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ARISSat-1 in Satellite Final Preparation

09/28/2010

 Having successfully completed vibration testing this week, the ARISSat-1/RadioSkaf V satellite will soon be on its way to Russia for final preparation and launch to the International Space Station (ISS).

In Russia, the Kursk experiment will be added and the satellite will undergo additional testing. A new Russian Orlan suit battery will be shipped separately to the ISS to be installed into the satellite. ARISSat-1 is scheduled to be sent to the ISS aboard Russian Progress vehicle 41P in January 2011 and deployed during EVA (spacewalk) R-28 in February 2011.

ARISSat-1/RadioSkaf V will have simultaneous 2 meter FM, CW, BPSK and transponder transmissions. These multiple transmissions are created by a new software-defined transponder (SDX) board. The FM transmissions will cycle between a voice ID, select telemetry values and 24 international greeting messages in 15 languages, as well as live SSTV images.  The CW transmissons will be call sign ID, select telemetry and call signs of people actively involved with the ARISS program. The BPSK transmissions will feature a new 1kBPSK protocol developed by Phil Karn, KA9Q, to be readable in low signal level conditions. The BPSK data will alternate between telemetry and Kursk experiment data. Free groundstation soundcard demodulator and display software will be available before launch for multiple platforms.  There also is a 16 kHz wide Mode U/V (UHF uplink/VHF downlink) transponder between the BPSK and FM signals.

The Kursk experiment will sample the amount of vacuum each day for 90 minutes and send down data to map the vacuum change as the satellite slowly spirals into the atmosphere. Six solar panels supply power to the satellite and recharge the battery. Once the battery is exhausted, the satellite will continue to send data in a low power mode when illuminated.

The spoken telemetry values and greetings are to promote science and math education by encouraging school children to listen to the satellite, track its progress and plot the changes. There are secret words in most of the greetings and awards will be given to those students who correctly identify the secret words. There will also be a contest to see who correctly copies the most CW call signs sent. The telemetry data will also be available live and over the Internet for schools and radio amateurs to study the operation and changes that the satellite experiences during its orbits around the Earth.

Our thanks to Gould Smith, WA4SXM, AMSAT ARISSat Project Manager



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