Friday, June 5, 2015

PSK-31 in Space

A pair of satellites launched in May by the U.S. Naval Academy contains a PSK-31 transponder that
The BRICsat satellite.
(US Naval Academy photo)
supports up to 30 simultaneous users. According to the ARRL, the two satellites - named PSAT and BRICsat - have separate transponders operating on the same frequency but using slightly different PSK tones. 

The rocket that carried PSAT and BRICsat into orbit also launched the Planetary Society's LightSail-1 satellite, which has a telemetry downlink in the 70-centimeter ham band (it's transmitting 9600-baud FSK in AX.25 format on 437.435 MHz). The ARRL reported that the LightSail transmitter briefly shut down due to a software glitch, but managed to reset itself and come back on the air. Controllers were planning to upload a software patch to prevent recurrence of the problem.