ARRL

ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS006 (2009)

SB SPACE @ ARL $ARLS006
ARLS006 SuitSat-2 Now Called ARISSat-1

ZCZC AS06  
QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 006  ARLS006
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  August 26, 2009
To all radio amateurs

SB SPACE ARL ARLS006
ARLS006 SuitSat-2 Now Called ARISSat-1

The SuitSat-2 project -- an Amateur Radio satellite housed in a
Russian spacesuit -- now has a new name to go with a new shape:
ARISSat-1. On Wednesday, August 19, Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station (ARISS) Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF,
announced the new name for the satellite and project. According to
ARRL ARISS Program Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, the project team is
moving ahead, using the same hardware that was to fly in the Russian
Orlan suit. Russia will continue to call the satellite Radioskaf-2,
so ARISS is designating it ARISSat-1/Radioskaf-2.

Due to storage considerations, the two surplus Orlan space suits in
storage on the ISS were discarded via the Progress Cargo Vessel
earlier this year. One of these suits was to be used to house the
electronics for the upcoming SuitSat-2 mission; the batteries were
to be mounted inside the suit, solar panels attached to the
extremities with the electronics, video cameras and antenna mounted
on the helmet by the ISS crew prior to deployment during an
extra-vehicular activity (EVA), commonly called a spacewalk. The
removal of the Orlan space suits from ISS removes the "Suit"
component of the deployment and the new name reflects the change in
configuration.

White told the ARRL that the ARISSat-1/Radioskaf-2 team, through
Gould Smith, WA4SXM, made the final decision for the satellite to be
square, with solar panels on all 6 sides. "The team is mounting a 70
cm quarter-wave whip on the bottom and a 2 meter quarter wave whip
on the top," she said. "All of the hardware and software goes inside
the square, and cameras go on the outside." The experiment being
developed by Russia's Kursk State University is expected to be
integrated into the electronics once the US-produced equipment is
delivered to Russia this fall.

AMSAT and ARISS pointed out that the importance of this project to
both organizations is not diminished. "ARISS sees this mission as an
important component of education outreach, as it will provide an
opportunity for students around the world to listen for recorded
greetings from space, as well as learn about tracking spacecraft in
orbit," White said.

The ARISSat-1/Radioskaf-2 transmitter and receiver will be based on
a Software Defined Transponder (SDX) system. It will consist of two
major components: The RF Module and the Digital Signal Processor
(DSP) module. In the RF module, there will be an upconverter that
receives a signal from the DSP module as a 10.7 MHz intermediate
frequency RF signal with a 50 kHz bandwidth, and up converts it to
145 MHz signal of 50 kHz bandwidth centered on 145.9375 MHz. The
receiver is a downconverter with a 50 kHz bandwidth centered on
437.6125 MHz. The output of the receiver is a 10.7 MHz RF signal
with a bandwidth of 50 kHz. The DSP processor receives the 10.7 MHz
signal from the receiver downconverter and processes it and outputs
a 10.7 MHz signal to the transmitter upconverter. The DSP can also
inject signals such as the CW ID, telemetry, audio and packet
signals as determined by the software on the DSP.

AMSAT calls the deployment of the SDX "a critical milestone" for the
organization. "This upcoming flight provides an opportunity to
flight test the next generation of spacecraft hardware," Bertels
said. "Lessons learned from this deployment will be applied to
future flight opportunities as AMSAT moves towards a 'modularization
approach' to spacecraft development with the expectation the future
spacecraft missions will utilize a derivative of SDX and the
associated hardware."

The ARISS International Team has been informed that there is still
space available for shipment of the ARISSat-1/Radioskaf-2
electronics on the projected cargo flight to the ISS in January
2010, and the EVA scheduled for April 2010 still has a SuitSat-2
deployment on the schedule.

Plans to launch a second SuitSat-spacesuit-turned-satellite were the
subject of discussions and presentations at the November 2006 AMSAT
Space Symposium and ARISS International Delegates' meeting. Despite
a weaker-than-anticipated 2 meter signal, SuitSat-1 -- a surplus
Russian Orlan spacesuit fitted with an Amateur Radio transmitter --
sparked the imagination of students and the general public and
turned into a public relations bonanza for Amateur Radio. ARISS
hoped to capitalize on the concept by building an even better
SuitSat that will include ham radio transponders.

The SuitSat.org Web site attracted nearly 10 million hits during the
mission.  Designated by AMSAT as AO-54, SuitSat-1 remained in
operation for more than two weeks, easily outlasting initial
predictions that it would transmit for about a week. SuitSat-1
re-entered and burned up in Earth's atmosphere in September 2006.
ARISSat-1/Radioskaf-2 is expected to be live for at least six
months.
NNNN
/EX