LightSail-2 to send Morse code

LightSail-2 - Credit The Planetary Society

LightSail-2 – Credit The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society CubeSat LightSail-2 will transmit Morse code from space, and you can make the sound your ringtone

Jason Davis @jasonrdavis reports that during last year’s LightSail-1 mission (call sign KK6HIT), dozens of radio enthusiasts around the world wrote in to tell us they heard our solar sailing CubeSat chattering away in low-Earth orbit.

Every few seconds, LightSail automatically transmits a beacon packet. These packets can be picked up by ground stations and decoded into 238 lines of text telemetry that describe the spacecraft’s health and status. Everything from battery current to solar sail deployment motor state is included. We still plan to better support the worldwide radio community’s efforts to help us capture those packets; that work is temporarily on the back burner while the engineering team focuses on getting the spacecraft ready for delivery.

Many off-the-shelf CubeSat software packages also have an option to transmit Morse code beacons, and for the LightSail 2 mission, we’re activating this feature. Every 45 seconds, the spacecraft will transmit “L-S-2,” and radio operators tuned in to the spacecraft’s 437.325 megahertz frequency should be able to hear it.

Read the full The Planetary Society story at
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2016/20160609-lightsail-2-morse-code.html

LightSail-1 CubeSat Videos

Planetary Society’s LightSail-1 Spacecraft

 

The Planetary Society’s amateur radio spacecraft Lightsail-1 carries a 32m square metre solar sail demonstration.

After launch LightSail-1 will spend a few weeks in orbit during which the team will check out the subsystems. The side panels will then be deployed, exposing a folded sail, and a motor driven sail deployment will extend rigid booms.

With the sail deployed, the primary operation for the spacecraft are performing 90 degree slews to get the sail normal to the sun vector, or edge on with the sun vector.

A combination of ground based sensors and on board sensors will be used to characterize the acceleration due to solar pressure. Imagers on the deployed panels will be used to capture the sail deployment.

It is proposing to have a downlink in the 435 MHz band with a 1.5W output, semi-duplex 9k6 GMSK AX25 with a CW preamble to a single monopole. LightSail-1 is a 3U CubeSat weighing around 4.5 kg. More information will be available at http://polysat.calpoly.edu/LightSail.php

Watch deployment of the solar sail

Watch deployment of the solar panels

Watch antenna deployment in slow motion

The Planetary Society‘s LightSail program will launch three separate spacecraft over the course of several years, beginning with LightSail-1. Lightsail-2 will attempt a longer duration flight to higher Earth orbits, demonstrating that solar sails can increase their orbital energy and taking the next major step toward using solar sails for missions in and beyond Earth orbit.

LightSail-3 will fly to the Sun-Earth Libration Point, L1, where solar sail spacecraft could be permanently placed as solar weather stations, monitoring the geomagnetic storms from the Sun that potentially endanger electrical grids on Earth as well as satellites in Earth orbit.

Planetary Society LightSail-1 http://www.planetary.org/explore/projects/lightsail-solar-sailing/

Amateur Radio Spacecraft LightSail-1

Artists_impression_of_LightSail

Artists impression of LightSail - Image Credit Planetary Society

The amateur radio spacecraft LightSail-1 is a 32 square metre solar sail demonstrator.

The first full scale deployment of  the solar sail was conducted on March 4, 2011 at Stellar Exploration in San Luis Obispo, California. Read more

After launch LightSail-1 will spend a few weeks in orbit during which the team will check out the subsystems. The side panels will then be deployed, exposing a folded sail, and a motor driven sail deployment will extend rigid booms.

With the sail deployed, the primary operation for the spacecraft are performing 90 degree slews to get the sail normal to the sun vector, or edge on with the sun vector.

A combination of ground based sensors and on board sensors will be used to characterize the acceleration due to solar pressure. Imagers on the deployed panels are used to capture the sail deployment.

Proposing to have a downlink in the 435 MHz band with 1.5W output, semi-duplex 9k6 GMSK AX25 with a CW preamble to a single monopole. LightSail-1 is a 3U CubeSat weighing around 4.5 kg. More information will be available at http://polysat.calpoly.edu/LightSail.php

Watch LightSail-1 Video Update: Construction Begins!

The Planetary Society‘s LightSail program will launch three separate spacecraft over the course of several years, beginning with LightSail-1. Lightsail-2 will attempt a longer duration flight to higher Earth orbits, demonstrating that solar sails can increase their orbital energy and taking the next major step toward using solar sails for missions in and beyond Earth orbit.

LightSail-3 will fly to the Sun-Earth Libration Point, L1, where solar sail spacecraft could be permanently placed as solar weather stations, monitoring the geomagnetic storms from the Sun that potentially endanger electrical grids on Earth as well as satellites in Earth orbit.

Article LightSail-1 Nears Critical Design Review http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=12722

Centauri Dreams http://www.centauri-dreams.org/

Planetary Society – LightSail http://www.planetary.org/programs/projects/innovative_technologies/solar_sailing/multimission_project.html