An estimated 37 satellites carrying amateur radio payloads have deployed this week. FUNcube-1, built by AMSAT-UK, launched on Thursday 21 November from Yasny in Russia. A huge cheer went up in the control room set up at the National Radio Centre when the first signals were received, by ZS1LS in South Africa, just ten minutes after deployment. By the time of the first useful pass over the UK, data had been received in 12 countries. The first command to the satellite, sent from the National Radio Centre, was an immediate success, increasing the output power to a level that can be heard on a handheld. Details of the project are online at www.funcube.org.uk. On Friday morning the BBC’s John Maguire interviewed AMSAT-UK’s Graham Shirville, G3VZV at the National Radio Centre, and the FUNcube-1 team were filmed making a contact via the linear transponder for a piece that should be screened on the BBC1 Breakfast show on Monday 25 November.
Update 29 November: a short video of the jubilant scenes inside the NRC as the first command was sent can be seen at http://youtu.be/AhCj1D2Sg78 and the BBC Breakfast report is on the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25084547.
Category: GB2RS Headlines