Thursday, July 15, 2010

Amateur satellite to investigate power line interference

Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV will be giving a presentation on South Africa's first CubeSat at the AMSAT-UK Colloquium in Guildford, England, July 31- Aug 1

The world has experienced a long solar minimum which means that ionospheric communication had been very limited and for a few years was almost exclusively the domain of the commercial broadcasters running Megawatts.

HF radio communication is very susceptible to noise levels that are created by power lines, electrical installations and overhead lines used by trains and busses and power line telecommunication systems. If fact today there are many installation that do not necessarily comply with internationally agreed emission standards. With increasing solar activity interference signals are propagated over large areas and will interfere with HF communication.

The important mission of the SA AMSAT CubeSat is to measure the High Frequency noise levels over South Africa and report these measurement back to a ground station for analysis and action to reduce these unwanted signals. The information from the tiny satellite will identify the areas where the HF frequency polluters are situated and will help in reducing or eliminating the source.

It is also hoped to include a 30 kHz linear transponder and an Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) in the CubeSat.

I want one. After the South Africans have done their mapping maybe they can swing it up here to help locate our local power line interference.