Goonhilly tracking FUNcube

Goonhilly 1 "Arthur" - Credit GES Ltd

Goonhilly 1 “Arthur” – Credit GES Ltd

Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) Ltd are transforming the BT satellite communications site at Goonhilly into a new Space Science centre.

The Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station is located on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. It’s famous for many reasons, but perhaps most notably, for receiving, the first ever trans-Atlantic satellite TV images, broadcast by Telstar, on July 11, 1962. The impressive 25.9m dish called Arthur was used for that historic event.

The Register has published an article by journalist SA Mathieson following a recent visit to the site. This included seeing the AMSAT-UK ground station used to track the satellites FUNcube-1 and UKube-1 which both carry educational payloads developed by radio amateurs from the voluntary satellite organisations AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL. The station comprises an Asus PC with FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio (SDR) and a turnstile (crossed dipoles) antenna.

SA Mathieson also visited another recent addition to the site, the radome used by the imaging start-up Planet Labs Inc to communicate with its constellation of  “Dove” CubeSats.

Read Suffering satellites! Goonhilly’s ARTHUR REBORN for SPAAAACE
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/25/geeks_guide_goonhilly/

Goonhilly Earth Station http://www.goonhilly.org/

FUNcube Telemetry Receive Antenna System
http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/article_45/FUNcube-Telemetry-Receive-Antenna-System.html

FUNcube Dongle Pro Plus SDR http://FUNcubeDongle.com/

FUNcube-1’s Birthday

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Hi Folks,

It seems amazing to us that FUNcube-1 – AO73, was launched nearly one year ago, in fact at 07:10 UTC on 21 Nov 2013. The very first signals were received by ZS1LS in South Africa at 07:37 UTC and he was even able to upload the resulting data to the Warehouse so the results could be seen immediately.

We are extremely happy to say that, since then, the satellite has been performing very satisfactorily, the battery voltage doesn’t drop below 8 volts, and becomes fully charged within about 7 – 10 minutes after re-entering sunlight from eclipse.

Howard Long G6LVB working AO-73 while Ciaran Morgan M0XTD captures the downlink passband data using a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and Microsoft Surface Tablet

Howard Long G6LVB working AO-73 while Ciaran Morgan M0XTD captures the downlink passband data using a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and Microsoft Surface Tablet

On Friday 21 Nov 2014, we will be celebrating the satellite’s first birthday. To mark the occasion, we will be activating the transponder earlier than normal – late on Thursday 20 Nov, so that it will be available for use during the whole of Friday. So please make as many contacts as possible through the transponder during Friday, FUNcube’s actual birthday. You are invited to make a note of any stations worked on this day, or any other comments on the FUNcube Forum. Please use the existing “FUNcube-1’s Birthday” topic, under the Welcome heading. The URL of the Forum is http://forum.funcube.org.uk/

Please also remember the ’73 on 73′ Award which is kindly being organised by Paul Stoetzer N8HM. See http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/73-on-73-award/ for more details.

Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG talking about FUNcube-1 to students at Abbeys Primary School in Bletchley

Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG talking about FUNcube-1 to students at Abbeys Primary School in Bletchley

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking all of our ‘users’, both those who download telemetry and forwarding it to the warehouse, and of course, all users of the transponder. This telemetry data is invaluable, both as an educational resource and to enable us to see how the spacecraft systems are performing and surviving. So far we have collected almost 400MB of unique data via stations from all around the world.

Of course we are hoping that the satellite continues to function nominally for several more years to come even though we may never reach AO7’s record!

73s AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL

First 73 on 73 Award issued to Wyatt Dirks AC0RA

First 73 on 73 Award issued to Wyatt Dirks AC0RA

The AMSAT-UK Flickr Group is at https://www.flickr.com/groups/amsatuk/
Please upload your pictures of amateur satellites, satellite ground stations, satellite demonstrations or any other satellite related event.

73 on 73 Award http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/73-on-73-award/

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

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

FUNcube-1 Telemetry Statistics

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

FUNcube-1 was launched on November 21, 2013 and since then radio amateurs and schools have been collecting the telemetry which has been stored in the Data Warehouse.

The Data Warehouse statistics as of 21:49 GMT on October 25, 2014 were:

Number of registered users: 1286
Number of active users (data received in last two weeks): 195
Number of active users since launch: 757

Number of packets transmitted by satellite since deployment: 5865120 (1.5GB)
Number of packets uploaded by users before deduplication: 6370976 (1.63 GB)

Number of packets stored in warehouse: 1466239 (376.9 MB) which also
represents the same number of realtime data points (collected once every
5 seconds),

Whole orbit Data: 276.3 days of data (collected once every minute)
High Resolution Data: 806 hours of data (collected once every second, for a period of a minute, every other minute)

Whole orbit Data: 276.3 days of data (collected once every minute)
High Resolution Data: 806 hours of data (collected once every second, for a period of a minute, every other minute)

Recovery rates:
Realtime  (25%)
WOD (81%)
HiRes (22%)

As always, many thanks to all those who have and continue to send data.

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

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/amsatuk
Twitter https://twitter.com/AMSAT_UK

AMSAT-UK upload JOTA greetings message to satellite

Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG talking about FUNcube-1 to students at Abbeys Primary School in Bletchley

Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG talking about FUNcube-1 to students at Abbeys Primary School in Bletchley

AMSAT-UK have uploaded a special Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) Greetings Fitter Message to the amateur satellite AO-73 (FUNcube-1).

Scouts and others can receive the message by downloading the Dashboard App software and listening to the beacon on 145.935 MHz (+/- Doppler) SSB.

What is a Fitter Message ?

‘Fitter’ is derived from ‘Twitter’. So it’s like a tweet, but via FUNcube.

It is a short (200 characters maximum) text-like message which can be uploaded to the satellite (by authorised ground stations), and transmitted several times every five minutes or so. It will continue to be retransmitted until such time as it is replaced by a new Fitter Message.
Links for tracking, downloads and other information can be found in the FUNcube-1 / AO-73 panel on the right-hand side of the AMSAT-UK homepage at http://amsat-uk.org/

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

AMSAT-UK on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/amsatuk
AMSAT-UK on Twitter https://twitter.com/AMSAT_UK

FUNcube Whole Orbit Data available for download

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

From the early planning stage of the project we decided that we would make telemetry information from the AO-73 (FUNcube-1) CubeSat available to end users.

Since deployment the FUNcube Data Warehouse has displayed the latest data:
• Reatime
• Whole Orbit
• High Precision
• Fitter Messages
and of course the upload rankings. Additionally we have made available small csv files for WOD and HiRes.

Starting October 14, we will be making all captured WOD available as weekly csv files.

Please see: http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/wod.html?satelliteId=2 for the link to the downloads page. It currently up to 26/6/2014 (32 files)

The files are on average:
• 9706 lines (expected 10080) ~ 96.3% capture
• 905 KB

We will play catch up over the next few days and then automate the process.

It it really intended for consumption by an analytical suite such as MatLab, or a DIY one, in a language of your choosing. However, it can be simply graphed in Excel or Open Office Calc.

Feedback would be appreciated.

Enjoy!

73 Dave, G4DPZ

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

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

First FUNcube 73 on 73 Award Issued

First 73 on 73 Award issued to Wyatt Dirks AC0RA

First 73 on 73 Award issued to Wyatt Dirks AC0RA

Paul Stoetzer N8HM reports the first AO-73 (FUNcube-1) 73 on 73 Award has been issued to Wyatt Dirks AC0RA.

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

The award aims to promote activity on AO-73 satellite. The requirements are straight-forward:

1. Work 73 unique stations on AO-73.
2. Contacts must be made on or after September 1, 2014.
3. There are no geographic restrictions on your operating location.

Congratulations to Wyatt Dirks, AC0RA, for claiming 73 on 73 Award #1. He has submitted a list with a total of 74 unique calls worked on AO-73 since September 1.

It’s been great to hear all the activity on the satellite over the last few weeks. I look forward to hearing and working many more stations, especially after the end of Daylight Saving Time makes the evening passes a bit earlier!

73, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM

Full details of the award at http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/18/73-on-73-award-announcement/

73 on 73 Award Update

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Paul Stoetzer N8HM provides an update on the 73 on 73 Award for contacts made via the amateur radio satellite AO-73 (FUNcube-1).

Just a reminder that the award period for the 73 on 73 Award begins at 0000Z on September 1st, so begin keeping track of the unique callsigns that you work on AO-73. When you reach 73 unique callsigns in your log, email me at n8hm@arrl.net with a list of calls, date, and time worked (in GMT) and your mailing address. I hope to have a website up soon with an example of what the award will look like.

Some tips for working AO-73:

- Keep in mind the frequency drift on the transponder. The offset needed on your transmit frequency is usually from +10 kHz to +16 kHz. This can vary throughout the pass, requiring frequency adjustments if using computer control. Many find manually tuning the uplink to maintain a constant downlink to work better than computer control.

- I usually start a pass by trying to find myself come into the top edge of the passband (145.970 MHz). To do this, I usually start transmitting around 435.135 MHz and tuning up slowly until I can hear myself enter the passband. Then I can move around the transponder easily. Remember to tune your uplink to maintain an constant downlink frequency (the opposite of FO-29).

- Keep power output down. The transponder has a very sensitive receiver and a very active AGC circuit. Excessive uplink power will not make your signal louder – it will only reduce that available for others on the transponder. With a clear view of the horizon, 5 watts to an Arrow or Elk is plenty for horizon to horizon coverage. Very slightly more might be necessary if you are beaming through trees or other obstructions, but try to keep power to 25-40 watts ERP.

Good luck! Who will claim the 73 on 73 Award #1?

73, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
Washington, DC, USA (FM18lv)

73 on 73 Award Announcement
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/18/73-on-73-award-announcement/

AO-73 http://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-cubesat/

—-

Schedule for RSGB Convention Released

Ofcom's Ash Gohil and Paul Jarvis G8RMM at 2013 RSGB Convention

Ofcom’s Ash Gohil and Paul Jarvis G8RMM at 2013 RSGB Convention

Ofcom staff will be among those giving presentations at the RSGB Convention which takes place October 10-12.

The Ofcom public consultation on Amateur Radio has been eagerly awaited for many months now and will hopefully have been released before the Convention.

The Society say there will be lots of space and a five lecture stream programme in the new Convention venue at the Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ.

Among the presentations are
- UKHASNET, technology and methodology by James Coxon M6JCX
- SDR Techniques by Simon Brown G4ELI
- Digital modes start up by Mike Richards G4WNC
- FUNcube CubeSat by AMSAT-UK
- Amateur radio software developers forum by Michael Wells G7VJR
- 146-147MHz: A New Frontier of Amateur Innovation? by John Regnault G4SWX
- World War 1 Communications by Dr Elizabeth Bruton

RSGB Convention http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/rsgb-convention/

Schedule http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/rsgb-convention/rsgb-convention-2014-provisional-timetable/

73 on 73 Award Announcement

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Paul Stoetzer N8HM has announced a new award for contacts made via the AO-73 (FUNcube-1) amateur radio satellite

I am pleased to announce that I will be sponsoring a new award to promote activity on AO-73 (FUNcube-1). The requirements for this award are simple:

1. Work 73 unique stations on AO-73.
2. Contacts must be made on or after September 1, 2014.
3. There are no geographic restrictions on your operating location.

There will be no cost for this award (donations to AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NA’s Fox program are encouraged though). No QSLs are required. When you complete the requirements, email your log extract including the callsign of each station worked, time GMT, and date to n8hm@arrl.net as well as the address where you’d like the award certificate sent.

Enjoy AO-73’s transponder!

73 Paul Stoetzer, N8HM
Washington, DC

Reception of UKube-1 FUNcube-2 Beacon

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

Many stations, who have their FUNcube Dongle Software Defined Radio (SDR) setup to automatically receive telemetry signals from FUNcube-1, will have noticed that they are now also seeing the telemetry from the FUNcube-2 sub-system which is flying on-board the UKube-1 CubeSat.

UKube-1 CubeSat (with FUNcube-2 sub-system) - Image credit Clyde Space

UKube-1 CubeSat (with FUNcube-2 sub-system) – Image credit Clyde Space

The FUNcube telemetry transmitter has been enabled on 145.915 MHz (+/- Doppler) as part of the commissioning program for UKube-1 which is presently underway.

Whilst the existing FUNcube-1 Dashboard does not correctly display the FUNcube-2 telemetry, it is forwarding the data correctly to the Warehouse and this is greatly appreciated by the team.

The FUNcube team are not yet able to release a FUNcube-2 specific Dashboard App, they are, however, working to provide a fully functional FUNcube-2 page on the Data Warehouse as soon as possible.

In the meantime please continue to listen and, where you are able, to keep the data flowing to the Data Warehouse – many thanks for your support.

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

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

FUNcube Dongle LF/MF/HF/VHF/UHF Software Defined Radio http://FUNcubeDongle.com/

UK Space Agency UKube-1 update August 26, 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukube-1-update

Satellite Today, August 26, 2014: Communications Anomaly Hampers UK SmallSat
http://www.satellitetoday.com/technology/2014/08/26/communications-anomaly-hampers-uk-smallsat/