4M-LXS Lunar amateur radio payload

4M payload under test

4M payload under test- Credit LuxSpace

Beijing plans to launch a Lunar spacecraft on a journey lasting 196 hours that should take it around the Moon before returning and re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. It will carry a 14 kg payload known as 4M-LXS which was developed at LuxSpace. The launch is expected to take place on October 23, 2014 at 1800 UT.

4M stands for Manfred Memorial Moon Mission in memory of Professor Manfred Fuchs, founder and chairman of OHB group, Bremen who passed away on April 27, 2014.

Full Moon 2010 - Credit Gregory H Revera

Full Moon 2010 – Credit Gregory H Revera

The 4M-LXS amateur radio payload will transmit on 145.980 MHz +/- 2.9kHz (-40°C to +125°C), Doppler max: -2200Hz, +1000Hz. The continuous transmissions will start 4670s (77.8 minutes) after launch (-0, +600s). Five successive 1 minute sequences are sent during the 5 minutes cycle. The digital mode JT65B will be used, this can be decoded by radio amateurs using the free WJST software, there will also be ‘human readable’ tone transmissions. See the transmit sequence description on page 14 of 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment.

During the lunar flyby, the range will be 399,636 km at the most and the distance to the Moon will be between 12,000 and 24,000 km depending on the final injection vector. The transmitter produces 1.5 watts to a simple Monopole antenna which should give a Signal to Noise ratio ( S/N) comparable to amateur moon bounce (EME) signals at the Earth’s surface.

LuxSpace wish to encourage radio amateurs around the world to receive the transmissions and send in data. There will be a number of Experiments and Contests with prizes to the winners in each experiment and category. Details are given on page 19 of 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment.

A Java client will be made available to automatically send the WSJT ALL.TXT and the decoded.txt files to a central database.

Delivery convoy - Image credit Xinhua

Delivery convoy – Image credit Xinhua

The orbiter is one of the test models for Beijing’s new lunar probe Chang’e-5, which will be tasked with landing on the moon, collecting samples and returning to Earth. The launch is aimed at testing the technologies that are vital for the success of Chang’e-5. The orbiter will be launched into Lunar Transfer Orbit (LTO) then will perform a flyby around the Moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere after 196 hours (9 days).

The orbiter arrived by air in Xichang, Sichuan on Sunday, August 10 and was then transported to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

Read the paper 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment

EME 2014 slides: 4M, A Moon Flyby Mission

LuxSpace Sarl on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LuxSpaceSarl

Beijing to test recoverable moon orbiter
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-08/10/c_133546027.htm

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Pages http://amsat.org.uk/iaru

Free WSJT Software http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/

OHB mourning the loss of its founder Manfred Fuchs
http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/04/28/630464/0/en/DGAP-News-OHB-AG-OHB-mourning-the-loss-of-its-founder-Manfred-Fuchs.html

4M Payload - credit LuxSpace

4M Payload – Credit LuxSpace

ISEE-3 Presentation Video Now Available

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

Mario Lorenz DL5MLO and Achim Vollhardt DH2VA from AMSAT-DL Bochum gave a presentation on the ISEE-3 (ICE) spacecraft to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford, on July 26, 2014.

The video of the presentation which included a live demonstration of telemetry reception from the spacecraft can now be viewed on the web or downloaded to your PC. The presentation slides and a recording of ISEE-3 telemetry are also available.

The International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE-3) is a NASA spacecraft that was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere. It was repurposed and renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) in 1983 to study two comets and has been in a heliocentric orbit since then, traveling just slightly faster than Earth. It’s finally catching up with Earth from behind with the closest approach expected in August, 2014.

Since NASA no longer has the capability to receive and command the spacecraft a group of amateurs, with NASA’s permission, decided to do it for themselves.

Bochum Amateur Radio Facility

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

On March 1-2, 2014 radio amateurs at the Bochum Amateur Radio Facility in Germany were able to detect the beacon signal from the spacecraft over a distance of 43 million km. After some changes to the ground equipment and aligning the receive antenna to the predicted position in the sky, the 2 GHz beacon signal could positively be identified due to its frequency, the position in the sky and the frequency shift due to the radial velocity (Doppler shift).

The 20m dish at Bochum was used to receive the signals. In 2003, AMSAT-DL converted this former industrial monument into a fully functional groundstation for deep space probes. Since 2009 the facility is being used by volunteers almost full time as ground receive station for data from the STEREO mission with its two spaceprobes monitoring the sun from different viewing angles.

In June Dennis Wingo KD4ETA and other volunteers succeeded in commanding the spacecraft using the Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico.

Links to the ISEE-3 presentation video, slides and a recording of the ISEE-3 telemetry signal are at
http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/presentation-videos/

Watch 2014 ISEE-3 Reboot Trajectory by Mike Loucks

 

ISEE-3 Spacecraft Presentation in Guildford on Saturday

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Mario Lorenz DL5MLO from AMSAT-DL Bochum will be giving a presentation on ISEE-3 (ICE) from 1:50-2:40pm (1250-1340 GMT) on Saturday, July 26 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ. The event is open to all.

It is hoped to have a live demonstration of telemetry reception from the spacecraft during the presentation.

The International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE-3) is a NASA spacecraft that was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere. It was repurposed and renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) in 1983 to study two comets and has been in a heliocentric orbit since then, traveling just slightly faster than Earth. It’s finally catching up with Earth from behind with the closest approach expected in August, 2014.

Since NASA no longer has the capability to receive and command the spacecraft a group of amateurs, with NASA’s permission, decided to do it for themselves.

Bochum Amateur Radio Facility

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

On March 1-2, 2014 radio amateurs at the Bochum Amateur Radio Facility in Germany were able to detect the beacon signal from the spacecraft over a distance of 43 million km. After some changes to the ground equipment and aligning the receive antenna to the predicted position in the sky, the 2 GHz beacon signal could positively be identified due to its frequency, the position in the sky and the frequency shift due to the radial velocity (Doppler shift).

The 20m dish at Bochum was used to receive the signals. In 2003, AMSAT-DL converted this former industrial monument into a fully functional groundstation for deep space probes. Since 2009 the facility is being used by volunteers almost full time as ground receive station for data from the STEREO mission with its two spaceprobes monitoring the sun from different viewing angles.

In June Dennis Wingo KD4ETA and other volunteers succeeded in commanding the spacecraft using the Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico.

Admittance to the Colloquium is £10 a day. You can register in advance at http://shop.amsat.org.uk/shop/category_10/Colloquium-2014-Fri-25-July-to-Sun-27-July.html registration can also be done on the day.

The schedule and map is at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

Live video streaming http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/23/batc-to-webstream-space-colloquium/

ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft fires thrusters for a return to Earth

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

AMSAT-DL report a team of engineers, space enthusiasts and radio amateurs have succeeded in firing the thrusters of the NASA-abandoned ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft.

The plan on Tuesday, July 8, was to fire the thrusters for a total of 7 sequences with breaks for telemetry analysis. While this would have resulted in a velocity change of 7 m/s, the course correction is required for the lunar swing-by on Aug 10, 2014 then to enter a stable orbit around Earth. However after the first firing sequence the remaining sequences were cancelled due to the returned telemetry data, which is being analyzed. A second attempt was planned for July 9.

The ISEE-3 Reboot Project (IRP) team attempted this main trajectory correction maneuver following a first short thruster firing on July 2, which increased the rotation rate of the spacecraft to the required value. This was possible due to international collaboration between the IRP, and a team of AMSAT-DL and Bochum observatory with its 20 m diameter radio telescope which received and processed critical real-time data of the maneuvers.

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

While the IRP has access to the Arecibo observatory which, at 305 m diameter, is the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, downlink support from Bochum is required as Arecibo cannot transmit and receive simultaneously.

Two members of the AMSAT-DL Bochum team will be giving presentations on their reception of ISEE-3 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

Real-time telemetry from ISEE-3 is displayed at http://amsat-dl.org/

ISEE-3 http://spacecollege.org/isee3

Read the Daily Mail story at
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2684345/Zombie-spacecraft-rescued-abyss-fires-thrusters-time-20-years.html

ISEE-3 Spacecraft Reboot Project Update

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

Dennis Wingo KD4ETA has released an update on the attempts by volunteers, including radio amateurs, to gain control of the NASA ISEE-3 spacecraft.

The International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE-3), a spacecraft that was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere and repurposed in 1983 to study two comets. Renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE), it has been in a heliocentric orbit since then, traveling just slightly faster than Earth. It’s finally catching up to us from behind, and will be closest to Earth in August, 2014.

In his report Dennis says that the spacecraft was successfully commanded into engineering telemetry mode and he mentions the work of radio amateurs Achim Vollhardt DH2VA (AMSAT-DL Bochum) and Phil Karn KA9Q.

[Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Mario Lorenz DL5MLO plan to attend the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford July 26-27 to give a presentation of their work. The event is open to all]

Regarding the possibility of Lunar impact Dennis says “If we can maneuver the spacecraft by June 17th we get the very small delta V number for the maneuver above. However, this starts to climb rapidly as the spacecraft gets closer to the moon. Also we cannot at this time rule out a lunar impact. It is imperative that we get a ranging pass as soon as possible. We also need time to not only evaluate the health of the spacecraft, but to test the systems, the catalyst bed heaters for the propulsion system, the valve heaters, analyze the rest of the propulsion, power, and attitude control system as rapidly as possible. This will be a lot of commanding so we have to move into high gear next week. This is a very fluid situation and we have made amazing progress, thanks to the support of those who believed in us in our crowd funding and the support of our NASA sponsors at NASA Ames and NASA headquarters. More to come soon!!”

Read the report at http://spacecollege.org/isee3/isee-3-reboot-project-update-bullseye-and-more.html

Watch ISEE-3 Reboot Project – Recovering a 30 year old space probe

ISEE-3 / ICE Telecommunications Summary
http://mdkenny.customer.netspace.net.au/ISEE-3.pdf

Dennis Wingo KD4ETA blog http://denniswingo.wordpress.com/

Can radio amateurs command the ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft ?
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/19/can-radio-amateurs-command-the-isee-3-ice-spacecraft/

Radio amateurs receive NASA ISEE-3 / ICE Spacecraft
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/09/radio-amateurs-receive-nasa-isee-3ice-spacecraft/

Radio hams help attempts to command NASA spacecraft
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/05/21/radio-hams-help-attempts-to-command-nasa-spacecraft/

ISEE-3/ICE on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ISEE3returns

Radio hams help attempts to command NASA spacecraft

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

An IEEE article describes how volunteers, including many radio amateurs, are attempting command a 35-year-old NASA spacecraft, the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3).

Rachel Courtland interviews Dennis Wingo KD4ETA about the project and mentions the Bochum facility where AMSAT-DL members will be using their 20 metre dish antenna to help establish communications.

Software-defined radio peripherals built by Ettus Research (founded by Matt Ettus N2MJI) have been purchased, which can be used to implement modulator and demodulator programs that would once have had to be built in hardware.

Read the IEEE article at
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/satellites/space-hackers-prepare-to-reboot-35-year-old-spacecraft

The Watts Up With That website has a more detailed article on the project. The section about the AMSAT-DL Bochum facility mentions two of the team, Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Mario Lorenz DL5MLO. The problems caused by ITAR are noted.

Read the Watts Up With That article ISEE-3 Reboot Project: Aiming for First Contact at
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/15/update-isee-3-reboot-project-aiming-for-first-contact/

Watch ISEE-3 Reboot Project – Recovering a 30 year old space probe

ISEE-3 / ICE Telecommunications Summary
http://mdkenny.customer.netspace.net.au/ISEE-3.pdf

Dennis Wingo KD4ETA blog http://denniswingo.wordpress.com/

Can radio amateurs command the ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft ?
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/19/can-radio-amateurs-command-the-isee-3-ice-spacecraft/

Radio amateurs receive NASA ISEE-3 / ICE Spacecraft
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/09/radio-amateurs-receive-nasa-isee-3ice-spacecraft/

ITAR restrictions on US radio amateurs to be eased
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/05/19/itar-restrictions-to-be-eased/

ISEE-3/ICE on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ISEE3returns

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
http://tinyurl.com/AMSAT-DL-ISEE-3-ICE

Radio amateurs receive NASA ISEE-3 / ICE Spacecraft
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/09/radio-amateurs-receive-nasa-isee-3ice-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
http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/01/22/radio-amateur-diy-rosetta-tracking/

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.

Enjoy!

73 Dave, G4DPZ

BBC TV visit FUNcube station at RSGB National Radio Centre
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/11/22/bbc-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/