WRAPS: A Portable Satellite Antenna Rotator System

WRAPS Portable Satellite Antenna Rotator System - Copyright ARRL

WRAPS Portable Satellite Antenna Rotator System – Copyright ARRL

The January 2014 edition of QST contains an article by ARRL Education and Technology Program Coordinator Mark Spencer WA8SME on a portable azimuth and elevation rotator system for tracking satellites called WRAPS.

WRAPS stands for Wobbler RadFxSat Antenna Pointing System rotator system which Mark developed to support tracking CubeSats such as FUNcube-1 and the upcoming Fox-1 and RadFxSat/Fox-1B. His target audience includes school groups who want to access the capabilities of the CubeSats.

Thanks to Mark and the ARRL a copy of the article in PDF format is available here WRAPS – Mark Spencer WA8SME QST Jan 2014 Copyright ARRL.
For personal use only – no copying, reprinting or distribution without written permission from the ARRL.

Mark Spencer WA8SME gave a presentation on WRAPS during the 2013 AMSAT Space Symposium in Houston, Texas, on Friday, November 1, 2013. His talk was recorded by Patrick Stoddard VA7EWK.

Apologies for missing the start of Mark’s introduction, and for the quality of this video. The Symposium organizers dimmed the lights in the front of the room for this presentation, which meant Mark was essentially standing in the dark as he gave his presentation.

Watch WA8SME: WRAPS Portable Satellite Antenna Rotor (2013 AMSAT Space Symposium)

At the AMSAT Forum at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention the presentations on education wrapped up with a talk by Mark Spencer, ARRL Education & Technology Program Director. “Spence”, WA8SME, briefly described his classroom experiments for measuring the “wobble” of the Fox satellite, demonstrating a Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) for a solar array, and WRAPS a lower cost azimuth-elevation rotor system for lightweight satellite antennas.

Watch Fox Classroom Experiments, by Spence WA8SME – 2013 Dayton Hamvention

A limited number of complete WRAPS systems will be available through the AMSAT-NA Store. As of December 12 they were not yet available, and AMSAT-NA do not at present have a firm date when they will be in stock. Because of uncertainty of the price and number which will be available, they are not taking advanced orders. When they are ready to process orders, AMSAT-NA will make the information public.  Please do not call the AMSAT office.

ARRL http://www.arrl.org/

AMSAT-NA http://www.amsat.org/

FUNcube http://www.funcube.org.uk/

Fox-1 http://ww2.amsat.org/?page_id=1113

ARRL International Membership with a digital version of the monthly QST magazine cost $39 (£25), see
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/may2012/arrl_launch_digital_qst_magazine.htm