AMSAT-UK will be providing a 1260/145 MHz FM transponder and a 145 MHz BPSK telemetry beacon for the European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO). This is the third mission within the European Space Agency’s Education Satellite Programme.
The satellite, which has a mass of 40 kg and measures 33x33x63 cm, is planned to launch in 2015-16 into a low Earth orbit.
Nine European universities will be working with the prime contractor ALMASpace, Italy, on the mission. Cranfield University in Bedfordshire will be supplying a small sail that will be deployed to demonstrate the de-orbiting of spacecraft at the end of the mission.
The primary purpose of the AMSAT-UK payload is to provide a downlink telemetry that can be easily received by schools and colleges for educational outreach purposes. The data will be displayed in an attractive format and provide stimulation and encouragement for students to become interested in all STEM subjects in a unique way.
The target audience is primarily students at both primary and secondary levels and the project includes the development of a simple and cheap “ground station” operating on VHF frequencies in the Amateur Satellite Service. This station is an omni-directional antenna feeding a FUNcube DonglePRO+ SDR receiver which will receive the signals direct from the satellite and transfer the data to specially developed graphical software running on any Windows laptop.