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UAE Plan Mars Mission

Vie, 07/18/2014 - 11:18

Late Spring on Mars – Credit NASA

The Emirates News agency WAM reports the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) has entered the space race with a project to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021 in the Arab world’s first mission to another planet. A new U.A.E. Space Agency will be created to coordinate the U.A.E.’s growing space technology sector and to supervise the mission.

The press release says:

The U.A.E. is one of only nine countries with space programmes to explore the Red Planet. The Mars probe’s nine-month and more than 60 million kilometre journey will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the U.A.E.’s formation.

“The U.A.E. Mars probe represents the Islamic world’s entry into the era of space exploration. We will prove that we are capable of delivering new scientific contributions to humanity,” U.A.E. President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, and added, “The U.A.E.’s purpose is to build Emirati technical and intellectual capabilities in the fields of aerospace and space exploration and to enter the space industry and to make use of space technology in a way that enhances the country’s development plans.” Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said, “Despite all the tensions and the conflicts across the Middle East, we have proved today how positive a contribution the Arab people can make to humanity through great achievements, given the right circumstances and ingredients. Our region is a region of civilisation. Our destiny is, once again, to explore, to create, to build and to civilise.

“We chose the epic challenge of reaching Mars because epic challenges inspire us and motivate us. The moment we stop taking on such challenges is the moment we stop moving forward,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid added.

The mission will be led by Emiratis and so will expand the nation’s human capital through knowledge transfer from international partners, as well as increasing human knowledge about space exploration and distant planets.

The Red Planet project would be a turning point in the U.A.E.’s development, establishing the space technology sector as a key component of the national economy for years to come.

U.A.E. investments in space technologies already exceed AED20 billion, including satellite data and TV broadcast company, Al Yah Satellite Communications, mobile satellite communication company, Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications and Earth mapping and observation system, Dubai Sat.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said the U.A.E. Space Agency would be responsible for supervising and organising all such activities, developing the sector, ensuring knowledge transfer, enhancing the U.A.E.’s position as a global player in aerospace, and maximising the contribution of space industries to the national economy. The agency will report to the Cabinet and enjoy financial and administrative independence.

Globally, space technologies are becoming increasingly important to the security and economy of nations, in many cases backed by massive national programmes and establishments. The sector is integral to many aspects of life from telecommunications and navigation to broadcasting and monitoring of weather and natural disasters.

The industry is estimated to be worth around $300 globally and growing by around 8% annually.

“We aim for the U.A.E. to be among the top countries in the field of aerospace by 2021. We have a great belief in Allah and in the talents of our young people. We have the strongest determination, the greatest ambitions, and a clear plan to reach our targets,” President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said.


Microwave and VHF/UHF equipment available at Colloquium

Vie, 07/18/2014 - 09:57

On Sunday, July 27, Sam Jewell G4DDK and Dave Powis G4HUP will be attending the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford to display and sell their range of Microwave/UHF/VHF kits and other equipment.

An assembled LNA Kit

The stand will feature the popular Low Noise preamplifier (LNA) kits for 70cm, 23cm, 21cm (1420 MHz Hydrogen Line for Radio Astronomy), 13cm, 12cm and 9cm as well as PCB Microwave antennas, FETs, Amplifier PCBs and MMICs.

The highly regarded Anglian 2m transverter kits will also be available. This is a high performance 28 to 144 MHz transverter module featuring a ready-assembled PCB so that the amount of SMD soldering is minimised. The award winning Nacton 4m amateur band transverter module should also be there.

PCB Log Periodic Antenna

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at

G4DDK Products

G4HUP Products

July/August SatMagazine Available for Download

Mié, 07/16/2014 - 20:43

The July/August 2014 issue of the free professional publication SatMagazine features TechDemoSat, UKube-1 with FUNcube-2 boards, DX-1 and the publication OSCAR News produced quarterly by AMSAT-UK.

OSCAR News is edited by Jim Heck G3WGM and Graham Shirville G3VZV. On page 28 SatMagazine says:

AMSAT-UK is an information service that offers a first class magazine in OSCAR News (free to members at least every three months), and provides technical data and advice on all aspects of amateur satellite communications. Orbital data and general assistance to all radio amateurs wishing to enter this specialized part of the hobby is still available at minimal cost. For further information regarding AMSAT UK, please visit

Download the July/August 2014 SatMagazine from

A sample issue of OSCAR News can be downloaded here.

Join AMSAT-UK – Electronic Membership is available at

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at

SHERPA to deploy CubeSats in LEO or GTO

Mié, 07/16/2014 - 12:49

SHERPA in Orbit – Credit Spaceflight Inc

ISIS‬ have been selected by SpaceFlight Inc. to provide QuadPack nanosatellite dispensers for the 2015 SHERPA launch. They will provide the capacity to deploy 84 3U CubeSats. Future SHERPA launches aim to go to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).

ISIS QuadPack Deployer – Credit ISIS

Following next year’s launch, Spaceflight are planning two launches each year, one to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and the other to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). A GTO is a highly elliptical orbit which may have an apogee of 35,786 km and a perigee around 300 km.

Seattle Astronomy report SHERPA is capable of carrying up to 1,500 kilograms total although the first mission, set for the third quarter of 2015, will only be 1,200 kilograms.

The first SHERPA will not have its own propulsion system, but future models should, enabling even greater maneuverability and precision in delivering satellites to their intended destinations.

Read the ISIS press release at

Seattle Astronomy – First SHERPA launch from Spaceflight, Inc. set for next year

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at

Wirral Grammar School for Girls to launch 434 MHz Balloon

Mar, 07/15/2014 - 23:00

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

Pupils at Wirral Grammar School for Girls are planning to launch a High Altitude Balloon equipped with 434 MHz telemetry and Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) transmitters.

The launch is planned for Wednesday, July 16 at around 11:00 BST from Middletown Hill near Welshpool, weather permitting. The balloon will be a 1200g Hwoyee with Helium and the transmitter details are:

Callsign: WG3
Frequency: 434.300 MHz
Mode: RTTY 50,7n2 470 Hz shift

Callsign: WG3TV
Frequency: 434.350 MHz
Mode: RTTY 300,8n2 610 Hz shift SSDV + telemetry

The balloon will carry a Raspberry Pi A with RFM22B based daughterboard. The radio coverage area could extend up to a radius of 700 km which would make it receivable throughout the British Isles.

Online real-time tracking of balloons

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software

See received SSDV images on the web at

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:

Follow the launch day chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at

Listen to Balloons via the Web

Radio amateurs Noel G8GTZ, Martin G8JNJ and Phil M0DNY from the Southampton University Wireless Society, have established an Internet accessible WebSDR receiver near Basingstoke in the UK. It has special helix antennas optimised for balloon and satellite reception in the 144 and 434 MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. Listen using the WebSDR at

BYOB ‪CubeSat‬ Day July 25 – Free Registration

Mar, 07/15/2014 - 12:27

Dr Chris Bridges M6OBC / 2E0OBC and STRaND-1

The free BYOB ‪CubeSat‬ Day takes place in the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford on Friday, July 25. The day will include ad-hoc tours to SSC’s cleanroom, ground–station, and new CubeSat experimentation facilities.

Following on from the success of our 2013 event, Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and AMSAT-UK invite CubeSat developers to bring their equipment to a ‘Bring Your Own Board’ (BYOB) workshop. The aims are to demonstrate your latest CubeSat developments, to foster new partnerships and links within the UK and EU community, and encouraging more interaction with AMSAT-UK and the International Space Colloquium (July 26-27 more info at:

The workshop is free to register. Opening times are from 9 AM to 4 PM, after which there will be an Amateur Satellite Beginners Session.

You will be able to see real satellite hardware from Clyde Space, ISIS, Satellite Applications Catapult, AMSAT-UK and the Open University.

Registration details at

MEO and HEO satellite orbits

Sáb, 07/12/2014 - 15:55

Orbits – Illustration by B. Jones, P. Fuqua, J. Barrie, The Aerospace Corporation

David Bowman G0MRF describes the coverage area that might be provided by an amateur radio Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite (MEOSAT). He suggests there is a region of space that would be optimum for such satellites.

The Van Allen radiation belts are separated into two layers. The lower layer is comprised of high energy protons between 600 and 6000km. The second belt is essentially electrons and that occupies altitudes above 12,000km.  So a MEOSAT could avoid damaging radiation by orbiting in the “safe zone” between 7,000 and 11,000 km.

Read David’s MEO article at

Watch the MEO satellites presentation given to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium 2009
Video made by the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) Slides here

Elliptical Satellite Orbits

The paper Revisiting elliptical satellite orbits to enhance the O3b constellation by Lloyd Wood, Yuxuan Lou and Opeoluwa Olusola of the University of Surrey is now available for download.

Orbital altitudes of satellite systems

Early low-orbiting satellites were launched into Highly Elliptical Orbits (HEO) as a result of not having much control over trajectory. Circular orbits with minimal eccentricity offer consistent altitudes, with the benefits of consistent free space losses and link budgets throughout the orbit, and soon became the norm. Highly elliptical orbits fell from favor for communications use.

Highly elliptical orbits can be used to provide targeted satellite coverage of locations at high latitudes. We review the history of use of these orbits for communication. How elliptical orbits can be used for broadband communication is outlined. We propose an addition of known elliptical orbits to the new equatorial O3b satellite constellation, extending O3b to cover high latitudes and the Earth’s poles. We simulate the O3b constellation and compare this to recent measurement of the first real Internet traffic across the newly deployed O3b network.

Download the paper from Source page

Orbit Perturbation Analysis

The orbits of satellites at altitudes above 2500 km can decay faster than might at first be expected. The Dash-2 satellite was a 1 kg 2.5 meter diameter balloon launched on July 19, 1963 with the West Ford Needles. The 3500 km orbit, originally circular, increased in eccentricity rapidly under the action of solar radiation pressure. Dash 2 reentered the Earth’s atmosphere less than 8 years later on April 12, 1971.

Read the paper Atmospheric Density Variations at 1500-4000 km Height Determined from Long Term Orbit Perturbation Analysis by Bruce R. Bowman

Medium Earth Orbiting satellites by David Bowman G0MRF

MEO slides from the presentation given by David Bowman G0MRFDownload PDF Here

Earth’s Safe Zone

Amateur Radio CubeSat to HEO ? by Brent Salmi KB1LQD

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium is being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, 2014. The event is open to all, further details at

Surrey Space Centre – UK CubeSail Satellite

Vie, 07/11/2014 - 22:28

CubeSail in Space

CubeSail is an exciting, ground-breaking educational satellite project at the Surrey Space Centre (SSC) that hopes to launch into a 680 km Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) from India in December 2014.

CubeSail Layout – Surrey Space Centre

A key feature is the deployment of a 25 square metre sail structure, which will be used to demonstrate the propulsive effect of solar radiation pressure (i.e. solar sailing) and will demonstrate the de-orbiting capabilities of the sail as a drag augmentation device. CubeSail will be the first launched three-axis stabilised solar sail.

CubeSail will build on small satellite experience at SSC, such as the STRaND-1 nanosatellite, launched on February 25, 2013. Furthermore, the mission critical sail deployment mechanism has undergone an extensive testing and validation process as part of the ESA Gossamer Deorbiter project carried out at SSC. The CubeSail project is also financially and technically supported by world leading industrial partners, Astrium and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

CubeSail is a 3U CubeSat project with a 6kg mass, the mission aims are :

• Technology Demonstration 1: Deployable Sail- The CubeSail satellite will deploy a large (up to 5×5 metre) square aluminised Kapton sail, using novel CFRP deployable booms.

• Technology Demonstration 2: Solar Sailing – The CubeSail mission will demonstrate ‘solar sailing’ in LEO by utilising the solar radiation pressure on the reflective sail to change its orbital inclination.

• Technology Demonstration 3: Attitude Control CubeSail is equipped with 3-axis-stabilizing attitude determination and control system. A novel capability of this system is pointing via a centre-of-mass/centre-of-pressure (COM/COP) offset.

• Technology Demonstration 4: Drag Deorbiting -The satellite will deorbit much more quickly than otherwise due to its deployable sail. Satellite pointing will be optimized by the attitude control system for maximum drag.

• Outreach – The satellite will provide beacons for which amateur satellite users and ham radio users will be able to receive. Proposing a 9600 Bit/s AX.25 RC-BPSK downlink  

The IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel have coordinated a downlink frequency of 435.240 MHz.

Watch CubeSail flyby


The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium takes place on the weekend of July 26-27, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom. The event is open to all, further details at

Amateur Radio Society Receives Award

Vie, 07/11/2014 - 21:40

Surrey EARS – Mascot Stevie Stag in Near-Space

The Surrey Electronics and Amateur Radio Society (EARS) have received the Special Interest Society of the Year award.

The Society say “Surrey EARS has been working hard to be one of the best societies on campus and this year our work has been officially recognised. At the student awards ceremony we received the award for Special Interest Society of the Year and just recently have been recognised as a Gold Society by the students union. This is a great achievement for us and we hope to do even more in the coming year”.

On Saturday, July 26 members of Surrey EARS will be giving a presentation on their recent high altitude balloon flight to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, the event is open to all, further details at

Surrey EARS make newspaper front page

Surrey EARS

Chelmsford landing planned for SSDV Balloons

Vie, 07/11/2014 - 13:49

434 MHz SSDV image from the SUPER balloon launched by Dave Akerman M0RPI on July 12, 2014

Radio amateur Philip Crump M0DNY plans a number of High Altitude Balloon (HAB) flights this weekend transmitting Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV).

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

The launches will take place from Gilwell Park near Epping Forest and the balloons are expected to land around Chelmsford in Essex.

They are planned as part of the Gilwell 24 Scouts Activity event, taking place from 9am Saturday, July 12 through the night to 9am Sunday, July 13 in Gilwell Park. The plan is to monitor predictions/weather, prepare the payload, launch when convenient, then Philip M0DNY will chase, recover and repeat, up to 2 additional times.

The balloons are 100g hwoyees, and so are only expected to reach around 14 km altitude due to the weight, and increasing chances of wet landing for a longer flight. A Raspberry Pi is being used for the SSDV, and will store images as well as short but frequent video clips.

Due to tracker issues Philip may be flying a borrowed SUSF tracker on 434.613 MHz, replacing his one on 424.125 MHz.

The USB frequencies used will be
• 434.200 MHz – G24HAB – 600 baud SSDV
And either:
• 434.125 MHz – GILWELL24 – 50 baud RTTY
• 434.613 MHz – GILWELL24 – 50 baud RTTY + 300 baud TurboHAB FSK (SSB)

The 434.613 MHz tracker will alternate between 50 baud RTTY and 300 baud binary TurboHAB. To decode the binary error corrected format you need this decoder: , which has been updated since last time. To decode the binary protocol you first need to change ‘Encoding’ to BIN and ‘Baud’ to 300. Upon changing the callsign and position you need to press ‘Update’ for the new data to be used. It will be interesting to see the relative performance, the error correction should make most difference where there is noise or fading.

First launch is tentatively scheduled for 2pm BST Saturday. Philip will post updates on Twitter and #highaltitude. There will most likely be a live stream of the launches check

David Akerman M0RPI with balloon – Image credit M0RPI

Dave Akerman M0RPI is also launching on Saturday between 10-11am from Ross On Wye. His balloon will be transmitting on three frequencies one of which will be Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV).

$$SUPER: 434.450 MHz, 300 baud RTTY, 880 Hz shift, USB, 8, N, 2, SSDV
$$UAD: 434.480 MHz, Domino EX22
$$UAR: 434.475 MHz, 50 baud RTTY, 400 Hz shift, USB, 7, N, 1

There should be live video streaming on BATC.TV The chase car is M0RPI_chase:

The balloons should have a radio range of up to 700 km providing coverage over a large part of the British Isles and into Europe.

Listen to the Balloons via the Web

Radio amateurs Noel G8GTZ, Martin G8JNJ and Phil M0DNY from the Southampton University Wireless Society, have established an Internet accessible WebSDR receiver near Basingstoke in the UK. It has special helix antennas optimised for balloon and satellite reception in the 144 and 434 MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. Listen using the WebSDR at

Online real-time tracking of balloons

See the received SSDV images on the web at

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:

Follow the launch day chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society have a new short training course for those wishing to become radio amateurs starting on September 4. To find out more speak to Clive G1EUC on
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
E-mail: training2014 at

What is Amateur Radio ?

ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft fires thrusters for a return to Earth

Mié, 07/09/2014 - 21:30

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

AMSAT-DL report a team of engineers, space enthusiasts and radio amateurs have succeeded in firing the thrusters of the NASA-abandoned ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft.

The plan on Tuesday, July 8, was to fire the thrusters for a total of 7 sequences with breaks for telemetry analysis. While this would have resulted in a velocity change of 7 m/s, the course correction is required for the lunar swing-by on Aug 10, 2014 then to enter a stable orbit around Earth. However after the first firing sequence the remaining sequences were cancelled due to the returned telemetry data, which is being analyzed. A second attempt was planned for July 9.

The ISEE-3 Reboot Project (IRP) team attempted this main trajectory correction maneuver following a first short thruster firing on July 2, which increased the rotation rate of the spacecraft to the required value. This was possible due to international collaboration between the IRP, and a team of AMSAT-DL and Bochum observatory with its 20 m diameter radio telescope which received and processed critical real-time data of the maneuvers.

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

While the IRP has access to the Arecibo observatory which, at 305 m diameter, is the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, downlink support from Bochum is required as Arecibo cannot transmit and receive simultaneously.

Two members of the AMSAT-DL Bochum team will be giving presentations on their reception of ISEE-3 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom. The event is open to all, further details at

Real-time telemetry from ISEE-3 is displayed at


Read the Daily Mail story at

UKube-1 Signals Received

Mar, 07/08/2014 - 21:05

UKube-1 Launch Cake

The UKube-1 satellite was successfully launched on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 1558 UT from Pad 31/6 at Baikonur in Kazakhstan. The 145.840 MHz beacon signal was received by the UKube team in Chilbolton at 19:16 UT.

It had been expected the first signal would be received over South Africa at about 18:52 UT but no signals were heard. The UKube team at Chilbolton and radio amateurs across the British Isles and Europe anxiously awaited the satellite coming within range, when it did a strong signal was heard from the satellite. The FUNcube-2 beacon on 145.915 MHz was also activated and received well.

Practical Wireless magazine VHF columnist Tim Kirby @G4VXE was one of the radio amateurs listening, he tweeted “Pleased to receive CW from UKube-1 on the first pass over the UK”.

Signals have also been received from DX-1 and the SSTL research satellite TechEdSat which were on the same launch as UKube-1.

UKube-1 carries a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards which provide an educational beacon for use by schools and a linear transponder for amateur radio communications. Presently, commissioning of the spacecraft is continuing, and there may be future occasions when the 145.915 MHz FUNcube  telemetry transmitter will be activated during this period. The transponder is not expected to be available until later in the mission.

UKube-1 in flight configuration in the cleanroom at Clyde Space Ltd – Credit Steve Greenland

The first submitters of UKube-1 telemetry data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse were:
- OO1A
- F-60429
- PD3T
The current UKube-1/FUNcube-2 Rankings can be seen at

The UKube team has asked that all stations continue to monitor the downlinks and where possible to forward their reports as follows:
- CW beacon on 145.840 MHz to and
- FUNcube telemetry (when activated) on 145.915 MHz – your existing dashboard will not display properly (except for the Fitter Messages!) but it WILL be forwarding it to the Warehouse correctly and the data will be very useful for the team.

UKube-1 CubeSat at Clyde Space

Dashboard App – Telemetry Decoder

Data Warehouse – Telemetry Archive

Nico Janssen PA0DLO has posted on the AMSAT Bulletin Board that Doppler measurements suggest that UKube-1 is either object 40074, 2014-037F, or object 40075, 2014-037G. The separation between these objects is now only 1 s, so no more than 7.5 km.

Keplerian Two Line Elements (TLEs) ‘Keps’ of new satellites launched in past 30 days

UKube-1 frequencies:
• 145.840 MHz Telemetry downlink
• 145.915 MHz FUNcube subsystem beacon
• 400 mW inverting linear transponder for SSB and CW
- 435.080-435.060 MHz Uplink
- 145.930-145.950 MHz Downlink
• 2401.0 MHz S Band Downlink
• 437.425-437.525 MHz UKSEDS myPocketQub Downlink

Watch UKube-1 CubeSat payload animation

Watch the launch vehicle integration of UKube-1 and the other satellites

Watch the Soyuz roll out

Watch the launch

There will be a presentation on the UKube-1 FUNcube-2 amateur radio payload at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, the event is open to all, further details at

Peter Goodhall @2E0SQL made this recording of UKube-1 CW and Data

UK Space Agency announcement

UKube-1 (United Kingdom Universal Bus Experiment 1)

UKube-1 Launch Information

DX-1 Satellite

PhD Student Receives FUNcube Dongle SDR

Lun, 07/07/2014 - 23:06

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

The University of Birmingham reports that Graham Kirkby, a PhD student in the Space Environment and Radio Engineering group, School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, has won the prize for the best student presentation at the 2014 UK CubeSat Forum Workshop

The workshop was hosted by the Satellite Applications Catapult Centre and brought together 150 representatives from over 100 organisations in the UK and international CubeSat community.

Graham’s research focuses on the development of antennas for the Wideband Ionospheric CubeSat Sounder Experiment (WISCER). CubeSats are small satellites that conform to the CubeSat standard developed by CalPoly and Stanford University. WISCER is a 3U cubesat (10×10×30 cm) that aims to provide measurements of the wideband ionospheric radio channel as a precursor to future space radars.

The prize included a FUNcube Dongle Pro, kindly donated by AMSAT-UK. This is a small USB software defined radio that has been developed to allow communications with the FUNcube CubeSat.


FUNcube Dongle SDR

DX-1 Appeal to radio hams from Dauria Aerospace

Vie, 07/04/2014 - 20:18

DX-1 in space – Image credit Dauria Aerospace

The DX-1 satellite, built by Dauria Aerospace, launches from Pad 31/6 at Baikonur in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 15:58:28 UT. It weighs 27 kg and is 40x40x30 cm. Dauria Aerospace have posted the following information:

Dauria Aerospace microsatellite DX-1

Finally, close to the accomplishment of our long-awaited event – the launch of the spacecraft DX1 Tuesday, July 8. We would like to ask for help to all radio amateurs who are interested in receiving signals spacecraft. Invite you to participate in the “catching” our satellite immediately after the start.

Start will be at 19:58 Moscow time from the Baikonur cosmodrome. Based on the parameters of the orbit, its separation from the upper stage and the inclusion happen over Eastern Europe, and it will return to Russia after only a few turns of a few hours from the Far East. Therefore, our MCC in Moscow will hold the first session the next day. Beacon satellite broadcasts in amateur radio frequency, so everyone will be able to hear it before us. Moreover, such aid, we need to clarify and confirm its orbit performance. Therefore, our gratitude will be backed up souvenirs for the lucky hunters from around the world.

Parameters of the radio beacon mode:

Carrier frequency: 438.225 MHz [it is understood there is a 145 MHz command uplink]
The protocol used: AX.25
Call Sign source: DSC001
Call Sign Receiver: Dauria
Size TMI frame within AX.25 packet: 55 bytes
Speed: 9600 bit / s
Modulation GFSK


Google English Version

It is understood the satellite will also be using the following frequencies:
• 162.0125-162.0375 MHz Uplink – AIS ship tracking receiver
• 2269.5-2270.5 MHz Downlink – Data

Watch DX-1 on Russian TV

Dauria Aerospace Blog

DX-1 Microsatellite to launch from Baikonur

UKube-1 Launch Information

Jue, 07/03/2014 - 22:27

UKube-1 in flight configuration in the cleanroom at Clyde Space Ltd – Credit Steve Greenland

UKube-1, the UK Space Agency’s first CubeSat, carries a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards with an amateur radio linear transponder and educational beacon for use in schools. The launch is scheduled from Pad 31/6 at Baikonur in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 15:58:28 UT (4:58 BST) and to be deployed from the final stage of the Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat-M launch vehicle at 18:32:42 UT.

It had been hoped the launch would be live at or at but this did not occur.

UKube-1 CubeSat installed in Deployment Pod

The UKube-1 Operations Team have issued a Launch Briefing. This is accompanied by a spreadsheet showing the anticipated UK passes for the first orbits together with a worksheet showing the telemetry equations.

These documents can be downloaded at

UKube-1 carries a number of experiments and payloads and also the FUNcube-2 transponder and  telemetry sub-system. This is intended to support the current, very successful, operations of FUNcube-1 and to provide an even better operational capability for schools and colleges to use for hands on educational outreach around the world. Further details of the educational outreach opportunities are available here

When the FUNcube-2 sub-system is activated, the 1k2 BPSK telemetry will be downlinked on 145.915 MHz in the same way as already happens with FUNcube-1.

A new FUNcube-2 Dashboard UI will be released shortly. This will integrate directly with the existing FUNcube Central Data Warehouse and existing usernames and authorisation codes can be re-used.

UKube-1 ready for launch

When the transponder is activated, the downlink passband will be 145.930 to 145.950 MHz and the uplink passband  will be 435.080 to 435.060 MHz.

It is anticipated that the FUNcube sub-system may be tested for short periods during the next few weeks depending upon how the LEOP plan progresses.

AMSAT-UK personnel will be supporting the UKube-1 operations team at Chilbolton during the immediate post launch period and will be ensuring that regular status reports are made available via the #cubesat IRC channel.

A web client is available at

AMSAT-UK and their colleagues at AMSAT-NL, are delighted that UKube-1 is carrying this FUNcube sub-system and wishes every success to the UKube Operations Team and to all the many contributors to the project.

Steve Greenland of Clyde Space receives the AMSAT-UK FUNcube-2 boards to be incorporated into UKube-1

There will be a presentation on the satellite’s amateur radio payload at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium being held at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ on July 26-27, the event is open to all, further details at

UKube-1 frequencies:
• 145.840 MHz Telemetry downlink
• 145.915 MHz FUNcube subsystem beacon
• 400 mW inverting linear transponder for SSB and CW
- 435.080 -435.060 MHz Uplink
- 145.930 -145.950 MHz Downlink
• 2401.0 MHz S Band Downlink
• 437.425-437.525 MHz UKSEDS myPocketQub Downlink

Video of the Soyuz-2 rocket being prepared for the launch

Soyuz 2-1B – Meteor-M #2 Launch Updates—meteor-m-2-launch-updates.html

Check Twitter accounts of Helen Walker@SheAstronomer and Steve Greenland @strickengremlin for tweets on UKube-1 launch.

FUNcube website

FUNcube Yahoo Group

FUNcube Forum

Like AMSAT-UK on Facebook

Data Warehouse – Telemetry Archive

Dashboard App – Telemetry Decoder

There will be a presentation on the FUNcube boards on UKube-1 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium which will be held on July 26-27, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom. The event is open to all, further details at

OSCAR Numbers for QB50p1 and QB50p2 CubeSats

Mié, 07/02/2014 - 10:32

QB50p1 and QB50p2 – Image Credit ISIS

Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG reports on the two QB50 precursor satellites QB50p1 and QB50p2, launched on June 19, 2014 carrying amateur radio transponders.

The QB50 precursor satellites are in good health and still being commissioned. These satellites are part of a risk-reduction program for the QB50 main mission.

These satellites are also carrying amateur radio transponders:
- QB50p1 carries the FUNcube-3 transponder system by AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL
- QB50p2 carries an FM transponder by AMSAT-Francophone

I am grateful to be able to announce that these two CubeSat Satellites have been awarded OSCAR numbers by AMSAT-NA: QB50p1 shall be known as European OSCAR 79 or EO-79, and QB50p2 shall be known as European OSCAR 80 or EO-80. Thank you AMSAT-NA!

The transponders are expected to be switched on after the main mission, which lasts about 6 months depending on progress made.

Details about sending in reports and decoding the beacons can be found on the ISIS Ham Radio page at

Mike Rupprecht DK3WN has kindly made and published a software decoder based on the published formats at his website:

Thanks all for your support and reports, they are much appreciated!

Kind Regards,

Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG
QB50p team

Read all about QB50 on the project website at

ISS Active for National Field Day

Lun, 06/30/2014 - 20:02

Reid Wiseman KF5LKT – Image credit NASA

Patrick ‏Stoddard WD9EWK has released a video showing the participation of the International Space Station (ISS) in the ARRL Field Day (June 28-29).

His description reads:

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman KF5LKT, operating as NA1SS from the International Space Station during the 2014 ARRL Field Day on Saturday, June 28, 2014, at 1815-1822 UT.

After announcements of possible participation of the ISS amateur radio station in the 2014 ARRL Field Day, it was nice to hear Reid on the radio. Among the stations making contact with NA1SS on this pass, I was able to make a brief contact as the ISS was about to go over Arizona.

The WD9EWK station used for this contact, and to record the NA1SS audio, was an Icom IC-2820H 2m/70cm FM mobile transceiver, transmitting at 5W into an Elk Antennas handheld 2m/70cm log periodic antenna. The radio was powered by a 12V/26Ah jumpstart battery.

Watch NA1SS in ARRL Field Day – 28 June 2014, 1815-1822 UT

ISS Fan Club

Since arriving on the International Space Station on May 29, 2014 astronaut Reid Wiseman KF5LKT has been active on Twitter as well as amateur radio. The Washington Post newspaper reports on the stunning images he has been tweeting from space, read the story at

Reid Wiseman KF5LKT on Twitter @astro_reid

FUNcube-1 – One millionth packet milestone!

Lun, 06/30/2014 - 18:01

1 Million Packets Uploaded to Data Warehouse

Many stations have been receiving the telemetry transmitted by FUNcube-1, which has now been in orbit for 221 days. The spacecraft, which has been operating nominally since launch, is providing on-board health and science data for the many schools and colleges who are already participating in the project around the world.

Since launch, data has been received by more than 650 stations around the world and today our online Data Warehouse received its one millionth packet of information. The Warehouse is now storing more than 256 MB of telemetry which is available for educational and research use.

The FUNcube team have been successful in capturing almost 25% of all the telemetry transmitted including almost all of the Whole Orbit Data. This success is a great tribute to our designers of the Flight software, the Dashboard programme and the matching Data Warehouse.

Count of FUNcube-1 data uploads since launch

The FUNcube team are also immensely grateful to all the schools, colleges, radio amateurs and other listeners who are providing this data and want to encourage everyone to continue to listen to FUNcube-1 and to upload the data to the Warehouse. This will help enable the project to continue to provide a complete and current data set for analysis.

The team would, of course, also love to have additional receiving stations in the FUNcube Ground Station Network. This applies especially to anyone near the poles or who is located on an island in the middle of ocean. Their involvement would help  improve the rate of data capture still further.

The FUNcube records show that there were three stations who actually managed to upload the same one millionth packet to the Warehouse today. They are G0EID, OM3BC and DL3SER. If they could contact “operations at” we will arrange them to send them a small prize to honour their contribution to the project.

There will be a presentation on FUNcube-1 at 11:15 am BST on Saturday, July 26 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium which takes place at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ. The event is open to all, admittance £10 per day, further details at

Data Warehouse – Telemetry Archive

Dashboard App – Telemetry Decoder

FUNcube website

FUNcube Yahoo Group

FUNcube Forum

LituanicaSAT-1 FM Transponder Active

Dom, 06/29/2014 - 17:12

LituanicaSAT-1 Camera and FM Voice Transponder

The LituanicaSAT-1 (LO-78) team have announced activation of the FM transponder.

Dear radio amateurs,

I want to notify that finally after a long break (mainly due to ground station maintenance works) we have switched the transponder on again. Duty cycle will depend on battery voltage level. All other telemetry is inactive to save power. We hope the signal should be even better now as the satellite is descending steadily to 300 km and wish you all good QSOs! Next update in 24 hours.

Laurynas Maciulis

LituanicaSAT-1 will in the coming weeks re-enter into the Earth atmosphere and burn up, this may occur by August 5. Note: It is understood that JSpOC mixed up the IDs of the satellites that were launched from the ISS on February 28 giving rise to a misleading date for re-entry of LituanicaSAT-1. It is ARDUSAT 2, which was deployed with LituanicaSAT-1 that is expected to decay on July 2.

Frequency are approximately 435.1755 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift) for the downlink and 145.950 MHz for the uplink with 67 Hz CTCSS.

The tiny satellite is just 10x10x10 cm with a mass of 1.090 kg yet it has a VGA camera and a 145/435 MHz FM voice transponder, designed and built by Lithuanian radio amateurs.

The prototype of the FM repeater has been operating in the home of its designer Žilvinas Batisa LY3H in Elektrėnai, Lithuania. Further information at

FM transponder operating techniques

LituanicaSAT-1 CubeSat

Reports should be sent to: ly5n at

LituanicaSAT-1 was built by students from Vilnius University and deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) on February 28, 2014.

There will be a presentation on LituanicaSAT-1 by Gintautas Sulskus at 12pm BST on Saturday, July 26 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium which takes place at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ. The event is open to all, admittance £10 per day, further details at

Ofcom: Public Consultation on WRC-15

Vie, 06/27/2014 - 22:39

The UK communications regulator Ofcom has started a public consultation on the key issues to be considered at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC).

These conferences are held approximately every four years and take key decisions concerning the identification and international harmonisation of spectrum bands.

Under a Government direction, Ofcom represents the UK at WRCs. The next conference takes place in Geneva from the November 2-27, 2015. It will consider a wide range of issues across a number of sector interests, including mobile broadband, maritime, aeronautical, satellite and science use of spectrum.

Ofcom’s consultation sets out the main issues to be discussed at the conference and the emerging UK position. The document also highlights the engagement process which Ofcom manages in order to allow stakeholders to meet with them and assist in the development of UK positions taken into the WRC.

Ofcom say they are keen to ensure that the development of UK positions for WRCs takes into account the views and concerns of all UK stakeholders. They have set up four separate working groups that are open to all stakeholders who have a relevant interest in international spectrum matters.
- Working Group A Scientific and Regulatory,
- Working Group B Satellite,
- Working Group C Aeronautical, Maritime and Amateur,
- Working Group D Mobile and Mobile Broadband.

The consultation document covers a number of proposals of interest to radio amateurs, among them are:

Agenda Item 1.1 – Additional allocations for Mobile (IMT) services and applications
This proposes 5725-5850 MHz as a candidate band for Wi-Fi. Both the Amateur and Amateur Satellite Services have allocations in 5725-5850 MHz. The segment 5830-5850 MHz is used for weak amateur satellite downlinks, e.g. UNITEC-1 and FITSAT-1 that depend on having a low noise floor. Wi-Fi could render this allocation unusable.

Question 3: Do you agree with Ofcom’s general approach on WRC-15 agenda item 1.1?

Question 10: Do you agree that the 5 350 – 5 470 MHz and 5 725 – 5 925 MHz bands could provide important additional capacity for Wi-Fi and similar systems? If so, and noting the need to protect both earth observation satellites and radar systems, do you agree that sharing solutions should be considered at WRC-15?

Agenda Item 1.4 Amateur service, on a secondary basis, in the 5250–5450 kHz band.
Allocate a portion of the 5250-5450 kHz band, globally, to the amateur service. Currently the band 5250 to 5450 kHz is allocated to the fixed and mobile services (not aeronautical) but not to the amateur service.
Norwegian radio amateurs already have an allocation from 5260 kHz to 5410 kHz.

Question 14: Do you have any comments on the potential use by the amateur service in the 5 250 to 5 450 kHz band?

Agenda Item 1.10 – Additional mobile satellite IMT allocations in the 22-26 GHz range
The Amateur and Amateur Satellite Service have a Primary allocation at 24.000-24.050 GHz that needs to be protected.

Question 18: Do you agree that the UK should not support new allocations for the mobile satellite service in 22-26 GHz as they are not justified and that the focus should instead be upon the continued protection of the incumbent services?

Agenda Item 1.18 – Radar for automotive applications in 77.5-78.0 GHz
The Amateur and Amateur Satellite Services have a Primary allocation at 77.500-78.000 GHz.

Question 25: Do you agree that the UK should support a generic radiolocation allocation in the 77.5-78 GHz band, where appropriate technical conditions are established?

Agenda Item 9.1, issue 9.1.8 – Regulatory aspects for nano and pico-satellites

Question 38: Do you agree that no specific measures need to be introduced for nano and pico-satellites and that the current approach to their regulation is sufficient?

8.1 Future WRC Agenda items

This lists several points of interest to the amateur Services which are included in the initial proposals for future agenda items within the CEPT. Discussions within CEPT are at a preliminary stage and no decisions have yet been made.
- Harmonisation of 1800-2000 kHz in Region 1 to align with the Amateur service in Regions 2 and 3
- Allocation of 50-52 MHz to the amateur service and amateur satellite service in Region 1;
- Harmonisation of amateur microwave sub-bands – notably 3400-3410 MHz in Region 1 with Regions 2 and 3

The later point is not explicit as to which aspects of 3400-3410 MHz should be harmonised. Is this harmonisation with regard to just the Amateur Service or does it also encompass the Amateur Satellite Service ? 3400-3410 MHz is an Amateur Satellite Service allocation in ITU Regions 2 and 3.

Question 42: Do you have any comments regarding UK positions for future WRC agenda items?

Question 43: Are there any other possible agenda items you wish to see addressed by future WRCs?

When responding to Ofcom’s consultation there is no need to answer every question, just the one(s) of interest to you. Other questions can be left blank or marked No Comment.

The closing date for responses is September 19, 2014.

You can respond online at

Consultation document

WRC-15 consultation Page