Distributed Ground Station Network For CubeSat Communications

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

Zachary J. Leffke KJ4QLP has written a Masters Thesis which explores the concept of deploying a network of distributed ground station receiver nodes for the purposes of increasing access time to the spacecraft, and thereby increasing the potential amount of data that can be transferred from orbit to the ground. The current trends in CubeSat communications are analyzed and an argument made in favor of transitioning to more modern digital communications approaches for on orbit missions. Finally, a candidate ground station receiver node design is presented a possible design that could be used to deploy such a network.

The paper’s acknowledgements read:

I would like to thank Dr. Robert W. McGwier [N4HY] for his steady guidance in this work. His depth of experience in Amateur Radio satellite communications and Software Defi ned Radio has been an invaluable resource.

I would also like to thank the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, commonly known as AMSAT. This collection of eclectic geniuses, that build and launch satellites as part of a hobby, have been a steady source of encouragement and technical savvy and are an excellent group of role models that I am proud to be associated with.

Speci cally, I would like to thank Douglas Quagliana [KA2UPW] and Joe Fitzgerald [KM1P] from AMSAT for their speci c words of encouragement and genuine enthusiasm for this project. I hope the work presented here can help further the mission of AMSAT.

I would also like to thank Howard Long [G6LVB], the inventor of the FUNcube Dongle Pro Plus. Without this economic and brilliantly designed device, the creation of the prototype presented in this work would not have been possible.

Read the paper at http://t.co/yQx2O0PPUF

FUNcube SDR Radio Telescope

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

Dr David Morgan has released a new paper “Further Developments of an SDR Radio Telescope” using the FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and SpectrumLab.

“Further Developments of an SDR Radio Telescope” details the equipment configuration and software involved in setting to work a small 3m diameter amateur radio telescope using the FUNcube Dongle Pro+ software defined radio receiver.

It demonstrates how Spectrum Lab can provide digital filtering to observe up to 20 individual sub-bands to help overcome interference issues.  David also provides details of gain and noise stability measurements for the FUNcube Dongle and observations of emissions from the quiet Sun and the Cygnus arm of the Milky Way.

This paper adds to the work that David has undertaken in the past and is interesting reading for anyone wanting to experiment with SDR solutions for amateur radio astronomy.

Paul Hyde G4CSD
BAA RAG Coordinator

Download the paper from http://www.britastro.org/radio/downloads/Further_Developments_SDR_Telescope.pdf

BAA RAG website http://www.britastro.org/radio/

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

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Yahoo Group http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-dongle-sdr/

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ SDR http://www.FUNcubeDongle.com/

SpectrumLab http://www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/spectra1.html

FUNcube Dongle SDR – Free Shipping Offer

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

On the FUNcube Dongle Software Defined Radio site Howard G6LVB says:

I’ll be away for a few days next week (19 August to 23 August), so as there will be a short delay in dispatch, I’m currently offering free shipping until I return if you place an order before I return.

Make sure you check the “Free Shipping” check box when you checkout!

I will use the same shipping methods, ie FedEx International Priority for non-UK, and Royal Mail Special Delivery, just it’ll be free over that period.

Free shipping offer http://www.FUNcubeDongle.com/?p=1507

Ordering your FUNcube Dongle Pro+ http://www.FUNcubeDongle.com/?page_id=1113

The FUNcube Dongle (FCD) Software Defined Radio (SDR) was originally developed for educational outreach as part of the ground segment for the FUNcube satellite. A proportion of the sales of the FCD goes to support AMSAT-UK’s FUNcube satellite.

You can join the FCDProPlus Yahoo Group by following these steps:
• Send a blank email to fcdproplus-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk
• Yahoo will send you an email in response, you may need to check your SPAM folder
• Click on the link in the email, this will bring up a Yahoo page in your browser
• On the Yahoo page ignore the big Join link in the middle and click on the link at the bottom of the page instead, it says: “As an alternate option, you may join the mailing list instead.”
• You should then be a member of the group.

Some of the SDR decoding programs available include:
• SDR Sharp (SDR#) http://sdrsharp.com/
• SDR-Radio http://www.sdr-radio.com/
• HDSDR http://www.hdsdr.de/

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ LF/MF/HF/VHF/UHF Software Defined Radio Video
http://amsat-uk.org/2012/10/03/funcube-dongle-pro-plus-sdr-video/

Amateur Radio Satellite at 15th European Interparliamentary Space Conference

FUNcube-1 flight model - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

FUNcube-1 – Image credit PA3WEG

The European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC) workshop on small, micro, nano and CubeSat missions took place on March 25 in Redu, Belgium.

AMSAT Belgium and the UBA took advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate the engineering model of the AMSAT-UK FUNcube-1 satellite along with the FUNcube Dongle SDR for telemetry decoding.

Jan Poppeliers ON7UX has released this video of the event which also covers the European Student Earth Orbiter ESEO satellite, ALMASat-1, and the QB50 project:

Continue reading

NOAA-19 received with FCD

Roland (py4zbz) recently posted within the FUNcube & FUNcube Dongle Yahoo group – http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/funcube/ his received  NOAA-19 image using the AMSAT-UK FUNcube dongle

03251705_NOAA19

py4zbz NOAA-19 iamge

For more information or to order a FUNcube Dongle visit http://www.funcubedongle.com/

Join AMSAT-UK today here-http://amsat-uk.org/2012/10/03/join-amsat-uk/

British Interplanetary Society KickSat Sprite programming and planning day

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

KickSat 437 MHz Sprite Satellite

Members and non-members are invited to a BIS KickSat 437 MHz Sprite satellite programming and planning day.

The event takes place on March 30, 2013, 11am-4pm at 27/29 South Lambeth Road, London, SW8 1SZ and has these aims:
• Developer kit: setup and programming tests
• Souvenir Sprite: soldering and programming tests
• Radio testing: receive test signals
• Other: agree next steps, owners and dates

Participation is encouraged, but not required.

The following equipment will be available on the day:
• KickSat Sprite developer kit
• Souvenir sprite, wires, soldering equipment and a launchpad
• FUNcube dongle and aerial (tbc – they are in the post)
• Laptop, projector and Wi-Fi

Bringing a laptop will be helpful. Also, if anyone can bring portable equipment to receive the test signals, this will also be much appreciated.

Further information at
http://www.bis-space.com/2013/03/24/9482/kicksat-programming-and-planning-day

KickSat Sprite Technical Summary
http://www.bis-space.com/2013/03/09/9301/kicksat-technical-summary

The KickSat Sprites from both the BIS and London Hackspace are planned to launch, with 198 others, on the ELaNa 5 / CRS 3 mission in mid to late Summer.

KickSat to deploy 200 Sprite satellites
http://amsat-uk.org/2012/09/21/kicksat-to-deploy-200-sprite-satellites/

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

You can ring my bell! Adventures in sub-GHz RF land…

AMSAT-UK_FUNcubeDongle 640In this article Adam Laurie from London describes how he used his AMSAT-UK FUNcube Dongle VHF/UHF Software Defined Radio (SDR) to decode the signal from a 433.920 MHz doorbell.

Read the article at http://adamsblog.aperturelabs.com/2013/03/you-can-ring-my-bell-adventures-in-sub.html

Join the FUNcube Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube

Further information on the FUNcubeDongle Software Defined Radio is at http://www.FUNcubeDongle.com/

STRaND-1 received by radio amateur in Cuba using FUNcube Dongle SDR

Hector Martinez CO6CBF - 640

Hector Martinez CO6CBF

On the AMSAT bulletin board Hector Martinez, CO6CBF, reports receiving the smartphone satellite STRaND-1 using a FUNcube Dongle Software Defined Radio (SDR).

He posted:

On the 22:36 UTC pass both STRaND-1 and AAUSAT3 have been heard in Cienfuegos city (EL92sd). I was running a FUNcube Dongle with SDR-Radio V1.5 and a homebrew ARROW antenna with a homebrew preamplifier. The STRaND-1 beacon has a great signal (S9+).

Congratulations to the STRaND-1 and AAUSAT3 teams for the great job!

Information on the STRaND-1 smartphonecsatellite is at http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/strand-1/

Join the FUNcube Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FUNcube

Further information on the FUNcubeDongle Software Defined Radio is at http://www.FUNcubeDongle.com/

Review of FUNcube Dongle Pro+ in Radio User Magazine

Radio User December 2012

Mike Richards G4WNC was lucky enough to get serial number 0046 from the first batch of the AMSAT-UK FUNcube Dongle Pro+ LF/MF/HF/VHF/UHF Software Defined Radio.

He has written a four page review of the SDR that has just been published in the December issue of Radio User magazine on sale now from UK High Street newsagents such as W.H.Smith.

Postal copies of Radio User can be purchased using a Debit or Credit card by ringing +44 (0)1202 751611 Monday – Thursday 8.30am – 4.00pm.

The FUNcube Dongle Pro+ SDR was developed for educational outreach as part of the ground segment for the FUNcube satellite.

A proportion of the FCD-Pro+ sales goes to support the AMSAT-UK FUNcube satellite project.

Continue reading

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Tested with NOAA 19

Dave Mellor G4EWK tested his new FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio by receiving the NOAA 19 weather satellite.

The FUNcube Dongle Pro+ LF/MF/HF/VHF/UHF SDR was developed for educational outreach as part of the ground segment for the FUNcube satellite.

A proportion of the FCD-Pro+ sales goes to support the AMSAT-UK FUNcube satellite project.

Continue reading