Six CubeSats to Deploy from ISS

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

Masahiro Arai JN1GKZ reports that six CubeSats delivered to the International Space Station by the HTV-6 will deploy from the ISS using the new JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) on Monday, January 16.

JAXA ISS CubeSat Deployment 2017-01-16The new J-SSOD has four satellite install cases. One satellite install case has 3U space, so the new J-SSOD could deploy twelve 1U CubeSats at a time.

The six CubeSats are installed as follows:

Case    CubeSats
#1        three 1U CubeSats ITF-2、WASEDA-SAT3、FREEDOM
#2        one 3U CubeSat    EGG
#3        one 2U CubeSat    AOBA-VELOX3
#4        one 3U CubeSat    TuPOD (including Tancredo1 and OSNSAT)

ITF-2、WASEDA-SAT3、AOBA-VELOX3, TuPOD and Tancredo1 have amateur radio downlinks.

#1 and #2 will be deployed at 0900-0930z January 16, #3 and #4 will be 1030-1100z.

Live broadcast will start at 0850z on the JAXA YouTube channel.

IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination

Middle School Students’ Tancredo-1 TubeSat Scheduled for Launch

ITF-2 CubeSat to deploy from ISS

ITF-2 reception report form

2017 AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium

Kents Hill Park Conference Centre Milton Keynes MK7 6BZ

Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ

AMSAT-UK is very happy to announce that the dates of the next AMSAT-UK Colloquium will be October 14-15, 2017.

This year it will be incorporated into the RSGB Convention at the Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Timbold Drive, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ. Exact details are currently being finalised with the RSGB and these will be notified when they are known.

If you have not been to Kents Hill Park before, it is very close to the M1 motorway and is near to Bletchley Park, where RSGB members have free entry. For overseas visitors it is convenient for planes to London Luton Airport (30-minute taxi ride) and also London Gatwick and Birmingham airports, both of which have direct train connections to Bletchley and/or Milton Keynes stations. These stations are approximately 10 minutes away by taxi.


Small Satellite SDR Paper

Mamatha R. Maheshwarappa 2E0CZOMamatha R. Maheshwarappa 2E0CZO has released her paper “Improvements in CPU & FPGA Performance for Small Satellite SDR Applications”.

Abstract: The ongoing evolution in constellation/formation of CubeSats along with steadily increasing number of satellites deployed in Lower Earth Orbit (LEO), demands a generic reconfigurable multimode communication platforms. As the number of satellites increase, the existing protocols combined with the trend to build one control station per CubeSat become a bottle neck for existing communication methods to support data volumes from these spacecraft at any given time.

This paper explores the Software Defined Radio (SDR) architecture for the purposes of supporting multiple-signals from multiple-satellites, deploying mobile and/or distributed ground station nodes to increase the access time of the spacecraft and enabling a future SDR for Distributed Satellite Systems (DSS).

Performance results of differing software transceiver blocks and the decoding success rates are analysed for varied symbol rates over different cores to inform on bottlenecks for Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) acceleration. Further, an embedded system architecture is proposed based on these results favouring the ground station which supports the transition from single satellite communication to multi-satellite communications.

You can download the PDF of the paper from

Mamatha worked on the STUDSAT-1, STUDSAT-2 and STRaND-1 satellites which carried amateur radio payloads and was Satellite Officer & Member of the Surrey Electronics and Amateur Radio Society

BY70-1 FM transponder contact video

Christian Jacobs 2E0ICL has released a video of his recent contact with Peter Goodhall 2E0SQL via the new amateur radio FM satellite BY70-1.

The satellite was launched into orbit on December 28, 2016. This is orbit #27.

Watch New FM transponder satellite BY70-1

BY70-1 information

Christian Jacobs 2E0ICL has also released a video of his recent FM contact via the SO-50 satellite during a recent Summits On The Air (SOTA) activation at Walbury Hill (summit identifier G/SE-001).

A total of 13 contacts were made, mostly on 2m SSB, including some FM satellite working via SO50 with 10 watts to an Arrow dual-band antenna.

Watch Summits on the Air: G/SE-001, Walbury Hill

SO-50 satellite

Arrow 2m/70cm dual-band antenna

Making contacts through the ISS APRS UHF Digipeater

International Space Station - Image Credit NASA

International Space Station – Image Credit NASA

John Brier KG4AKV has released a video showing his contact through the International Space Station packet radio digipeater on 437.550 MHz FM (+/-10 kHz Doppler shift).

This was my second contact through the ISS digipeater. I actually contacted the same station I contacted in this video, W8LR, three days before, but I wasn’t recording any video.

For this video I recorded the audio from my Kenwood TH-D72a and later played it back to Soundmodem+UISS. Soundmodem decodes many more packets than my radio does. I made a screen capture of UISS and its map so you can see the complete details of every received packet.

Another thing this video shows is how hard it can be to track a near overhead pass (close to 90 degrees elevation). When I was beginning in satellites I only tried to work overhead passes because I knew the signal would be strongest when the satellite was closest to me. While that is true, the closer the satellite is to you the faster its relative speed is. When it passes overhead it switches from coming towards you to going away from you very fast, and drops 10s of degrees in seconds. That makes the satellite very easy to lose track of.

In this video I got distracted while changing settings on my radio and lost the ISS after it went overhead. It didn’t help that I was using a tripod for the first time. I prefer to hold the antenna in my hand precisely because I find it’s easier to track, as I can make quick adjustments and listen for the signal going up and down. To control the radio for packet, it helps to have two hands.

Watch I made CONTACT! UHF ISS Digipeater

You can subscribe to John’s Space Comms YouTube Channel at

Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat to deploy during EVA

Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat - Credit Tomsk Polytechnic University

Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat – Credit Tomsk Polytechnic University

The amateur radio CubeSat Tomsk-TPU-120 may be deployed during a Russian spacewalk (EVA) in July 2017.

The satellite was developed by students at the Tomsk Polytechnic University to test new space materials technology and is the world’s first space vehicle with a 3D-printed structure. It was launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan to the ISS on March 31, 2016 in a Progress-MS-2 cargo vessel.

It will be deployed by hand during a Russian spacewalk, which is why unlike other CubeSats this one has a handle. The call sign of the satellite is RS4S.

According to Alexey Yakovlev, head of the Tomsk Polytechnic University’s Institute of High Technologies, the 3D printed satellite is something of a landmark for additive manufacturing, being the first example of a fully 3D printed satellite: “The Tomsk-TPU-120 is the first such project in the world, in which the entire casing of a satellite is fully 3D printed using dynamic modeling,” Yakovlev recently told Sputnik. “The combination of these technologies can significantly reduce the development time and the number of full-scale tests, find new engineering solutions, and reduce the project’s cost.”

In May 2016 the Tomsk Polytechnic University celebrated its 120th anniversary. As part of the celebrations on May 10/11 the Tomsk-TPU-120 was activated in the ISS and transmitted a greeting to Earth inhabitants, recorded by students of the university in 10 languages: Russian, English, German, French, Chinese, Arabic, Tatar, Indian, Kazakh and Portuguese.

The greeting message was transmitted once a minute on 437.025 MHz FM. A Kenwood transceiver on the ISS provided a cross-band relay, re-transmitting the signal on 145.800 MHz FM.

Read the 3ders article at

Sputnik News – Unique 3D-Printed Siberian Satellite to Orbit Earth

ISS Calendar

Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat Video