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)

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)