STEREO Spacecraft now using Turbo Code Software written by AMSAT-DL

NASA STEREO Poster

NASA STEREO Poster

AMSAT-DL reports that on April 2, 2013, the two NASA STEREO space-based observatories switched to Turbo Codes to transmit their real-time space weather data permanently. A network of four ground stations, located at the IUZ in Bochum/Germany, CNES in Toulouse/France, NICT in Koganei/Japan and amateur radio station DL0SHF in Kiel-Ronne/Germany receives this data, and uses turbo-decoding software written by AMSAT-DL.

The Bochum station is run by AMSAT-DL e.V. and IUZ Bochum Observatory, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and DLR.

Said Doug Biesecker, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center:

“Thanks to the wonderful work of our colleagues running the station in Bochum and the support of DLR, we can now be sure of receiving real-time data from the NASA/STEREO satellite throughout the life of the mission. The STEREO data has proven to provide significant benefits to space weather forecasting and is used by NOAA on a daily basis to ensure the best possible forecasts. Space weather increasingly threatens the technological infrastructure of our modern world, with demonstrated impacts on global positioning, power grids, and high frequency communication systems.”

The switch to Turbo Codes has improved reception capabilities of the ground stations by about 2 dB, which is a very welcome improvement giving the increasing distances – 269 and 286 million kilometers respectively – that need to be covered.

Source http://www.amsat-dl.org/index.php/news-mainmenu-97/194-stereo-turbo-amsateng

AMSAT-DL International Satellites for Communication, Science and Education http://tinyurl.com/AMSAT-DL

Radio Amateurs Receive Mars Science Laboratory

Mars Science Laboratory

Mars Science Laboratory

Radio Amateurs have received signals from the NASA Mars Science Laboratory using the AMSAT-DL amateur radio facility at Bochum in Germany.

On November 26, 2011 at 15:02 UTC the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) successfully launched on an Atlas V 541 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41. It is carrying Curiosity, a 900 kg rover about the size of a small car.

It is expected to arrive at the “Red Planet” in August 2012 after a nine month flight.

Just over 7 hours after launch at 21:45 UTC the X-band telemetry signal from the MSL was received using the Bochum amateur radio facility. The signal, received at a distance of 112,000 km, had a spin-modulation of +/- 3.5 Hz with 2 revolutions / minute.

This is believed to be the first reception of the MSL outside the official NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) and the USN tracking station at Dongara, Australia (under contract to JPL for the MSL launch).

Bochum Amateur Radio Facility

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

For reception of MSL James Miller G3RUH remotely reconfigured the Bochum tracking and receiving system. The MSL X-Band telemetry signal was received automatically in Bochum, no-one had to be physically on-site. This shows how flexible and reliable the system at Bochum is, ready for the planned AMSAT-DL P5-A mission to Mars.

The 20m dish at Bochum is also used by AMSAT-DL to automatically receive real-time solar data from the NASA STEREO A / B satellites. The data is transmitted to a NOAA server in the USA via the Internet.

Congratulations to the AMSAT-DL team on a remarkable acheivement.

Control Software for the Bochum Radio Telescope by James Miller G3RUH
http://www.amsat.org/amsat/articles/g3ruh/126.html

Stereo A/B Spacecraft Telemetry Reception at Bochum by James Miller G3RUH
http://www.amsat.org/amsat/articles/g3ruh/127.html

AMSAT-DL in Google English http://tinyurl.com/AMSAT-DL

AMSAT-UK publishes a newsletter, OSCAR News, full of Amateur Satellite information. Sample issue at http://www.uk.amsat.org/on_193_final.pdf  Join online at http://alturl.com/avuca