KickSat Sprites – Radio Competition

KickSat Sprite Competition

On the KickSat updates page Zac Manchester KD2BHC has announced a competition to receive the first amateur radio signals from the KickSat CubeSat and the tiny Sprites satellites.

KickSat Sprite satellites deployed - Image by Ben Bishop VK2FBRB

KickSat Sprite satellites deployed – Image by Ben Bishop VK2FBRB

The KickSat CubeSat will carry 104 tiny Sprite satellites into a 325×315 km 51.5 degree inclination orbit. The launch carrying four other CubeSats, SporeSat, TSAT, PhoneSat-v2.5 and ALL-STAR/THEIA is planned for Friday, April 18, 2014 at 1925 UT and should be broadcast live on NASA TV and also streamed on Ustream.

Zac writes:

Our launch coming up in less than a week and, to keep things fun, I’d like to announce a little contest…

I’ll be offering prizes to the first several people who receive telemetry packets from KickSat as well as the first few who receive signals from the Sprites. The prizes will include souvenir Sprites and CRS-3 and ELaNa-V mission patches.

437 MHz Sprite

437 MHz Sprite

Now for the rules:
• In the case of KickSat telemetry, you have to send me the raw hex or ASCII packet data and I have to be able to successfully decode it.
• In the case of the Sprite signals, you have to send me a raw baseband recording and I have to be able to decode at least one Sprite signal from it.
• I’ll continue offering prizes until I run out of cool swag.
• I have the ultimate say on whether or not you win.

To get in on the fun, check out our wiki and join the KickSat mailing list. Let the games begin!

All the Sprites operate on a single frequency of 437.240 MHz and use Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). The transmitter runs 10 mW output of Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) modulated binary data with each data bit modulated as a 511 bit Pseudo-Random Number (PRN) sequence. The ITU emission designator is 50K0G1D.

The KickSat CubeSat has downlinks on 437.505 MHz and 2401-2436.2 MHz.

In this video Ben Bishop VK2FBRB gives an alternative view of the deployment


KickSat mailing list!forum/kicksat-gs

Kicksat Updates

PRN codes for KickSat Sprites released

CRS-3 Payloads

Equipment for receiving the Sprite 437 MHz signals

Equipment for receiving the Sprite 437 MHz signals