Monday, July 27, 2009

AMSAT-UK announce a new satellite project...FUNcube

I came accross this a few days ago. It looks like an interesting satellite with a linear transponder as well (2m/70cms). Here are some details...

"AMSAT-UK has announced a new amateur satellite project – FUNcube – that features a 435 to 145 MHz Linear Transponder for SSB/CW operation.
FUNcube is an educational single cubesat project with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics.

The target audience consists of primary and secondary school pupils and FUNcube will feature a 145 MHz telemetry beacon that will provide a strong signal for the pupils to receive.

It is planned to develop a simple receiver board that can be connected to the USB port of a laptop to display telemetry in an interesting way.

The satellite will contain a materials science experiment, from which the school students can receive telemetry data which they can compare to the results they obtained from similar reference experiments in the classroom.

FUNcube is the first cubesat designed to benefit this group and is expected to be the first UK cubesat to reach space.

It is anticipated FUNcube will be launched into a Sun Synchronous Low Earth Orbit about 600-700km above the earth using one of the many launch opportunities that exist for Cubesat missions. In such an orbit the satellite passes over Europe approximately 3 times in the morning, and 3 in the evening, every day, perhaps allowing the morning passes to be used for educational purposes and the evening passes for Amateur Radio communications.

FUNcube will carry a UHF to VHF linear transponder that will have up to 1 watt and which can be used by Radio Amateurs worldwide for SSB and CW communications.
Measuring just 10 * 10 * 10 cm, and with a mass of less than 1kg, it will be the smallest ever satellite to carry a linear transponder and the choice of frequencies will enable Radio Amateurs to use their existing VO-52 or DO-64 station.

A key feature of the satellite is the absence of an On-Board Computer. For reliability and maximum power efficiency, the design has been kept as straight-forward as possible with satellite control being achieved using simple commands. "

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