VO-52 Dutch Transponder Switching ON

Update: 13-03-2012 16:04 CEST

Due to ‘Operational Constraints’ the commands to turn on the transponder were not been able to send. In-convenience caused is regretted. The next attempt would be made during 01:44 UT pass over India. On behalf of ‘Operations Director-VO-52 Mani, VU2WMY

Subsequent to the clearance by the ‘Expert committee’ the Transponder # 2 (The Dutch Transponder made by William Leijenaar PE1RAH) on board HAMSAT VO-52 would be switched ‘ON’ at 13:42 UT on 13.03.2012 during orbit # 37080 over India.

A ‘Critical Comparative Signal Report’ between the Indian and Dutch transponder would be of great help for further evaluations and necessary actions for the maintenance the transponder in good and healthy condition for better services and also, the inputs would be very valuable to the respective transponder designers.

We all hope, Williams PE1RAH would be very happy with our decision and behalf of every one here in India involved with project, wish Williams and his transponder, once again all the very best and good luck.

Uplink frequency : 435.25 MHz
Downlink frequency : 145.9 MHz
Beacon : CW at 145.859330 MHz (145.86 MHz)
Output level of Beacon : 18 dBm

Thanks to AMSAT-India (Nitin VU3TYG) for the all the help and co-ordination provided.

My first pass will be at 19:45 CEST I will give it a try and see how it is working

VO52 Pass at 13-03-2012 19:45 CEST

Update 13-03-2012 14:30 CEST:

In an email exchange between me and William (PE1RAH) it became clear to me that this is the first time in seven year that the Dutch transponder will beactivated. Compared to the Indian transponder, when the dutch transponder is active a CW signal can be heard on the beacon frequency.

[PE0SAT Thanks Mani, VU2WMY and PE1RAH for the above information]

FO-29 Recovered

Mineo JE9PELThe FO-29 Command Team reports from Japan that they have recovered the satellite after it had experienced a shutdown due to longer eclipse periods causing an undervoltage condition.

Ground station operators have placed FO-29 in a temporary, but stable configuration for further testing and recovery operations. They will test FO-29 while it is over Japan between December 23-25.

If no problems occur the Command Team will announce an operating schedule for the satellite for the remainder of 2011 and into the early part of 2012. Please standby for further news and announcements.

[PE0SAT thanks Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL for the above information]

PCSat-1 recovery

PCSat-1 NO-44NAV OSCAR 44 – PCSat (Recovery)

Starting Monday Morning (Dec 26, 2011), I will be trying to recover PCSAT. We need everyone to not use it until we give up. Just one single packet from a user during a pass will easily kill that pass’s chance of recovery. We only get one single packet chance per pass for recovery. Only when the call PCSAT-1 is readable in the beacon, the digipeater is active. So everyone, turn off those automatic beacons via PCSAT until further notice.


Student CubeSats Ready For Flight

Vega Artist ImpressionThe first student built amateur radio CubeSats to be sponsored by ESA’s Education Office have passed their Final Acceptance Review and have been declared ready for launch on board the maiden flight of Vega, the new ESA launcher.

The launch window for this historic lift-off opens on 26 January and ends in the first week of February 2012.

The seven university-built picosatellites, each weighing only 1 kilogram, were integrated with the devices that will carry them during launch – the P-PODs, or Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployers – between late October and mid November. Before they could be cleared for launch, they had to pass a detailed technical examination known as the Final Acceptance Review.

The single-unit CubeSats, whose development represented a highly valuable, if not unique hands-on learning experience for the university students that were involved – were developed by teams from 6 different European countries:

  • Xatcobeo (a collaboration of the University of Vigo and INTA, Spain)
  • Robusta (University of Montpellier 2, France)
  • E-St@r (Politecnico di Torino, Italy)
  • Goliat (University of Bucharest, Romania)
  • PW-Sat (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland)
  • MaSat-1 (Budapest University of Technology & Economics, Hungary)
  • UniCubeSat GG (Universitá di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Italy)
  • As well as the CubeSats Vega will also carry the Amateur Radio microsatellite ALMASat-1

Frequencies and links for the satellites can be found in the following article from JE9PEL.

Read the article of the full ESA story.

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