Juno spacecraft QSL cards sent out

Juno Spacecraft QSL Card October 9, 2013

Juno spacecraft QSL card October 9, 2013

Juno QSL cards have been sent out to those radio amateurs who participated in the Juno Earth flyby experiment.

Amateur radio operators sent a very slow CW (1/25 WPM) to NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its Earth flyby on October 9, 2013.

Hams sent “HI” every 10 minutes as Juno approached Earth, and the message was clearly detected several times. The Juno team confirmed that more than 1400 radio hams participated, representing all seven continents.

Data video: http://youtu.be/Vg80vaGj2Gg
Data video & image caption: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17744
Mini documentary: http://youtu.be/hg9xY1zvrsw
Archived event page: http://missionjuno.swri.edu/hijuno

Radio hams say Hi to Juno http://amsat-uk.org/2013/10/09/radio-hams-say-hi-to-juno/

Can radio amateurs command the ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft ?

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

Der Spiegel newspaper features an article about the hopes of radio amateurs to transmit commands to control the NASA ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft.

The newspaper interviewed radio amateurs Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Thilo Elsner DJ5YM both members of AMSAT-DL.

The article quotes David Dunham as saying “Radio operators have only one attempt. It might take 200 years before ICE is close enough to Earth again”.

Read the Der Spiegel newspaper article in Google English at

Radio amateurs receive NASA ISEE-3 / ICE Spacecraft

ISEE-3 Returns https://www.facebook.com/ISEE3returns

Radio amateurs receive Rosetta signals

Computer generated image of Rosetta

Computer generated image of Rosetta

James Miller G3RUH reports reception of the Rosetta spacecraft signal at a distance of 805 million km from Earth using the 20 metre dish at the Bochum amateur radio facility

Bochum Amateur Radio Facility

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) James Miller G3RUH writes:

Just a quick note about Rosetta X-band.  I checked it this morning from Bochum.

2014 Jan 21 [Tue] 0934 utc
AZ    172°
El    11°
R    805 Million km
CNR    25.5 dB(Hz)
QRG  8421.786900 MHz at the spacecraft

Rosetta is about 14 dB weaker than Stereo A/B.

The system at Bochum has a G/T approx 40 dB(1/K).

Rosetta signal received by Bertrand Pinel F5PL

Rosetta signal received by Bertrand Pinel F5PL

Bertrand Pinel F5PL, located near Castelnaudary, France, 65km from Toulouse, successfully tracked Rosetta on January 21, 2014 at 10:00 UT, using a 3.5m dish antenna, see

ESA Rosetta Blog http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/

ESA on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanSpaceAgency

FUNcube-1 Whole Orbit Data Displayed

FUNcube-1 Whole Orbit Data

FUNcube-1 Whole Orbit Data

Whole Orbit Data from the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) amateur radio spacecraft can now be displayed.

Dave G4DPZ writes:

FUNcube-1 shows part of MSE experiment

FUNcube-1 shows part of MSE experiment

We can now display 104 minutes of Whole Orbit Data captured within the satellite and we are working on getting the scaling factors such that all values can be displayed within the same range e.g. Volts instead on mV, Amps instead on mA. etc.

Part of the MSE experiment is nicely represent in the graph on the right:

Heating and cooling when the spacecraft is in sunlight as indicated by the Solar Cell (PV1) voltage.

We will be moving on to High Resolution data next and then mechanisms for downloading the data for local analysis.


73 Dave, G4DPZ

BBC TV visit FUNcube station at RSGB National Radio Centre

FUNcube-1 Deployed !!! http://amsat-uk.org/2013/11/21/funcube-1-deployed/

First Transponder Test http://amsat-uk.org/2013/11/22/funcube-1-ao-73-transponder-tested/

FUNcube-1 on BBC Radio

Graham Shirville G3VZV withdevelopment version of FUNcube spacecraft

Graham Shirville G3VZV with the Engineering Model of the FUNcube spacecraft in 2012

Graham Shirville G3VZV was interviewed about the FUNcube-1 CubeSat in the Roberto Perrone show on BBC Three Counties Radio. The interview, broadcast on Monday, November 11 is now available on the web.

FUNcube is an educational spacecraft project with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics.

It will support the educational Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives.

The target audience consists of primary and secondary school pupils and FUNcube will feature a 145 MHz telemetry beacon that will provide a strong signal for the pupils to receive. It will also carry a 435/145 MHz linear transponder for amateur radio SSB/CW communications.

The launch is planned for November 21, 2013 at 07:10:11 UT on a Dnepr rocket from Dombarovsky near Yasny in the Russian Federation.

You can listen to the BBC radio interview by dragging the slider to 02:19:29 in the “Listen Now” recording of the 3 hour show which is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01kkvzh

FUNcube-1 spacecraft in the clean room with Graham Shirville G3VZV

FUNcube-1 spacecraft in the clean room with Graham Shirville G3VZV

Radio Hams Say Hi To Juno

This computer-generated image depicts NASA's Juno spacecraft firing its Leros-1b main engine - credit NASA

This computer-generated image depicts NASA’s Juno spacecraft firing its Leros-1b main engine – credit NASA

Radio amateurs around the world took part in an experiment with NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it did a flyby of Earth.

SDR display showing 28 MHz transmissions taken by Dmitry Pashkov UB4UAD

SDR display showing 28 MHz transmissions taken by Dmitry Pashkov UB4UAD

NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 to receive a gravity assist from our planet, putting it on course for Jupiter.

To celebrate this event, the Juno mission invited amateur radio operators around the world to say “HI” to Juno in a coordinated Morse Code message that would be detected by Juno’s radio and plasma wave experiment, called Waves.

Radio amateurs transmitted Morse (CW) signals on a range of frequencies between 28.001 and 28.450 MHz. To give a random spread the precise frequency used depended on the last character of each stations call sign. The natural signals the team expect to measure at Jupiter will consist of a large number of discrete tones, so spreading the signals out in this manner was a good approximation to the signals Juno is expected to detect. But at Jupiter, they don’t expect to be able to decode CW in the telemetry!

The Waves instrument is sensitive to radio signals in all amateur bands below 40 MHz. However, experience with the University of Iowa instruments on the Galileo and Cassini Earth flybys showed significant shielding by the ionosphere at lower frequencies, so the 28 MHz band was chosen for the experiment.

Juno’s antenna consists of a pair of tapered 2.8 meter long titanium tubes, deployed from the bottom deck of the spacecraft under the +X solar array and magnetometer boom. A high impedance radiation resistant preamp sits at the base of the antenna and buffers the signals from 50 Hz to 45 MHz. The elements are deployed with an opening angle of about 120 degrees. 28 MHz is above the resonant frequency of the antenna and NEC analysis indicates a lobe generally along the spin axis of the spacecraft. This will be good for detection on the inbound part of closest approach to Earth.

The Waves instrument uses four receivers to cover the frequency range of 50 Hz to 41 MHz. Signals up to 3 MHz are bandpass filtered, sampled by A/D converters and FFT processed into spectra using a custom FFT processor developed by The University of Iowa under a grant from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium.

Among those taking part were students at Virginia Tech using their club station K4KDJ.

Watch Hi Juno de K4KDJ (Virginia Tech)

Dmitry Pashkov UB4UAD said Hi to Juno http://tinyurl.com/UB4UAD-Hi-Juno

Roland PY4ZBZ – Hi Juno http://tinyurl.com/PY4ZBZ-Hi-Juno

University of Iowa radio club hams it up with Jupiter probe

JPL Hi Juno page http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/hijuno/

NASA’s Juno probe to be Humankind’s fastest ever thing

AMSAT Fox-1 Ham Radio CubeSat Announcement

Fox-1 CubeSat at the Dayton Hamvention - Image Credit ARRL

AMSAT at the Dayton Hamvention – Image Credit ARRL

NASA announced on May 13, 2013 that AMSAT’s Fox-1 amateur radio spacecraft has been assigned for launch in November 2014 on the ELaNa XII mission. The expected orbit is 470 x 780 km at 64 degrees inclination. This orbit has a lifetime of about 11 years.

AMSAT Vice President Engineering, Tony Monteiro, AA2TX, reported that the software development team successfully brought up the Fox-1 system software on the Internal Housekeeping Unit (IHU). The IHU is the brains of the Fox-1 satellite and it has a 32-bit, STM32L microprocessor. The operating IHU card was shown in the AMSAT Engineering booth at the Dayton Hamvention.

AMSAT FOXThe Fox-1 Engineering Team will deliver the satellite for integration with the launch vehicle during May, 2014 with the launch scheduled for November, 2014. Tony commented, “While this is later than we had hoped, it is well within the normal variance of ELaNa launch dates and the extra time will be most welcome for additional satellite testing. This is very exciting news and really puts the focus on finishing the satellite and ground station software development.”

President Barry Baines says, “AMSAT’s focus on STEM education and development of a CubeSat platform capable of flying a science mission with a reliable communications link resulted in the selection of Fox-1 in the third round and RadFxSat (Fox-1B) in the fourth round of NASA’s Cubesat Launch Initiative.”

All Fox CubeSats are designed to host advanced science payloads to support future science missions that help us to continue qualify for NASA ELaNa (free) launches. The Phase 1 Fox satellites are 1-Unit CubeSats. They each include an analog FM repeater that will allow simple ground stations using an HT and an “arrow” type antenna to make contacts using the satellite. This was the mode made so popular by AO-51. The Phase 1 CubeSats also have the capability of operating in a high-speed digital mode for data communications. Phase 2 Fox satellites will include software-defined-transponders (SDX) like the one tested on ARISSat-1. These will be able to operate in a wide variety of analog and digital communications modes including linear transponders. Since this requires more power for reliable operation, these will probably all be 3-Unit CubeSats.

Source: AMSAT News Service (ANS) http://ww2.amsat.org/?page_id=443

A 1U CubeSat, Fox-1a will serve as a communications relay for radio amateurs worldwide via the onboard FM repeater system. Fox-1a will also carry an experiment consisting of a 3-axis MEMs gyro developed by Penn State University. The communications and experiment missions will run concurrently. An uplink on 435.180 MHz for FM voice and a downlink on 145.980 MHz with FM voice and an optional sub audible FSK digital carrier channel has been coordinated. Fox-1a will employ passive magnetic stabilization.

For more information see http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/symposium/2012/2012_Symposium_Fox_Overview.pdf

Fox-1a is planning to launch from Vandenburg during 2014 on the NASA ElanaXII mission with ARC1, BisonSat, Lightsail and R2S(NEO)

AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/maillist/

STEREO Spacecraft now using Turbo Code Software written by AMSAT-DL



AMSAT-DL reports that on April 2, 2013, the two NASA STEREO space-based observatories switched to Turbo Codes to transmit their real-time space weather data permanently. A network of four ground stations, located at the IUZ in Bochum/Germany, CNES in Toulouse/France, NICT in Koganei/Japan and amateur radio station DL0SHF in Kiel-Ronne/Germany receives this data, and uses turbo-decoding software written by AMSAT-DL.

The Bochum station is run by AMSAT-DL e.V. and IUZ Bochum Observatory, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and DLR.

Said Doug Biesecker, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center:

“Thanks to the wonderful work of our colleagues running the station in Bochum and the support of DLR, we can now be sure of receiving real-time data from the NASA/STEREO satellite throughout the life of the mission. The STEREO data has proven to provide significant benefits to space weather forecasting and is used by NOAA on a daily basis to ensure the best possible forecasts. Space weather increasingly threatens the technological infrastructure of our modern world, with demonstrated impacts on global positioning, power grids, and high frequency communication systems.”

The switch to Turbo Codes has improved reception capabilities of the ground stations by about 2 dB, which is a very welcome improvement giving the increasing distances – 269 and 286 million kilometers respectively – that need to be covered.

Source http://www.amsat-dl.org/index.php/news-mainmenu-97/194-stereo-turbo-amsateng

AMSAT-DL International Satellites for Communication, Science and Education http://tinyurl.com/AMSAT-DL

BBC – ESA seeks help to control robot spacecraft

Parrot AR Drone 2.0

Parrot AR Drone 2.0

BBC News report that the European Space Agency (ESA) is turning to owners of terrestrial robot aircraft to aid those that journey into space.

The agency has released an App that makes use of the cameras on the Parrot drone to simulate docking with a virtual space station.

The Parrot drone quadcopter has proved popular with many iPhone owners as it can be controlled via the 2.4 GHz WiFi signal from the handset.

Data generated by the agency’s App will be analyzed to help fine tune navigation software for its own drones.

Read the BBC story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21828807

ESA Smartphone App Turns Drone into Spacecraft

Middlesex Foundation Radio Hams success in UAV (Drone) competition

Watch Live Video of UK STRaND-1 Smartphone Satellite Launch

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

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

The UK smartphone satellite STRaND-1 is expected to launch from India on Monday, Feb. 25 at 12:25 GMT. You can follow the launch on Twitter or watch live video.

STRaND-1 and other CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads are planned to launch on the ISRO PSLV-C20 rocket into a 785 km orbit.

STRaND-1 carries an amateur radio 9600 bps AX.25 packet radio downlink on 437.568 MHz. It is hoping to be the first ever satellite to carry a smartphone into space and is also believed be the first satellite to use a part produced with a 3D Printer.

On Twitter the Surrey Space Centre @SpaceAtSurrey tweeted:

Official launch hashtag of STRaND-1 spacecraft is #S1Launch. Post launch we will be using #STRaND1 hashtag. Launch time:12.25 GMT 25th Feb 2013 #UniOfSurrey #SSTL

Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) for PSLV – C20 @STRaND mission has cleared the launch on Monday, Feb 25, 2013. @university of surrey #S1Launch

Live video launch feeds for Monday’s PSLV launch http://www.webcast.gov.in/live/ and http://ibnlive.in.com/livetv/

Launch times can and do change at the last minute so follow Twitter for the latest information.

Follow Surrey Nanosats https://twitter.com/SurreyNanosats

Read more about STRaND-1 at http://www.amsat-uk.org/?page_id=12196

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

STRaND-1 videos http://www.amsat-uk.org/?page_id=12472

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

STRaND-1 on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nanosats

Provisional initial track of STRaND-1

Provisional initial track of STRaND-1