COMPASS-1 – End of mission

Compass-1Mike Rupprecht DK3WN brings the sad news of the demise of the COMPASS-1 CubeSat that was launched April 28, 2008. COMPASS-1 was designed and built by students at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences in Germany.

Dear supporters and friends of our COMPASS-1 mission,

First, let me thank you very much for your support in trying to save the life of our COMPASS-1 satellite during the last days, but also during the last years of “routine” operations. It seems that our mission now comes to an end.

The projected lifetime of COMPASS-1 was half a year. The tiny guy has outperformed this value by a factor of more than seven. April 28th would have been it’s 4th birthday and if it was a human, it would now be about 500 years old (Cubesat-years are short). So, if you have more important things to do (and I guess so), we can not expect you to continue your efforts in saving its life.

With your support, you have made things possible that we would never have been able to achieve with our own resources and I appreciate your support very much. So, COMPASS-1, rest in peace. (Nevertheless, if you still want to try to awake it from the dead, feel free to do so.)

I hope that we will soon be able to build and launch COMPASS-2 and that you will be still available, all over the world, as a ground station to command and fly our new bird. We will keep you informed.

Cheers and thanks for all,

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Prof. Dr. Bernd Dachwald
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering FH Aachen
University of Applied Sciences

Compass-1 Reset


Ken Eaton GW1FKY brings news that the reset attempt on COMPASS-1, late Tuesday, February 28, appeared to be successful.  Further information at

At 20:27 Feb. 29 Mike DK3WN posted this update: Better news … Alan, ZL2BX could command COMPASS at 19:25 UTC – all thresholds commands were accepted.

COMPASS went into eclipse at 19:45 and into sunlight at 20:17 UTC. I sent the thresholds at 20:20 UTC and got an confirmation beep for all commands 🙂

So COMPASS is now in Emergency Mode and the beacon intervall is 8 minutes.

Fingers crossed….

Earlier Post Feb 28: COMPASS-1 needs your help

2012-02-27 23:16 UTC nothing heard JA0CAW
2012-02-27 23:38 UTC nothing heard VK5HI
2012-02-28 00:50 UTC nothing heard JA0CAW
2012-02-28 02:28 UTC nothing heard JA0CAW

2012-02-28 00:58 UTC FF032802180000210000900000 JA1GDE
Solar Cell Voltage      5.00 V
Solar Panel 6 Cur (+Z)  18.82 mA
Solar Panel 2 Cur (+Y)  0.00 mA
Solar Panel 3 Cur (-X)  150.59 mA
Solar Panel 4 Cur (-Y)  12.55 mA
Solar Panel 5 Cur (-Z)  250.98 mA
EPS Reset Counter       0
Power Level Critical Battery Capacity Heater Active Battery Heater ON 
Power Safe Counter      0
Emergency Mode Counter  0
Battery Voltage         2.82 V
Battery Current         0.00 mA
Battery Temperature     0 °C

That means COMPASS did a complete restart and the thresholds for heater and battery voltages should be new set.
Can anyone try to send the following DTMF sequences to COMPASS-1 (if in sunlight), please :

uplink:              145.980 MHz FM
confirmation beep on 437.275 MHz CW

** 13 # 200 #
** 14 # 200 #
** 15 # 178 #
** 16 # 170 #

If you have no possibilities to send DTMF tones with your transceiver, you can download here a very simple DTMF controller for COMPASS. Simply hold the microphone in front of your loudspeaker and press the buttons.