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/

Spring OSCAR News

The Spring edition of the AMSAT-UK colour A4 newsletter OSCAR News is being posted to members this week.

In this issue
– Dick Daniels W4PUJ SK
– VEGA Maiden Flight Report
– My way to solve the TLE lottery by Mike DK3WN
– Your Spacecraft recording wanted, urgently
– Getting back on the Satellites by Andrew Sellers G8TZJ
– Sumbandilasat
– FUNcube satellite project update
– The Clive Wallis G3CWV Column
– A Swiss satellite to tackle space debris
– ARISSat-1/KEDR goes silent
– FUNcube satellite models part 2
– KickSat – your personal spacecraft in space!
– Shorts

You can get OSCAR News by joining AMSAT-UK online at http://tinyurl.com/JoinAMSAT-UK

AMSAT-UK is a voluntary organisation that supports the design and building of equipment for amateur sadio satellites. Its members are currently building the satellite FUNcube-1.

AMSAT-UK FUNcube-1 Launch Fund

Just a reminder of the launch Fund that has been created for the FUNcube-1 Cubesat Satellite, all donations are very much appreciated, and will help towards the cost of launching the FUNcube-1 satellite in 2012.

AMSAT-UK FUNcube-1 Launch Fund:  http://tinyurl.com/7t24yol


For more information on the FUNcube-1 Cubesat project visit: http://funcube.org.uk/
For more information on the FUNcube Dongle (the SDR receiver for FUNcube) visit here: http://www.funcubedongle.com/

AMSAT-UK Net Recorded via 20 km WiFi Link (March 11th)

AMSAT-UK Net Recorded via 20 km WiFi Link

Simon Brown HB9DRV in Switzerland has made available a recording of Sunday’s AMSAT-UK 80m net that he made using a remote receiver in Poole, Dorset. What is remarkable about this recording is that a 20 km long experimental 2.4 GHz WiFi link was used at the Dorset end.

The AMSAT-UK net is held every Sunday morning at 10am local time on a nominal frequency of 3.780 MHz. Due to interference the net may move either side of that frequency so tune around. Newcomers are most welcome to call-in.

Listen to the AMSAT-UK Net recorded Sunday, March 11th, 2012. Due to the experimental nature of the 20 km WiFi link there are a few breaks in the recording.


Previous Net Recordings http://www.ham-radio.ch/kits/sdr-radio.com/mp3/

You can listen to the remote radio of Paul M0EYT in Poole, Dorset as well as other remote receivers in the United Kingdom and around the world via the Web Servers (Free)  page at http://www.sdr-radio.com/

Or try listening to the Dutch 80m web SDR at http://www.nachtuilen.net/

Another web based radio site is http://www.websdr.org/

Nine band web SDR http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/

Online Receivers http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Internet_and_Radio/Online_Receivers/

UK Space Agency boost for tomorrow’s tiny space tech.

Sixteen UK space labs and companies are set to benefit from the latest round of the UK Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme (NSTP) which will spur innovation in the fast-moving area of space technology known as ‘cubesats’.Artist's impression of a CubeSat. Credit: AMSAT-UK.

Artist’s impression of a CubeSat.
Credit: AMSAT-UK.

Cubesats are tiny, low-cost spacecraft – weighing only a few kilos – which can be launched ‘piggy-back’ on larger spacecraft. Many of today’s cubesats are proving to be great educational projects helping students hone practical skills in building and operating satellites. However, with advances in technology, many experts believe they will also be used for cutting-edge science or operational uses in the future.

The UK is already the world leader in small satellites through Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). Ten years ago, SSTL benefited from UK government investment helping it to grow into a world-class company. Today, the UK Space Agency is following the same road to space innovation by supporting cubesat technology. Already, UKube-1 – a sophisticated nanosat with an imager, scientific and educational payloads – is being built by leading cubesat company Clyde Space Ltd. in Scotland.

Now, eleven new research projects supported by £310k of grants from the National Space Technology Programme (PDF, 18 Kb)  will drive the next steps in British cubesat know-how.

“It’s going to be exciting to see what emerges”

Dr Chris Castelli, programme manager at the UK Space Agency explains: “We received 30 proposals to our recent competition and have now selected the best ones to fund. We’ve got a great range of ideas – from new technology such as wireless on-board monitoring and tiny thrusters to give cubesats their own manoeuvring capability; to practical uses such as bioscience and space-weather monitoring. All these ideas will feed into our thinking for a successor to UKube-1, which we hope to select in 2013. It’s going to be exciting to see what emerges.”

Cubesats represent only one part of the Agency’s innovation agenda which also encompasses giant communications satellites such as Alphasat and the exploration of the Universe through missions such as Herschel and Planck.

UK Space Agency logo

We invite you to write an article for AMSAT-UK OSCAR NEWS.

If you have written or would like to write an article for AMSAT-UK’s OSCAR News, please email your articles including any photo and artwork to m0tfo@amsat.org

A sample copy of OSCAR NEWS can be found here http://www.uk.amsat.org/on_193_final.pdf


We are looking for articles relating to ham radio satellites or anything related to ham radio in space. This can be anything from tips on working your favorite satellite
to using satellite tracking software or your latest project.

Please state within your Email: “For publication”