The first spacecraft project being undertaken by the newly formed UK Space Agency will be UKube-1. This is being developed as a collaboration between an number of SMEs and Universities.
Update Oct 2012. The FUNcube development team have now delivered the FUNcube flight hardware which will be flown on UKube to Clyde Space Ltd in Glasgow. The delivery was made by Graham G3VZV, and our picture shows Steve Greenland holding the Peli Case containing the completed boards
UKube-1 will be a triple cubesat and is now expected to be launched into a low earth orbit in early 2013.
The spacecraft will carry three experimental payloads and, additionally, AMSAT-UK have been asked to provide a set of FUNcube boards. These will form the Educational Outreach that is part of the Mission Requirements and will also provide a redundant communications system for the satellite.
We have already provided a set of three “Engineering Model” boards which are being used to check out the antenna radiation pattern and other features of the spacecraft. We expect to handover the three “Flight Model” boards on time for the integration of the platform to commence in September 2012.
In addition to the FUNcube payload, the other UHF/VHF radio trasnceiver that is being used on UKube also has a “loopback” mode of operation available for use after the end of the main mission. This mode provides a bent pipe FM to DSB single channel transponder for amaeur use, much as AO16 has done previously.
To avoid confusion with the existing FUNcube-1 spacecraft we are using the term “FUNcube-2 on UKube” to describe this part of the FUNcube Project.