Antares CubeSat Launch

Antares Rocket Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Antares Rocket Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The launch of Antares carrying three CubeSats with amateur radio payloads is expected to take place on Wednesday, April 17.

ANS reports that three PhoneSat cubesats will be aboard the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares(TM) rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in eastern Virginia scheduled for April 17 at approximately 5:00 p.m. (EDT). The launch will be shown live on NASA TV at and also at

The three PhoneSats carry amateur radio payloads on 437.425 MHz, each transmits at intervals so all three should be receivable during a pass.

The callsign will be KJ6KRW all three satellites will transmit using AFSK (1200 bps) modulation, AX.25 packet coding. The two PhoneSat 1.0 satellites, Graham and Bell, transmit with a periodicity of respectively 28 seconds and 30 seconds. The PhoneSat 2.0 beta satellite, Alexandre, transmits with a periodicity of 25 seconds.

PhoneSat was chosen as one of the winners in the Aerospace category for the Popular Science magazine “Best of What’s New 2012″ awards. The PhoneSat is a technology demonstration mission consisting of three 1U CubeSats intended to prove that a smartphone can be used to perform many of the functions required of a spacecraft bus.

The satellite is built around the Nexus smartphone which will be running the Android operating system and will be enclosed in a standard 1U CubeSat structure. The main function of the phone is to act as the Onboard Computer, but the mission will also utilize the phone’s SD card for data storage, 5MP camera for Earth Observation, and 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis magnetometer for attitude determination.

One of the nanosatellites, powered by the HTC Nexus One smartphone, will send back pictures of Earth. The other two, running on the Samsung Nexus S, will have two-way S-band radio allowing them to be controlled from Earth.

With a short lifetime of only about one week, the satellites have no solar cells and operate on battery only.

An updated website with telemetry info is now available. Please note the launch date/time may change.

The Antares launch includes the commercial DOVE-1 satellite, a technology development experiment. The satellite had requested IARU coordination for a 1 watt transmitter on 145.825 MHz to downlink a 1200 baud AFSK AX.25 beacon with telemetry and health data. The AMSAT News Service reported in ANS-027 that according to the IARU DOVE-1 will no longer be using frequencies in the amateur radio bands.

It appears the USA FCC granted the experimental callsign WF9XKA for the use by Dove 1, it is believed it may use a downlink on 2420 MHz. Search for Cosmogia at
Dove-1  information
Dove 2 is slated to launch from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on April 19 on a Soyuz-2-1a,


TLEs / ‘Keps’ for recent launches

Check the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) for the latest information

Thanks to AMSAT News Service (ANS), AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-UK and Samudra Haque N3RDX / S21X for the above information.