UBSEDS25 balloon has Slow Scan Digital Video

UBSEDS18 Solar Powered Balloon

Bristol students plan to transmit 434 MHz Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) from the UBSEDS25 solar powered high altitude balloon planned to launch on Saturday, July 1.

On the UKHAS Google Group Richard Meadows M0SBU from University of Bristol Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UBSEDS) writes:

We’re planning a launch from Bristol this Saturday, July 1 between 0500 and 0530 BST. This is weather permitting, but the forecast currently looks okay.

This flight is similar to the previous UBSEDS24, except with some bug fixes and adjustments. It’s using a 1.9m envelope and longer payload train, and so there’s a NOTAM in place. This tracker has a Raspberry Pi Zero V1.3 attached, which transmits images when solar power is available. It’s a different design to our launch last August; in this case the tracker will continue to operate even if the pi fails. For the curious the ‘pi status’ telemetry values are: 0 = off, 1 = on, 2 = PITS started, 3 = SSDV started).

There will hopefully be a cutdown mounted between the balloon and the tracker. We’ll be testing the 434MHz uplink whilst it’s still in range of Bristol; if it returns over the UK at a convenient time and place we will attempt to trigger the cutdown.

The tracker has a variety of transmissions:

• 434.635 MHz USB Telemetry:
– Contestia 16/1000 with pips and RSID, transmitting telemetry. Once per minute below 8km altitude and every two minutes otherwise.

• 434.637.5 MHz SSDV:
– Usually 300 baud RTTY, 850Hz shift, 8N2.
– GMSK within 100km of Bristol and Farnham as marked on the attached map:
– GMSK at 12 ksymbol/s. 4×4 interleaved, R=1/2 convolutional K=5, HDLC framing, whitened etc as per the AX5043 manual. Concatenated with RS(255,223) to mop up some burst errors.

If you are listening to the RTTY, remember to turn off the ‘RxID’ button on the top right of dl-fldigi.

Rather than the usual JPEG SSDV, this is transmitting Better Portable Graphics (BPG) images. This is experimental, and ssdv.habhub.org doesn’t support it just yet. Hence receivers should instead upload to
http://ssdv.bristol-seds.co.uk/

Please read the instructions on this site. You’ll need dl-fldigi release 3.2, as explained on the site. The dl-fldigi release can be found here:
https://github.com/jamescoxon/dl-fldigi/releases/tag/3.2

The flight is expected to head south-east towards France. Many thanks to everyone who attempts to track this.

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

Launch date/times are always subject to last-minute changes, check the UKHAS Google Group for updates.

Useful High Altitude Balloon links for tracking etc https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

UBSEDS24 Balloon with SSDV Successfully Launched

UBSED24 flight path May 8, 2017

UBSED24 flight path May 8, 2017

Richard Meadows M0SBU reports there will be a second attempt to launch the Raspberry Pi Zero equipped 434 MHz balloon UBSEDS24 early Monday morning.

Update: At 1700 GMT May 8 the team reported “Our Raspberry Pi Zero balloon #UBSEDS24 is over France”.

On the UKHAS Google Group Richard writes:

There’s going to be another attempt to launch this flight from Bristol this Monday, May 8 between 0500 and 0530 BST [0400-0430 GMT]. This is weather permitting, but the forecast looks okay at the moment.

This launch is using a 1.9m envelope and longer payload train, and so there’s a NOTAM in place. This tracker has a Raspberry Pi Zero V1.3 attached, which transmits images when solar power is available. It’s a different design to our launch last August; in this case the tracker will continue to operate even if the pi fails. For the curious the ‘pi status’ telemetry values are: 0 = off, 1 = on, 2 = PITS started, 3 = SSDV started).

SSDV picture taken by from UBSEDS24 on May 8, 2017

SSDV picture taken by from UBSEDS24 on May 8, 2017

There will hopefully be a cutdown mounted between the balloon and the tracker. We’ll be testing the 434 MHz uplink to this whilst it’s still in range of Bristol; if it returns over the UK at a convenient time and place we will attempt to trigger the cutdown.

The tracker has several transmissions:

– 434.635 MHz USB Telemetry – Contestia 16/1000 with pips and RSID, transmitting telemetry. Once per minute below 8km altitude and every two minutes otherwise.

– 434.637.5 MHz SSDV – Two modes:
(1) While balloon over UK and English channel GMSK at 12 ksymbol/s. 4×4 interleaved, R=1/2 convolutional K=5, HDLC framing, whitened etc. as per the AX5043 manual. Concatenated with RS(255,223) to mop up some burst errors.
(2) Outside UK 300 baud RTTY, 850 Hz shift, 8N2.

If you are listening to the RTTY, remember to turn off the ‘RxID’ button on the top right of dl-fldigi.

Rather than the usual JPEG SSDV, this 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, as explained on the site. James Coxon M6JCX has made the dl-fldigi release available at: https://github.com/jamescoxon/dl-fldigi/releases/tag/3.2

The flight is expected to head south towards France. Many thanks to everyone who attempts to track this.

Track the balloon online at https://tracker.habhub.org/

Listen to the balloon online with the SUWS WebSDR link at https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

UBSEDS https://twitter.com/bristolseds
http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/hab/flight/2017/05/08/ubseds24.html

Richard M0SBU who is involved in the UBSEDS project 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/

International Space Colloquium – Call for Speakers

FUNcube-1 flight model - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

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

This is a 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 speak 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