OPS-SAT Opportunity for Radio Amateurs

CAD drawing og OPS-SAT - credit ESA

CAD drawing of OPS-SAT – credit ESA

OPS-SAT provides a rare opportunity for testing new amateur radio software for use on a CubeSat actually in space. The 3U CubeSat has deployable solar arrays and plans to launch in 2016 into a Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Although the formal closing dates for expressions of interest from potential experimenters for this project has now closed, contact has been made with Dave Evans at ESA-ESOC who has confirmed that they would be very interested to receive proposals from an AMSAT team to develop a novel use of this spacecraft for amateur radio purposes.

In addition to an X Band downlink and S Band uplinks and downlinks, the spacecraft will carry a simplex transceiver operating with 4k8/9k6 telemetry using GMSK on the 435 MHz band.

It s understood that experimenters will have access to an onboard processor running Linux/Java at 500 to 800 MHz.

The project is open to teams led by a group from any ESA member country (this includes Canada) and initial info is shown here although the detailed design is being rapidly iterated.

It is emphasised that this is a very open project which will require lots of interaction between the contributing groups.

Bright ideas are needed from our software experts and If there is sufficient interest it may be possible to host a Skype conference about this opportunity during the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium over the weekend of July 20-21.

It is not proposed that this should be an AMSAT-UK led project, but Graham Shirville G3VZV is happy to provide some initial coordination!

OPS-SAT Evolving Software Technology for Spacecraft Operations