International Space Colloquium – First Call for Speakers

FUNcube-1 flight model - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

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

This is the first call for speakers for the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium 2017 which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 14-15 at the Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Timbold Drive, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ, United Kingdom.

AMSAT-UK invites speakers, to cover topics about Amateur satellites, CubeSats, Nanosats, Space. High Altitude Balloons and associated activities, for this event.

Those wishing to participate should contact Dave, G4DPZ, dave at g4dpz dot me dot uk

Further information https://amsat-uk.org/colloquium

73 Dave G4DPZ

AMSAT-UK: https://amsat-uk.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmsatUK
Facebook: https://facebook.com/AmsatUK
YouTube: https://youtube.com/AmsatUK

UBSEDS21 Balloon To Test 145.825 MHz APRS

UBSEDS18 Solar Powered Balloon

UBSEDS18 Solar Powered Balloon

On Sunday, December 11 Bristol SEDS students launched UBSEDS21 a 434 MHz Contestia and 144/145 MHz APRS solar powered balloon that may travel around the world.

Update Dec 23: UBSEDS21 over Spain having completed its first circumnavigation of the globe see track.

Update Dec 20: APRS creator Bob Bruninga WB4APR reports receiving @bristolseds UBSEDS21 balloon AD6AM-13 145.825 MHz Dec 20 1420 EST – Bob was Mobile in Annapolis MD.

Update Dec 18: UBSEDS21 has crossed the Pacific and reached Canada.

The UBSEDS21 balloon was built from 50 micron thick PA-EVOH-PE multilayer film and is about 1.9 meters in diameter, the payload weight was 34.2 grams.

After launch on December 11, 2016 the balloon achieved a stable altitude of 15.2 km flying in an easterly direction on its potential circumnavigation of the globe.

The initial plan was to use UBSEDS21 to contact the International Space Station (ISS) via APRS on 145.825 MHz. However, the VHF radio on the ISS is out of order, so this flight is used to test the amplifier and hopefully talk to any APRS enabled satellites.

The winter launch means the payload needs to deal with the sun staying low above the horizon during the day. For this reason, sideways facing solar panels were used.

Original post Dec 9:

Another pico launch from Bristol this Sunday, December 11 between 0500 and 0530 GMT. This launch is using a 1.9m envelope and longer payload train, and so we have a NOTAM in place. The flight is predicted to head south-east towards France.

The payload will be transmitting Contestia 16/1000 on 434.610 MHz USB. Each transmission of Contestia 16/1000 will be preceded by 10 seconds of pips and RSID.

The Contestia transmission rate will be once every 30 seconds during launch and when power is available during the day. Otherwise the transmission rate will be once every 2 minutes. Hopefully the tracker will operate from dawn to dusk, and maybe also during the night.

The tracker will transmit APRS outside countries where the amateur license is not permitted airborne (like the UK). Additionally it will test APRS on 145.825 MHz, with an output power of +26 dBm (400 mW).

More details will appear on the website http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/flights.html

Many Thanks,

Richard Meadows M0SBU
Bristol SEDS http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/

High Altitude Balloon tracking and information links https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Richard M0SBU took the amateur radio training courses run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) at Danbury in Essex. Further information on the courses is available from the CARS Training Coordinator, Christopher G0IPU
Tel: 07908-107951
Email: training2017 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://g0mwt.org.uk/training

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/

Sandringham School aims for space

Sandringham students operating the GB16YOTA amateur radio station, Dec 1, 2016

Sandringham students operating the GB16YOTA amateur radio station, December 1, 2016

Students at Sandringham School plan to launch a High Altitude Balloon with a Raspberry Pi payload into near-space and transmit back pictures.

The downlink from the balloon is expected to be in 434 MHz and at the maximum 30 km altitude the radio signal should have a range of up to 800 km enabling reception by radio amateurs across the British Isles and into Europe.

The launch is planned for Science Week, March 13-17, and the students will use the download data they collect from near space for analysis and use in lessons.

Earlier this year Sandringham students used amateur radio to talk to UK astronaut Tim Peake GB1SS on the International Space Station, see https://amsat-uk.org/2016/01/08/bbc-tv-sandringham-school-amateur-radio-iss-contact/

Further details on the balloon launch at
http://www.sandringham.herts.sch.uk/?q=news/sandringham-returns-space-high-altitude-balloon-launch

HAB Flight Launch Assembly leaflet
http://www.sandringham.herts.sch.uk/sites/default/files/users/moanef/HAB%20Flight%20-%20Launch%20Assembly.pdf

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/

A free booklet is available aimed at introducing newcomers to the hobby that can also be used as a handy reference while getting started, see
http://rsgb.org/main/get-started-in-amateur-radio/alex-discovers-amateur-radio-2/

UK student balloon crosses Pacific

UBSEDS18 Solar Powered Balloon

UBSEDS18 Solar Powered Balloon

The UK balloon UBSEDS18 carrying payloads for APRS and 434 MHz has successfully crossed the Pacific, on the same day a USA amateur radio APRS balloon crossed the Atlantic.

The solar powered UBSEDS18 was developed by students from Bristol University and launched on Wednesday, August 17. Since then it has traveled in an easterly direction for 20,252 km completing the Pacific crossing on Thursday, September 1, 2016.

UBSEDS18
https://twitter.com/bristolseds
http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/hab/flight/2016/08/17/ubseds18.html
https://tracker.habhub.org/#!mt=roadmap&mz=2&qm=All&f=UBSEDS18&q=UBSEDS18

The amateur radio APRS balloon CNSP30 was launched from California on August 25 and on September 1 crossed the coast of northern France. Its APRS signal was receivable across central and southern England.

CNSP30
https://twitter.com/K6RPT
http://www.cnsp-inc.com/cnsp-30/
http://aprs.fi/#!call=a%2FK6RPT-11&timerange=604800&tail=604800

Richard Meadows M0SBU, who worked on the development of UBSEDS18, took the amateur radio training courses run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) at Danbury in Essex. Further information on the courses is available from the CARS Training Coordinator, Christopher G0IPU
Tel: 07908-107951
Email: training2016 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://g0mwt.org.uk/training

UBSEDS19/20 balloons launch from Bristol

UBSEDS IMG_2406Richard Meadows M0SBU reports two high altitude balloons carrying 434 MHz payloads will launch from Bristol on Monday, August 29. There will be Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) transmissions.

Online real-time tracking of UBSEDS balloons https://tracker.habhub.org/#!mt=roadmap&mz=8&qm=3_days&q=UBSED*&f=UBSEDS20

We’re planning the first launch of ‘pico-pi’, our Raspberry Pi Zero based tracker, from Bristol this Bank Holiday Monday, August 29 between 0500 and 0530 BST. This launch is using a 1.9m envelope and longer payload train, and so we have a NOTAM in place.

There’s more information about the tracker itself here: https://github.com/bristol-seds/pico-pi-rel

The combined payload mass will be about 70 grams, and the attempted float altitude will be about 13 km. This is our first launch of this setup, so it seems unlikely that everything will go to plan!

First is the UBSEDS19 backup tracker, which is powered from a single AAA Lithium Energiser battery. It transmits Contestia 16/1000 with pips and RSID on 434.615 MHz USB, once per minute below 8km altitude and every two minutes otherwise. The battery is expected to last a few days.

Next is UBSEDS20, which is the experimental Raspberry Pi Zero board. This is powered from solar panels only, and hence is only expected to operate continously after about 0830 BST (before this it may transmit without a GPS lock, as the Raspberry Pi and GPS are powered down).

– 434.610 MHz USB: 300 baud RTTY, 850Hz shift, 8N2 transmitting telemetry and SSDV. There is also Contestia 16/1000 with RSID on this frequency. If you are listening to the RTTY, remember to turn off the ‘RxID’ button on the top right of dl-fldigi.

– 869.85 MHZ LoRa ‘Mode 3’ (250kHz / SF7 / EC4:6, explicit header), transmitting SSDV with the callsign ‘UBSEDL’. This frequency is only active in Europe. Many thanks to Dave Akerman M0RPI for making his work on LoRa available for us to use, including the lora gateway.

Rather than the usual JPEG SSDV, this payload is transmitting Better Portable Graphics (BPG) images. This is experimental, and ssdv.habhub.org doesn’t support it just yet. Hence receivers should upload to http://ssdv.bristol-seds.co.uk/ instead, please read the instructions on this site. You’ll need dl-fldigi release 3.2 and slightly modified LoRa gateway, as explained on the site. The dl-fldigi release can be found here: https://github.com/jamescoxon/dl-fldigi/releases/tag/3.2

Many thanks to everyone who attempts to track these.

Richard Meadows M0SBU
Bristol SEDS http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/

Useful balloon links https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Richard took the amateur radio courses run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) at Danbury in Essex. Further information on the courses is available from the CARS Training Coordinator, Christopher G0IPU
Tel: 07908-107951
Email: training2016 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://g0mwt.org.uk/training

UKHAS Conference Cambridge

2012-07-14--14-15-29-PIE1-1B

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M0RPI

There’s an impressive line-up of radio amateurs among those giving presentations at the UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) conference in Cambridge on Saturday, September 10, 2016.

Watch Live at http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/ioa/streaming

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsaAI_L8A1g

The conference takes place at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge and attracts those interested in learning about building and flying High Altitude Balloons or in tracking their 434 MHz signals.

Tickets can be purchased from the wiki page and cost just £10 each.

Provisional Schedule as at August 16:
09:30     Assembly – Drinks & Biscuits
10:00     Welcome & Introduction
10:10     LoRa – Dave Akerman M0RPI
10:40     Evidence that Biology is Continually Arriving to Earth from Space – Prof Milton Wainwright (Univ. of Sheffield)
11:10     Operation Outward – Steve Randall G8KHW
11:40     Break
12:00     Chase & Recovery – Dave Akerman M0RPI
12:30     VORTEX Parachute Tests – John Underwood
13:00     Lunch
14:00     CUSF’s Martlet Rockets – Adam Greig M0RND
14:30     Introducing AirCores – Dr Johannes Laube (UEA)
15:00     Scheduled Talk Subject to Official Approval
15:30     Break
15:45     500 cu m Solar Balloon Project – Sven Steudte DL7AD
16:15     Superpressure Maths & Envelope Construction – Richard Meadows M0SBU (UBSEDS)
16:45     End

UKHAS were offering the option to complete the amateur radio Foundation Practical Assessments and Exam at the conference. This was rapidly fully booked, perhaps a sign of the shortage of Foundation exams venues.

If you would like to speak or run a workshop, please do get in touch with either Daniel Saul M6DSA or Steve Randall G8KHW. Contributions don’t need to be directly linked to ballooning and they look forward to all suggestions.

Conference registration information is at
https://ukhas.org.uk/general:ukhasconference2016