First picture from FITSAT-1 on 5840.0 MHz

First picture from FITSAT-1 on 5840.0 MHz showing the solar panels on the ISS

When the FITSAT-1 CubeSat was deployed from the International Space Station on October 4 it took a picture using the on-board camera. On Friday, October 19 UT, the team successfully downloaded the picture using the high-speed 115.2 kbps data transmitter on 5840.0 MHz.

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FITSAT-1 5840.0 MHz downlink received with FUNcube Dongle

Reception of FITSAT-1 5840.0 MHz downlink using FUNcube Dongle SDR

This video by radio amateur Tetsurou Satou JA0CAW shows reception in Japan of the 5840.0 MHz downlink from the FITSAT-1 (aka NIWAKA) CubeSat that was deployed from the ISS on October 4.

He used a 38cm dish with a down-converter to an IF of 1284 MHz, a BGA2717 LNA and the AMSAT-UK FUNCube Dongle SDR with HDSDR software.

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FITSAT-1 Update

FITSAT-1 plans to use LED’s to signal in Morse code

The amateur radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 (aka NIWAKA) carries an Optical Communications experiment that aims to write Morse Code across the night sky. The satellite is fitted with a bank of high power LEDs that will be driven with 200W pulses to produce extremely bright flashes that may be visible to the unaided eye.

FITSAT-1 was deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) at 15:44 UT on Thursday, October 4 along with F-1 and TechEdSat.

On Sunday, October 7 Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG provided this update:

We have received a lot of signal and telemetry reports from amsat members. All reports show FITSAT-1 starts working and sound. Thank you very much for your help.

We will examine movements, temperatures, and battery states of FITSAT-1 during these 10 days, and start experiments of 5.8GHz transmission and flashing LEDs.

I will announce the experiments on my web-page http://www.fit.ac.jp/~tanaka/fitsat.shtml

As well as 437.250 MHz and 437.445 MHz (both +/- 10 kHz Doppler) this innovative satellite can also transmit on 5840.0 MHz (+/- 134 kHz Doppler).

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NHK TV Video of Amateur Radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 (NIWAKA)

An English language NHK TV news story covers the amateur radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 also known as NIWAKA which launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on July 21.

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

FITSAT-1 has multiple downlinks, CW on 437.250 MHz, AX.25 on 437.445 MHz and a 4 watt high speed data transmitter on 5840 MHz capable of sending a 640 by 480 pixel VGA JPEG image in 6 seconds.

In addition it carries high power LEDs that will be driven with 100W pulses to produce extremely bright flashes. These, it is hoped, will be observable by the unaided eye or with small binoculars. Both the 5840 MHz and optical downlinks have a high power consumption so they may only be activated when in range of the ground station in Japan. It use a neodymium magnet for attitude control.

The CubeSat will remain on the ISS until September when it will be deployed by Japanese astronaut and radio amateur Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI using the ISS Kibo robot arm.

FITSAT-1 (NIWAKA) is mounted in a JEM-Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) with the amateur radio TechEdSat and F-1 CubeSats. In a second deployment pod are WeWish and a scientific 2U CubeSat Raiko. The CubeSats will be deployed into a 400 km orbit and should have a lifetime of 3 or 4 months before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere and burning up.

In this video NHK interviews Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and students from the Fukuoka Institute of Technology (FIT) about the project.

Watch NHK – Tiny Satellites, Big Possibilities

FITSAT-1 information, pictures and deployment movie http://www.fit.ac.jp/~tanaka/fitsat.shtml

Kibo Robot Arm http://kibo.jaxa.jp/en/about/kibo/rms/

FITSAT-1 plans to use LED’s to signal in Morse code

FITSAT-1 to Write Morse Code Across The Night Sky

FITSAT-1 plans to use LED’s to signal in Morse code

The Amateur Radio CubeSat FITSAT-1 will carry an Optical Communications experiment that aims to write Morse Code across the night sky.

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

This innovative satellite also plans to transmit 115.2 kbps digital data in the Amateur Satellite Service 5.8 GHz band using a transmitter capable of 2 watts output.

FITSAT-1 (aka NIWAKA) is a 1U CubeSat (10*10*10cm) developed by students at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology (FIT).

In July 2012 it should be carried to the International Space Station (ISS) in the HTV-3 cargo vessel.  FITSAT-1 will then be deployed from the ISS around September by Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI using the Kibo robot arm.

The main mission will be to demonstrate high speed data transfer from a satellite, it can transmit a VGA-size (640×480 pixel) JPEG photograph in only 5 to 6 seconds.

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

The second mission is to determine if a satellite can be made to appear as an “artificial star” using high-output LEDs in flash mode. The light from this flash will be received by the ground station, which has a telescope with photo-multiplier linked to a 5.8GHz parabola antenna. This is a basic experiment to investigate the possibility of optical communication with satellites.

A UHF AX25 1k2baud transceiver will be carried for telemetry and telecommand purposes and a UHF CW beacon will also be provided. It will be deployed along with the satellites RAIKO and WE-WISH, F-1 and TechEdSat into a 350x350km 51.6deg inclination orbit.

The following downlink frequencies have been coordinated by the IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel: CW 437.250 MHz, FM 437.445 MHz, High speed data 5840.00 MHz.

FITSAT-1 information, pictures and deployment movie http://www.fit.ac.jp/~tanaka/fitsat.shtml

Kibo Robot Arm http://kibo.jaxa.jp/en/about/kibo/rms/

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel pages hosted by AMSAT-UK http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru/