Happy Birthday FUNcube-1 (AO73)

Happy Birthday FUNcube-1 (AO73)

November 21st 2019, marked 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, the FUNcube team 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.

The team 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 the team 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.

The FUNcube team 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.

The FUNcube team 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. They 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/

FUNcube email group https://groups.io/g/FUNcube

FUNcube Forum http://forum.funcube.org.uk/

FUNcube Website http://www.funcube.org.uk/

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m5aka

AMSAT-UK

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IARU: WRC-19 Grinds On – Week 3

IARU: WRC-19 Grinds On – Week 3

ITU WRC-19 LogoThe IARU has issued its report on Week 3 of the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from October 28 to November 22, 2019.

With just 3-1/2 days left for substantive work – the final session of the Plenary to approve texts to be included in the Final Acts is scheduled to end at noon Thursday, November 21 – delegates at WRC-19 face a daunting workload as the conferees try to reach consensus on several remaining issues including the agenda for the next WRC.

Future agenda items: As of now, no choices have been made as to which of more than three dozen proposed topics will be placed on the WRC-23 agenda. Each of the proposed agenda items would require studies to be conducted in the 2020-2023 timeframe, but ITU resources will not accommodate more than about half. Some face strong opposition and others remain ill-defined even at this late stage of the conference. The responsible committee is scheduled to complete its work in just one more day. It will be a long day.

Short Duration Satellites: There is still no agreement on how to protect existing services and uses of the uplink frequency band proposed for telemetry, tracking and command of these “simple” satellites.

5725-5850 MHz: This part of the amateur secondary allocation, which includes an amateur-satellite downlink at 5830-5850 MHz, is the subject of an unresolved conflict over parameters for wireless access systems including radio local area networks.

Frequencies above 275 GHz: This upper frequency range is not allocated but several bands are identified for passive (receive-only) use and administrations are encouraged to protect them from harmful interference. With that in mind, WRC-19 has identified other bands above 275 GHz for the implementation of land mobile and fixed service applications. The use of these bands for applications in other services, including amateur experimentation, is not precluded.

50 MHz in Region 1: The compromise agreement reported last week (see the IARU news release dated 10 November) survived review at the Working Group and Committee levels and awaits approval in Plenary.

With the 50 MHz issue essentially settled the IARU team is devoting most of its energy to explaining why the proposed agenda item for 1240-1300 MHz described in last week’s release is unnecessary and undesirable.

While IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, left the conference at the end of the second week he is still a visible presence as a six-minute video interview is replayed on monitors scattered around the halls of the conference center. See it for yourself at

Source: IARU Press Release available on the new ARRL-IARU email group. You can join at https://groups.arrl.org/g/ARRL-IARU/

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m5aka AMSAT-UK

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IARU update regarding Amateur Satellite allocations

IARU update regarding Amateur Satellite allocations

IARU Team at WRC-19

IARU Team at WRC-19

The second week of the World Radiocommunication Conference reports on the status of two issues affecting the amateur satellite service.

In a report written by Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, first is an agenda item currently under review during this WRC-19 session; second is planning for future pressure on frequencies for the amateur satellite service.

Current WRC-19

While it does not directly affect us – work at WRC-15 saw to that – we are following an agenda item that seeks spectrum for telemetry, tracking and command in the space operation service for non-GSO satellites with short duration missions (CubeSats, among others).

We would like a solution to be found to cut down on the misuse of the very limited amateur-satellite spectrum for commercial applications. Discussions are focusing on spectrum near 137 MHz (down) / 149 MHz (up) but reaching agreement is proving to be very difficult.

Future – WRC-23

With the spectrum from 8.3 kHz to 275 GHz fully allocated and some bands above 275 GHz already identified for particular uses, any proposal for new allocations involves sharing with one or more incumbent services.
The pressures for spectrum access to accommodate new uses for commercial purposes are intense; for an established service such as ours, any WRC that does not reduce our own useful spectrum access is a success.

The idea of including the amateur two meter band in a study of non-safety aeronautical mobile service applications has not resurfaced. However, the IARU is concerned with a proposed item for WRC-23 entitled: “Review of the amateur service and the amateur-satellite service allocations to ensure the protection of the radionavigation-satellite service (space-to-Earth) in the frequency band 1240-1300 MHz.”

Our regulatory status is already clear. The amateur service is secondary in this band and the amateur-satellite service is permitted to operate in the Earth-to-space direction on a non-interference basis in the band 1260-1270 MHz. In the international Radio Regulations this is all the protection a primary service such as radionavigation-satellite requires; implementation is up to individual administrations.

The one well-documented case of interference to a Galileo receiver that prompted this proposed agenda item occurred more than five years ago and was quickly resolved by the administration concerned. There have been no known interference cases to user terminals.

An amateur service allocation of 1215-1300 MHz was made on a primary, exclusive basis in 1947, later downgraded to secondary to accommodate radiolocation (radar) and narrowed to 1240-1300 MHz. The radionavigation-satellite service was added in 2000. As a secondary service amateur radio has operated successfully in the band for many years.Given the relatively modest density and numbers of amateur transmissions in the band, we view the Galileo-oriented proposal for an agenda item as disproportionate.

The IARU recognizes the concern and does not want the amateur service to affect the operation of the Galileo system in any way. It has already updated its operational recommendations for amateur stations in Region 1. If necessary, further recommendations may be developed and rolled out globally.

In CEPT, two preliminary measurement studies of Galileo receiver performance/vulnerability (from 2015 and 2019) are currently being evaluated. Discussions can be more timely and focused within CEPT.

The IARU believes that this process already offers the potential for a satisfactory solution and thus the issue does not warrant WRC action and the commitment of ITU resources.

Source: http://www.iaru.org/news–events

Read the RSGB WRC-19 updates at https://rsgb.org/main/blog/category/news/special-focus/wrc-19/

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m5aka AMSAT-UK

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RAC Attends Canadian CubeSat Meeting

RAC Attends Canadian CubeSat Meeting

UNB CubeSats Group photo by Annette Wetmore

UNB CubeSats Group photo by Annette Wetmore

On October 7, 8 and 9, 2019, the University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and CubeSat NB hosted the first of three Preliminary Design Review (PDR) meetings for the Canadian CubeSat Project initiated by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

The Canadian Space Agency is providing support and guidance to 15 teams of university and college students across Canada who are building satellites. These satellites are in the “CubeSat” format, based on a standardized architecture of 10 cm cubes. All 15 proposed satellites will be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS), possibly starting in 2021.

Radio Amateurs of Canada was present because many of the CubeSat projects are proposing to use Amateur Radio frequencies. RAC Atlantic Director Dave Goodwin, VE9CB, attended the PDR to offer RAC’s insight into these projects and to discuss the processes required to secure frequency coordination for these projects through the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

At the meeting at UNB, six teams led by students from UNB, the Université de Moncton, New Brunswick Community College, the University of Prince Edward Island, Dalhousie University (NS), Memorial University of Newfoundland with C-CORE, the Université de Sherbrooke (QC) and Concordia University (QC), presented their work to date on designing six satellites. They sought feedback and suggestions from other teams as well as the federal government agencies – the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) – and NanoRacks, the US-based company that provides launch services for the Canadian CubeSat Project.

Following the Fredericton event, similar meetings were also held in London, Ontario and Victoria, British Columbia for Preliminary Design Reviews of the nine other CubeSats in the Canadian CubeSat Project in Ontario, western Canada, and northern Canada.

Designing and constructing CubeSats is a complicated, multi-year process. These projects will develop these students’ skills in many facets of engineering, science, technology, business and project management. Once in orbit, these satellites will assist pure and applied scientific research. Some of these satellites may offer facilities that Radio Amateurs across Canada and around the world can use.

– Dave Goodwin, VE9CB and Brent Petersen, VE9EX.

Source Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) Bulletin

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m5aka AMSAT-UK

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WRC-19 Day 9 and 10: Satellites, 50 MHz and 1240-1300 MHz

WRC-19 Day 9 and 10: Satellites, 50 MHz and 1240-1300 MHz

RSGB Spectrum Forum Chair Murray G6JYB talking to delegates at WRC-19

RSGB Spectrum Forum Chair Murray G6JYB talking to delegates at WRC-19

The RSGB have released a report on days 9 and 10 of the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from October 28 to November 22, 2019.

The report covers Satellites, HF (7 MHz), a proposed 50 MHz band for the Amateur Service only (not Satellites) and Future Agenda Items including the 1240-1300 MHz band where a number of countries wish to restrict (or remove) amateur radio operation to “protect” GNSS servces. Both the European Galileo (due for completion 2020) and Japan’s Quasi-Zenith (QZSS) (due for completion 2023) GNSS systems have downlinks that transmit across 1260-1300 MHz.

Read the RSGB report at https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/2019/11/10/wrc-19-day-10-halfway-there/

Read the RSGB WRC-19 updates at https://rsgb.org/main/blog/category/news/special-focus/wrc-19/

CEPT ECC Report covers the key Agenda Item 1.1 on a 50 MHz Amateur Service band in ITU Region 1 – but not for the Amateur-Satellite Service
https://www.cept.org/ecc/groups/ecc/cpg/client/introduction/weekly-report-from-wrc-19

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m5aka AMSAT-UK

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