Student Satellite Launch To Be Broadcast Live

Artists impression of Vega launch

Artists impression of Vega launch

The launch of eight student amateur radio satellites from the space center at Kourou in the Caribbean will be broadcast live on the Internet.

The launch should take place between 1000-1300 UT on Monday, February 13 and you’ll be able to watch it at

The student teams have requested reception reports. During the Launch and Early Operations Phase (LEOP) Monday, listeners are encouraged to gather at the IRC “cubesat” channel to exchange all the latest available information. Simply point your browser to and join the #cubesat channel. In the Nickname: field enter “name_callsign” and in the Channels: field enter #cubesat

Preliminary Vega TLE’s for launch at 1000, 1100 or 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 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.

Student amateur radio satellite downlink frequencies:
+ AlmaSat-1   437.465 MHz 1200 bps FSK, 2407.850 MHz
+ E-St@r        437.445 MHz 1200 bps AFSK
+ Goliat          437.485 MHz 1200 bpx AFSK
+ Masat-1      437.345 MHz 625/1250 bps GFSK, CW
+ PW-Sat       145.900 MHz 1200 bps BPSK AX25, CW
+ Robusta      437.325 MHz 1200 bps FM telemetry – one data burst of 20 secs every 1 min
+ UniCubeSat 437.305 MHz 9600 bps FSK
+ XaTcobeo     437.365 MHz FFSK with AX.25

Masat-1 telemetry decode software

URLs for the student satellite websites are at

Vega Elliptical Orbit Video

Satscape Free Satellite Tracking Software 

N2YO Real Time Satellite Tracking

CubeSats on the Vega qualification flight

In this video Roger Walker, Head of education projects unit, ESA, talks about the CubeSats that will be on the first launch of the Vega rocket, planned to take place between 10:00 and 12:00 UT on Monday, February 13.

The video shows the integration of the CubeSats in the P-POD deployment system and includes some interviews with ESA’s experts and European students involved in the programme. Over 250 students were involved in the development of the seven amateur radio CubeSats.

Watch CubeSats on the Vega qualification flight

Frequencies and URLs for the student amateur radio satellites on Vega can be seen at

Video about the Vega satellites

The first qualification Vega flight from the space center at Kourou in the Caribbean is scheduled to take place on February 13 and a video showing the payloads is now available.

Watch Arianespace

Frequencies and URLs for the student amateur radio satellites can be seen at

Hungarian Students Request Reports of Telemetry Data

Masat-1 CubeSat

Masat-1 CubeSat

Andras Gschwindt HA5WH is requesting Radio Amateurs to send reports of telemetry data from the Hungarian student satellite Masat-1 due to be launched on February 13.

Andras HA5WH, head of the student group that made the first Hungarian CubeSat, Masat-1, says:

Masat-1 is a 1U cubesat and its basic mission is a technological experiment. You can find more on our web site: 

Masat-1 is onboard the Vega rocket which we hope will launch on February 13. My students at The Technical University of  Budapest, are in need of telemetry data especially in the first one to two weeks after launch.

I would like to ask you to help us with the reception of our satellite by sending the received data back to us.

You can load the decoder software from our page but the most important would be the reception of the voltage and temperature from the CW data.

The call sign of Masat-1 is HA5MASAT and the telemetry transmission frequency is  437.345 MHz +/- 10 kHz Doppler shift. (the signal will start at 437.355 MHz and drift down to 437.335 MHz during a 10-15 minute orbital pass)

Watch the Masat-1 Eliptical Orbit video

The Masat-1 Ground Station Client Software was prepared to process the 437.345 MHz GFSK 625/1250 bps transmission received from the satellite Masat-1. The software provides the following functions:

– Audio demodulation
– Packet decoding
– Packet data visualization
– Frequency waterfall plot to aid radio tuning

Download the software and a test WAV file from

Some of the Masat-1 Team

Some of the Masat-1 Team

Further information on Masat-1 is at

For frequencies and URL links of the eight student built amateur radio satellites on Vega see

Vega Launch on February 13 with Eight Amateur Band CubeSats

Artists impression of Vega launch

Artists impression of Vega launch

Vega is now scheduled to launch on Monday, February 13, at 1000 UT with eight student built amateur radio satellites. The launcher will first deploy the main payload, the LARES the Laser relativity Spacecraft and will then make an additional firing of the final AVUM stage before deploying the secondary CubeSat and Microsatellite payloads.

The planned timing for these deployments are as follows:

= T0+ 4245.30secs first PPOD, with (in order of ejection) XatCobeo, e-st@r, and Goliat
= T0+ 4255.30secs second PPOD, with (in order of ejection) Robusta, MaSat-1 and  PW-Sat
= T0+ 4265.30secs third PPOD, with UniCubeSat only (These Cubesats will not deploy their antennas until >1800 seconds after they leave their PODS.)
= T0+ 4275.30secs  AlmaSat-1 – it is not known how soon this spacecraft will start transmitting after deployment

Frequencies for the satellites on the Vega Launch are:

+ ALMASat-1 – University of Bologna, Italy 437.465 MHz 1200 bps FSK and 2407.850 MHz

+ Xatcobeo (a collaboration of the University of Vigo and INTA, Spain) to demonstrate software-defined radio and solar panel deployment. 437.365 MHz FFSK with AX.25 and 145.940 MHz SSR

+ Robusta (University of Montpellier 2, France) to test and evaluate radiation effects (low dose rate) on bipolar transistor electronic components. 437.325 MHz 1200 bps FM telemetry with one data burst of 20 seconds every 3 minutes.

+ e-st@r (Politecnico di Torino, Italy) to demonstration of an active 3-axis Attitude Determination and Control system including an inertial measurement unit. 437.445 MHz 1200 bps AFSK.

+ Goliat (University of Bucharest, Romania) to provide imaging of the Earth surface using a digital camera and in-situ measurement of radiation dose and micrometeoroid flux. 437.485 MHz 1200 bps AFSK.

+ PW-Sat (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland) to test a deployable atmospheric drag augmentation device for de-orbiting CubeSats. PW-Sat carries an FM to DSB amateur radio transponder with an FM input on 435.020 MHz and DSB output on 145.900 MHz. There are 5 modes of operation:
– Receive only – no downlink
– CW Beacon CW – On-Off Keying (OOK) CW 12 WPM 435.020 MHz
– BPSK Beacon – BPSK 1200 bps AX25 (1 frame on 20 sec) 435.020 MHz
– Control communication mode. Downlink BPSK 1200 bps AX25 435.020 MHz
– Voice Repeater mode (aka “AO-16 mode) – uplink 435.020 MHz FM and downlink 145.900 MHz DSB

+ MaSat-1 (Budapest University of Technology and Economics): to demonstrate various spacecraft avionics, including a power conditioning system, transceiver and on-board data handling. 437.345 MHz GFSK 625/1250 bps, CW. See the related article in these bulletins describing the downloadable GFSK demodulator software.

+ UniCubeSat GG – (University of Rome): The UNICubeSat mission goal is the in-situ measurement of atmospheric density. Downlink frequencies are 437.305 MHz or 437.345 MHz 9k6 FSK.

Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL provides complete coverage of the Vega launch on his ‘ESA CubeSats Update’ web pages. You’ll find an overview of each of the satellite missions, frequencies, modulation/protocols, and links to the developers home web pages posted at:

AMSAT-UK covers the Vega launch at:

An ESA time-lapse showing the full assembly of the first Vega launcher at the launch pad at the ESA Spaceport in Kourou is posted 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 or mIRC to join the cubesat chat. Use the server. Then join the #cubesat channel. Many users set their chat nickname to “name_callsign”.

AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB)

AMSAT News Service (ANS)

Video – Vega's First Launch Campaign

A time-lapse video is available of the first Vega launch campaign that began November 7, 2011 at the ESA Spaceport in Kourou. Vega will carry eight student built amateur radio satellites.

This time-lapse shows the full assembly of the first Vega launcher at the launch pad, in preparation for its qualification flight. It starts with the transfer and installation of the P80 first stage from the Vega Booster Storage and Preparation Building to the launch pad, followed by the two solid-propellant second and third stages, the Zefiro-23 and Zefiro-9. The next step was to add the AVUM — Attitude & Vernier Upper Module — liquid-propellant fourth stage to the vehicle. The ‘upper composite’ — the fairing and payload — was moved to the pad on January 24 and integrated over night.

Watch Vega’s First Launch Campaign

Vega Satellite Deployments

Student Amateur Radio Satellites on Vega

Vega Masa-1 Elliptical Orbit Video