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 Studying outdoors is better
06.02.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Classroom in Stuttgart with Li-Fi of Fraunhofer HHI opened
03.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

Im Focus: Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning

The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.

“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New capabilities at NSLS-II set to advance materials science

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Strong carbon fiber artificial muscles can lift 12,600 times their own weight

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Polymer-graphene nanocarpets to electrify smart fabrics

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>