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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS005 (2009)

ARLS005 Space Shuttle Endeavour to Deploy Student-Built Satellites

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 005  ARLS005
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  July 30, 2009
To all radio amateurs

ARLS005 Space Shuttle Endeavour to Deploy Student-Built Satellites
The space shuttle Endeavour is due to land Friday, July 31, but
before it leaves orbit it will deploy four student-built satellites,
all with telemetry downlinks in the 2 meter, or 70 cm, amateur

The twin spherical satellites -- named Castor and Pollux -- were
designed by students in cooperation with the Naval Research
Laboratory as part of the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment
(ANDE). Both satellites will transmit 1200-baud packet radio
telemetry on 145.825 MHz. Hams are encouraged to submit telemetry
reports with special QSLs and mission patches planned.  Check the
ANDE Web site,
for updates.

Castor and Pollux will carry an FX.25 experiment that adds Forward
Error Correction to standard AX.25 packets. The hope is that FX.25
will improve communication efficiency while still being compatible
with existing packet equipment. The satellites will also
occasionally run GMSK/FX.25 modulation experiments at 9600 baud.

In addition to Castor and Pollux, Endeavour will also deploy student
satellites from the University of Texas and Texas A&M. The tiny
picosatellites, christened BEVO-1 and AggieSat2 respectively, are
part of an ambitious experiment that will ultimately culminate in
autonomous docking of picosats in orbit. For this mission, however,
BEVO-1 and AggieSat2 will launch as one unit and then separate to
collect position data and test a new NASA Global Positioning System
receiver known as DRAGON.

BEVO-1 will transmit Morse code beacons (20 WPM) or packet radio
data telemetry at 437.325 MHz. AggieSat2 will beacon at 436.250 MHz.
The satellites will primarily transmit 9600-baud packet telemetry
when over the United States. As with Castor and Pollux, reception
reports are welcome.

Orbiting at a relatively low altitude of 185 miles, these satellites
should be easy to receive with standard FM transceivers and
omnidirectional antennas. They should enjoy an operational life of
3-6 months and will likely re-enter the Earth's atmosphere within a


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