Ham Radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 becomes a “Shooting Star”

FITSAT-1 used LED's to signal in Morse code

FITSAT-1 used LED’s to signal in Morse code

The amateur radio CubeSat FITSAT-1, also known as NIWAKA, burnt up in the Earth’s atmosphere in the early hours of Thursday, July 4, 2013.

Image of ISS taken by the FITSAT-1 CubeSat after deployment

Image of ISS taken by the FITSAT-1 CubeSat after deployment

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG of the Fukuoka Institute of Technology FITSAT project has issued this statement:

FITSAT-1 has decayed on July 4, 2013. The last signal was received by JA0CAW at 03:07(UT).

I appreciate all hams who joined our experiments, helped our operations, and sent me many reports.

I could make many friends in the world and enjoyed through FITSAT-1. Though FITSAT-1 became a shooting star,  I am very happy now.

Thank you very much again all Ham friends.

FITSAT-1 Flight Model

FITSAT-1 Flight Model

FITSAT-1, built by students at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology, was one of five CubeSats launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on July 21, 2012.

The CubeSats WE-WISH, TechEdSat, F-1, FITSAT-1 and RAIKO were integrated with the J-SSOD small satellite deployer on the the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo and deployed by the Kibo robotic arm on October 4, 2012 into a 420 km orbit.

Four of them, WE-WISH, TechEdSat, F-1 and FITSAT-1, have now de-orbited only RAIKO remains. The CubeSats that have de-orbited were all 1U in size (10x10x10 cm, 1-1.2 kg). The remaining CubeSat RAIKO is 2U in size, twice the volume and mass (20x10x10 cm, 2 kg).

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

FITSAT-1 carried a CW telemetry beacon on 437.250 MHz, 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 an optical LED array to flash Morse code to observers on Earth.

The 5840.0 MHz transmitter on FITSAT-1 ran about 2 watts output. It supported a data rate of 115.2 kbps and sent a JPEG 640×480 VGA pictures in just 6 sec.

FITSAT-1’s low orbit meant its lifespan was limited to just 9 months but in that time it was able to achieve a number of technology firsts. Its success showed the outstanding design and construction abilities of the student team from the Fukuoka Institute of Technology.

Pictures Received on 5840 MHz from Amateur Radio Satellite FITSAT-1
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/01/08/pictures-received-on-5840-mhz-from-amateur-radio-satellite-fitsat-1/

FITSAT-1 Successfully Flashes Morse Code from Space
http://amsat-uk.org/2012/12/12/amateur-radio-cubesat-fitsat-1-successfully-flashes-morse-code-from-space/

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/

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

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

OSSI-1 Amateur Radio CubeSat Launched

Hojun Song DS1SBO performing final assembly of OSSI-1 satellite on April 9, 2013

Hojun Song DS1SBO performing final assembly of OSSI-1 satellite on April 9, 2013

The OSSI-1, BEESAT-2, BEESAT-3 and SOMP amateur radio CubeSats lifted off on a Soyuz-2-1a with research satellites Bion-M1, AIST and Dove-2 from Launch Complex 31 at Baikonur in Kazakhstan on Friday, April 19 at 1000 UT. The OSSI-1 CubeSat was deployed from its Pod on the top of Bion-M1 at 1615 UT.

Soyuz-2-1a Lift-off - Image credit SpaceShuttleAlmanac

Soyuz-2-1a Lift-off – Image credit SpaceShuttleAlmanac

The launch vehicle went into an initial elliptical orbit of 290 km by 575 km orbit at an inclination of 64.9°. A series of orbital maneuvers will be carried out to raise the orbit to 575 km circular before BEESAT-3, SOMP, then BEESAT-2 are deployed at around 1045 UT on Sunday, April 21.

The Center for Operation of Space Ground-Based Infrastructure said the satellites attached to the outer surface of the spacecraft “Bion-M” will be deployed in the period between the 4th and the 35th orbit. It is thought this may mean deployments will take place on the 4th and the 32-34th orbit but that there will be no deployments on the other obits.

OSSI-1 weighs 963 grams

OSSI-1 weighs 963 grams

Korean artist Hojun Song DS1SBO has spent 7 years developing his Open Source Satellite Initiative satellite OSSI-1. He has designed and built it from scratch using readily available components rather than expensive space qualified hardware. The launch was the most expensive part of the project costing $100,000.

It has a 12 WPM CW Morse code beacon on 145.980 MHz, a data communications transceiver on 437.525 MHz using AX.25 packet radio and carries a 44 watt LED optical beacon to flash Morse code messages to observers on Earth.

When deployed the OSSI-1 145.980 MHz Morse Code beacon will send “OS0 DE OSSI1 ANYOUNG”.

Open Source Satellite Initiative blog http://opensat.cc/blog/launch/ossi-1-satellite-launch/

The OSSI telemetry data format spreadsheet can be seen at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjtQ6cJ4QOqJdGpHNnRtUWZJV0w4TTFKRU9WYTZqc3c#gid=5

CubeSat deployment pods on top of the Bion-M1 satellite

CubeSat deployment pods on top of the Bion-M1 spacecraft

The development of the OSSI satellite has been documented on the Open Source Satellite Initiative Blog http://opensat.cc/blog/ and the Wiki http://opensat.cc/wiki/

Twitter https://twitter.com/OPENSAT

The Korean national amateur radio society KARL described the OSSI-1 CubeSat in their report to the International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 Triennial conference which was held in Viet Nam in 2012. Read the report at http://www.iaru-r3.org/15r3c/docs/019.doc

In this 20 minute video Korean artist Hojun Song DS1SBO and Donghee Park describe the Open Source Satellite Initiative amateur radio CubeSat OSSI-1.

Watch How OSSI-1 Satellite Works: General Overview

Additional OSSI-1 information at http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/ossi-1/

Watch the BBC TV report: Korean artist has high hopes for his homemade satellite
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19007475

Hojun Song DS1SBO and the NovaNano FlyMate™ deployer

Hojun Song DS1SBO and the NovaNano FlyMate™ deployer

Satellite        Downlink                Mode
———-       —————          ——————

Russian Student Satellite AIST-2 on BION-M1 launch

Russian Student Satellite AIST-2 on BION-M1

OSSI-1        145.980/437.525   CW and 1200bps FSK AX.25
SOMP         437.485               1200, 9600bps BPSK
BEESAT-2   435.950               4800bps GMSK Mobitex
BEESAT-3   435.950               4800bps GMSK Mobitex
Bion-M1      Biological research satellite
AIST           Russian student microsatellite that aims to measure the Earth’s geomagnetic field
(435 MHz downlink, 145 MHz command uplink)
Dove-2        Commercial technology demonstration mission (450 MHz band downlink)

Predicted Keps / TLE’s:

OSSI-1
1 39130U 00000    13108.66833333  .05491454  00000-0  10000-3 0 00014
2 39130 064.8675 103.2000 0241259 064.9287 214.9800 15.56817350000015

BEESAT-2
1 99999U          13110.41666667 -.00000032  00000-0 -27259-5 0 00006
2 99999 064.9888 015.3126 0011850 230.4664 032.8952 14.97640844000015

Bion-M1 is carrying live mice, geckos and gerbils, see the BBC story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/22218589

Space News Feed http://www.spacenewsfeed.co.uk/index.php/launches/14433-bion-m-1-aist-2-beesat-2-beesat-3-dove-2-ossi-1-somp

Soyuz-2-1a Bion-M1 Launch

Soyuz-2-1a Bion-M1 Launch – Image credit SpaceShuttleAlmanac

IARU Announces Frequencies for Korean Ham Radio CubeSat OSSI

Hojun Song DS1SBO and the NovaNano FlyMate deployer

Hojun Song DS1SBO and the NovaNano FlyMate deployer

The IARU amateur radio satellite frequency coordination panel has announced the frequencies for the OSSI-1 CubeSat developed by Hojun Song DS1SBO.

Artist and radio amateur Hojun Song DS1SBO has spent 7 years developing his Open Source Satellite Initiative satellite OSSI-1. He has designed and developed it from scratch using readily available components rather than expensive space qualified hardware. It has a beacon in the 145 MHz band, a data communications transceiver in the 435 MHz band and carries a 44 watt LED optical beacon to flash Morse Code messages to observers on Earth.

OSSI-1 is planned to launch on April 19, 2013 into a 575 km 64.9° inclination orbit on a Soyuz-2-1b rocket from the Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan along with the Bion-M1, SOMP, BEESAT 2, BEESAT 3 and Dove-2 satellites.

The IARU amateur satellite frequency coordination panel has announced frequencies for a downlink on 145.980 MHz and an uplink/downlink on 437.525 MHz.

Video – How the Amateur Radio Satellite OSSI-1 Works
http://amsat-uk.org/2012/08/10/video-how-the-amateur-radio-ossi-1-satellite-works/

Watch the BBC TV report: Korean artist has high hopes for his homemade satellite
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19007475

OSSI CubeSat in New Scientist Magazine
http://amsat-uk.org/2012/11/06/ossi-cubesat-in-new-scientist-magazine/

Hojun Song DS1SBO visited London to give a well received presentation on his CubeSat to WIRED 2012
http://amsat-uk.org/2012/10/24/cubesat-developer-hojun-song-to-attend-wired-2012-london/

Data Format for Korean OSSI CubeSat
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/01/23/data-format-for-korean-ossi-cubesat/

Open Source Satellite Initiative (OSSI) http://opensat.cc/

Article on LED Optical Morse Code Spacecraft ShindaiSat

Illustration of high-gain and low-gain LED illumination scenario at the ground station - Image credit Shinshu University

Illustration of high-gain and low-gain LED illumination scenario at the ground station – Image credit Shinshu University

An English language article about ShindaiSat is available at

https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/s/shindaisat

ShindaiSatShindaiSat is a 20 kg spacecraft approx 300 by 300 by 350 mm which is planning to use bright LEDs for Space to Earth optical communication using Morse code. It also carries an optical lens system for receiving modulated LED light from the ground station.

There will be an AX.25 packet radio telemetry beacon and a low power CW beacon. Downlink frequencies of 437.305 and 437.485 MHz have been coordinated by the IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel.

The article says “A launch of ShindaiSat as a secondary payload is manifested for mid-2014 on the primary GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) mission of NASA and JAXA. JAXA is providing the launch on the H2A vehicle from the Tanegashima Space Center, Japan.

Orbit: Non-sun-synchronous circular orbit, altitude = 407 km, inclination = 65º.”

ShindaiSat website in Google English

ShindaiSat to carry Optical LED Morse Code Beacon

ShindaiSatShindaiSat is a 20 kg spacecraft approx 300 by 300 by 350 mm which is planning to use bright LEDs for Space to Earth optical communication using Morse code.

There will be an AX.25 packet radio telemetry beacon and a low power CW beacon. Downlink frequencies of 437.305 and 437.485 MHz have been coordinated by the IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel.

It is expected to launch into a 400km 65 degree orbit from Japan in 2013.

ShindaiSat website in Google English

Pictures Received on 5840 MHz from Amateur Radio Satellite FITSAT-1

Image of ISS taken by the FITSAT-1 CubeSat after deployment

Image of ISS taken by the FITSAT-1 CubeSat after deployment

On December 22 members of AMSAT-DL succeeded in receiving 18 images from the 5840 MHz high-speed downlink of the amateur radio satellite FITSat-1.

In total 22 images were transmitted in the test and 18 were received at the amateur radio facility at Bochum.

The FITSAT-1 CubeSat was developed by students at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology (FIT) in Japan. As well as the high-speed data downlink on 5840.0 MHz the satellite carries several amateur radio payloads: a CW beacon on 437.250 MHz, a telemetry beacon on 437.445 MHz and an optical Morse code LED experiment.

Continue reading

More Optical Beacon Tests From FITSAT-1

(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

Further transmissions from the optical LED beacon on the amateur radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 are planned for January 10-15. Weather permitting the satellite beacon should be visible using binoculars.

2013, Flashing LED Schedule (times GMT):
10th Jan. 23:57:30 – 23:59:30  New Delhi India        (10Hz Green 2min)
11th Jan. 13:52:30 – 13:54:30  San Francisco USA  (10Hz Green 2min)
12th Jan. 22:00:30 – 22:02:30  Bangalore India        (10Hz Green 2min)
13th Jan. 14:41:30 – 14:43:30  Melbourne Australia (10Hz Red     2min)
14th Jan. 11:03:30 – 11:05:30  Oklahoma USA         (10Hz Green 2min)
15th Jan. 22:27:30 – 22:29:30  Wulumuqi China       (10Hz Green 2min)

The FITSAT-1 CubeSat was developed by students at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology (FIT) in Japan. As well as the optical LED experiment the satellite carries several amateur radio payloads: a CW beacon on 437.250 MHz, a telemetry beacon on 437.445 MHz and a high-speed data downlink on 5840.0 MHz.

Information on how to see the optical beacon signal can be found on the Visual SAT-Flare Tracker 3D site at
http://www.satflare.com/track.php?q=fitsat#MAP

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

FITSAT-1 Optical Beacon video
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/december2012/fitsat1_optical_beacon_video.htm

Further information and pictures of FITSAT-1 and the other CubeSats deployed from the ISS on October 4, 2012 is at http://www.uk.amsat.org/?page_id=10967

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading