ESEO Project Update October 2016

Dr Chris Bridges 2E0OBC and Pete Bartram from Surrey Space Centre with the AMSAT-UK payload and some of the ESEO electronics

Chris Bridges 2E0OBC and Pete Bartram from Surrey Space Centre with the AMSAT-UK FUNcube-4 payload and some of the ESEO electronics

A team of three from AMSAT-UK and Surrey Space Centre visited Forli in Italy in mid-October where the Engineering Model of the ESEO satellite is being assembled.

ESEO, The European Student Earth Orbiter, is a 50 kg satellite from ESA Education incorporating payloads from AMSAT-UK and Universities around Europe.

The AMSAT-UK FUNcube-4 payload will provide a 1260/145 MHz FM transponder and 145 MHz 1200 bps BPSK telemetry beacon to provide a telemetry downlink that can be easily received by schools and colleges for educational outreach purposes. The data will be displayed in an attractive format and provide stimulation and encouragement for students to become interested in all STEM subjects in a unique way.

The target audience is primarily students in Secondary and Higher education, the project includes the development of a simple and cheap “ground station” operating on VHF frequencies in the Amateur Satellite Service. The ground station would comprise an omni-directional antenna feeding a FUNcube DonglePRO+ SDR receiver which will receive the signals direct from the satellite and transfer the data to specially developed graphical software running on any Windows laptop.

David Bowman G0MRF holds the ESEO bottom plate during the fit check of the L band patch antenna

David Bowman G0MRF holds the ESEO bottom plate during the fit check of the L band patch antenna

During the visit to Forli, the team began work integrating the AMSAT-UK payload into a FlatSat version of ESEO at the facilities of Sitael, who are the prime contractor for the mission. One of the main objectives was to check communication between the payload’s CAN bus, the ESEO On-Board Data handling system (OBDH) and the science payloads. Until now the communication between units, using the CAN-Open protocol had only been simulated as each part of the satellite had been assembled in a different part of Europe. After a tense few hours and a few inevitable refinements to the firmware, data started flowing as planned and another milestone had been achieved.

When on orbit, the ESEO AMSAT-UK payload will transmit telemetry on 145.930 MHz at 1200 bps for educational outreach in a similar way to the FUNcube-1 satellite (AO-73). Additionally, In the event of a failure of the main 2.2 GHz S-Band transmitter, the payload will act as a redundant communications system for transmitting science data. To achieve this the payload can increase its transmission rate to 4800bps.

The team also carried out a fit check for the circular polarised L band patch antenna and checked out the L band to VHF FM transponder.

The flight model of ESEO is due to be delivered at the end of  the 2nd quarter of 2017. An Invitation to Tender for the launch has been issued by ESA.

Watch An RF look at ESEO by David Bowman G0MRF

2016 International Space Colloquium Presentations Playlist
https://www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK/playlists

ESEO https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/eseo/

FUNcube transponder on EO-79 active

QB50p1 and QB50p2 - Image Credit ISIS

EO-79 and EO-80 – Image Credit ISIS

On March 25, 2016, the EO-79 SSB/CW transponder was activated and will be available during Easter.

The FUNcube transponder subsystem on QB50p1 (EO-79) had been provided by AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL and is a similar subsystem as on FUNcube-1, but without the telemetry downlink circuitry.

The current software running on EO-79 does experience occasional reboots. When these reboots happen, the transponder is automatically turned off and will have to be turned back on by a command station. The FUNcube team has selected a few command stations to do so, but be advised the transponder may be off.

TLEs:
AMSAT keps name: EO-79
Celestrak keps Name: QB50P1
Celestrak file: cubesat.txt
NORAD #    40025
COSPAR designator    2014-033-R

Frequencies:
Uplink: 435.035-435.065 MHz LSB
Downlink: 145.935-145.965 MHz USB

EO-79 has been set to only beacon the normal AX.25 beacon every 30 seconds instead of 10 seconds. The beacon frequency is 145.815 MHz and consists of AX.25 frames on BPSK. more details about the downlink can be found on the ISIS HAM page at http://isispace.nl/HAM/qb50p.html

Just like FUNcube-1, the crystal oscillator circuits exhibit drift with temperature. This means manual tuning will probably work best.

Lastly, the commanding team availability will be limited over Easter, so please report the transponder being on or off on the status page of AMSAT: http://www.amsat.org/status/
It does not appear in the table, but it does in the reporting drop-down.

73 and have FUN

Wouter Weggelaar, PA3WEG
AMSAT-NL
AMSAT-UK

2013 QB50 Precursor CubeSat announcement
https://amsat-uk.org/2013/07/20/qb50-amateur-radio-transponder-payloads-to-launch-2014/

Video: Inside a Satellite Clean Room

Tom Scott and FUNcube-1 Engineering Model

Tom Scott and FUNcube-1 Engineering Model

Tom Scott was given a tour of the Innovative Space Logistics clean room facility by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG. He got to see the FUNcube-1 Engineering Model and the new Nayif-1 CubeSat which carries an amateur radio SSB/CW linear transponder.

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

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

Tom Scott writes:

Welcome to Innovative Space Logistics, in the Netherlands: they invited me inside their clean room to see an actual CubeSat satellite that’s going into space soon! (No, this isn’t a sponsored video: I paid my own way there!) Go look at their site: http://isilaunch.com/ – and if you need to send something into space, get in touch with them!

The satellite model I’m holding is holding is the engineering model of FUNcube-1 and the flight satellite that I definitely couldn’t hold is Nayif-1, a cooperation between the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and the American University of Sharjah.

Watch Inside a Satellite Clean Room

If there’s something cool at your university or company, get in touch! https://www.tomscott.com/contact/

AMSAT-UK FUNcube Mission Patch Rev4 20100609

FUNcube Mission Patch

Tom Scott
https://tomscott.com/
https://facebook.com/tomscott
https://twitter.com/tomscott
https://instagram.com/tomscottgo/

FUNcube http://funcube.org.uk/
Nayif-1 https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/nayif-1/

What is Amateur Radio? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

AO-73 in continuous transponder mode

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

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

The amateur radio satellite AO-73 will be operating in continuous transponder mode throughout the festive season until the evening of Sunday, January 3.

Why not take full advantage of this activation and get your 73 on 73 Award, details at https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/73-on-73-award/

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) website https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/funcube-website/

FUNcube Yahoo Group https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/yahoo-group/

More 73 on 73 Awards Issued

First 73 on 73 Award issued to Wyatt Dirks AC0RA

First 73 on 73 Award issued to Wyatt Dirks AC0RA

Paul Stoetzer N8HM reports more awards have been issued for contacts made via the AO-73 (FUNcube-1) amateur radio satellite.

The 73 on 73 Award aims to promote activity on AO-73. The requirements are straight-forward:

1. Work 73 unique stations on AO-73.
2. Contacts must be made on or after September 1, 2014.
3. There are no geographic restrictions on your operating location.

The latest recipients are:
20. David D’Aliesio IW0HLG – 31 May 2015
21. Kiyosi Hasegawa JA3FWT – 22 June 2015
22. Mariusz Kocot SQ9MES – 28 June 2015
23. Hector Luis Martinez W5CBF – 12 July 2015
24. George K. Carr II WA5KBH – 17 July 2015
25. Michel Ribot F6GLJ – 18 July 2015
26. Paul Stoetzer N8HM – 21 July 2015
27. Jeffrey Lamb NX9B – 2 August 2015
28. Imre Füzi HA1SE – 13 September 2015
29. Herman Blom PB0AHX – 1 November 2015
30. Joseba Andoni Barrio – 22 November 2015

Full information on how to apply is at https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/73-on-73-award/

Second Birthday of FUNcube-1

FUNcube-1 flight model - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

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

FUNcube-1 (AO-73) was launched into space two years ago on November 21, 2013.

We are delighted to be able to report that more than 900 stations, including many schools around the world, have received the telemetry from the spacecraft since launch. Our Data Warehouse is storing more than 750 MB of data from almost 1 million data packets. We are very grateful to everyone who has been contributing to the success of this mission. Please continue to keep the data flowing as it will provide a valuable resource for students in the future.

The stats continue – speeding along at around 17,500 mph, FUNcube-1, which had a launch mass of just 982 grams, has completed more than 10,500 orbits of the earth. This means a total distance travelled of more than 260 million miles.

All telemetry sensors continue to provide valid data, real time, whole orbit and high resolution channels alike. The flight code is really robust and we have only had three unexpected “events” since launch. Two of these we believe to have been caused by noise of the command receiver being incorrectly interpreted as a command and only one appears to have been caused by a RAM error. The battery and solar panels also continue to work perfectly and provide a very positive power budget.

We have sent out many Fitter messages for school and other similar events. On November 17, 2015 there was a demonstration at Thorne Green Top School in Yorkshire. Here is a report from Dave Ryan EI4HT/M0GIW:

FUNcube-1 Educational Outreach - Thorne Green Top School in Yorkshire

FUNcube-1 Educational Outreach – Thorne Green Top School in Yorkshire

Good Morning All  

Firstly -thanks to all for your help, we had a great morning at Green Top and the highlight was FUNcube.

I started with a slide show talking about communications from cave paintings all the way up to smartphones, we looked at space communications and travel from Sputnik to Astra and Apollo to the Millennium Falcon! We spoke about satellites and how they are used every day and how we all got to watch “I’m A Celebrity” via Satellite last night from Australia.

I brought in lots of props too, some old Motorola MX330 radios, some PMR 446, and a marine band radio .I also had a small model of a CubeSat that I knocked up over the weekend, I also passed around some NOAA images from last week’s Abigail storm and I had a few QSL cards from ISS and MIR from years ago when I lived in Ireland.  

The FUNcube pass was great, really strong signals, I had my turnstile and FCD set up and had audio through speakers and used the class projector to show Satpc32 and the Dashboard.  

There was a great buzz of excitement when we got the first packet and even more when the Fitter messages came through. The kids were fascinated to see the signal arrive just as the software predicted and then hear the telemetry and the decode.  

After the pass we were able to look at the Warehouse online and print off the QSL card and certificate.

 I didn’t get a chance to take many pics but Mrs Overson will update the School Blog and she took lots of pics.

http://greentopschool.co.uk/blog

Once again thanks to all at FUNcube, looking forward to Tim Peake on the ISS in the New Year and planning another visit to the School then.

Regards

Dave EI4HT / M0GIW

PS: I was back dropping my own kids off this morning and Mrs Overson told me they have printed a QSL card and Certificate for each of the students and they have used them for their class journals.

As well providing a great educational resource, FUNcube-1 operates at night and generally at weekends with the linear transponder active for radio amateurs to use for communications. The transponder continues to provide an excellent service. As users will be aware, the transponder uplink frequencies vary with receiver temperature. The RX temp telemetry channel is the best one to use for tracking this effect. This does make it quite difficult to use full computer control for transponder operations and we have already developed new oscillator circuits to improve this performance for future missions.

For the telemetry uplinked to the Data Warehouse, it is possible to download special Certificate or QSL Card here http://amsatuk.me.uk/on/funcube_qsl.php and, for transponder users, the “73 on 73 award” continues at https://amsat-uk.org/funcube/73-on-73-award/

The Nayif-1 CubeSat mission, which includes a full FUNcube payload, is expected to be launched into a similar orbit in the first half of next year and will provide an additional level of service to the community.

Meanwhile we hope everyone will continue to have fun with FUNcube-1!

FUNcube-1 https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/funcube-1/
Nayif-1 https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/communications/nayif-1/
FUNcube on Twitter https://twitter.com/FUNcubeUK
AMSAT-UK on Twitter https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
YouTube https://youtube.com/AmsatUK