Watch Live Video of UK STRaND-1 Smartphone Satellite Launch

The STRaND-1 build and test phase took just 3 months

The STRaND-1 build and test phase took just 3 months

The UK smartphone satellite STRaND-1 is expected to launch from India on Monday, Feb. 25 at 12:25 GMT. You can follow the launch on Twitter or watch live video.

STRaND-1 and other CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads are planned to launch on the ISRO PSLV-C20 rocket into a 785 km orbit.

STRaND-1 carries an amateur radio 9600 bps AX.25 packet radio downlink on 437.568 MHz. It is hoping to be the first ever satellite to carry a smartphone into space and is also believed be the first satellite to use a part produced with a 3D Printer.

On Twitter the Surrey Space Centre @SpaceAtSurrey tweeted:

Official launch hashtag of STRaND-1 spacecraft is #S1Launch. Post launch we will be using #STRaND1 hashtag. Launch time:12.25 GMT 25th Feb 2013 #UniOfSurrey #SSTL

Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) for PSLV – C20 @STRaND mission has cleared the launch on Monday, Feb 25, 2013. @university of surrey #S1Launch

Live video launch feeds for Monday’s PSLV launch and

Launch times can and do change at the last minute so follow Twitter for the latest information.

Follow Surrey Nanosats

Read more about STRaND-1 at

STRaND-1 telemetry format

STRaND-1 videos

Other satellites on the same launch

STRaND-1 on Facebook

Provisional initial track of STRaND-1

Provisional initial track of STRaND-1

John Heath G7HIA – Silent Key

Andy Thomas G0SFJ took of this picture of John Heath G7HIA at the Cosmonauts' steps leading to the Mir training module in Star City near Moscow. Over the years, many Cosmonauts have been photographed on these steps before their journeys into the Cosmos.

Andy Thomas G0SFJ took of this picture of John Heath G7HIA at the Cosmonauts’ steps leading to the Mir training module in Star City near Moscow. Over the years, many Cosmonauts have been photographed on these steps before their journeys into the Cosmos.

AMSAT-UK is very saddened by the passing of John Heath, G7HIA. He was a long standing member of AMSAT-UK, and contributed to the amateur space programme in many ways during his lifetime.

John was a regular attendee at the annual AMSAT-UK Colloquia for many years and he enjoyed meeting up with his friends who shared his passion for satellites.  Sadly his ill heath in recent years prevented his attendance.

In the days before his passing, John was in contact with AMSAT-UK; and made a significant financial contribution to the FUNcube project. He chose to do this by making the donation via the Radio Communication Foundation, which, as a registered charity will be able to claim any income tax paid by John as Gift Aid. The size of his donation is very considerable, and will be used at the discretion of the AMSAT-UK committee. Such is the extent of his generosity, that it may be feasible to consider the construction of a further complete CubeSat.

AMSAT-UK is very grateful for this donation.

John will be sadly missed by all members of AMSAT-UK who knew him during his life, and we send our condolences to his family.

RIP, John

Jim Heck G3WGM

John Heath G7HIA with school pupils who took part in the International Space Station contact on April 4, 2003 from the UK National Space Centre

John Heath G7HIA with school pupils who took part in the International Space Station contact on April 4, 2003 from the UK National Space Centre

Clive Wallis G3CWV writes:

I was very saddened to learn of John’s passing.  We had exchanged many e-mails during the last few years. I didn’t know John very well, although we had met at the ASAT-UK Colloquium on several occasions. Topics we discussed by e-mail included processing Delphi 3C telemetry, OSCAR-11 spin rate, automatic Doppler tracking and ARISSat-1 decay.

John was very active in using our satellites and promoting their use to others.  For several years he was net controller of the Midlands two metre AMSAT net.  He also wrote the Space column for RSGB’s RadCom magazine for a number of years. He contributed many articles to OSCAR News, recently in the September 2012 issue about ARISSat-1 orbital decay. His last contribution to OSCAR News was a short item in the December issue, congratulating AMSAT-UK on their 200th issue of the magazine. He included a photograph of himself, Astronaut Ron Parise WA4SIR and Geoff Perry, founder of the Kettering Group of satellite observers. It was taken at the 1998 Colloquium.

During the course of our discussions John mentioned that he was having some unpleasant hospital treatment. He also told me about his working career, which I  thought may be of interest.

As a teenager he was interested in organic chemistry and went to work in industry, eventually in the R&D department at Bakelite in Tyseley, Birmingham. In the 1960’s/70’s he worked on the phenolic resins used to make copper clad PCB material, and did the first industrial synthesis on nonyl phenol by ion exchange. There were massive world stocks of Nonene at knock down prices so they were looking for a way to use it to make phenol/formaldehyde resins used in PCB manufacture.

His YL Pam at that time worked in a small hairdressing supplies business and he sometimes worked with her when they needed extra staff to cover late night opening. After his marriage to Pam, her firm decided to open a branch in Leicester and they were offered the opportunity to re-locate and run the new operation. Together they built up the business, diversifying into related activities with a skin care manufacturing  company (where his science background was invaluable), a beauty products wholesale business  and a  mail order operation. The business expanded from 6 people to a staff of nearly 200 on four sites.

John said that Amateur radio helped to keep him sane by giving him a totally different set of things to think about and emptied his head of business concerns for a few hours each week!

A few years ago Pam was diagnosed with a serious illness and confined to a wheel  chair. This caused them to  bring forward their retirement plans and they moved to Devon.

My condolences to Pam, family & friends.

RIP John, we will miss you.

Clive Wallis   G3CWV

AMSAT-UK at National Student Space Conference Bristol Feb 23-24

FUNcube-1 flight model - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

FUNcube-1 flight model – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Jim Heck G3WGM, Honorary Secretary of AMSAT-UK and project lead on the FUNcube amateur radio satellite project, will be giving a presentation on FUNcube-1 to the UKSEDS National Student Space Conference (NSSC) that takes place in Bristol on February 23-24.

The NSSC is an annual event that brings together students, academics, and professionals from across the country to share knowledge of space, discuss the challenges facing the sector, and to create new links between groups. It features talks by leading space science and industry figures, and opportunities to take part in discussions and networking events.

UKSEDS National Student Space Conference Bristol 2013This year’s NSSC is hosted by Bristol SEDS, part of the Bristol CHAOS Physics society, at the University of Bristol School of Physics.

The impressive line up of speakers includes Alan Bond of Reaction Engines Ltd on the SKYLON Development Programme and John Thatcher of Astrium Satellites Ltd who’ll be talking about MIRI & the James Webb Space Telescope.

Further information on the conference is at

UK STRaND-1 CubeSat Video

Dr Chris Bridges and STRaND

Dr Chris Bridges and STRaND hardware

In this video Surrey Space Centre’s Dr. Peter Shaw talks us through the anatomy of the highly advanced UK CubeSat STRaND-1.

The innovative amateur radio STRaND-1 CubeSat aims to carry a NEXUS Android Smartphone into space to demonstrate the feasibility of using cheap Smartphone electronics to control a spacecraft.

A software-based speech synthesiser will be included to pay homage to the UOSAT family of satellites (OSCAR-9 and OSCAR-11) that were launched in the 1980′s.

STRaND-1 will carry an amateur radio payload with an AX.25 packet radio downlink on 437 MHz using data rates of 9k6 or 19k2 bps.

Continue reading

AMSAT-UK Attend UK Space Agency CubeSat Conference

Graham Shirville G3VZV on the AMSAT-UK Stand at the UKSA CubeSat Community Workshop

Graham Shirville G3VZV on the AMSAT-UK Stand at the UKSA CubeSat Community Workshop

AMSAT-UK attended the CubeSat Community Conference organized by the UK Space Agency (UKSA) which was held at the Open University.

Workshop sessions included:

• Update on UKube-1

• Plans for UKube-2

• Fostering a stronger and wider UK CubeSat Community
Identifying potential user groups who would benefit from using cubesat data (e.g. commercial applications such as utilities companies, telecoms, and government departments etc), and how to engage with them more effectively [note that the National Space Conference in July 2013 in Glasgow could consider hosting a session to facilitate this process]

• Overcoming Obstacles
Common obstacles associated with launching cubesats and how to clarify/streamline them: availability, cost, export controls, applicability of the Outer Space Act, licences, radio frequency allocation, issue of cubesats as space debris

• Developing Education/Outreach Benefits for the UK with the UKube X Program
STEM outreach and school education benefits and how to take this forward with a UKube X programme, including options for Harwell/other involvement to underpin academic/amateur missions with strong research/outreach/education benefits

• Accelerating Disruptive Technologies
Identifying key technology developments with implications for economic growth and possible sources of external co-funding. Defining a UKube x roadmap to tie in with the NSTP roadmaps. Possibilities for synergies and collaborations with international partners

UKube-1 CubeSat Featured in SatMagazine

SatMagazine January 2013The January issue of the free publication SatMagazine features an article on the UK Space Agency’s first satellite UKube-1. It will carry an amateur radio subsystem and a launch on a Soyuz rocket is planned for the 3rd quarter of 2013.

The article on page 6 includes a picture of Steve Greenland of Clyde Space taking delivery of a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards which will provide a 435/145 MHz linear transponder and a 145.915 MHz BPSK telemetry beacon for educational outreach.

Starting on page 24 is an article ‘Truly Educational Experiences… With Nanosats’ covering the University Nanosat program.

Download the January 2013 SatMagazine from

Ukube-1 – Milton Keynes Cubesat Community Workshop January 22

Clyde Space