Raspberry Pi FUNcube satellite telemetry decoder now available

RPi decoder receiving telemetry from JY1Sat in Interactive mode

RPi decoder receiving telemetry from JY1Sat in Interactive mode

The FUNcube Team has announced the availability of FUNcube CubeSat satellite telemetry decoder software for the popular Raspberry Pi computer board.

The original FUNcube telemetry decoder and Dashboard was designed to run on Windows devices and the FUNcube team did publish the telemetry format in accordance with the Amateur Satellite Service traditions and requirements. The Team had planned to opensource the Telemetry Decoder and provide an implementation on Linux, but several new missions after the original FUNcube-1 delayed their plans somewhat.

Late 2019, the Team had the opportunity to develop a low power/low impact ground station, based on Docker containers, for use at the Neumayer III Antarctic base at DP0GVN. This led us to evolve the code such that it would run on a Raspberry Pi.

The Linux implementation is suitable for use on Raspberry Pi versions from 2B+ to 4 and with a FUNcube dongle (Pro or Pro+). The software will tune a dongle to search for and track all three FUNcube compatible spacecraft currently operational. The Telemetry Decoder is configured with five active decoders operating concurrently so it can deal with situations where more than one of the spacecraft are overhead at the same time.

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

The decoder and warehouse uploader run as a Docker container for convenience shell scripts have been provided to launch the container in one of two modes:

• “Interactive Mode” is when the Telemetry Decoder operates in the foreground , when FUNcube compatible telemetry is received, the corresponding hex data is displayed on the terminal screen.

• “Background Mode” allows the telemetry decoder to run as a Docker image in the background where it operates much like any other background service on Linux. This mode allows for the automatic restarting of the telemetry decoder after a shutdown or reboot of the Raspberry Pi, therefore making it suitable for a remote deployment situation.

*Both modes, when connected to the internet, will upload the received data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse and the totals displayed on the Ranking Page in the normal manner.

*Uploading to the warehouse requires online registration with the FUNcube Data Warehouse.

All the code for the telemetry decoder, and the scripts to build the Docker images, are now published online under a GPL Open Source License at the FUNcube-Dev GitHub account
https://github.com/funcube-dev

Alternatively, it possible to buy a pre-formatted microSD card for the Pi from the AMSAT-UK shop at https://shop.amsat-uk.org/

Full instructions PDF can be downloaded from https://tinyurl.com/RPi-FUNcube-Decoder

FUNcube Data Warehouse http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/missions

Brazil: High school students shown amateur radio

Gonçalves Dias School Students

Gonçalves Dias School Students

Brazilian radio amateurs participated in a Science Fair at Gonçalves Dias School, Boa Vista on October 16, 2019.

Paulo PV8DX used basic concepts of physics and geography when explaining amateur radio to the students. As well as theory they there were also practicals involving the students in antenna construction and contacts using the transponder on the amateur radio satellite LAPAN IO-86.

Paulo had asked AMSAT-UK FUNcube team if a special ‘Fitter‘ message could be transmitted from the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) satellite. This was arranged and the message from space was received at the school.

Watch Atividade Escolar – Ham Radio – By PV8DX

Further information on FUNcube-1 ‘Fitter’ messages and how to request one is available at https://funcube.org.uk/ground-segment/fitter-messages/

AMSAT-UK https://twitter.com/AmsatUK

Ideas sought for the next FUNcube satellite

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

In November the FUNcube-1 CubeSat will have been in orbit for 6 years and the FUNcube team are now soliciting suggestions for the next satellite

The team are looking for suggestions for:
• Conformation of the satellite (2U / 3U)
• Orbit (LEO / MEO)
• STEM Outreach
• Amateur Radio Payloads
• Research Payloads

Please email your ideas to:
funcube-next <at> funcube.org.uk

The topic will be discussed during the AMSAT-UK Colloquium on Sunday 13th October 2019 https://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/

If you would like to join the team, please email:
operations <at> funcube.org.uk

Dave, G4DPZ
on behalf of the FUNcube Team

AMSAT-UK payload on ESEO has been activated

Frame received by PQ2HX in Brazil at around 14:17 UTC on April 12, 2019

Frame received by PQ2HX in Brazil at around 14:17 UTC on April 12, 2019

ESA have just released a new mission update for the ESEO Mission. It can be seen at https://www.esa.int/Education/ESEO/ESEO_mission_updates

We are delighted that on April 12, 2019, the BPSK telemetry transmitter, on our payload, was enabled for a period of just over 200 minutes in orbit!

ESEO AMSAT-UK Payload Telemetry Data

ESEO AMSAT-UK Payload Telemetry Data

Although we were not able to announce this activation in advance, more than ten stations around the world successfully received the telemetry on 145.895 MHz and submitted it to the FUNcube Data Warehouse. We are very grateful to them for their support.

Over 50 channels of Real Time and Whole Orbit Data were collected. For example, a number of on-board temperatures are shown in this graph which covers the period from 11:58 to 13:36 UTC

The very last frame received was captured by PQ2HX in Brazil at around 14:17 UTC.

We are keenly awaiting further possibilities to exercise more of the payload as soon as this becomes possible but, in the meantime, is good to know that all the telemetry channels reported nominal values.

FUNcube Patch on ESA PFC 71

 

Neil Melville-Kenney PA9N wearing FUNcube Patch on ESA PFC 71 - Credit Novespace and ESA

Neil Melville-Kenney PA9N wearing FUNcube Patch on ESA PFC 71 – Credit Novespace and ESA

Neil Melville-Kenney, PA9N, has been a long time supporter of amateur radio space since the days of the SSETI Express mission. He is presently the ESA Parabolic Flight Coordinator and today took the opportunity to fly a FUNcube patch during the ESA PFC 71 microgravity mission.
https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Research/Science_on_a_plane_ESA_s_next_parabolic_flight_campaign

FUNcube Mission Patch

Neil presented an account of his activities during the 2018 AMSAT-UK Colloquium and the three FUNcubes, AO73, EO88 and JO97 continue to provide a 24/7 service with their 2 metre downlinks.

You can follow Neil on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NMK_ZeroG

The FUNcube Mission Patch is available from the AMSAT-UK shop at
https://shop.amsat-uk.org/FUNCube_Mission_Patch/p3815740_15628523.aspx

FUNcube Data Warehouse URL Change

Dave G4DPZ reports on a change to the URL used by the AMSAT-UK Data Warehouse for the FUNcube amateur radio satellites.

As part of the migration of the data warehouse to the new server, we are now redirecting all dashboard data submissions to: http://data.amsat-uk.org/
(there is no need to change your dashboard settings)
Hence, all information at http://warehouse.funcube.org/ will no longer be updated.

I will be merging the scores at http://data.amsat-uk.org/ranking
(I am at the top of the list because of data migration)

You can search for your site name or order the columns by clicking on the column header.

There have been requests for the existing style of ranking, including age colour, for each satellite. I will be implementing this in the next couple of days.

Hope you like the new site and and feedback will be welcome.

73 Dave, G4DPZ
g4dpz<at>funcube.org.uk