The EASAT-2 and HADES satellites, each carrying an FM transponder and digipeater, are expected to launch on January 13 at 15:25 GMT on the SpaceX Falcon-9 Transporter-3 mission.
A translation of a post by Spain’s URE reads:
The Scottish space broker Alba Orbital has confirmed the correct integration of the EASAT-2 and Hades satellites in the Falcon-9vehicle, using the company’s AlbaPOD ejector. It is confirmed, except for exceptional circumstances, the launch for this Thursday, January 13, initially at 15.25 UTC (16.25 Spanish peninsular time). Both satellites should have been launched a year ago, but the problems of the Momentusintegrator, on whose Vigoride vehicle albaPod ejectors of Alba Orbital were to be integrated with the American administration, caused this delay. Momentus was replaced by Exolaunch for the flight.
Both satellites offer FM voice communications and data relay in FSK or AFSK up to 2400 bps,such as AX.25 or APRS frames. They also broadcast voice beacons on FM with the callsigns AM5SAT and AM6SAT,as well as CW.
The EASAT-2satellite, designed and built jointly by AMSAT-EA and students of the European University of the Degrees in Aerospace Engineering in Aircraft and in Telecommunication Systems Engineering,with contributions from ICAI in the communications part, incorporates as experimental cargo basaltic material from Lanzarote,similar to lunar basalts, provided by the research group on meteorites and planetary geosciences of the CSIC at the Institute of Geosciences, IGEO (CSIC-UCM) and that could be used as a building material on the Moon. This project was promoted and has the collaboration of the ETSICCP (UPM).
The UNESCO world geopark of Lanzarote and Chinijo archipelago has been used for various investigations as an analogue of the Moon and Mars, including also the instruction of ESA astronauts. The selected basaltic material meets the requirements to be used as a simulant of the basalt existing on the Moon. The purpose of the experiment is to determine its evolution in space based on periodic measurements of some of its properties. Although the experiment is limited and constitutes a first phase of this type of study, it is an important milestone as it is the first of its kind introduced on such a small satellite.
As for Hades,its payload consists of a miniature camera module that sends the captured images as an audio signal in SSTVmode. The SSTV formats it uses are compatible with Robot36, Robot72, MP73 and MP115.
The design is based on the one used in the successful mission of the PSAT2satellite, an amateur radio satellite of the United States Naval Academy and brno University of Technology. This chamber has been operational since June 25, 2019: (http://www.aprs.org/psat2.html).
The camera chip is the Omnivision OV2640, which provides a resolution of up to 2M pixels and compressed output in JPEG. Resolution is limited by the CPU’s internal memory (MCU) that controls the camera to 320×240 (typical) or 640×480 maximum. The MCU selected for the control is the STM32F446RET6, which has the smallest possible footprint with connection to DCMI peripheral, necessary for connection with the camera.
Images can be stored on a 2 MB serial flash memory. The complete SSTV encoder has managed to be implemented in a 4-layer PCB with dimensions of only 38x38mm.
The MCU can be fully controlled from ground stations. The firmware allows the sending of images of the camera live,of imágenes previously saved in the flash memory or of images encoded in ROM. It also provides advance programming of image acquisition and PSK telemetry with the current status (event counters, temperature, voltage, light conditions, etc.) and a brief summary.
The described module has been developed and manufactured at the Department of Radioelectronics of the Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic. Both hardware and firmware designs with the source codes will be available on Github under the MIT license (https://github.com/alpov/SatCam).
Initially only the EASAT-2 repeater is active. Hades’ will be activated by telecommand a few days after launch.
The frequencies coordinated with IARU for both satellites are as follows:
- 145.875 MHz uplink, Modes: VOICE FM (without undertone) and FSK 50 bps, AFSK, AX.25, APRS 1200 / 2400 bps
- 436.666 MHz downlink, Modes: FM voice, CW, FSK 50 bps, FM voice beacon with AM5SAT callsign
- 145.925 MHz uplink, Modes: VOICE FM (without undertone) and FSK 50 bps, AFSK, AX.25, APRS 1200 / 2400 bps
- 436.888 MHz downlink, Modes: FM voice, CW FSK 50 bps, SSTV Robot 36, FM voice beacon with AM6SAT callsign
The description of the transmissions can be found in the following document:
AMSAT-EA appreciates the reception of telemetry, voice beacons and SSTV images. A paper QSL is sent to those who send their transmissions. It can be done through the following link: http://data.amsat-ea.org
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