STRaND-1 smartphone CubeSat mounted on PSLV rocket

Panoramic view of SARAL and smaller satellites including STRaND-1 attached to the PSLV C20 - Image credit ISRO

Panoramic view of SARAL and smaller satellites including STRaND-1 attached to the PSLV C20 – Image credit ISRO

The STRaND-1 build and test phase took just 3 months

The STRaND-1 build and test phase took just 3 months

The launch rehearsal of PSLV-C20 with the primary satellite SARAL and six other satellites has been completed satisfactorily at SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. Mission Readiness Review and meeting of Launch Authorisation Board are scheduled on Feb 22, 2013.

STRaND-1 is a joint mission between Surrey Space Centre at University of Surrey and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). There will be an amateur radio AX.25 packet radio 9k6 bps downlink on 437.568 MHz and the launch is expected to take place on Feb 25.

STRaND-1 information and videos http://www.amsat-uk.org/?page_id=12196

STRaND-1 telemetry format http://www.amsat-uk.org/?page_id=12875

Other satellites on the same launch http://www.amsat-uk.org/?p=12180

ISRO PSLV-C20 status http://www.isro.org/pslv-c20/c20-status.aspx

ISRO plans SARAL and Amateur Radio satellites launch for February 25

AAUSAT3 Flight Model and Engineering Model - Image credit Aalborg University

AAUSAT3 Flight Model and Engineering Model – Image credit Aalborg University

The Hindu newspaper reports that the first launch of the year by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be the PSLV-CA (PSLV-C20). It will carry the ocean study spacecraft SARAL as well as satellites carrying amateur radio payloads. The launch into a 785 km orbit is currently planned to take place on February 25.

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2013 Launch for ESTCube-1 CubeSat

ESTCube-1 – Image credit University of Tartu

The ESTCube 1 CubeSat was built by students at Tartu University with the objectives for promoting space, providing and educational tool for science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) subjects and giving students hands-on experience on developing space technologies.

It uses the amateur radio 145, 437 and 2400 MHz bands and the launch is planned for 2013.

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India’s Largest Ever Rocket – GSLV MK3

It’s tipped to be India’s heaviest rocket till date weighing 640 tons, it’s also taken 10 years to develop and will hopefully launch Indian astronauts into space. That’s the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) designed and developed GSLV MK3 that has cost Rs 2500 crores and will put India on the multimillion dollar commercial launch market.

Watch ISROs GSLV MK3 – First Look

India's Largest Ever Rocket – GSLV MK3

It’s tipped to be India’s heaviest rocket till date weighing 640 tons, it’s also taken 10 years to develop and will hopefully launch Indian astronauts into space. That’s the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) designed and developed GSLV MK3 that has cost Rs 2500 crores and will put India on the multimillion dollar commercial launch market.

Watch ISROs GSLV MK3 – First Look

HAMSAT VO-52 Dutch Transponder Activated

VO-52 on FUNcube Dongle by Dave G4DPZ

VO-52 received on an AMSAT-UK FUNcube Dongle by Dave Johnson G4DPZ during the 17:27 pass on March 14, 2012

The Dutch SSB/CW linear transponder on the AMSAT-India amateur radio satellite HAMSAT VO-52 has been successfully activated.

Transponder # 1, which had been operating for over 6 years, fell silent on February 28 and efforts have been underway to activate transponder # 2.

Mani VU2WMY reports that the commands to ‘Turn On’ the transponder # 2 on-board HAMSAT VO-52 were successfully sent on March 14 during the 1400 UT 35 deg ascending Node pass over Bangalore, India.

The commands were successful and the CW message beacon of the Dutch transponder # 2, built by William Leijenaar PE1RAH, was heard in Bangalore loud and clear, some 6 years and 4 months since it was last switched on.

The Dutch SSB/CW transponder uses these frequencies:
Uplink:         435.2250 – 435.2750 MHz SSB/CW
Downlink:     145.9250 – 145.8750 MHz SSB/CW
Beacon:       145.8600 MHz CW

When working through linear transponder satellites such as VO-52 use as little power as possible, this will help extend the lifetime of the transponder and satellite batteries. As a guide ensure your downlink signal is no stronger than the satellite beacon. Low duty cycle modes such as SSB and CW are recommended.

How to work the SSB satellites such as VO-52 http://www.uk.amsat.org/2712

AMSAT-India Thanks You http://www.uk.amsat.org/5777

HAMSAT VO-52 Activation Planned For Wednesday http://www.uk.amsat.org/5685

HAMSAT VO-52 Falls Silent http://www.uk.amsat.org/5217

Leijenaar Electronics http://www.leijenaarelectronics.nl/

AMSAT-India http://www.amsatindia.org/

The Hindu – Hams Engineering Success

The Hindu newspaper reports on K. G. Girish Babu VU2KGB who uses computerised antenna design for VHF and UHF wireless communication. He helped his son Rahul make an antenna, the largest in India, which can track amateur radio satellites.

He says he also designed and manufactured the entire ground station antenna and structures for the experiments jointly conducted by the German Aerospace (DLR) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Wireless communication always fascinated him. He made a wireless transmitter while studying in class eight, for the science exhibition. “Thanks to my teacher Rajan and the wonderful chemisty and physics lab at our school (Government HS, Chavakkad). He always encouraged my experiments and brought me copies of Science Today magazine.”

While in college, (St Albert’s, Kochi), “I, along with a friend, rigged up a wireless transmitter. We didn’t know that it was illegal. When some issues came up, we hid the equipment,” he remembers.

In 1979, he cleared the examination to obtain his Grade I amateur radio operator licence with the call sign VU2KGB. His wife, A. Maya Shankar, is licenced at VU2CIA.

Read the full The Hindu story at http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/money-and-careers/article2974047.ece

VO-52 in Excellent Health

Hello All,

All that I can share at this moment is ‘HAMSAT VO-52′ is in ‘Excellent Health’ after recovery operations. Right now, it is under observation. However, decision about switching ‘ON’ the transponder is pending clearance. Decision expected in other couple of days. The user community will be informed well in advance about the transponder switching.

Mani, VU2WMY
Secretary & Station-In-Charge
Upagrah Amateur Radio Club VU2URC
ISRO Satellite Centre

[PE0SAT Thanks amsat-bb and VU2WMY for the above information]