of the Antares rocket carrying three CubeSats with amateur radio payloads has been postponed.

Space Flight Now report the countdown for the launch of the first Antares rocket was halted with 12 minutes on the clock after a second stage umbilical prematurely separated.

The test flight is to prove the booster’s reliability before future flights to service the International Space Station. A new launch date has yet to be announced.

Space Flight Now http://spaceflightnow.com/

Antares CubeSat Launch

Antares Rocket Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Antares Rocket Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The launch of Antares carrying three CubeSats with amateur radio payloads is expected to take place on Wednesday, April 17.

ANS reports that three PhoneSat cubesats will be aboard the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares(TM) rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in eastern Virginia scheduled for April 17 at approximately 5:00 p.m. (EDT). The launch will be shown live on NASA TV at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv and also at http://www.nasa.gov/orbital

The three PhoneSats carry amateur radio payloads on 437.425 MHz, each transmits at intervals so all three should be receivable during a pass.

The callsign will be KJ6KRW all three satellites will transmit using AFSK (1200 bps) modulation, AX.25 packet coding. The two PhoneSat 1.0 satellites, Graham and Bell, transmit with a periodicity of respectively 28 seconds and 30 seconds. The PhoneSat 2.0 beta satellite, Alexandre, transmits with a periodicity of 25 seconds.

PhoneSat was chosen as one of the winners in the Aerospace category for the Popular Science magazine “Best of What’s New 2012″ awards. The PhoneSat is a technology demonstration mission consisting of three 1U CubeSats intended to prove that a smartphone can be used to perform many of the functions required of a spacecraft bus.

The satellite is built around the Nexus smartphone which will be running the Android operating system and will be enclosed in a standard 1U CubeSat structure. The main function of the phone is to act as the Onboard Computer, but the mission will also utilize the phone’s SD card for data storage, 5MP camera for Earth Observation, and 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis magnetometer for attitude determination.

One of the nanosatellites, powered by the HTC Nexus One smartphone, will send back pictures of Earth. The other two, running on the Samsung Nexus S, will have two-way S-band radio allowing them to be controlled from Earth.

With a short lifetime of only about one week, the satellites have no solar cells and operate on battery only.

An updated website with telemetry info is now available. Please note the launch date/time may change.
http://www.phonesat.org/packets.php

The Antares launch includes the commercial DOVE-1 satellite, a technology development experiment. The satellite had requested IARU coordination for a 1 watt transmitter on 145.825 MHz to downlink a 1200 baud AFSK AX.25 beacon with telemetry and health data. The AMSAT News Service reported in ANS-027 that according to the IARU DOVE-1 will no longer be using frequencies in the amateur radio bands.

It appears the USA FCC granted the experimental callsign WF9XKA for the use by Dove 1, it is believed it may use a downlink on 2420 MHz. Search for Cosmogia at https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/GenericSearch.cfm
Dove-1  information https://apps.fcc.gov/els/GetAtt.html?id=121393
Dove 2 is slated to launch from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on April 19 on a Soyuz-2-1a,

PhoneSat http://www.phonesat.org/

TLEs / ‘Keps’ for recent launches http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt

Check the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) for the latest information http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/maillist/

Thanks to AMSAT News Service (ANS), AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-UK and Samudra Haque N3RDX / S21X for the above information.

Antares-110 Amateur Radio CubeSat Integration Completed

Antares-110 CubeSat Integration - Image Credit Spaceflight Inc

Image Credit Spaceflight Inc

Several CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads are planned to launch on the Antares-110 mission in April.

On the CubeSat mailing list Jason Andrews President and CEO of both Spaceflight Inc and Andrews Space posted:

Spaceflight Inc recently completed CubeSat integration activities for the Antares demonstration mission including deployment dress rehersal.  Spaceflight has two ISIPod deployers on this mission.  One contains three 1U spacecraft for NASA Ames Research Center and the other contains a 3U spacecraft for a commercial customer.  An image of the integration activity can be found here:

https://twitter.com/SpaceflightInc/status/306880665624924161/photo/1

Among the amateur radio CubeSats on the launch are three Phonesats which will all carry Google Nexus smartphones similar to the pioneering UK smartphone satellite STRaND-1 that was launched in February. There will be two PhoneSat 1.0′s and one PhoneSat 2.0 on the launch.

PhoneSat 1.0 cost about $3500 and is built around the Nexus One smartphone, it operates on battery power only with a mission lifetime of approx 1 week.

PhoneSat 2.0 is more expensive at $8000. It is built around the Nexus S smartphone and has solar panels on each face and a mission lifetime until de-orbit of approximately 2 weeks.

The IARU amateur satellite frequency coordination panel have coordinated frequencies of 437.425 MHz and 2401.2-2431.2MHz for the PhoneSats.

Also on the launch is the Dove-1 CubeSat. The Antares-110 launcher is expected to deploy the satellites into a 250 km 51.6° inclination orbit.

Amateur Radio Smartphone CubeSats to launch 4th Qtr 2012

Watch NewsyTech – Satellites Powered By Smartphones? Yep, and Cheap

NASA Ames Research Center has built two versions of the amateur radio PhoneSat – PhoneSat 1, which costs about $3500, and PhoneSat 2, which costs just under $8,000. Both versions are based on HTC Nexus One smartphones. The first PhoneSats are scheduled to be launched aboard an Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares launch vehicle. The launch, funded under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2012. It will carry two PhoneSat 1 satellites and one PhoneSat 2. A second PhoneSat launch is expected to occur in 2013.

Antares Launch Slip Delays Dove-1 Satellite

Artists Impression of Antares Launch from Wallops Island, Virginia

The amateur radio satellite Dove-1 (145.825 MHz AX.25 FM) was originally planned to launch on the Antares launcher on February 28 but reports indicate it may be Fall before it is launched.

Space.com reports that on February 21 Orbital Sciences Corporation announced a further slip and the launch of Antares could now be delayed until as late as September. Read the space.com report here.

Dove-1 was built by Cosmogia and is a 3U CubeSat with a total mass of about 5 kg.

Its 145.825 MHz 1200 bps AFSK AX.25 FM downlink will transmit telemetry data, including temp/power supply/current/RSSI/solar vector/acceleration, approximately every 30 seconds. The beacon can transmit at up to 1 watt and will use a quarter wave monopole antenna cut from a tape measure.

It also has a 2.4 GHz half-duplex, spread spectrum radio with patch antenna that will be used for main payload downlink and telecommand uplink. The data rate will be 115 kbps.

The planned orbit is 280 by 270 km at 51.6 deg inclination which will give Dove-1 a lifetime of about 2 weeks before re-entry.

Dove 1 Satellite Technical Description https://apps.fcc.gov/els/GetAtt.html?id=121393&x=. 

Cosmogia Dove-1 Orbital Debris Assessment Report (ODAR) https://apps.fcc.gov/els/GetAtt.html?id=122025&x=.

Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares page http://www.orbital.com/Antares/

IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Pages hosted by AMSAT-UK http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru