Wednesday, August 21, 2013

British Cubesat Carrying Ham Gear May Launch in October

Artist's conception of UKube-1 in orbit.
(Courtesy UKube website)
The UK Space Agency's first cubesat - UKube-1 - may launch in late October, according to the BBC. The AMSAT News Service reports that the satellite will carry a set of AMSAT-UK "FUNcube-2" boards which will provide for Mode U/V (up on 435 MHz, down on 145 MHz) SSB/CW contacts as well as a telemetry beacon on two meters.

The satellite will also carry downlink-only transmitters on two meters, 70-centimeter spread-spectrum and high-speed data downlinking on 2401 MHz. The satellite is scheduled to be launched from Kazakhstan. FUNcube-1 is scheduled for a November launch from Russia.

Additional amateur radio cubesat launches are anticipated in the first half of 2014 as part of the QB-50 project, an anticipated network of some 40 double cubesats designed to study the thermosphere. The amateur radio payloads will be part of a precursor launch to test the technology in orbit. More information is available at <>.