Vega-C: Inaugural launch Flight VV21(MEO orbit) - 2022-07-13 13:13 UTC

Placed into MEO orbit

Onboard:

  1. AstroBio-CubeSat (ABCS) at 435.600 9k6 AX25 G3RUH IARU Sat Coordinator

Release of AstroBioCubeSat 7795.7 seconds after liftoff

  1. GreenCube at 435.310 GMSK 1k2 or 4k8 IARU Sat Coordinator

  2. Celesta at 436.500MHz, GMSK 2k4, 9k6 or AFSK 1k2 AX25: IARU Sat Coordinator

  3. MT-CUBE-2 at 436.750MHz, GMSK 2k4, 9k6 or AFSK 1k2 AX25: IARU Sat Coordinator

Flight information: https://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/VEGA/vega_c_media_kit_english.pdf

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These cubesats are launched into a ~5900 km circular orbit at 70.16 deg orbit, so will provide for interesting tracking requirements, as they’ll be above the horizon for a long time.

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Here is an estimate of the orbit, using a 200x5893 km transfer orbit to check the circularization burn timings. Use 84002 for scheduling.

Vega-C transfer orbit estimate (valid for 1h23m after launch)
1 84001U          22194.48282407  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    09
2 84001  70.1600  50.0000 3020276   0.0000  30.0000  9.48868795    01
Vega-C payload orbit estimate (valid after 1h23m after launch)
1 84002U          22194.52504630  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    00
2 84002  70.1600  50.0000 0000815  30.0000 147.0000  6.38669028    02

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Huge thanks to both of you for this wealth of pre-launch info!

I have to say that the footprint from that TLE estimate is impressive.

-Scott, K4KDR

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Online (under development) communications and Ham radio information:

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You are more then welcome, also a big thanks to the team that reached out.

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Just a quick heads-up, as we discussed this in satnogs matrix channel, there is a potential issue with the duration of the observations for tracking these satellites. We have some long (~1h) observations from stations in Network but we are not sure if RPi will be able to perform them, with the most significant issue to be the size of the generated artifacts(audio and waterfall).

For this reason a solution that can be implemented is to split observation to smaller ones, for example splitting 1h observation to 4 of 15min, back to back observations. I’m going to work on implementing this functionality in the next days in order to be tested and ready for the launch.

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If you can, please consider IQ artifacts as well.

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For this specific use case, you already need to manually configure the IQ storage file location, add an external USB disk drive and write the IQ data to that location.

ENABLE_IQ_DUMP="True"
IQ_DUMP_FILENAME="<USB disk location>/iq-file.raw"
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Agreed, except that I am using the ram-based temp storage as described on Understanding satnogs-flowgraphs - SatNOGS Wiki

If Fredy can consider how IQ files will be handled when he implements the split observation feature, anyone using the wiki instructions for IQ recording would benefit.

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Just to be clear, I’m not going to change anything in client side, the whole implementation will be on Network and as a work around for not having long duration observations. About IQ for those who have them enabled is one more case that this split of a long observations is needed.

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With @PE0SAT suggestions in DB we are almost ready for tomorrow’s launch:

Satellite Temporary NORAD ID
ASTROBIO 99385
MTCube 2 99384
CELESTA 99383
GREENCUBE 99382

Also in Network there have been deployed changes that allow splitting long observations, like the ones expected for these satellites, to shorter ones. The default observation duration for splitting is 12min with a default 1min period between observations. These values can be changed in the advanced options in the scheduling page. If you spot anything unusual during scheduling let me know in a new thread or by opening an issue in satnogs-network repo.

The satellites will be available for scheduling at least 1h before launch.

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A new TLE set generate for 2022-07-13 11:13 UTC launch time by @iu0sia:

1 99999U 22099ZZ  22194.55763886  .00001282  00000-0  12934-3 0  9998
2 99999 070.1558 307.6409 0004000 006.3100 304.0400 06.42724015   008

However the launch is postponed for 1h, so we will need to generate new TLE set.

Also in DB there have been added two more satellites, ALPHA and TRISAT-R that have been declined coordination by IARU as non-amateur missions, however they both seem that will transmit in radio amateur frequencies. The new list for this launch:

Satellite Temporary NORAD ID
ASTROBIO 99385
MTCube 2 99384
CELESTA 99383
GREENCUBE 99382
TRISAT-R 99381
ALPHA 99380
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From the mission center image it seems that the cubesats are deployed near Antarctica (the label says about cubesat at the bottom right):

by using both TLE sets by @cgbsat (vega-c payload) and @iu0sia(astrobio) we can see that closer to the deployment location is the one @cgbsat produced, so we are going to use that set, of course by updating it to the right launch time:

Stay tuned for the TLE set and any other updates, if you want to participate to the live discussion join our matrix channel.

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With launch time at 2022-07-13 13:13 UTC, base on @cgbsat TLE set:

ASTROBIO
1 99385U 14900A   22194.60837963  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    01
2 99385  70.1600  80.0821 0000815  30.0000 147.0000  6.38669028    06
MTCube 2
1 99384U 14900A   22194.60837963  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    00
2 99384  70.1600  80.0821 0000815  30.0000 147.0000  6.38669028    05
CELESTA
1 99383U 14900A   22194.60837963  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    09
2 99383  70.1600  80.0821 0000815  30.0000 147.0000  6.38669028    04
GREENCUBE
1 99382U 14900A   22194.60837963  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    08
2 99382  70.1600  80.0821 0000815  30.0000 147.0000  6.38669028    03
TRISAT-R
1 99381U 14900A   22194.60837963  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    07
2 99381  70.1600  80.0821 0000815  30.0000 147.0000  6.38669028    02
ALPHA
1 99380U 14900A   22194.60837963  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    06
2 99380  70.1600  80.0821 0000815  30.0000 147.0000  6.38669028    01

EDIT:
Keep in mind that these TLE sets are preliminary, as the launch is still ongoing they may change. In that case will update with a new post here.

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Latest update on TLE sets by @cgbsat:

ASTROBIO
1 99385U          22194.64092593  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    03
2 99385  70.1560  77.2934 0004386   6.3300 254.0000  6.42724700    03
MTCube 2
1 99384U          22194.64092593  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    02
2 99384  70.1560  77.2934 0004386   6.3300 254.0000  6.42724700    02
CELESTA
1 99383U          22194.64092593  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    01
2 99383  70.1560  77.2934 0004386   6.3300 254.0000  6.42724700    01
GREENCUBE
1 99382U          22194.64092593  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    00
2 99382  70.1560  77.2934 0004386   6.3300 254.0000  6.42724700    00
TRISAT-R
1 99381U          22194.64092593  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    09
2 99381  70.1560  77.2934 0004386   6.3300 254.0000  6.42724700    09
ALPHA
1 99380U          22194.64092593  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    08
2 99380  70.1560  77.2934 0004386   6.3300 254.0000  6.42724700    08
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Bellow scheduled observations for the first 12h. Have in mind that TLE sets may be updated in the next hours, so don’t schedule far in the future.

Satellite Temporary NORAD ID Scheduled Observations
ASTROBIO 99385 157
MTCube 2 99384 146
CELESTA 99383 149
GREENCUBE 99382 173
TRISAT-R 99381 39
ALPHA 99380 44
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Several good observations from ASTROBIO, MTCube 2, CELESTA and GREENCUBE!

ASTROBIO:
https://network.satnogs.org/observations/?future=0&good=1&bad=0&unknown=0&failed=0&norad=99385

MTCube 2:
https://network.satnogs.org/observations/?future=0&good=1&bad=0&unknown=0&failed=0&norad=99384

CELESTA:
https://network.satnogs.org/observations/?future=0&good=1&bad=0&unknown=0&failed=0&norad=99383

GREENCUBE:
https://network.satnogs.org/observations/?future=0&good=1&bad=0&unknown=0&failed=0&norad=99382

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New TLE sets by @EelkeVisser based on strf observations:

MTCube 2
1 99384U          22194.64092593  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    02
2 99384  70.1560  77.2934 0004386   6.3300 251.8811  6.42724700    07
CELESTA
1 99383U          22194.64092593  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    01
2 99383  70.1560  77.2934 0004386   6.3300 251.7086  6.42724700    09
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One more TLE update for GREENCUBE by @EelkeVisser:

GREENCUBE
1 99382U          22194.64092593  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    00
2 99382  70.1560  77.2934 0004386   6.3300 251.8144  6.42724700    04
3 Likes