Lift-off of SpaceX CRS-3 with five CubeSats and 104 Sprite satellites
Five CubeSats including KicksSat which carries 104 Sprite satellites on 437 MHz were successfully launched by the SpaceX CRS-3 mission on Friday, April 18 at 19:25:22 UT.
Zac Manchester KD2BHC and the SpaceX Falcon-9 CRS-3
Zac Manchester KD2BHC says:
After a beautiful launch KickSat was deployed in low Earth orbit. We at Cornell and several amateur radio operators around the world have made contact with the spacecraft and it is alive and well. I can’t thank all of you enough for your tremendous support over the past two years. Thank you for believing in KickSat!
This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and is a huge milestone, but we’re not done yet. In 16 days the Sprites will deploy from KickSat. We need as many people as possible listening in, so if you’re interested, please check out the wiki and our mailing list for more information. As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.
The CubeSats KickSat, SporeSat, TSAT, PhoneSat-v2.5 and ALL-STAR/THEIA were deployed into a 325×315 km 51.5 degree inclination orbit.
KickSat Sprite satellites deployed – Image by Ben Bishop VK2FBRB
On the KickSat updates page Zac Manchester KD2BHC has announced a competition to receive the first amateur radio signals from the KickSat CubeSat and the tiny Sprites satellites.
Zac writes: I’d like to announce a little contest…
I’ll be offering prizes to the first several people who receive telemetry packets from KickSat as well as the first few who receive signals from the Sprites. The prizes will include souvenir Sprites and CRS-3 and ELaNa-V mission patches.
437 MHz Sprite
Now for the rules:
• In the case of KickSat telemetry, you have to send me the raw hex or ASCII packet data and I have to be able to successfully decode it.
• In the case of the Sprite signals, you have to send me a raw baseband recording and I have to be able to decode at least one Sprite signal from it.
• I’ll continue offering prizes until I run out of cool swag.
• I have the ultimate say on whether or not you win.
To get in on the fun, check out our wiki and join the KickSat mailing list. Let the games begin!
CRS-3 CubeSat frequency chart by Mike Rupprecht DK3WN
All the Sprites operate on a single frequency of 437.240 MHz and use Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). The transmitter runs 10 mW output of Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) modulated binary data with each data bit modulated as a 511 bit Pseudo-Random Number (PRN) sequence. The ITU emission designator is 50K0G1D.
The KickSat CubeSat has downlinks on 437.505 MHz and 2401-2436.2 MHz.
In this video Ben Bishop VK2FBRB gives an alternative view of the deployment
KickSat mailing list https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/kicksat-gs
Kicksat Updates https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zacinaction/kicksat-your-personal-spacecraft-in-space/posts
PRN codes for KickSat Sprites released https://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/23/prn-codes-for-kicksat-sprites-released/
Preliminary TLE’s are at http://mstl.atl.calpoly.edu/~ops/crs3_tle/
Frequencies of the other CubeSats can be found at
CRS-3 Payloads http://www.spaceflight101.com/dragon-spx-3-cargo-overview.html
Equipment for receiving the Sprite 437 MHz signals