Communities to help Track CubeSats?

Hi, everyone,

My team and I have a CubeSat which is scheduled to deploy from the ISS come mid-Feb. We would love as much help as possible with tracking our spacecraft post-deployment to verify that it is alive and well. I figure this forum would be one place to share any information that people would need to hear from our CubeSat, but does anyone know of any other resources that would allow me to spread the word about this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,
Sarah

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Hello Sarah,

Welcome to the community!

Some of the initial information would be:

  1. The name of the satellite and maybe a site with info
  2. What transmitters it has
  3. In which frequencies transmits (IARU coordination if exists and transmits on amateur bands)
  4. In which modes and baudrates transmits
  5. Instructions on how to decode the transmitted frames

The first one will be used for adding the satellite in DB. From 2 to 4 will be used to add transmitters on the DB entry and will allow us to schedule observations and demodulate frames. The last one will help to create a decoder and a dashboard in our grafana instance like this one.

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I think, there are some basic info:
http://phxcubesat.asu.edu/subsystems/communications
t.janos

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Hi, all,

Thanks for the replies! The link @tjanos posted is, in fact, our project.
To answer your questions,

1: Satellite name: Phoenix CubeSat (website: phxcubesat.asu.edu)
2. 1 transceiver (UHF amateur frequencies). We are using the AX100 from Gomspace
3. Frequency: 437.35 MHz
4. baud: 9600
other information: packets follow the KISS and AX.25 protocols

Regarding decoding instructions, we have been using a Kantronics TNC and an ICOM 9100 radio to receive our data and our ground station code to decode the packets. We are posting our ground station code to our website soon to give this info to others. So far it appears that the best way to decode our packets is to use hardware and our ground station code.

We have tried using an RTL-SDR and software TNCs which use the sound card to decode the packets, but we haven’t had success with this yet. The SDR can pick up the signal fine, but the software TNC is unable to decode it. We’ve tried HS Soundmodem, AGWPE, and Direwolf without luck. I know 9600 baud packets are difficult to decode, however. Our plan so far is for people with SDRs to send us their recorded signal, and we can decode it to see if it is our spacecraft. I’m not sure if you might have additional advice there based on your experience.

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IARU Coordination info is here: http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.php?serialnum=594

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I am very sorry but your information is not 100% correct. Most probably you will be running the GomSpace Modem in “Mode 6”, which encapsulates a CCSDS RS encoded payload into AX.25 to meet HAM Bands requirements. For efficiency this is totally irrelevant. KISS is also not “supported” by that modem, because KISS is a protocol between TNC and PC. If you really run a decoder after demodulating AX.25 frames: you are wasting a huge amount of frames!

Please consider getting in touch with us to improve both sides: yours for improving data amount and also ours by of improving the network capabilities! Let’s combine forces also with the ESA team running OPS-SAT!

All the best,
Patrick

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