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ESEO Commissioning starts

by on March 22, 2019

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

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