Ofcom discuss Pocket Spacecraft

View of St Pauls from Ofcom office - Credit Michael Johnson M0MJJ

View of St Pauls from Ofcom office – Credit Michael Johnson M0MJJ

On Wednesday, November 26, Michael Johnson M0MJJ discussed the licensing of thousands of Pocket Spacecraft with the UK communications regulator Ofcom.

Pocket Spacecraft

Pocket Spacecraft

The plan is that a 3U CubeSat will carry Pocket Spacecraft known as ‘Scouts’ to the Moon. A ‘Scout’ is a disk with flexible electronics, smaller than a CD, containing a transceiver, antenna and solar cells. The CubeSat should first release a batch of the wafer thin Scout satellites into Earth orbit and then deploy another batch of the Scout satellites into Lunar orbit.

It is understood the mission plans to use the 435 MHz and 2400 MHz bands.

Pocket Spacecraft http://pocketspacecraft.com/

Follow Pocket Spacecraft on Twitter @mySpacecraft

UK radio ham’s Lunar CubeSat to go ahead
https://amsat-uk.org/2013/08/26/uk-radio-hams-lunar-cubesat-to-go-ahead/

BBC: ‘Pocket spacecrafts’ to become a reality
https://amsat-uk.org/2014/05/15/bbc-pocket-spacecrafts-to-become-a-reality/

BBC TV: Radio Hams Balloon Flight and Pocket Spacecraft

Malawi Hgh Altitude BalloonRadio amateurs Jerry Sandys G8DXZ, Andrew Ashe G8SRV and Michael Johnson M0MJJ appeared in the May 17 edition of the BBC TV technology show Click which is now available on the web. (Overseas viewers may need to use a UK based proxy server)

Jerry Sandys G8DXZ along with other APJHAB team members, Peter Gibbs (BBC weather presenter) and Andrew Ashe G8SRV flew three balloons during a week long High Altitude Balloon (HAB) holiday in Malawi. The first flight was from Mumbo Island in Lake Malawi and was successfully recovered after landing on the lake. The second flight was from Mvuu Wilderness Camp on the bank of the River Shire. The BBC technology show “Click” sent a camera operator to film the second flight and shot a 3:30 minute segment for the show.

Malawi Recovering the PayloadBy the time they arrived at Kumbali for the third flight, they didn’t have enough Hydrogen left to lift the electronic payload so decided to do a “message in a bottle” flight released by three young school children. Jerry says the look on the children’s faces as their messages, attached to the red cloud buster, disappeared into the sky was amazing.

The team flew a RTTY Arduino tracker and also an Iridium Arduino tracker, both worked well. On the second flight they also flew a two tube Geiger counter as an experiment for Reading University. A Hero 3 GoPro and Polaroid sport camera was used for photography.

Watch the Click High Altitude Balloon (HAB) segment at 12:55 into the show
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b044trs9/click-17052014

BBC weather presenter Peter Gibbs has written an article about their experience, read it and also watch the video at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27406041

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Pocket Spacecraft

Pocket Spacecraft

Radio amateur Michael Johnson M0MJJ appears in the same edition of Click. He is interviewed about his 435 MHz Pocket Spacecraft known as ‘Scouts’. A ‘Scout’ is a wafer thin disk with flexible electronics, smaller than a CD, containing a transceiver, antenna and solar cells. It is hoped to carry them in a CubeSat which would deploy them in Lunar orbit. The segment starts at about 9:00 into the show http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b044trs9/click-17052014

Permanent link to video clip which should be viewable overseas http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27444158

Michael Johnson M0MJJ’s Pocket Spacecraft were also mentioned in the BBC Radio 4 Today show, see https://amsat-uk.org/2014/05/15/bbc-pocket-spacecrafts-to-become-a-reality/

UK radio amateur plans Lunar Pocket Spacecraft https://amsat-uk.org/2013/08/26/uk-radio-hams-lunar-cubesat-to-go-ahead/

Pocket Spacecraft http://pocketspacecraft.com/

BBC: ‘Pocket spacecrafts’ to become a reality

Pocket Spacecraft

Pocket Spacecraft

On Thursday, May 15, the BBC Radio 4 Today show featured an item on the recently launched 437 MHz Sprite satellites and the new Pocket Spacecraft being developed by a UK radio amateur.

KickSat Sprite satellites deployed - Image by Ben Bishop VK2FBRB

KickSat Sprite satellites deployed – Image by Ben Bishop VK2FBRB

The tiny Sprite satellites, measuring 3x3cm and just a few millimetres thick, contain a 437 MHz transmitter, solar cell, sensor and antenna. The CubeSat KickSat-1 carrying 104 Sprites was successfully launched on April 18, however, a suspected radiation glitch meant they could not be deployed before the CubeSat burnt up on re-entry on May 14.

UK radio amateur Michael Johnson M0MJJ has developed Pocket Spacecraft known as ‘Scouts’. A ‘Scout’ is a wafer thin disk with flexible electronics, smaller than a CD, containing a transceiver, antenna and solar cells. It is hoped to carry them in a CubeSat which would deploy them in Lunar orbit. It is understood that frequencies in the 435 MHz and 2400 MHz bands may be used.

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 clip ‘Pocket spacecrafts’ to become a reality in which BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly discusses the development of pocket spacecrafts http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01z4q22

It is expected that Pocket Spacecraft will feature in the BBC TV technology show ‘Click’ due to be released online on Saturday, May 17 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006m9ry

KickSat-1 launch https://amsat-uk.org/2014/04/18/successful-launch-of-kicksat-carrying-104-sprite-satellites/

British Interplanetary Society: Sprite Technical Summary
http://www.bis-space.com/2013/03/09/9301/kicksat-technical-summary

UK radio amateur plans Lunar Pocket Spacecraft https://amsat-uk.org/2013/08/26/uk-radio-hams-lunar-cubesat-to-go-ahead/

Pocket Spacecraft http://pocketspacecraft.com/

437 MHz Sprite

437 MHz Sprite

UK CubeSat Weekend: March 29-30, 2014

A  Typical CubeSat

A Typical CubeSat

The UK CubeSat Weekend, taking place at Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell Didcot, will allow members of the public to work together to design, build and balloon launch a flight ready CubeSat engineering model, and a flight model suitable for launch into low earth orbit.

The purpose of the weekend is to demonstrate that amateur groups with no experience of spacecraft design or assembly can design, build and fly. Participants are invited to register teams of two to five members each, to build and test the CubeSat.

Objectives:
– Assemble and program a PocketSpacecraft.com ScoutArray
– Test and optionally improve its functionality on the bench
– Integrate into a CubeSat
– Test the functionality on a tethered balloon

The event takes place at the Satellite Applications Catapult, Electron Building, Fermi Avenue, Harwell Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QR. Registration details at https://sa.catapult.org.uk/cubesat-weekend

UK radio ham’s Lunar CubeSat to go ahead

Pocket Spacecraft

Pocket Spacecraft

Michael Johnson M0MJJ gave a presentation on his Pocket Spacecraft: Mission to the Moon project to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium held in July at Guildford.

Michael - Founder

Michael – Founder

He aimed to raise funding for the project by using the Kickstarter crowd-funding website.

The 60 fund raising period ended on August 26, 2013 and it fell short of target raising pledges for £69,079 ($107,735) out of the £290,000 ($452,284) goal. However, it appears that thanks to donations from other sources, the Pocket Spacecraft: Mission to the Moon is still going ahead.

Update #6 on the Kickstarter page says:

“More than 350 private individuals, universities and companies have backed the project via Kickstarter so far, but what we weren’t expecting are the amazing direct offers of financial support and support in kind that are too big or unable to be pledged via Kickstarter. Thanks to this support from private individuals, companies, government bodies, non-profits and others, we’re excited to be able to confirm that Pocket Spacecraft: Mission to the Moon will go ahead!”

Melania - Microgravity Experiment Lead

Melania – Microgravity Experiment Lead

The plan is that a 3U CubeSat will carry Pocket Spacecraft known as ‘Scouts’ to the Moon. A ‘Scout’ is a disk with flexible electronics, smaller than a CD, containing a transceiver, antenna and solar cells. The CubeSat should first release a batch of the wafer thin Scout satellites into Earth orbit and then deploy another batch of the Scout satellites into Lunar orbit.

It is understood the mission plans to use the 435 MHz and 2400 MHz bands.

The Kickstarter page says “If you are, or would like to be, a radio amateur, we’ll show you how to communicate directly with your spacecraft in space when it is nearby using inexpensive UHF and S-band equipment. Communication at (cis-)lunar distances is more expensive (typically requiring 5-24m+ steerable dishes), but available to some clubs and enthusiasts.”

KickSat

KickSat

Pocket Spacecraft is believed to be the first UK satellite project to have used Kickstarter. Several USA satellite projects have already successfully raised money on Kickstarter:

Radio ham Zac Manchester KD2BHC used Kickstarter to raise $74,586 in donations to fund the development and deployment of 200 amateur radio KickSat sprite satellites expected to take place later this year.

Radio amateurs Jeroen Cappaert KK6BLQ, Joel Spark KK6ANB and Jonathan Oxer VK3FADO are on the team of the ham radio satellite project ArduSat. They managed to raise donations of $106,330 in just 30 days.

Tim DeBenedictis and Anna Vital with the SkyCube satellite

Tim DeBenedictis and Anna Vital with the SkyCube satellite

SkyCube which will transmit on 915 MHz in the 902-928 MHz amateur radio band raised $116,890.

Kickstarter is not just about raising large sums of money, for example Sandy Antunes used Kickstarter to raise $2,780 to buy a ham radio transceiver and antennas to create an amateur radio satellite ground station Calliope.

Read Pocket Spacecraft Update #6 at
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1677943140/send-your-own-pocket-spacecraft-on-a-mission-to-th/posts/576993

Kickstarter page http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1677943140/send-your-own-pocket-spacecraft-on-a-mission-to-th/

Daily Mail article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2352652/Now-send-personalised-spacecraft-moon-just-99–monitor-it-travels-space.html

UK Radio Ham Plans Lunar CubeSat

Pocket Spacecraft

Pocket Spacecraft

UK radio amateur Michael Johnson M0MJJ is raising funds on Kickstarter for a CubeSat that aims to travel to the Moon.

Michael - Founder

Michael – Founder

The Pocket Spacecraft project hopes to raise at least £290,000 ($442,000) to fund a 3U (30x10x10cm) CubeSat. It will carry Pocket Spacecraft known as ‘Scouts’ to the Moon. A ‘Scout’ is a disk with flexible electronics, smaller than a CD, containing a transceiver, antenna and solar cells.

The CubeSat should release a batch of the wafer thin Scout satellites into Earth orbit and deploy another batch of the Scout satellites into Lunar orbit.

Melania - Microgravity Experiment Lead

Melania – Microgravity Experiment Lead

It is understood the mission plans to use the 435 MHz and 2400 MHz bands.

The Kickstarter page says “If you are, or would like to be, a radio amateur, we’ll show you how to communicate directly with your spacecraft in space when it is nearby using inexpensive UHF and S-band equipment. Communication at (cis-)lunar distances is more expensive (typically requiring 5-24m+ steerable dishes), but available to some clubs and enthusiasts.”

Watch the video and read more about the Pocket Spacecraft project at
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1677943140/send-your-own-pocket-spacecraft-on-a-mission-to-th

Pocket Spacecraft is believed to be the first UK satellite project to use Kickstarter. These USA satellite projects have already successfully raised money on Kickstarter:

Radio ham Zac Manchester KD2BHC used Kickstarter to raise $74,586 in donations to fund the development and deployment of 200 amateur radio KickSat sprite satellites expected to take place later this year.

Radio amateurs Jeroen Cappaert KK6BLQ and Joel Spark KK6ANB are on the team of the ham radio satellite project ArduSat. They managed to raise donations of $106,330 in just 30 days.

SkyCube which will transmit on 915 MHz in the 902-928 MHz amateur radio band raised $116,890.

Kickstarter is not just about raising large sums of money, for example Sandy Antunes used Kickstarter to raise $2,780 to buy a ham radio transceiver and antennas to create an amateur radio satellite ground station Calliope.