FITSAT-1 Ham Radio CubeSat to De-orbit by July 4 – Reports Requested

The five ISS CubeSats Altitude compared with ARISSat-1 - chart by Masa JN1GKZ

The five ISS CubeSats Altitude compared with ARISSat-1 – chart by Masa JN1GKZ

It is expected that the amateur radio CubeSat FITSAT-1, built by students at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology, will re-enter the Earths atmosphere and burn-up by Thursday, July 4.

FITSAT-1 QSL card GW1FKY - Front

FITSAT-1 QSL card received by Ken Eaton GW1FKY

FITSAT-1 and four other CubeSats were deployed from the Internatonal Space Station (ISS) on October 4, 2012. Three of them, WE-WISH, TechEdSat and F-1 have already de-orbited. All of the CubeSats were 1U in size (10x10x10 cm, 1-1.2 kg) except for RAIKO which is a 2U CubeSat twice the size and mass (20x10x10 cm, 2 kg).

Masahiro Arai JN1GKZ has produced a chart showing the decline in altitude of the five CubeSats and compares them with the far larger ARISSat-1 satellite deployed from the ISS on August 3, 2011.

As well as the CW telemetry beacon on 437.250 MHz FITSAT-1 also has a 1200 bps AX.25 packet radio transmitter on 437.445 MHz,  a high-speed (115.2 kbps) data transmitter on 5840.0 MHz and has flashed Morse code to observers on Earth using an LED array.

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG requests that radio amateurs listen out for the CW telemetry beacon of FITSAT-1 on 437.250 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift) during the last few days. Reception reports should be emailed to: tanaka at fit.ac.jp

FITSAT-1 website http://www.fit.ac.jp/~tanaka/fitsat.shtml

Further information and pictures of the CubeSats are at
http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/techedsat-f-1-fitsat-1-we-wish/

Free satellite tracking software:
• SimpleSat Look Down http://www.tomdoyle.org/SimpleSatLookDown/
• Gpredict http://gpredict.oz9aec.net/
• Orbitron http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=9051

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs) ‘Keps’ for CubeSats are at http://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/cubesat.txt

Amateur Radio CubeSats TechEdSat, F-1 and FITSAT-1 pass the ISS solar panels

TechEdSat, F-1 and FITSAT-1 pass the ISS solar panels shortly after deployment

Ham Radio Satellites in The Independent

OSSI-1 weighs 963 grams

OSSI-1 weighs 963 grams

The Newfoundland and Labrador Independent reports on two amateur radio satellite projects.

The article covers FITSat-1 (Niwaka) developed under the leadership of Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and the Open Source Satellite Initiative CubeSat OSSI-1 developed by Korean artist Hojun Song DS1SBO.

Read The Independent article at http://theindependent.ca/2013/03/20/narratives-in-orbit/

Further FITSat-1 information at http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/techedsat-f-1-fitsat-1-we-wish/

OSSI-1 plans to launch April 19, 2013, further  information at http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/ossi-1/

UK Radio Amateur Receives FITSAT-1 QSL Card

FITSAT-1 QSL card GW1FKY - FrontAMSAT-UK member Ken Eaton GW1FKY reports that he has received a QSL card confirming his reception of FITSAT-1.

On December 13 at 22:10:30 GMT FITSAT-1 will be using its optical LED beacon to flash a message in Morse Code over the British Isles and Europe which, cloud permitting, should be visible using binoculars. Further information is at http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=11815

FITSAT-1 Successfully Flashes Morse Code from Space

(C) Tsuyoshi Watanabe Ebina City, Kanagawa Japan 1:24:23-1:24:25JST, 12 Dec 2012
Takahashi e160, Diameter short focus telescope 16cm (F=530mm, F3.3)
Nikon D800E, ISO12800, 2 seconds exposure

A test of the FITSAT-1 LED optical beacon that took place on December 11 GMT over Japan was successful.

On December 13 at 22:10:30 GMT FITSAT-1 will be using its optical LED beacon to flash a message in Morse Code over the British Isles and Europe which, cloud permitting, should be visible using binoculars. Further information is at http://www.uk.amsat.org/?p=11815

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FITSAT-1 LEDs to Flash Morse Code over USA and Europe

Artistic impression of FITSAT-1 signaling in Morse code

On December 12-13 FITSAT-1 will be using its optical LED beacon to flash a message in Morse Code over the USA and the British Isles/Europe which should be visible using binoculars.

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Amateur Radio Satellite to Flash Morse Code on Christmas Eve

FITSAT-1 plans to use LED’s to signal in Morse code

On Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) the Japanese students who built FITSAT-1 are planning to active the satellite’s LED optical array and flash a message in Morse code to Earth. The Morse message may be visible to the unaided eye.

According to Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG the students plan to start testing the optical system at the end of November.

The FITSAT-1 CubeSat was developed by students at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology (FIT) in Japan. In addition to the LED array it also has a CW beacon on 437.250 MHz, a data link on 437.445 MHz and a 5840.0 MHz data downlink.

Further FITSAT-1 information at http://www.fit.ac.jp/~tanaka/fitsat.shtml

CubeSats deployed from International Space Station http://www.uk.amsat.org/?page_id=10967

First picture from FITSAT-1 on 5840.0 MHz

First picture from FITSAT-1 on 5840.0 MHz showing the solar panels on the ISS

When the FITSAT-1 CubeSat was deployed from the International Space Station on October 4 it took a picture using the on-board camera. On Friday, October 19 UT, the team successfully downloaded the picture using the high-speed 115.2 kbps data transmitter on 5840.0 MHz.

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FITSAT-1 5840.0 MHz downlink received with FUNcube Dongle

Reception of FITSAT-1 5840.0 MHz downlink using FUNcube Dongle SDR

This video by radio amateur Tetsurou Satou JA0CAW shows reception in Japan of the 5840.0 MHz downlink from the FITSAT-1 (aka NIWAKA) CubeSat that was deployed from the ISS on October 4.

He used a 38cm dish with a down-converter to an IF of 1284 MHz, a BGA2717 LNA and the AMSAT-UK FUNCube Dongle SDR with HDSDR software.

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FITSAT-1 Update

FITSAT-1 plans to use LED’s to signal in Morse code

The amateur radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 (aka NIWAKA) carries an Optical Communications experiment that aims to write Morse Code across the night sky. The satellite is fitted with a bank of high power LEDs that will be driven with 200W pulses to produce extremely bright flashes that may be visible to the unaided eye.

FITSAT-1 was deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) at 15:44 UT on Thursday, October 4 along with F-1 and TechEdSat.

On Sunday, October 7 Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG provided this update:

We have received a lot of signal and telemetry reports from amsat members. All reports show FITSAT-1 starts working and sound. Thank you very much for your help.

We will examine movements, temperatures, and battery states of FITSAT-1 during these 10 days, and start experiments of 5.8GHz transmission and flashing LEDs.

I will announce the experiments on my web-page http://www.fit.ac.jp/~tanaka/fitsat.shtml

As well as 437.250 MHz and 437.445 MHz (both +/- 10 kHz Doppler) this innovative satellite can also transmit on 5840.0 MHz (+/- 134 kHz Doppler).

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