Saturday, April 21, 2007

CubeSats launch successfully!

Four CubeSats containing payloads operating on Amateur Radio frequencies were among several spacecraft launched successfully April 17,2007, at 0645 UTC from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

A Dnepr rocket deployed seven CubeSats plus seven other satellites from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine into Earth orbit, and signals from the four CubeSats have been copied on Earth. Among the spacecraft was Colombia's first satellite.

The CubeSats are: CalPoly's PolySats CP3 and CP4 (similar to photo), 436.845 MHz and 437.325 MHz respectively, 1200 bps FM AFSK, AX.25, 1 W, operating under an FCC Part-5 Experimental license; University of Louisiana CAPE-1 435.245 MHz, 9600 bps FM FSK AX.25 and CW telemetry during opposing 30-second intervals, 1 W, call sign K5USL (e-mail telemetry reports); Universidad Sergio Arboleda, Colombia, Libertad-1, 437.405 MHz, 1200 bps FM AFSK AX.25, 400 mW, call sign 5K3L. CP4 will transmit a "sensor snapshot" every 2 minutes on 437.325 MHz at 1200bps FSK, AX.25. FSK will require using SSB mode for reception. A 6-second CW preamble precedes this transmission.

According to AMSAT, Keplerian elements for the new ham radio birds and additional information will be posted on Cal Poly's CubeSat Web page. CalPoly offers a CubeSat "Satellite Contact Form" to report telemetry data received from any satellite. A discussion board also is available for satellite trackers. -- AMSAT