AMSAT-NL has just announced that an initial series of tests of the FUNcube transponder payload aboard the QB50p1 CubeSat have been successfully completed.
QB50p1 is one of two QB50 precursor spacecraft that were launched from Yasny in Russia in June 2014.
The primary science payloads are still being extensively tested but it has now been possible to undertake a short test of the transponder payload as well. The transponder is intended as a long term secondary mission following the initial technology demonstration and de-risking phase.
After spending ten months in space, the transponder was commanded on for short periods during each of the three morning passes over Europe on Monday 27th April 2015. A number of FUNcube team members in the Netherlands and in the UK were standing by to run through a predefined test plan.
The transponder has a similar performance to that of FUNcube-1 but the passband is nominally 5 kHz wider by design.
It is not yet known when this transponder may be available for regular usage but AMSAT-NL is delighted to be able to report that the hardware is functioning and is very grateful to the QB50 project, the Von Karman Institute and ISIS B.V. for their ongoing support.
More information about the QB50 project can be found at https://www.qb50.eu/
AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL are delighted to announce that a FUNcube communications package has been selected as a major payload for the Nayif-1 CubeSat mission. This 1U mission is intended to provide Emirati students with a tool to design and test systems in space. It is being developed by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) in partnership with American University of Sharjah (AUS).
It is expected that this payload will provide a large amount of valuable environmental data from space together with a new, enhanced, UHF to VHF linear transponder.
The AMSAT team will be working closely with the Emirati students, in collaboration with support partner, ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space B.V. from the Netherlands, to develop this new system in time for the launch which is scheduled to take place towards the end of this year.
More information, with details of frequencies and planned operating schedules, will be made available as soon as possible.
Graham Shirville, G3VZV, and ISIS System Engineer Adrien Palun, getting ready to listen to FUNcube-1 during their visit to Dubai in early April
This is what happened to the solar panel currents, they dropped to almost zero.
The FUNcube team are pleased to announce that the data warehouse has received 2M packets from ground stations around the world.
We normally get several people uploading the same packet but in this case it was an individual:
- Carlos Eavis, G3VHF
The Data Warehouse statistics as of 09:53 GMT on March 15, 2015 were:
Number of registered users: 1529
Number of active users (data received in last two weeks): 193
Number of active users since launch: 818
Number of packets transmitted by satellite since deployment: 8312304 (2.13 GB)
Number of packets uploaded by users before de-duplication: 8539662(2.19 GB)
Number of packets stored in warehouse: 2000000 (512 MB)
Number of packets recovered & stored – Time – Coverage
- Realtime 2M – 115 days – 25%
- HiRes 3.9M – 1085 minutes – 19%
- WOD 0.56M – 385.78 days – 80%
As always, many thanks for all those individuals and groups who are sending data to the warehouse.
This website has a good animation of the eclipse http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2015-march-20
On FUNcube-1 we have a good power budget which means that we should be able to maintain our normal autonomous operation schedule for the day but, of course, if the spacecraft does go fully into darkness it should switch autonomously to transponder and low power telemetry.
It will be interesting to see what actually happens and we hope that as many listeners as possible will upload the data they receive between 0740 and 1150 UTC on that morning. Our Whole Orbit Data will show the solar currents, battery voltage and external temps clearly during this period so we should get a clear understanding of the effects on board.
If anyone has some super software that can model the satellite’s track and the expected impact of the solar eclipse it would be great to hear about it!
73 Graham G3VZV
Limited testing of the FUNcube-2 linear transponder on the UKube-1 spacecraft has been undertaken during the recent holiday period.
This testing has shown that the transponder is able to work effectively and that it is capable of a similar performance to the transponder already operating on FUNcube-1.
AMSAT-UK and the FUNcube team have now submitted a detailed report on the testing to the UK Space Agency, who are the owners and prime operators of the UKube-1 spacecraft. It is expected that a meeting will be held with them late Jan/ early Feb to plan possible future testing and operations.
It seems amazing to us that FUNcube-1 – AO73, was launched nearly one year ago, in fact at 07:10 UTC on 21 Nov 2013. The very first signals were received by ZS1LS in South Africa at 07:37 UTC and he was even able to upload the resulting data to the Warehouse so the results could be seen immediately.
We are extremely happy to say that, since then, the satellite has been performing very satisfactorily, the battery voltage doesn’t drop below 8 volts, and becomes fully charged within about 7 – 10 minutes after re-entering sunlight from eclipse.
Thus, on 21 Nov 2014, we will be celebrating the satellite’s first birthday. To mark the occasion, we will be activating the transponder earlier than normal – late on Thursday 20 Nov 2014, so that it will be available for use during the whole of Friday. So please make as many contacts as possible through the transponder during Friday, FUNcube’s actual birthday. You are invited to make a note of any stations worked on this day, or any other comments on the FUNcube Forum. Please use the existing “FUNcube-1’s Birthday” topic, under the Welcome heading. The URL of the Forum is http://forum.funcube.org.uk/index.php.
Please also remember the ’73 on 73′ competition which is kindly being organised by Paul Stoetzer N8HM. See http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/18/73-on-73-award-announcement/ for more details.
We would like to take this opportunity of thanking all of our ‘users’, both those who download telemetry and forwarding it to the warehouse, and of course, all users of the transponder. This telemetry data is invaluable, both as an educational resource and to enable us to see how the spacecraft systems are performing and surviving. So far we have collected almost 400MB of unique data via stations from all around the world.
Of course we are hoping that the satellite continues to function nominally for several more years to come even though we may never reach AO7’s record!
73s AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL