STRaND-1 talk at RSGB Convention this Saturday

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC working on STRaND-1 - Image credit Surrey Space Centre

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC working on STRaND-1 – Image credit Surrey Space Centre

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC of the Surrey Space Centre is one of the volunteers who developed the UK’s first CubeSat STRaND-1 on 437.568 MHz.

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

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

At 14:45 on Saturday, October 12 [note change in day/time] he will be providing an update on the satellite to those attending the RSGB Convention near Milton Keynes.

Launched on February 25, 2013 STRaND-1 was the first satellite to carry a Smartphone into space and attracted world-wide media interest.

At the heart of STRaND-1 is a Google Nexus One smartphone with an Android operating system. Smartphones contain highly advanced technologies and incorporate several key features that are integral to a satellite – such as cameras, radio links, accelerometers and high performance computer processors – almost everything a spacecraft needs except the solar panels and propulsion.

The RSGB’s Centenary Convention, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, takes place this weekend (Fri eve-Sun) October 11-13 at Horwood House, MK17 0PH just a few miles outside Milton Keynes. Tickets are available on the door.

RSGB Convention Schedule

RSGB Centenary Convention

STRaND-1 information

UK STRaND-1 Amateur Radio Smartphone CubeSat is Back !

Dr Susan Jason working on STRaND-1 - Image credit Surrey Space Centre

Dr Susan Jason working on STRaND-1 – Image credit Surrey Space Centre

On July 23, 2013 at 1634 UT Mike Rupprecht DK3WN received signals from the UK STRaND-1 satellite after a near four month absence.

Built by volunteers from the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and SSTL in Guildford STRaND-1 was launched on February 25, 2013 and was the World’s first Smartphone CubeSat to be put into orbit.

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC and STRaND-1

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC and STRaND-1

STRaND-1 unexpectedly stopped transmitting on March 30, 2013 and radio amateurs around the world have been listening for it ever since on a frequency of 437.568 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler).

Radio amateurs are requested to email reports of reception of telemetry data from STRaND-1 to: strand.messages<at>

See the report from Mike Rupprecht DK3WN at

STRaND-1 information

How to decode the telemetry

Online real-time tracking of STRaND-1

Watch the presentation on STRaND-1 given by Chris Bridges M6OBC to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium on July 21, 2013 at Download the video by right-clicking on

AMSAT-UK publishes a quarterly colour A4 newsletter, OSCAR News, that is full of Amateur Satellite information. A sample issue of OSCAR News can be downloaded here.
Join AMSAT-UK online at

New Version of STRaND-1 Telemetry Decoder

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

Mike Rupprecht DK3WN has released a new version of the STRaND-1 telemetry decoder that incorporates the recent telemetry changes from the STRaND team.

Download Version 1.50 [27.03.2013] BETA from


STRaND-1 telemetry

STRaND-1 videos

New STRaND-1 telemetry spreadsheet and DK3WN magnetic field vector analysis

STRaND-1_20130326_magThe STRaND-1 team have released a new version of the Excel Spreadsheet for the STRaND-1 Telemetry which is now updated with switch details.

Dr Susan Jason working on STRaND-1

Dr Susan Jason working on STRaND-1

Download the new spreadsheet from

Mike Rupprecht DK3WN has been working on new software which compares the magnetometer values sent by STRaND-1 in comparison to the NOAA World Magnetic Mode (WMM2010). Further information at

Surrey Space Centre report that the STRAND-1 satellite is healthy and in the coming weeks they hope to be able to switch-on the Google Nexus One smartphone carried by the CubeSat.

STRaND-1 page

STRaND-1 Update – Ground Station Improvements Underway

STRaND-1 Ground Station Antennas

STRaND-1 Ground Station Antennas

Surrey Space Centre report that the STRAND-1 satellite is healthy but they have had new ground station teething problems. That has diverted effort and delayed the eagerly awaited switch-on of the Google Nexus One smartphone carried by the CubeSat.

The team are currently scouting University of Surrey rooftops for a better antenna position for STRaND-1.

The STRaND-1 downlink frequency is 437.568 MHz using 9k6 bps AX.25 packet radio. Details of the telemetry format are at

Surrey Space Centre

Follow Surrey Space Centre

Antares-110 Amateur Radio CubeSat Integration Completed

Antares-110 CubeSat Integration - Image Credit Spaceflight Inc

Image Credit Spaceflight Inc

Several CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads are planned to launch on the Antares-110 mission in April.

On the CubeSat mailing list Jason Andrews President and CEO of both Spaceflight Inc and Andrews Space posted:

Spaceflight Inc recently completed CubeSat integration activities for the Antares demonstration mission including deployment dress rehersal.  Spaceflight has two ISIPod deployers on this mission.  One contains three 1U spacecraft for NASA Ames Research Center and the other contains a 3U spacecraft for a commercial customer.  An image of the integration activity can be found here:

Among the amateur radio CubeSats on the launch are three Phonesats which will all carry Google Nexus smartphones similar to the pioneering UK smartphone satellite STRaND-1 that was launched in February. There will be two PhoneSat 1.0’s and one PhoneSat 2.0 on the launch.

PhoneSat 1.0 cost about $3500 and is built around the Nexus One smartphone, it operates on battery power only with a mission lifetime of approx 1 week.

PhoneSat 2.0 is more expensive at $8000. It is built around the Nexus S smartphone and has solar panels on each face and a mission lifetime until de-orbit of approximately 2 weeks.

The IARU amateur satellite frequency coordination panel have coordinated frequencies of 437.425 MHz and 2401.2-2431.2MHz for the PhoneSats.

Also on the launch is the Dove-1 CubeSat. The Antares-110 launcher is expected to deploy the satellites into a 250 km 51.6° inclination orbit.

PSLV-C20 Object-Satellite Pairings

STRaND-1 PSLV-C20 Launch - Image credit ISRO

STRaND-1 PSLV-C20 Launch – Image credit ISRO

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board Alan WA4SCA has posted information from Space Track of the object-satellite pairings for the PSLV-C20 launch that carried the UK smartphone satellite STRaND-1 into space. He writes:

JSpOC [Joint Space Operations Center] has named the following satellites:

39086 – SARAL
39087 – AAUSAT3
39088 – SAPPHIRE
39089 – NEOSSAT
39090 – STRAND 1
39091 – CANX 3A (BRITE-ASRA)
39092 – CANX 3B (UNIBRITE)
39093 – PSLV R/B
39094 – PSLV DEB

Due to catalog requirements, which requires payloads to be listed prior to the rocket body and another launch debris, objects 39086, 39087, 39092, 39093, and 39094 had to be shifted to be placed in proper sequence.

Elsets were shifted as follows:
39086 was moved to 39093 (PSLV R/B)
39087 was moved to 39094 (PSLV DEB)
39092 was moved to 39086 (SARAL)
39093 was moved to 39087 (AAUSAT3)
39094 was moved to 39092 (CANX 3B)

NORAD Keps/TLEs for recent satellites

Radio Amateur receives STRaND-1 Smartphone Satellite in Brazil

AMSAT-UK_Bevelled_LogoRoland Zurmely PY4ZBZ in Brazil has received the 437.568 MHz telemetry signal from the STRaND-1 smartphone satellite launched on Monday, February 25.

See his STRaND-1 telemetry page in Google English at

Page in Portugese

Information on decoding the STRaND-1 amateur radio telemetry beacon

Decoding the STRaND-1 amateur radio telemetry beacon

STRaND-1 PSLV-C20 Launch - Image credit ISRO

STRaND-1 PSLV-C20 Launch – Image credit ISRO

STRaND-1 carries an amateur radio AX.25 packet radio downlink on 437.568 MHz using 9600 bps FSK modulated data with HDLC frame, NRZI encoding.

Dr Chris Bridges would be delighted to receive all available telemetry files by email to

Excel Spreadsheet of STRaND-1 Telemetry Format_20130327

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board Mark Hammond N8MH has provided these tips to decode STRaND-1:

(1) Sprint-2 TNC set at 9600 baud in KISS mode (or any 9600 in KISS mode probably)

(2) Using this software to capture:

(3) And using this software to decode the captured KISS files:

Thanks to Mike Rupprecht DK3WN for the excellent software.

Jan PE0SAT describes how he used the free TNC emulator software AGWPE and SDR# to decode the telemetry. This approach means you don’t have to buy a dedicated hardware TNC it simply uses your existing PC and radio that supports 9600 bps data:

(1) Record a pass using SDR# and a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ and save the IQ wav file so you can work with it after the pass.
(2) Configure AGW Packet Engine (AGWPE) as a 9600 baud modem using your audio mixer as input. If you don’t have an audio mixer, use audio VAC to route the received audio to the AGW audio input.
(3) When the AGW packet engine is running use AGW-Online-KISS from DK3WN to connect to the packet engine and decode the telemetry.
(4) Open the IQ wav file within SDR# and playback the recorded file and tune to the correct receive frequency, now you can see decoded data within Online-Kiss.
(5) Feed the files captured to KISS-Dump

STRaND-1 Ground Station Antennas

STRaND-1 Ground Station Antennas

Descriptions of ONLINE KISS +, AGW ONLINE KISS and KISS Dump + are at

The free AGWPE soundcard packet software is available at

Guide on how to use AGWPE

Tracking Information

Free satellite tracking software:
• SimpleSat Look Down
• Gpredict
• Orbitron

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLE’s) ‘Keps’

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

Join the FUNcube Yahoo Group at

Further information on the FUNcubeDongle Software Defined Radio is at