Student Amateur Radio Satellites on Vega

Artists impression of Vega launch

Artists impression of Vega launch

Vega is planned to launch on Monday, February 13, between 1000-1300 UT from the ESA launch site at Kourou in the Caribbean. It will carry eight student built amateur radio satellites comprising seven CubeSats and a microsatellite called ALMASat-1.

ALMASat-1 – University of Bologna, Italy
437.465 MHz 1200 bps FSK and 2407.850 MHz

e-st@r – Politecnico di Torino, Italy
437.445 MHz 1200 bps AFSK

Goliat – University of Bucharest, Romania
437.485 MHz 1200 bps AFSK

MaSat-1 – Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary
437.345 MHz GFSK 625/1250 bps, CW

PW-Sat1 – Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
There are 5 modes of operation on the 145.900 MHz downlink:
– Receive only – no downlink
– CW Beacon CW – On-Off Keying (OOK) CW 12 WPM
– BPSK Beacon – BPSK 1200 bps AX25 (1 frame on 20 sec)
– Control communication mode. Downlink BPSK 1200 bps AX25
– Voice Repeater mode (aka “AO-16” mode) – uplink 435.020 MHz FM and downlink 145.900 MHz DSB

Robusta – University of Montpellier 2, France
437.325 MHz? (website says now 437.350 MHz) 1200 bps FM telemetry with one data burst of 20 secs every 1 min

UNICubeSAT -University of Rome, Italy
437.305MHz 9600 bps FSK

XaTcobeo – Universidade de Vigo, Spain
437.365 MHz FFSK with AX.25

Watch the launch live at

The student teams have requested reception reports. All observers are being encouraged to join the CubeSat IRC chat channel to pass on their news and comments in realtime. You will need an IRC client such as ChatZilla for Firefox or mIRC to join the cubesat chat. Use the server. Then join the #cubesat channel. Many users set their chat nickname to “name_callsign”.

Preliminary Vega TLE’s (KEPS) for launch at 1000, 1100 and 1200 UT here

Assuming a 1000 UT launch the satellites should deploy their antennas and start transmitting at about 1140 UT. It looks like the first to get good reception will be Central America followed quickly by a pass up the East coast of North America. The first pass for the United Kingdom should be a horizon skimmer across the NW at around 1207 UT.

Vega Elliptical Orbit Video

N2YO Real Time Satellite Tracking

Satscape Satellite Tracking Software 

IZ8BLY Vox Recoder

Free Sound Recorder

For the latest information on newly launched satellites check the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB)

RS-39 (Chibis-M) Deploys

RS-39 Chibis-M

RS-39 Chibis-M

RS-39 has CW beacons on 435.315 and 435.215 MHz that can be received directly by schools and colleges for educational outreach purposes. It deployed from Progress M-13M into a 500 km orbit on January 24 at approximately 23:18:30 UT.

On November 2, 2011 cargo ship “Progress M-13M”, which also delivered microsatellite “Chibis-M”, was docked with ISS. The main purpose of “Chibis-M” is the study of physical processes in the vicinity of the lightning, during which the Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes (TGFs) are generated. TGFs are likely produced by beams of very energetic electrons, which are accelerated in the intense electric fields generated by large thunderstorm systems.

The deployment of “Chibis-M” in a circular orbit of 500 km will take place during the final phase of “Progress M-13M” operation. According to the plan of the Russian Space Control Centre, undocking of “Progress M-13M” will occur at January 24, 01:59 msk and after two corrections it will be positioned at 500 km orbit. At January 25, 03:14 msk “Chibis-M” will separate. Beside scientific data “Chibis-M” will transmit service telemetry (the housekeeping parameters) in the beacon format on 435.315 or 435.215 MHz CW (Doppler shift +/- 10 kHz) and has the designation of RS-39. The format of data is typical for RS satellites and can be downloaded here.

The telemetry of RS-39 can be easily received directly by schools and colleges for educational outreach purposes. This telemetry will give details of the spacecraft’s health – battery voltages and temperatures of critical units. In combination with orbital data such information will be useful as the curriculum for student lessons.

The team of RS-39 will very much appreciate any reception reports of “Chibis-M”. Special attention is requested for the first orbits as these are outside of control stations for “Chibis-M”. Each report will be confirmed by special QSL card. The email address is

The RS-39 Chibis-M website managed the by Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) can be seen in Russian at or in Google English at

As well as measuring electromagnetic parameters of “space weather” in the spectrum 0.1 – 40 kHz the satellite also carries a receiver for the analysis of radio frequency signals in a frequency band of 26-48 MHz.

RS-39 Morse Code telemetry format

RS-39 Telemetry Decoder

RS-39 Real Time Tracking Map
For Keps click on two gear wheels in top left-hand corner then click on Satellites.

It may be worth checking the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) for the very latest news. The 48-hour archive of the AMSAT-BB is at or you can join the bulletin board at

ICUBE-1 CubeSat

Camera Module

Camera Module

Students at the Institute of Space Technology (IST) have been building Pakistan’s first CubeSat ICUBE-1. Like a number of new CubeSats its communications subsystem is capable of acting as an “AO-16 mode” FM to DSB transponder.

The IARU amateur satellite frequency coordination panel pages say that the VHF downlink will operate as a 1k2 BPSK beacon but has the capability of being configured as an FM-DSB transponder. A downlink on 145.947 MHz and an uplink on 435.060 MHz have been coordinated.

It is planned to have an imaging payload with a small low resolution CMOS sensor. The C3188A imaging module uses Omnivision’s CMOS image sensor OV7620. The camera will be mounted on the Z+ face of the ICUBE and can take continental scale images.


Student Satellite Project

Institute of Space Technology (IST)

Last chance to hear ARISSat-1

Sergey Samburov RV3DR with ARISSat-1

Sergey Samburov RV3DR with ARISSat-1

The amateur radio satellite ARISSat-1 may have only a few more days to live before it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere. Ken GW1FKY reports it’s putting out a strong signal in the early evening.

On the AMSAT bulletin board Ken writes:

I again monitored and worked into ARISSat-1 during the earlier pass and the final one as it entered eclipse over here in Europe.

The early pass was a low angle from my QTH and screened by buildings so I was not able to access the satellite. However the FM downlink was quite reasonable and I did hear someone active on CW.

The final pass as it moved into eclipse was really remarkable and my downlink and the FM transmissions were booming in . The loudest that I have ever heard from the satellite, in addition I quickly monitored the CW portion and someone was booming in, I could not stay at that end of the band as I was trying to make schedule on SSB. Heard someone calling but not able to confirm whom it was as they were not easy to copy.

Ken was listening in the early evening which seems to be a good time to hear the satellite. The satellite is only operational when its solar panels are illuminated. You can get orbital predictions times by selecting ARISSat-1 on the online prediction tool at

If you hear the satellite on 145.950 MHz FM, you can get a certificate. Depending on what mode you copied, send an e-mail with the information to:

Details at arissat_1_reception_certificates.htm

There is also a CW contest if you send in 5 calls heard on the 145.920 MHz CW transmission of notable AMSAT people of the past & present email them to

ARISSat-1 CW Contest cw-contest/

Catch the Last ARISSat-1 Telemetry

Get your colour ARISSat-1 Frequency Guide


STARS-II Amateur Radio Satellite

Impression of STARS-II in Orbit

Impression of STARS-II in Orbit

The amateur radio satellite STARS-II has been developed by students at Kagawa University and consists of a Mother satellite and Daughter satellite connected by tether.

STARS stands for Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite. The mission will include formation flight, tether deployment, attitude control and the mother and daughter satellites will take pictures of each other.

It is proposed to fly a 80mW CW beacon and a 800mW AX25 1200bps telemetry downlink. Total mass is 8 kg.

Coordinated frequencies for CW 437.245 MHz (mother) and 437.255 MHz (daughter). FM downlinks 437.405 MHz (mother) and 437.425 MHz (daughter).

Kagawa satellite development project STARS-II

The Google English translation of the Japanese language STARS-II page has additional information

STARS-II on the IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination pages hosted by AMSAT-UK

AMSAT-UK publishes a colour A4 newsletter, OSCAR News, which is full of Amateur Satellite information. Free sample issue at Join online here

FUNcube Group Membership Exceeds 2000

In under a year the AMSAT-UK FUNcube Yahoo Group has achieved over 2000 members.

The group was created by Rob Styles M0TFO at the end of October 2010 to provide support for the AMSAT-UK FUNcube satellite and the FUNcube Dongle (FCD) Software Defined Radio (SDR).

The FUNcube satellite project is an educational CubeSat project with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics. It will support the educational Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) initiatives and provide an additional resource for the RSGB GB4FUN Radio Communications Demonstration Module.

The target audience are school pupils in the 8-18 age range. As well as providing a strong 145 MHz telemetry beacon for the pupils to receive FUNcube will also have a 435/145 MHz linear transponder for Amateur Radio SSB/CW use.

The FCD SDR was originally developed for educational outreach as part of the ground segment for the FUNcube satellite. However, it was realised it can be used for many other applications as well, so AMSAT-UK developed a Pro version which has a frequency range of 64-1700 MHz.

Similar to a USB TV Dongle, the FCD simply fits into a computer USB port and can be used with freely available Software Defined Radio software. The FCD is all-mode which this means that as well as data, it will also receive many other signals including AM, FM, SSB and CW and weather satellite images.

Join the FUNcube Yahoo Group at

SDR-RADIO software

The FUNcube Dongle SDR can be ordered via

Information on the FUNcube satellite project is at

A sample edition of the AMSAT-UK newsletter OSCAR News can be seen at