PocketQube Workshop videos available

3rd PocketQube Workshop GlasgowThe 3rd PocketQube Satellite Workshop, hosted by Alba Orbital, was held September 5-6, 2019, in Glasgow. Talks given at the event are now available on YouTube.

Among the presenters were:
• Stuart Robinson GW7HPW, $50SAT Team
• Julian Fernandez EA4HCD, Fossasat-1
• Zac Manchester KD2BHC, Chipsats
• Constantin Constantinides MM6XOM, Unicorn-2

Talk schedule and PDF slides at http://www.albaorbital.com/3rd-pocketqube-workshop

Watch the videos at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7qrB8LwUKBhszyEVAUuL8kvgoA8eu4JG

Alba Orbital https://twitter.com/AlbaOrbital

16-year-old ham radio satellite builder in the press

FossaSat-1 PocketQube Satellite

FossaSat-1 PocketQube Satellite

16-year-old radio amateur Julián Fernández EA4HCD was interviewed by the newspaper El Mundo Chronicle about his FossaSat-1 PocketQube satellite.

A Google translation of an extract of the article says:

…at the age of seven someone told him about the International Space Station and, since then, he has not stopped fantasizing about the idea of a voyage safe from gravity. “Unlike the children of previous generations who dreamed of being astronauts without knowing very well how to get it, I have grown up with all the information at my fingertips,” he tells Crónica.”

Now Julián Fernández [EA4HCD], already as CEO of Fossa Systems, has just launched a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe with which he intends to finance his latest talent: a mini-satellite (the smallest in Spain and the third in the world) that will allow the Internet access throughout the world. “It is not designed to provide Wi-Fi hotspots,” jokes this student of 4th of ESO, “but to try to democratize access to telecommunications in the environment of the internet of things.” To meet its objective, and in order to reduce launch costs, the last two years have been devoted to miniaturizing the size of the satellite. “My prototype will take the internet to rural areas, many of them without coverage of any kind, so that monitoring data can be sent at no cost”.

Read the English version of the full article at https://tinyurl.com/El-Mundo-FossaSat-1

The Fossa team is made up of international members from all over the world working together thanks to the magic of the internet https://fossa.systems/about-us/

The IARU have coordinated a frequency of 436.700 MHz for the 100 mW downlink which is capable of 183 Hz Shift FSK RTTY 45 baud ITA2 and LoRa 125 kHz B/W 180 bps, details at

The ITU API/A is available here.

Fossa say they have signed a orbital launch contract with UK company Alba Orbital and a launch on a Electron rocket is expected in the 4th quarter of 2019

Unicorn-2a PocketQube Satellite

Unicorn-2a in Space - image credit Alba Orbital

Unicorn-2a in Space – image credit Alba Orbital

Glasgow-based Alba Orbital plan to launch a 3p PocketQube Unicorn-2a built by several radio amateurs including Constantin Constantinides MM6XOM, Sajimon Chacko 2M0DSY and Alejandro González Garrido EA7KDU. A 3rd quarter 2018 launch is planned on a Vector Launch Inc. rocket from Kodiak, Alaska into a 350 x 350 km 98 degree orbit. The mission will last about 45 days and Delfi-PQ is expected to be a fellow passenger on the launch.

Unicorn-2a PocketQube Structure

Unicorn-2a PocketQube structure

The mission of Unicorn-2a is primarily a technological demonstration of an Optical payload with a 16m GSD (Ground Sample Distance).

When the satellite is in orbit it is planned to run challenges with the amateur radio community such as:
– 1st download of an image from the satellite
– 1st reception of text based/extended beacon
– 1st reception of the satellite in the southern hemisphere

An open source GUI for the satellite will be available to all from Alba Orbital’s web site. This GUI allows for monitoring the health status of the satellite once the beacon has been received.

Alba Orbital are collaborating with the University of Aachen and their amateur radio group DL0FHA to trial Unicorn-2a operations and act as a backup. This helps students learn about communicating with a real mission.

The team are proposing a UHF downlink using 9k6 bps GFSK and at 2.4 GHz using 200 kbps GMSK and LoRa at 38 kbps.

Watch the talk on the Unicorn-2a structure by Andrew Dunn given at PocketQube Workshop in Delft

Unicorn-2 http://www.albaorbital.com/unicorn2/

Unicorn-2 on IARU satellite frequency coordination site http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru/

Vector to launch Unicorn-2a and Delfi-PQ PocketQube satellites on first orbital attempt

PocketQube Workshop presentation slides released

OzQube-1 LogoIn March Stuart McAndrew gave a presentation on OzQube-1 a tiny PocketQube satellite which aims to transmit images of the Earth from space.

OzQube-1 will be just 5x5x5 cm (1P) in size and the aim is to keep the hardware costs down to under $1,000. The satellite structure is being developed by Jo Hinchliffe MW6CYK.

Stuart’s talk titled ‘Building a Satellite from Scratch: The DIY Engineering behind OzQube-1’ describes some of the challenges he’s faced in building his own low-cost satellite.

Watch OzQube-1 Presentation at TU Delft PocketQube Workshop

Download all the workshop presentation slides including OzQube-1 from

Delfi Space hosted the PocketQube satellite workshop at the Delft University of Technology on March 24, 2017 http://www.delfispace.nl/pocketqube-workshop

Stuart McAndrew OzQube-1

Jo Hinchliffe MW6CYK

Video of $50SAT ham radio satellite talk

Yaesu handheld and $50SAT 1.5U PocketQube

Yaesu handheld and $50SAT 1.5U PocketQube

The story behind $50SAT, a new approach to amateur satellite design which became the world’s smallest operational satellite, built for £125 in a garden shed.

On Saturday, August 6, Stuart Robinson GW7HPW gave a presentation on the amateur radio satellite $50SAT to the Electromagnetic Field event EMF 2016 in Guildford.

Talk Description: If you are building an Amateur satellite the simple choice would be to assemble a device with all the latest satisfyingly advanced and complex tech. The $50SAT team made a decision to go against convention and produce a design with the minimum of components.

$50SAT was the first of a new class of satellite pioneered by Professor Bob Twiggs KE6QMD; the PocketQubes, designed to be small and light so they would be cheap to launch. $50SAT was launched in November 2013 using a Dnepr rocket from Dombarovsky Air Base in Russia and remained working in orbit for 20 months, the team had only expected it to last for a month at best.

Watch The story behind $50SAT

$50SAT http://www.50dollarsat.info/

$50Sat Eagle2 PocketQube

$50SAT Falls Silent  http://www.dk3wn.info/p/?cat=143

UK and Malta University Satellite Collaboration

Mock-up showing typical size of a PocketQube satellite

Mock-up showing typical size of a PocketQube satellite

The UK’s University of Birmingham, the University of Malta, the Malta Amateur Radio League (MARL) and the Italian Astrodynamics company, GAUSS Srl are collaborating on a project to send a PocketQube satellite with an amateur radio payload into space.

The Times of Malta newspaper reports:

The 5x5x5 cm device, referred to as a PocketQube pico-satellite, will be launched in 2018 into a sun-synchronous low earth orbit (LEO) and will be used to validate on-board equipment that will study the properties the Earth’s ionosphere.

This project will pave the way for a swarm of eight such satellites that will spread over a large geographical area and hence gain better coverage of changeable ionospheric conditions which affect radio communications.

The collaboration has brought together two Maltese post graduate engineering students – Darren Cachia in Malta and Jonathan Osairiis Camilleri (Ozzy), a Ph.D. student at the University of Birmingham – who have joined efforts and are developing the satellite platform and the scientific payload respectively.

The mission is expected to last about 18 months and will relay information back to Earth that will be accessible to anyone owning a simple ham radio set. Information will be made available in due course to allow schools and interested individuals to participate using inexpensive equipment.

Read the Time of Malta story at

Read the Independent newspaper story at

Martin Sweeting G3YJO gave a presentation to the University of Birmingham titled: Keeping Satellites in Space – Where Science and Engineering Meet

Malta Amateur Radio League (MARL) http://www.9h1mrl.org/