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Raspberry Pi decoder now available

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The FUNcube Raspberry Pi Telemetry Decoder.

The original FUNcube telemetry decoder and Dashboard was designed to run on Windows devices and we did publish the telemetry format in accordance with the Amateur Satellite Service traditions and requirements. We had planned to opensource the Telemetry Decoder and provide an implementation on Linux, but several new missions after the original FUNcube-1 delayed our plans somewhat.

Late 2019, we had the opportunity to develop a low power/low impact ground station, based on Docker containers, for use at the Neumayer III Antarctic base at DP0GVN. This led us to evolve the code such that it would run on a Raspberry Pi. 

The Linux implementation is suitable for use on Raspberry Pi versions from 2B+ to 4 and with a FUNcube dongle (Pro or Pro+). The software will tune a dongle to search for and track all three FUNcube compatible spacecraft currently operational. The Telemetry Decoder is configured with five active decoders operating concurrently so it can deal with situations where more than one of the spacecraft are overhead at the same time.

 The decoder and warehouse uploader run as a Docker container for convenience shell scripts have been provided to launch the container in one of two modes:

The Pi decoder receiving telemetry from JY1Sat in Interactive mode

“Interactive Mode” is when the Telemetry Decoder operates in the foreground , when FUNcube compatible telemetry is received, the corresponding hex data is displayed on the terminal screen. 

“Background Mode” allows the telemetry decoder to run as a Docker image in the background where it operates much like any other background service on Linux. This mode allows for the automatic restarting of the telemetry decoder after a shutdown or reboot of the Raspberry Pi, therefore making it suitable for a remote deployment situation. 

*Both modes, when connected to the internet, will upload the received data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse and the totals displayed on the Ranking Page in the normal manner.

*Uploading to the warehouse requires registration with the FUNcube Data warehouse.

All the code for the telemetry decoder, and the scripts to build the Docker images, are now published online at the FUNcube-Dev GitHub account – https://github.com/funcube-dev under a GPL Open Source License.

Alternatively, it possible to buy a pre-formatted microSD card for the Pi from the AMSAT-UK shop here https://shop.amsat-uk.org/

Full instructions can be downloaded here

FUNcube-1 no longer in full sunlight

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After some eight months in continuous sunlight, FUNcube-1 has now started to see some eclipses during each orbit.

The telemetry received has shown that the spacecraft continued to function perfectly during this period and the on board temperatures did not reach excessively high levels.

After this became clear, our next concern was the battery. Having been kept fully charged for this period, would it actually hold a charge and do its job when in eclipse?

After three weeks of increasing eclipse periods we can now see that indeed the Li battery appears to be ok and the bus voltage has not yet dropped below 8.1 volts.

So today we have changed the operating mode from high power telemetry educational mode to continuous amateur mode withe the transponder ON. The telemetry continues to be available, albeit at low power.

We will, of course, continue to carefully monitor the data but are planning to leave the spacecraft in this mode for at least the next week. Please enjoy using it!

Happy birthday FUNcube-1

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Today, November 21st 2019, marks the sixth birthday of our very first CubeSat mission, FUNcube-1. A very short time after the launch from Yasny in Russia and within a few minutes from deployment, the very first frame of data from the low power transmitter on board, was detected and decoded by ZS1LS in South Africa. He was able to relay the data over the internet from his Dashboard to the Data Warehouse and the numbers, appeared, as if by magic, at the launch party being held at the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park.  

After a very brief check out, we were able to switch the transmitter to full power, again at the very first attempt, and were quite amazed at the strength of the signal from the 300mW transmitter on 145.935 MHz. The transponder was then switched on and successfully tested.

We finished the day with a request to AMSAT-NA for an Oscar number and were delighted to receive the AO73  Oscar 73 designation!

Since then, FUNcube-1, with a launch mass of less than 1kg, has operated continuously with only a very few interruptions. In excess of 32000 orbits, 750 million miles travelled, and with more than 7 million data packets downloaded and stored in the Data Warehouse.

The spacecraft is presently in continuous sunlight and to convert as much of the sun’s thermal energy into RF (to help keep it cool), it remains in continuous high power telemetry mode. We anticipate this situation will continue until early May next after which we expect to have 3 months with some eclipse periods.

Of course, EO88 – Nayif 1 continues to operate autonomously with the transponder active when in eclipse and JO99 – JY1Sat, which includes image downloads, and which was launched just under a year ago, also remain active on a 24/7 basis.

We still receive many requests for Fitter message uploads for school events…please contact us by email to operations@funcube.org.uk giving us at least two weeks notice.

We continue to be very grateful to all the many stations around the world that continue to upload the telemetry that they receive to our Data Warehouse. We really need this data to provide a continuous resource for educational outreach.

With that in mind, here is a link to a previous update which shows the correct current Data Warehouse address  and the Dashboard software that can be used for each spacecraft . https://funcube.org.uk/2019/01/21/funcube-dashboard-summary-update/

The AMSAT payload on ESEO has been activated

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ESA have just released a new mission update for the ESEO Mission. It can be seen here https://www.esa.int/Education/ESEO/ESEO_mission_updates

We are delighted that the BPSK telemetry transmitter, on our payload, was enabled for a period of just over 200 minutes in orbit!

Although we were not able to announce this activation in advance, more than ten stations around the world successfully received the telemetry on 145.895 MHz and submitted it to the FUNcube Data Warehouse. We are very grateful to them for their support.

eseo wod temps

Over 50 channels of Real Time and Whole Orbit Data were collected. For example, a number of on-board temperatures are shown in this graph which covers the period from 11:58 to 13:36 UTC

The very last frame received was captured by PQ2HX in Brazil at around 14:17 UTC

eseofinal2

We are keenly awaiting further possibilities to exercise more of the payload as soon as this becomes possible but, in the meantime, is good to know that all the telemetry channels reported nominal values.

ESEO Commissioning starts

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On Monday December 3rd 2018, the 50kg ESA Education Office satellite ESEO was launched by Space-X on the Spaceflight SSO-A SmallSat Express mission.
 
Following the launch from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, ESEO separated from the launch vehicle and automatically activated the periodic transmission of its telemetry beacon. However, by the time out of a predefined period, having not received commands from the ground station, the spacecraft automatically entered into safe mode.


Some initial communications issues were experienced by ESEO in receiving commands from the ground stations in Forli’ (Italy) and Vigo (Spain), but they were resolved when the ESEO team of the Observatory of Tartu offered the possibility to use a ground station in Estonia. This is capable of transmitting with higher power, for a temporary contingent use. The Estonian ground station has been configured to be operated remotely by the ESEO MCC team, which involves students of the University of Bologna.

ESEO then started executing the commands transmitted from ground.

ESEO has now completed the LEOPS  (Launch and Early OPerationS) phase of its mission, reaching the platform nominal mode and has begun the process of commissioning the whole satellite: firstly the platform functions, with the payloads functions following.
 
As part of this commissioning process, but subject to the successful completion of other preparatory tasks of the platform subsystems commissioning, it is anticipated that initial testing of the AMSAT communications payload will be carried out within the next few weeks.
 
AMSAT-UK will endeavour to provide some advance notice of these tests being undertaken, but the first step will be activation of the 1200bps BPSK telemetry beacon on 145.895MHz. The telemetry format matches previous FUNcube missions and data from this beacon will be forwarded to the FUNcube Data Warehouse using any of the FUNcube dashboards. However, to see the decoded values and graphical displays, please download the dedicated ESEO mission dashboard which is available here https://download.funcube.org.uk/ESEO_Dashboard_v1177.msi
 
The payload has, additionally, a high speed, 4800bps BPSK data format downlink and also a Mode L/V FM transponder both of which will be tested.

Further information about ESEO can be seen here: https://www.esa.int/Education/ESEO/ESEO_student_satellite_in-orbit_commissioning_has_started

FUNcube Dashboard Summary Update

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Each satellite carrying a FUNcube payload has a dedicated dashboard and we have updated the one page summary (FUNcube Dashboard Summary v3) of those dashboards, their current version number and a dedicated download link.

Telemetry Dashboard

We have included the recommended warehouse settings for each satellite as well as the “FCD Centre Frequency”.  Note that the frequency we quote is 20kHz offset from the published telemetry downlink to allow for the zero hertz spike and close in phase noise that is inherent on SDRs.

Currently, to view the telemetry for a particular satellite, it is necessary to run the dashboard for that satellite.  Any telemetry for one of the other FUNcube satellites can be captured and forwarded to the central data warehouse.  For this reason, some users tend to run all dashboards simultaneously using the same FUNcube Dongle.  Users should remember the that dashboard that was started last, is the one that will control the frequency settings applied to the FUNcube Dongle.

All the dashboards are under continual development and a further planned development is to create a single dashboard that will service all FUNcube Telemetry payloads simultaneously .  Keep a look out for further news on this unified dashboard in 2019.

73s Ciaran M0XTD



Post launch updates on the JY1SAT and ESEO missions – 14th December 2018

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JY1SAT – Although not finally confirmed, good tracking results are being obtained using IMG_20181213_082600the TLEs for object 2018-99AX  / 43803. Commissioning of the spacecraft is continuing and there may be some changes to the operating modes over the next couple of weeks. Please continue to let the Warehouse have as much data as possible. In that regard, an updated version of the JY1SAT Dashboard (ver 1189) has just been released. This fixes a couple of buggettes relating to Doppler tracking over multiple orbits and the graph displays now no longer start at zero. This update can be downloaded from here Latest v 1189 JY1 Dashboard

ESEO – In a similar manner to JY1SAT, the official confirmation has not been received, but the best TLEs are currently 2018-99AL / 43792. The 9k6 downlink signal on 437.00MHz is quite strong and reports and recordings are welcomed. Please continue to check the https://www.esa.int/Education/ESEO website for the latest updates from ESA. We can confirm that the AMSAT payload with a downlink on 145.985 MHz has not yet been activated and that DK3WN and EA4GPZ, working with other collaborators, have developed a decoder for the 437.00 MHz downlink signals. It is hoped that a UI, to show the actual telemetry values, will also be available soon.

FUNcube Payload Telemetry Dashboards

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With some luck………… Monday December 3rd will see two more satellites carrying FUNcube payloads launched into orbit.

With that launch, JY1Sat and ESEO will join FUNcube-1 (A0-73) and Nayif-1 (EO-88).

The FUNcube team have been busy, not only designing and implementing the payloads, but also working on the Telemetry Dashboards and the Data Warehouse.

Each satellite has a dedicated dashboard and we have created a one page summary (FUNcube Dashboard Summary v1) of those dashboards, their current version number and a dedicated download link.

 

Telemetry Dashboard

We have included the recommended warehouse settings for each satellite as well as the “FCD Centre Frequency”.  Note that the frequency we quote is 20kHz offset from the published telemetry downlink to allow for the zero hertz spike and close in phase noise that is inherent on SDRs.

Currently, to view the telemetry for a particular satellite, it is necessary to run the dashboard for that satellite.  Any telemetry for one of the other FUNcube satellites can be captured and forwarded to the central data warehouse.  For this reason, some users tend to run all dashboards simultaneously using the same FUNcube Dongle.  Users should remember the that dashboard that was started last, is the one that will control the frequency settings applied to the FUNcube Dongle.

These dashboards are under continual development and the next planned development is to create a single dashboard that will service all FUNcube Telemetry payloads simultaneously.  Keep a look out for further news on this unified dashboard in 2019.

Telemetry Data Warehouse

All telemety received via the dashboards is forwarded to the central data warehouse, providing you have registered for an account.  This has been a very successful part of the FUNcube project as it has allowed for worldwide data collection by amateurs and for all the data to be available to download and used for educational purposes.

With the pending launch of two additional satellites, some changes where required to allow this data capture to continue in an efficient manner.  The data warehouse has a new user interface and all satellite data can be assessed with one URL – http://data.amsat-uk.org . Once at the new user interface, simply select the satellite you are interested in, and all the usual telemetry will be available along with the list of current data providers to the database for that satellite.

Both the dashboards and the data warehouse are under continual development, so be sure to check back for updates.

 

The FUNcube team is very grateful to all radio amateurs worldwide for their continued support and we encourage you all to join in with the reception of JY1Sat and ESEO telemetry upon a successful launch this Sunday.

 

73s

ESEO launch information & Dashboard

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eseo_patch2018The launch of the ESEO spacecraft has now been confirmed to be on board the SSO-A flight from Vandenberg. More information is available from ESA Education’s  website https://www.esa.int/Education/ESEO

The ESEO microsatellite includes a FUNcube payload which will provide similar telemetry to its predecessors but will have a more powerful transmitter and thus be even easier to hear. For amateurs, this payload will also provide a single channel L/V transponder for FM.  These downlinks will be transmitted on 145.895 MHz and the FM transponder uplink will be on 1263.5 MHz with a 67Hz PLL tone required.

A new Dashboard has been developed for this mission and is available for download here.

The AMSAT FUNcube Payload Downlink Data document gives all the information required to decode the telemetry ESEO_Downlink_Data_1_21a

The new Dashboard will operate in exactly the same manner as those developed for previous missions and general set-up information can be downloaded here.

A new Data Warehouse has also been created. This can be used to view the telemetry from ALL of the FUNcube missions: http://data.amsat-uk.org

We expect that the FUNcube telemetry transmitter will become operational after the launch and subsequent to the completion of initial de-tumbling of the spacecraft.

Thanks for your valuable support for this mission!

JY1SAT launch information & Dashboard

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JY1Sat is an enhanced 1U FUNcube. It has been developed for the Crown Prince Foundation in Jordan. The spacecraft has been named in honour of the Crown Prince’s grandfather, King Hussein, who operated using his personal amateur radio callsign which was simply JY1.jy1-sat-cubesat

 In addition to the usual suite of FUNcube capabilities it will also be capable of downlinking images in SSDV format.  This image format, developed by Phil Heron, MI0VIM, for use in High Altitude Balloons, is now also being used from lunar orbit by AO-94.

The telemetry downlink frequency is 145.840 MHz, this will use the usual FUNcube standard 1k2 BPSK format. For the linear transponder the frequencies will be downlink 145.855-145.875 MHz and uplink on 435.100-435.120 MHz. The transponder is inverting so LSB should be used on the uplink.

A new Dashboard has been developed for this mission and is available from  Latest version 1189 Dashboard

This will operate in exactly the same manner as those developed for previous missions and general set-up information can be downloaded here: Dashboard Guidance

A brand new Data Warehouse has also been created. This can be used to view the telemetry from ALL of the FUNcube missions. This can his can viewed here http://data.amsat-uk.org

This mission will be one of the payloads on the Spaceflight SSO-A mission which is now expected to launch from the Space Launch Complex-4E at Vandenberg Air Force base in California on Monday, Dec. 3, with a launch window of 18:32 UTC. to 19:01 UTC .  This launch is expected to have more than sixty other payloads. The deployment time for JY1SAT has been advised as 4 hours 31 minutes and 54.5 seconds after launch. This means that, allowing for the pre-programmed delay of 30 minutes between deployment from the POD and the release of the antennas, the first downlink signals cannot be expected until approximately 23.34 UTC on Dec 3rd.

Here is the final telemetry data pack JY1SAT_Data_budget with tlm equations 2F for those who wish to develop their own decoders.

These are provisional pre-launch TLEs for the revised launch date. They should be accurate for at least the first few orbits.

JY1Sat
1 50001U 18001A 18336.77000000 .00000000 00000-0 30100-5 0 9990
2 50001 97.7750 45.6500 0012840 330.5234 142.2700 15.00250000 18

Initial indications are that the spacecraft will be over NE Australia at power-up.

The start-up mode, as usual, is low power telemetry only and we will be really looking forward to receiving reports  and telemetry. So please, either upload the data from the Dashboard to the Warehouse in the usual way, or send a quick email to operations@funcube.org.uk