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 A gene activated in infant and young brains determines learning capacity in adulthood
13.11.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht The Maturation Pattern of the Hippocampus Drives Human Memory Deve
23.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland

15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

When electric fields make spins swirl

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Discovery of a cool super-Earth

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>