$50SAT – Eagle2 – the PICAXE and RFM22B micro satellite was successfully launched from Dombarovsky Air Base in Russia on November 21 at 07:10 UT.
It went active soon after being released from UNISAT-5 and the 437.505 MHz (+/-10 kHz Doppler shift) Morse beacon from $50SAT was heard in the UK at 10:28 that morning (Nov. 21).
$50SAT is a very low cost and simple satellite and most radio amateurs should be able to receive the Morse beacon and FSK RTTY data with an omni directional antenna.
The primary purpose of $50SAT (Eagle2) was to create a cost effective platform for engineering and science students to use for developing real world skills. The PocketQube form factor has no precision mechanical parts and can be built from locally obtained sheet metal.
$50sat is comprised of two 40mm x 40mm circuit boards. The first is the processor/radio board which contains the PICaxe 40X2 processor programmed in PICaxe basic, the Hope RFM22B single chip radio and some peripheral devices. The PICaxe 40X2 is an easy to use micro controller popular in the education sector.
The second board is the power control and monitor board. This board contains four maximum power point controllers, one for each solar array on each side of the spacecraft as well as current monitors for the battery and summed solar power. The battery is a common 3.7 volt lithium ion camera battery.
The satellite will transmit data telemetry about the satellites operation, a sequence of call signs in slow FM Morse and some key data as fast FM Morse (120 WPM). The main data payload will also be transmitted as FSK RTTY which should be readily heard on the ground with basic amateur radio equipment.
$50SAT has been a collaborative education project between Professor Bob Twiggs, KE6QMD, Morehead State University and three other radio amateurs, Howie DeFelice, AB2S, Michael Kirkhart, KD8QBA, and Stuart Robinson, GW7HPW.
The $50SAT team plan to make all the software and hardware designs freely available to anyone who wants them for personal or educational use. For further information see the $50SAT Dropbox at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l3919wtfiywk2gf/-HxyXNsIr8
There is a discussion group for $50SAT at:
HOPE RFM22B FSK transceiver http://www.hoperf.com/rf/module/fsk/RFM22B.htm
PICAXE-40X2 microcontroller http://www.picaxe.com/Hardware/PICAXE-Chips/PICAXE-40X2-microcontroller/
Dnepr satellites https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/dnepr-november-2013/