Monday, June 5, 2017

3 Ham Satellites Among 28 Cubesats Launched from ISS in May

Twenty-eight QB50 cubesats were deployed in May
from the International Space Station. Another group
is awaiting lauch on an Indian rocket. ( website)
A "constellation" of student-built satellites designed to study the lower thermosphere 125 to 236 miles above the Earth has been released into orbit from the International Space Station. The ARRL Letter reports that 28 cubesats - part of the QB50 program - were released from the ISS between May 16 and 25. Eight more are scheduled for future launch aboard an Indian rocket.

All of the cubesats lanuched so far  have downlinks in the 70-centimeter amateur band and three include additional ham radio features as well. LilacSat-1 includes a VHF/UHF analog FM-to-Codec-2 digital voice transponder, as well as an APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) digipeater and a camera which transmits images using 9600-baud BPSK; X-CubeSat and SpaceCube both have FM voice transponders with uplinks on 2 meters and downlinks on 70 centimeters.