Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Calling all radio amateurs

15.09.2005


Radio amateurs worldwide are being asked to help collect data from the student-built SSETI Express satellite, due to be placed in orbit on 27 September. To encourage them, ESA’s Education department has organised two competitions and is supplying free downloadable software.

“We will be happy to receive all the help we can, particularly during the early operations phase,” says SSETI Express Project Manager, Neil Melville. “If a radio amateur receives a signal from SSETI Express before we do then the main ground station in Aalborg, Denmark will be delighted to hear from them.”

Radio amateurs wherever they live are being asked to help with the downlink of housekeeping and payload data. In return, various functionalities of the SSETI Express UHF and S-Band communications systems will be made freely available to the radio amateur community, along with the mission data downlink, once the main mission objectives of SSETI Express are complete.



SSETI Express will downlink telemetry in AX25 format at 9600 baud on 437.250MHz and at 38400 baud on 2401.835MHz. It will also be available for radio amateurs to use as a single channel FM transponder. The software needed to downlink data and to submit telemetry to the SSETI Express Mission Control can be downloaded free from the Radio Amateur Connection pages on the SSETI Express Mission site. Submissions will be automatically recorded and published on the site.

Radio amateur competitions

Once radio amateurs have the software needed it will be up to them to demonstrate that the amateur radio ground station ‘network’ is a valuable resource for satellite projects. To provide extra motivation, ESA has organised two competitions.

The winner of the first will be whoever submits the largest number of valid telemetry payload packets to SSETI Express Mission Control by 00:00 of 1 January 2006.

The prize is an invitation to the three-day STEC06 (Student Technology Education Conference) conference and exhibition, to be held in Germany in spring 2006, as well as a private visit and tour of ESA’s Spacecraft Operations Centre (ESOC) near Darmstadt.

A unique “I heard it first” SSETI Express T-shirt is the prize for the second competition. This will be sent to the first person to receive, decode and submit a transmission from the spacecraft to SSETI Express Mission Control. All information on equipment needed, software available and where to send data can be found on the Radio Amateur Connection pages of the student SSETI Express Mission site.

SSETI Express sub-systems for radio amateurs

Of the 12 sub-systems on SSETI Express, two involve radio amateurs. The ultra high frequency unit (UHF) has been designed and built by a radio amateur in Hohhenbrunn, Germany. It contains a radio and terminal node controller, and is the spacecraft’s primary communications system. It will provide uplink of telecommands from the ground station, audio uplink from amateur radio users and downlink of mission data at 9600 bps, all via a top-mounted rigid monopole antenna.

Radio amateurs from AMSAT-UK, although no longer students, are also involved in the project as they developed the S-Band, microwave radio communications transmitter. This provides both high-speed mission data downlink at 38400 baud and in combination with the UHF system, a single-channel audio transponder.

Graham Shirville (call sign G3VZV) is coordinating the team of radio amateurs from AMSAT-UK, the club for users of amateur radio satellites. “I’m involved in frequency coordination of spacecraft using the amateur satellite service. In early 2004 a group of us from AMSAT, UK were asked if we wanted to help with the project. The answer was ’yes’ and we protoyped the S-Band TX within eight weeks.”

“It has been a real challenge and not always easy,” he says “particularly when some of the hardware we built did not perform 100% - we felt we were letting everyone else down. But we have learnt an amazing amount of skills and knowledge which we hope to invest in future space projects."

Shirville will be present at the launch, a nail-biting moment for all the team. “I will be elated if we hear the radio signals but sad and worried if we don’t ”. He hastily adds that he is not expecting failure. “The SSETI Express students are bright, enthusiastic and determined to succeed; they have also put an incredible amount of time and effort into this project. Now it is up to the radio amateur community to do our bit to help them.

Over to you fellow amateurs and 73 from G3VZV."

Neil Melville | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/sseti_express/SEMARJ7X9DE_0.html

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht Young people discover the "Learning Center"
20.09.2016 | Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>