Prospero the search continues

New Equipment, New Location : Ready for Commanding

Prospero X3We now have a FUNcube dongle (FCD) installed. This is a basic software defined radio (SDR), and as its name suggests, it was originally produced to support a cubesat programme. It is no bigger than a USB memory stick and has an SMA connector for the antenna.

To make this work, we’ve made a relay box which can switch the antenna to the our ICom IC-746 tranceiver on transmit and the FCD on receive. We’ve decided to use an additional laptop to host the FCD, as the SDR application is quite processor hungry. The application produces a real-time ‘waterfall’ display and it also allows recording of the data stream for later replay, so if we receive a downlink signal, it is now easy to capture the evidence.

We’re working on how to import the TLEs for Prospero, so we can implement Doppler correction to the downlink frequency. This should then show only the signal from Prospero with the correct Doppler shift, and other signals should ‘shift about’ in the spectrum as Doppler correction is applied.

We’re running out of time before the winter break (end of next week), so we’d better start thinking about doing some Prospero commandings. At the end of last week we had to move our ground station equipment to free some office space for researchers at the lab. This move is complete and we should have an operational system ready for commandings. Details will be posted as they are decided.

Source: UCL Blog

One thought on “Prospero the search continues

  1. Latest TLE data from space-track.org (17-dec-2011)

    PROSPERO (BLACK ARROW)
    1 05580U 71093A   11350.69393154  .00001146  00000-0  26266-3 0  9670
    2 05580 082.0399 207.9588 0545286 133.0198 231.7992 13.90492589 11280

    You can use this data with your favorite satellite tracking software.