Hampshire Based Electronics company wins MOD Cubesat contract.



Roke Manor Research Ltd’s (Roke) Gioconda industry consortium has been awarded a contract to deliver a major element of the UK MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s ‘Smallsat’ CubeSat Research Programme.

A CubeSat is a type of miniaturised satellite, currently destined for space research that usually has a volume of exactly one litre (10cm cube), a mass of little more than one kilogram and typically uses commercial off-the-shelf electronic components. CubeSats are a disruptive technology that offer the potential for rapid, low cost, short duration deployment of sensing and communications capability in Low Earth Orbit.

For this innovative research programme, Gioconda comprises Roke (a Chemring Group company) as prime, Scisys Ltd, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. It will deliver engineering and flight-ready models (mechanically, electrically, electronically and functionally representative), software and electrical ground support equipment (EGSE) for an advanced experimental RF payload suitable for subsequent deployment in space within a CubeSat.

About Roke:

Roke, based in Romsey, Hampshire, is the principal electronics research and development centre of Chemring Group Plc. Founded in 1956, Roke is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of innovative solutions and contract R&D, pioneering developments in electronic sensors, networks and communications technology. It employs 450 staff and has over 430 patents to its name.

Roke has over 50 years of communications experience, providing customers with technology consultancy through to product development. Roke’s expertise in small form factor electronic solutions has been developed through significant involvement in the design of mobile phones and military handheld radios over the last decade.

For more information visit http://www.roke.co.uk/

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 Assistance Requested: ISS Plasma Thrust Shadow Experiment

International Space Station

International Space Station

The Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TSNIIMASH) in Russia is conducting a series of space plasma experiments in order to evaluate the shape of previously observed “dead” zone, or shadowing due to the firing of an onboard arcjet plasma source.

Radio Amateurs are invited to participate in the Space plasma experiment “Shadow” onboard the International Space Station (ISS) taking place Nov 25-28 and Dec 2-5.

Integration of Electric Thrust (ET) onboard a spacecraft poses a certain set of problems including electromagnetic compatibility of ET. One matter of interest is that highly ionized exhaust plumes of ET may scatter RF-signals producing large “dead” zone for communications. Continue reading