FITSAT-1 heard in Vermont on 5840.0 MHz

FITSAT-1 Flight Model

The 5840.0 MHz downlink of FITSAT-1 was received in Vermont on both Saturday and Sunday by Mike Seguin N1JEZ.

FITSAT-1 CubeSat, developed by students at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology (FIT) in Japan has a CW beacon on 437.250 MHz and a data link on 437.445 MHz. There is also a 5840.0 MHz data downlink and an optical LED experiment that will flash Morse code which may be visible with the unaided eye.

FITSAT-1, also named NIWAKA was one of five CubeSats launched on July 21 and loaded aboard the ISS. These were integrated with the J-SSOD small satellite deployer on the the Japanese Experiment Module, also known as Kibo. They were deployed with the Kibo robotic arm on October 4.

Shortly after deployment into orbit FITSAT-1 was heard with strong signals on its 437 MHz downlinks. FITSAT CW transmits, “HI DE NIWAKA JAPAN” with its telemetry data.

Mike Sequin, N1JEZ in Vermont reported success in copying the 5.8 GHz downlink from NIWAKA. Mike wrote, “Success! I was able to detect NIWAKA. It was lower in frequency that I expected, but with the FUNcube [Dongle SDR], it was easy to spot. The Doppler was huge! and I was moving the dish almost continuous to try and keep up. The 5.84 GHz transmitter seemed to come on very close to the set time. First detection was at 12:24:21 UT.”

Mike posted two screen shots. In the first shot, you can see the signal on the left side Doppler shifting down. In the second, a close up of one data burst with Doppler – about 3 seconds or so:

+ http://tinyurl.com/N1JEZ-Screen1
+ http://tinyurl.com/N1JEZ-Screen2

Mike’s station used a 5.760 DEMI Transverter with a 144 MHz IF. That is why the HDSDR screen for the FUNcube Dongle is tuned to 224 MHz. His antenna is a 2 foot dish is with a Directive Systems 5.76 GHz feed.

You can receive a FITSAT-1 QSL card by sending your signal report and your postal address to: fitsat1 at hotmail.co.jp and also cc: to tanaka at fit.ac.jp. A photo of the QSL card is shown at: http://www.fit.ac.jp/~tanaka/fitsat.shtml (This web page will also
be updated with information about the status of the LED experiment).

HB9FFH has made a telemetry decoder for FITSAT-1, available at:
http://carpcomm.com/satellite/fitsat1

FITSAT students have also developed a similar program for windows:
http://turing.cs.fit.ac.jp/~fitsat/CWFM/FITSAT_CW_Analyzer1.zip

Here is a reminder of the FITSAT-1/NIWAKA frequencies:
CW Beacon 437.250 MHz,
FM Data 437.445 MHz,
High speed data 5840.00 MHz

The emails Mike Seguin N1JEZ posted to the AMSAT Bulletin Board can be seen at
http://www.mail-archive.com/amsat-bb@amsat.org/msg24743.html
http://www.mail-archive.com/amsat-bb@amsat.org/msg24746.html
http://www.mail-archive.com/amsat-bb@amsat.org/msg24748.html

Thanks to Mike Seguin N1JEZ, Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and ANS for the above information