ISS Amateur Radio CubeSats Deployed

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment – Image Credit JAXA

On October 4, 2012 five CubeSats were successfully deployed from the International Space Station (ISS). The first pod containing RAIKO and WE-WISH was deployed at 1437 UT while the second pod containing FITSAT-1, F-1 and TechEdSat deployed at 1544 UT. Pictures can be seen at

October 4 was also the 55th anniversary of the launch of the first satellite Sputnik 1. Videos of Sputnik are here.

Four of the CubeSats carry Amateur Radio payloads, they are TechEdSat, F-1, FITSAT-1, and WE-WISH. As of Oct 5, 1015 UT signals had been reported from WE-WISH and FITSAT-1 as well as weak signal reports for TechEdSat.

ISS CubeSat Frequency Chart – Image Credit Mike Rupprecht DK3WN

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CubeSat Launch Success

The HTV-3 cargo vessel carrying five CubeSats blasted off on an H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center on Saturday, July 21 at 02:06 UT on its way to the International Space Station (ISS).

On July 27 it is scheduled to arrive at the ISS  where it will be grappled by the Expedition 32 crew using the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm and attached to the forward end of the Harmony module to begin a stay of just under a month.

Onboard are four amateur radio CubeSats, F-1, We-Wish, FitSat-1 and TechEdSat along with a scientific CubeSat Raiko.

The CubeSats will remain on the ISS until the first week in September when they will be deployed by Japanese astronaut and radio amateur Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI using the ISS Kibo robot arm.

The F-1 CubeSat carries a pair of Yaesu VX-3R handheld transceivers to provide communications on 145.980 MHz and 437.485 MHz FM using AX.25 packet radio data.

FITSAT-1 will carry an Optical Communications experiment that aims to write Morse Code across the night sky, although only when in range of Japan. It will also transmit CW on 437.250 MHz, FM AX.25 data on 437.445 MHz and high speed data on 5840.00 MHz.

We-Wish will transmit  on 437.505 MHz FM AX.25 data.
TechEdSat will transmit on 437.465 MHz and will also communicate via the Iridium and Orbcomm satellite phone networks, a first for a CubeSat.

Watch the launch of the HTV-3

Video of planned deployment of F-1 CubeSat XV1VN from the ISS

F-1 CubeSat on TV

F-1 CubeSat is scheduled for launch in July, 2012

Latest update on F-1 CubeSat project:

At the moment, the flight safety review is coming to an end. The FSpace team together with their partner NanoRacks LLC has satisfied the technical requirements and standards set by the launch vehicle provider.

If everything goes according to plan, the F-1 CubeSat will be delivered to Japan by the end of June. Then along with four other CubeSats (RAIKO, WE-WISH, FITSAT-1 and TechEdSatF-1 will be loaded onboard HTV-3 “Kounotori” transfer vehicle for integration with the JAXA HII-B launch vehicle.

F-1 plans to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on July 21 from Tanegashima, Japan, then in September the Japanese astronaut and radio amateur Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI should deploy it into space from the ISS using the Kibo robot arm.

It carries two Yaesu VX-3R transceivers using 145.980 and 437.485 MHz.

The FSpace team are offering the public a chance to send their name/callsign and a message into space onboard the F-1 CubeSat. You will also be presented with a certificate! See this link

JAXA Google English


Vietnam Student CubeSat F-1

Video of HTV-3 “Kounotori” and CubeSat Deployer

F-1 CubeSat Students

Video of HTV-3 Spacecraft and CubeSat Deployer

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

The Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI” (HTV) is an unmanned transfer vehicle which can carry amateur radio CubeSats along with food, clothes and equipment needed for experiments in the International Space Station (ISS).

“KOUNOTORI 3” (HTV-3) is planned to launch on July 21, 2012 from Tanegashima Space Center and will be carrying four amateur radio CubeSats WE-WISH, FITSAT-1, F-1, and TechEdSat along with the CubeSat Raiko which carries a beacon in KU-Band.

This video, produced by the Japanese Space Agency JAXA, gives an overview of the HTV-3 and its payloads. At  3:56 into the video there is a segment on the JEM-Small Satellite Orbital Deployer  (J-SSOD) that Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide KE5DNI will use to deploy the CubeSats from the ISS. The Software Defined Radio gets a mention at 7:34.

Watch KOUNOTORI3 (HTV3) – Third Expedition to Space at

16 Japanese Educational Satellites to be Launched

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

Kibo Robot Arm CubeSat Deployment

Sixteen educational satellites are under construction in Japan. The first should be launched in May 2012 followed by the others over the next two years.

Horyu-2 Structural Thermal Model

HORYU-2 Structural Thermal Model

The first to launch is the amateur radio satellite HORYU-2 built by students at the Kyushu Institute of Technology (KIT). The launch is on a Japanese H-IIA rocket planned for May 17 at 1639-1642 UT.

The mission aims to take pictures of the Earth using a small CMOS camera SCAMP (Surrey Camera Payload) developed by the University of Surrey, a sister university of KIT. SCAMP takes a 640×480 pixel picture in a JPEG format. From 700 km altitude, one pixel corresponds to 1.6 km.

HORYU-2 will be followed in July by the launch of the HTV3 to the International Space Station (ISS). This will deliver the JEM-Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) along with the Japanese CubeSats WE-WISH, FITSAT-1 and RAIKO. These CubeSats should be deployed from the ISS in September using the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) robot arm.

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

Takushi Tanaka JA6AVG and FITSAT

FITSAT-1, also known as NIWAKA, will use a neodymium magnet for attitude control. It has multiple downlinks, CW on 437.250 MHz, AX.25 on 437.445 MHz and a 4 watt high speed data transmitter on 5840 MHz capable of sending a 640 by 480 VGA JPEG image in 6 seconds.

In addition it carries high power LEDs that will be driven with 100W pulses to produce extremely bright flashes. These, it is hoped, will be observable by the unaided eye or with small binoculars. Both the 5840 MHz and optical downlinks have a high power consumption so it may be that they are only activated over Japan.

In December TSUBAME is planned to be launched on a H-IIA. It aims to have a CW beacon on 437.250 MHz and AX.25 1200/9600bps telemetry on 437.505 MHz.

The satellite blog run by Mineo Wakita JE9PEL is a good source of information on Japanese satellites, see

The satellite blog of Nader Omer ST2NH contains a summary of Mineo’s information which is reproduced here:

437.375MHz 1200bps FSK CW

2U (10 cm by 10 cm by 20 cm)

437.250MHz CW, 437.445MHz FM, 5840.00MHz High speed data

IR pictures of the earth surface with 320×256 pixels
that will be downlinked in approx 110 secs using SSTV.
437.505MHz SSTV, Telemetry, CW (English Version)


437.245MHz CW (mother), 437.255MHz CW (daughter)
437.405MHz FM (mother), 437.425MHz FM (daughter)






Mission 1 Establish human network by amateur satellite
Mission 2 Prove the ability of the micro engineered 1/20 wavelength small antenna
Mission 3 Prove the stable operation of FRAM based microcontroller and
other microcontroller in space environment
437.425 MHz




437.505MHz AX.25/SRLL, 9600bps GMSK, 1200bps AFSK
437.250MHz CW

TechEdSat to use 'SatPhone'



TechEdSat will be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS). It is a 1U CubeSat that will demonstrate Plug and Play power architecture and two way communication via the satellite phone/data networks Iridium and Orbcomm.

UPDATE: The plan to transmit from space using frequencies allocated to Iridium and Orbcomm SatPhone ground stations has been canceled. A statement from the team says: “We were forced to disable the Iridium modem as our FCC license did not come in time. As usual, building the satellite is the easy part.”

There will be a 437.465 MHz beacon transmitting 1 watt to 1/4 wave monopole. Commanding is via the commercial networks and there is a 2 week watchdog timer to stop the beacon in the event of no commands being received.

TechEdSat will be launched along with Raiko, FITSat-1, We-Wish and F-1 to the ISS aboard HTV-3, currently planned to launch July 18, 2012. From there, it will be deployed into Low Earth Orbit  using the JAXA J-SSOD deployer, from the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM also known as Kibo).

Wiki – TechEdSat

Kibo Robot Arm

ISS Amateur Radio CubeSat Deployment October 4

Watch the deployment live at

IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination pages hosted by AMSAT-UK