FUNcube-1 Team to Gather for November 21 Launch, “Dashboard” Software Released


Most members of the FUNcube-1 team will gather November 21 — launch day — at the RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park in Bletchley, England to staff a monitoring station at least for the first couple of days following launch. FUNcube-1 is among more than two dozen small satellites — many of them carrying Amateur Radio payloads — that will be put into orbit by a Dnepr rocket now being readied in Russia


“The first signals from FUNcube-1 should be heard in Southern Africa and then in Hawaii and then Alaska,” said a message on the FUNcube-1 website. FUNcube-1 initially will transmit at about 30 mW (“safe mode”), and telemetry will be on 145.935 MHz. In its normal “educational mode,” the signal should to be about 10 dB stronger. “After that, we hope to hear signals in the UK on a very low pass to the east around 0850 UTC. [W]e will be trying to do our best to keep everyone in touch with what is happening,” the message continued. Part of that effort will include streaming video from the NRC, getting underway at about 0700 UTC the day of the launch. The team also will maintain a presence on the #cubesat IRC channel as well as via the AMSAT-BB.

The first release of the FUNcube Dashboard User Interface software is now available for download. This software, when used with a FUNcube dongle or other SSB-capable VHF receiver, will decode and display all 58 telemetry channels, all onboard status flags, and the Fitter messages from the spacecraft. “The FUNcube Dashboard will also enable users to upload the telemetry they are receiving to a central data warehouse, so that others around the world can see what is happening onboard, the launch team said. Details of the telemetry format, which reflects considerable heritage from AO-40, also are available, as is the FUNCube Handbook. The FUNcube-1 team also has released information on how to register your dashboard for use with the data warehouse.