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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

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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  download here:

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

Also available here as a pdf jy1sat

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

AO73/FUNcube-1 is entering a further period of full sunlight

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AO73/FUNcube-1 has been in space for almost five years and the original Sun Synchronous Orbit has now changed slightly such that the spacecraft will no longer be in eclipse for 35 mins every orbit.

The eclipse period has already reduced and will again become zero on September 8th 2018. This means that our usual autonomous switching between transponder on in eclipse and high-power telemetry when in sunlight will no longer be effective!

This schedule was originally planned to provide a very strong telemetry signal for schools to use during daylight hours and for amateur operation at night (and also at weekends and over holidays).

We have already experienced a short period of full sunlight but this time it looks like the spacecraft will be in this situation for more than eight months until sometime in April next year.

In addition to the additional thermal effect that will occur during this period, we also expect that the spin rate will increase. The reason for this effect is not yet fully understood but may be related to the amount of current flowing from the solar panels to the spacecraft bus being sufficient to cause a torque effect with the earth’s magnetic field.

23augillumination

We have therefore decided to have AO73/FUNcube-1 initially operate for alternate periods of one week in either safe or educational modes. This should enable us to evaluate whether the currents do affect the spin rate. Safe mode provides low power telemetry and education mode the usual high power telemetry. It will also enable an analysis to see whether the satellite becomes hotter or cooler in each mode.

This schedule may be changed in light of experience and we will update everyone on such changes via the AMSAT-BB in the usual way.

The new schedule will be put into effect on Friday 31st August 2018.

This will be a new experience for the spacecraft so the capture of the largest possible amount of telemetry remains an important tool for the team to have. We are very grateful to everyone who continues to upload the telemetry they have received to the Data Warehouse. It is invaluable.

In addition to AO73/FUNcube-1, the FUNcube-2 transponder on UKube-1 remains operational and EO88/Nayif-1 continues to operate autonomously with the transponder on when in eclipse and high- power telemetry in sunlight.

 

 

 

 

 

AO73/FUNcube-1 Illumination – update 1

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The time when AO73 enters continuous sunlight, for the first time, is fast approaching. Current estimates show that this will commence on February 6th and last through until March 13th.

Obviously, the autonomous switching system that the spacecraft has been using to switch between amateur mode, with the transponder on in eclipse and educational mode with high power telemetry only in sunlight, will no longer work.

Already the periods of eclipse are reducing quite rapidly and we are therefore planning for manual mode switching to take be undertaken. This will start from the week beginning Jan 21st and will follow this initial plan.

Wednesday evening (UTC) or Thursday morning – switch to full time amateur mode – ie transponder on with low power telemetry.

Sunday evening (UTC) or Monday morning – switch to full time educational mode with high power telemetry only.

So if you are planning school demonstrations or particular  DXpeditions please take this new schedule into account.

The team may have to flex this plan with experience as this situation was not allowed for in the original mission plan!

AO73/FUNcube-1 spin period and illumination

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The attitude of AO73/FUNcube-1 is passively stabilised using the traditional magnet and two hysteresis rods. Since the launch over four years ago we have been intrigued with the resultant actual spin rate/period which seems to vary over time for reasons that have not yet been properly explained.!cid_part2_D32CA4A6_34E80464@bigpond_net

This graphic, which has been developed from telemetry received and maintained by Colin, VK3HI, and his team, shows the variations in some detail. Explanations would be gratefully received.

As it is expected that illumination levels may be having an influence, the next few months and years will prove interesting. The spacecraft will be entering periods of continuous sunlight. Initially this will be for a six-week period but then for periods of up to nine months!Screenshot 2017-11-25 16.58.03

This illustration from Mike, DK3WN’s, illum.exe software shows the predicted duration of the first period.

 

 

FUNcube-1 celebrates its 4th birthday

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Today, November 21st 2017, marks the fourth birthday for FUNcube-1 in orbit.

FUNcube-1 was launched at 07:10 UTC on November 21st 2013 and its first signals were received immediately after deployment over the Indian Ocean by amateurs in South Africa. Since then it has been operating continuously in either its education mode or, with the transponder active, in amateur mode when in eclipse and at weekends.

The spacecraft has spent the four years in space orbiting the earth at between 640 and 580 km and has now travelled around the earth more than 20,000 times. That represents a distance travelled of approaching 500 million miles.

Up to now, each of the orbits has been spilt approximately 65% in sunlight and 35% in eclipse. This has resulted in the temperatures inside the small spacecraft varying by about 25o C during each orbit.

fc1 tempriseDuring the recent AMSAT Colloquium, Wouter, PA3WEG, during his presentation about the FUNcube project mentioned that the power available from the solar panels has been slowly increasing since launch. This observation led the team to do some further investigations as to the cause.

Although the launch was into a nominally Sun Synchronous orbit, over time this has drifted and the spacecraft is now entering a period when it will be in the sun for longer periods during each orbit.

The exact details are still being determined, but it seems likely that, starting from January 2018, there will be periods when the spacecraft will be in the sun for all, or almost all, of its orbits. Of course, this means that the on-board temperatures will be much higher than we have previously experienced in flight, although we have some test records from pre-flight thermal air testing that were undertaken after integration.

The key will be to discover what the equilibrium temperature will be internally. For comparison, AO85 has already “enjoyed” periods of full sun and its internal temperatures have reached up to around 55o C.

So the next few months will be quite an exciting time for the team! We remain extremely grateful to everyone is using the spacecraft for both its educational and amateur missions. Of course we are also very very grateful to those who are downloading the telemetry and uploading the data to the Data Warehouse. It continues to provide a unique record of “life on board” a 1U CubeSat in space.