The largest ever launch of micro-satellites operating in the 437MHz band is planned for 16 March when 200 tiny Sprite satellites will be taken into space. A Sprite is a miniature, 3.5 by 3.5cm, single-board spacecraft that includes a microcontroller, radio and solar cells, and is capable of carrying single-chip sensors. The 200 Sprites will be carried in a CubeSat called KickSat. On reaching orbit KickSat will perform a de-tumble manoeuvre and establish communication with Cornell University’s ground station. After a command signal from the ground station the Sprites will be released as free-flying spacecraft. These micro birds will be placed into a 325 by 315km 51.5 degree inclination orbit. All of the 200 Sprites operate on a single frequency, 437.240MHz, and use Code Division Multiple Access. Due to the low orbit Sprites will have a short lifetime before they re-enter the atmosphere and burn up. In the best-case scenario the orbital lifetime could be six weeks but realistically it may be considerably shorter, depending on atmospheric conditions.
The RSGB QSL Bureau is seeking a replacement volunteer with time to handle approximately 15 to 20 thousands cards per year for the G3M to G3P group of callsigns. If you are interested, have time, space, commitment and some basic spreadsheet skills, please contact the bureau by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please head your message G3M-P sub-manager.
The Chairman of the Brigg and District Amateur Radio Club, David Ogg, M0OGY, has become the United Kingdom’s representative to the European Citizen’s Band Federation. That body is a member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, mandated by the European Commission. Details about the work of the ECBF can be found at www.ecbf.eu.
The 70cm repeater GB3OH, in Scotland, has been returned to service on new frequencies. The repeater transmit frequency is 430.950MHz and it receives on 438.550MHz. The CTCSS tone access remains unchanged at 94.8Hz.
A new St Patrick’s Day award has been designed for both participating special event stations and those working these stations. Go to http://stpatrickaward.webs.com for full details.
The International Amateur Radio Union has advised that Timothy S. Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA and Ole Garpstead, LA2RR, have been nominated for president and vice-president, respectively, for 2014-2019. They are currently serving a five year term in those positions. An international consultation produced no additional nominations for these positions. The new term begins on 9 May.
The Southampton University Wireless Society web-based software defined radio has been used to receive signals from the new amateur radio LitSat-1 satellite, which was deployed from the ISS on 28 February. The builders of the satellite have been able to use the WebSDR to receive the satellite when it is out of the range of Lithuania. The WebSDR currently supports parts of the 10GHz, 1296MHz, 432MHz and 144MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. The web address is http://websdr.suws.org.uk.
Category: GB2RS Headlines