FM Transponder Active as LituanicaSAT-1 CubeSat Enters its Final Few Weeks in Space
The LituanicaSAT-1 OSCAR-78/LO-78 Amateur Radio FM transponder has been activated, perhaps for the last time. The CubeSat, which has the call sign LY5N, will deorbit and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, possibly around August 5. Laurynas Maciulis, LY1LM, of the LituanicaSAT-1 team said the transponder’s duty cycle will depend on the state of the batteries. He said all telemetry has been disabled to save power.
“We hope the signal should be even better now, as the satellite is descending steadily to 300 km and wish you all good QSOs!” he said.
The FM transponder frequencies are 435.1755 MHz up (±10 kHz Doppler shift), and 145.950 MHz up, with a 67 Hz CTCSS tone. The beacon frequency is 437.275 MHz; if the beacon is off, the transponder is operational. The tiny 10 × 10 × 10 cm satellite weighs slightly more than 1 kg and also carries a VGA camera. The satellite sports four monopole antennas, three for UHF and one for VHF, all made of spring-steel measurement tape.
LituanicaSAT-1 was launched to the International Space Station on January 9 and deployed into orbit with other Amateur Radio satellites on February 28. On March 22, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite transmitted a greeting “to all Lithuanians around the world” via LituanicaSAT-1 — her country's first satellite. She may be the first head of state to send a message via an Amateur Radio satellite. LituanicaSAT-1 was designed and built by students at Vilnius University.
The LituanicaSAT-1 team invites reception reports, including small audio files or any other data online.