Masat-1 captured the first Hungarian satellite photographs from space

Masat-1, the First Hungarian Satellite made history again when it captured the first satellite space photographs on 8 March 2012 This first photo shows the southern section of the African continent. The next photos were made of Australia and Antarctica, in a quality and quantity unprecedented in the CubeSat realm.

Masat-1 - Flight Model

The Flight Model of Masat-1

The on-board camera of Masat-1 has a mass of about two Euro coins. The maximal resolution is 640×480 pixels. A width of 1 pixel corresponds to a distance of 1 to 10 kilometres on the photos recorded.

The flawless operation of the passive attitude control system made it possible to capture photographs ahead of schedule, but with this passive system only the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth may be targeted by the camera. As the first month of the mission passed, almost every mission objective was fulfilled. The flawless run of the satellite opens a new scientific and technological horizon for experiments which we plan to perform in the coming months.

There is an increasing demand for Eath observation satellites worldwide both from the public and the private sector, as such spacecraft can capture on-demand, high resolution, up to date images of a specific area of the Earth’s surface. The captured images might be used for disaster relief operations,weather forecast services, crop yield estimation and tracking of agricultural operations, civil transport and cartography applications and also defence purposes.

As part of the ESA Education programme, seven CubeSats designed and built by European universities were placed into orbit by Europe’s new Vega launch vehicle on 13th February 2012.
For more information please visit ESA’s Education CubeSat pages.

Masat-1 in silent mode again

Masat-1 in silent mode again

On 21 and 22 March 2012 (Wednesday, Thursday) we will switch the satellite to silent mode again as a repetition of the last silent mode data aquisition. In silent mode, all RF transmission of the satellite is turned off, the satellite is only on reception. After these experiments regular telemetry transmission will be turned on again.

Amateur Radio CubeSat Masat-1 Takes First Pictures

Masat-1 image 08 taken 12:37 March 8, 2012

Masat-1 image 08 of Southern Africa taken 12:37 March 8, 2012

Masat-1, the first Hungarian Satellite made history again when it captured the first satellite space photographs on March 8, 2012. The first photo showed the southern section of the African continent. The next photos were made of Australia and Antarctica, in a quality and quantity unprecedented in the CubeSat realm.

Besides their sole beauty, these photos also demonstrate the careful planning and execution of the satellite’s operation, proving that even within the tight mass and energy constraints of Masat-1 it is possible to capture space images.

Masat-1 image 09

Masat-1 image 09 taken 12:37 March 8, 2012

Masat-1 is the first Hungarian satellite, designed and built by students and lecturers of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in cooperation with the Hungarian Space Office and various domestic companies. The satellite, measuring 10x10x10 cm and weighting 1 kg, was launched by the Vega launch vehicle of the European Space Agency (ESA) from the spaceport at Kourou in the Caribbean. Masat-1 along with seven other student built amateur radio satellites were deployed into a 1441 by 310 km orbit.

The satellite has been operating flawlessly since the launch of February 13, 2012, steadily transmitting data to the primary ground control station (Budapest University of Technology) and the secondary ground control station (Érd, Hungary). In addition to these domestic control stations, more than 120 radio amateurs have received the satellite worldwide. Their total contribution to the success of the mission exceeds 200 000 data packets.

Masat-1 image 19 taken 05:53 March 12, 2012

The on-board camera of Masat-1 has a mass of about two Euro coins. The maximal resolution is 640×480 pixels. A width of 1 pixel corresponds to a distance of 1 to 10 kilometres on the photos recorded.

The call sign of Masat-1 is HA5MASAT and the telemetry transmission frequency is  437.345 MHz +/- Doppler shift, which at worst case could be +/- 10 kHz.

The Masat-1 Ground Station Client Software was prepared to process the 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

Further pictures can be seen at

English language press release

Masat-1 designated MagyarSat-OSCAR-72 (MO-72)

New MO-72 Decode Software

MO-72 Masat-1 Telemetry Decode SoftwareThe students who developed the amateur radio satellite MO-72 (Masat-1) have announced that new telemetry decode software is available.

Changes in this new release include:
– “Offline” label removed, the status of the automatic packet reporting is displayed
– Battery voltage constant (on the EPS panel) updated
– Now you can change between 626/1250 bps decoding on the Packets panel
– On the frequency waterfall now you can see tracks for the 0, CW and 1. The decoder is the most sensitive if the signal is in the middle of the highlighted track

Download the new software from

MASAT-1 designated MagyarSat-OSCAR-72 (MO-72)

Khartoum Students Receive CubeSats

MASAT-1 designated MagyarSat-OSCAR-72 (MO-72)

Masat-1 CubeSat

Masat-1 (MO-72) CubeSat

OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO reports,
“Congratulations on the successful launch of the MaSat-1 Cubesat that the team at Budapest University of Technology and Economics have been responsible for designing, building and testing.

“Since you have met all of the requirements for being issued an OSCAR number, including coordination through IARU and requesting an OSCAR number, I, under authority vested in me by the President of AMSAT-NA, do hereby name MaSat-1 as MagyarSat-OSCAR-72 or MO-72.”

Bill concludes, “I, and all at AMSAT-NA wish MagyarSat-OSCAR-72 great success in fulfilling all of its mission objectives.”

Source ANS

Vega Launch Success – Satellite Signals Heard

Lift off of Vega

Lift off of Vega - Image Credit ESA

The first Vega, flight VV01, lifted off at 1000 UT Monday, February 13 from the ESA Spaceport at Kourou in the Caribbean carrying eight student built amateur radio satellites and the LARES Laser Relativity Satellite into orbit.

LARES was put into a 1435 by 1452 km 69.5 degree inclination orbit, while the orbit of the amateur radio satellites is 310 by 1441 km.

At 1153 UT Drew Glasbrenner KO4MA reported hearing signals from the satellites as they went past Florida. Signals were first heard in the United Kingdom at around 1207 UT.

In Germany Mike Repprecht DK3WN copied the satellites at an elevation of just 3 degress at 1209 UT, see

A recording of PW-Sat made by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG at 1207 UT can be heard at

In the Czech Republic Mirek Kasal OK2AQ received strong signals from Masat-1

Nittin Muttin VU3TYG received PW-Sat at 1246 UT as it travelled over India, his recording is at

In Sudan Nader ST2NH received signals from AlmaSat-1 and Masat-1.

KO4MA Screenshot of Vega CubeSats

KO4MA Screenshot of Vega CubeSats

As of Monday evening signals had been reported from AlmaSat-1, Goliat, Masat-1, PW-Sat, UniCubeSat and XaTcobeo.

All the Vega amateur radio satellite project teams used the IARU amateur satellite frequency coordination panel service. A benefit of IARU coordination was that all the different UHF satellite signals could be simultaneously captured within the typical 192 kHz bandwidth of a modern Software Defined Radio (SDR).

PW-Sat is the only satellite with a downlink in the 145 MHz band. Its 1200bps BPSK signal on 145.900 MHz is receiveable with an SSB radio and an omni-directional antenna.

When PW-Sat has finished its primary scientific mission it will be reconfigured as a 435/145 MHz FM to DSB transponder for general amateur radio communications. The FM to Double Sideband transponder was first pioneered by amateurs on the satellite AO-16.

PW-Sat carries a deployable drag augmentation device known as the tail. The main objective of this experiment is to test the concept of using atmospheric drag to deorbit the satellite. It is hoped to be able to remove the satellite from orbit at a predicted time, about one year after launch.

The other amateur radio satellites have downlinks in 437 MHz. A small 430 MHz  band Yagi antenna may be used to receive the signals. They are expected to have a lifetime of 3-4 years depending on the atmospheric drag which is higher at sunspot maximum.

Watch the launch of Vega VV01

The Masat-1 satellite team have made available software to decode their 437.345 MHz telemetry data via a PC sound card. The software can be downloaded from

This video shows the eliptical 310 by 1441 km orbit of the satellites.

The prelimary TLEs, used by tracking software to predict the orbits, were generated by a team lead by Paolo Tortora at the University of Bologna in Italy. They proved to be accurate with the satellites appearing at the expected time.

Student amateur radio satellite downlink frequencies:
(Worst case Doppler shift during pass +/-9 kHz at 437 MHz and +/- 3 kHz at 145 MHz)
+ 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? (website says now 437.350 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

Satscape Free Satellite Tracking Software 

Preliminary Vega TLE’s for launch at 1000 UT here

Website URLs for the student satellite are at

ESA report Student CubeSats start talking to Earth

IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel hosted by AMSAT-UK