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Amateur Radio Satellite Payloads Set to Launch into Orbit this Month


Several CubeSats carrying Amateur Radio payloads are set to launch during June. These include two FUNcube projects.

FUNcube-3, the transponder-only payload on the QB50 precursor CubeSat, QB50P1, is scheduled for launch on June 19 from Russia, at a tentative launch time of 1911 UTC. Initial beacon signals from the main transceiver are expected to be AX.25 1200 bps BPSK packets on 145.815 MHz. FUNcube-3 will carry an inverting 400 mW SSB/CW transponder, with an uplink passband of 435.035-435.065 MHz (LSB) and a downlink passband of 145.935-145.965 MHz (USB).

The FUNcube team has received confirmation that UKube-1, which will host FUNcube-2, will launch June 28 from Baikonur in Kazakhstan (June 29 is a back-up launch date), with a tentative launch time of 1558 UTC. According to information the FUNcube team has received, immediately after deployment and activation, UKube-1 will transmit a CW beacon, followed later by an AX.25, 1200 bps BPSK beacon. Both beacons will be on 145.840 MHz.

The FUNcube-2 payload, with its telemetry downlink for educational outreach, is expected to be tested later.

The goal of the FUNcube project is to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiatives now underway in the US, the UK, and elsewhere. The target audience is primary and secondary school students.

FUNcube-2 will provide a 400 mW inverting SSB/CW transponder, with an uplink passband of 435.080 to 435.060 MHz (LSB) and a downlink passband of 145.930-145.950 MHz (USB); beacon on 145.915 MHz.

The UKube-1 satellite, being built by Clyde Space in Glasgow, Scotland, would be the UK Space Agency’s first CubeSat, as well as the first satellite built in Scotland. The FUNcube Project is a joint initiative of AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL (Netherlands).

The UKube-1 3U CubeSat will carry six independent, advanced payloads. The UKube-1 mission is the pilot for a collaborative, national CubeSat collaborative program between UK industry and academia to fly educational packages, test new technologies, and carry out space research quickly and efficiently. UKube-1 will include the first GPS device aimed at measuring plasmaspheric space weather.

Among other Amateur Radio payloads set to launch June 28:

  • NanosatC-Br1: First Brazilian CubeSat project. ISIS U/V transceiver, with 1200 bps FM AX.25 UHF command uplink and a 9600 bps BPSK downlink on 145.865 MHz.


  • ANTELSat (Uruguay): 437.575 MHz 1200 bps AFSK, 2403.000 MHz 1 Mbit GFSK/MSK, 437.280 MHz CW. First Uruguayan satellite.


  • ESTELLE (University of Tartu, Estonia): UHF GMSK/BPSK downlinks up to 19k2 bps and a series of HDRT experiments, including 2.4GHz downlink using GFSK/BPSK at up to 1 Mbps, 5.8 GHz downlink using GFSK and BPSK at up to 10 Mbps and 10 GHz downlink at up to 10 Mbps.


  • QB50p2 (Belgium): 435/145 MHz FM voice transponder; 145.880 MHz, 1200 bps BPSK; 145.840 MHz, 9600 bps FSK.


  • SaudiSat-4 (Russia, Saudi Arabia): Ka band transponders


  • UniSat-6 (Italy): 437.425 MHz 9600 bps GMSK.


  • UNSA-SAT1 (Peru): Downlink 3.4 GHz, 230 kbps BPSK (first 3.4 GHz CubeSat)


  • DX-1 (Russia): Uplink command and control, 144.975-145.025 MHz; downlink telemetry 434.975-435 MHz. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service, AMSAT-UK





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