First Signals Heard from UKube-1
Following its July 8 launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, UKube-1 — the UK Space Agency’s first CubeSat — has been heard around the world.
“AMSAT-UK has congratulated the UKube-1 team on the successful launch and deployment of the spacecraft,” Graham Shirville, G3VZV, said Tuesday in an AMSAT-BB post. “Signals have already been heard from both transmitters in many countries.”
UKube-1 will “host” FUNcube-2 — actually a set of FUNcube boards flying as a sub-system of the 3U UKube-1 CubeSat. FUNcube-2 will include a 400 mW inverting SSB/CW transponder (435.080-435.060 MHz up/145.930-145.950 MHz down), with a CW beacon on 145.840 MHz. The transponder is not yet active. Built by Clyde Space in Glasgow, Scotland, UKube-1 is the first satellite built in Scotland.
The FUNcube project is aimed at supporting 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.
According to Shirville, the UKube team wants stations to continue monitoring the downlinks and, if possible, to forward their reports to the FUNcube team. Send CW beacon reports (145.840 MHz) to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Shirville said the existing dashboard user interface will not display FUNcube telemetry on 145.915 MHz properly, but it will forward the telemetry to the data warehouse correctly. A new FUNcube-2 dashboard will be released shortly.
The first stations to receive the FUNcube telemetry during the initial orbit included DK3WN, OO1A, G0PGL, G4GUO, PB1DTF, and M0LTC. Tim Bosma, W6MU, reported a “very strong CW signal” from UKcube-1 on the 0323 UTC pass over North America on July 8.