Seven! Count 'Em Seven! CubeSats Delivered to Orbit

The April 28, 2008 launch of 10 satellites aboard the Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-9 (PSLV-9) rocket included 7 amateur radio cubesat, and 3 commercial/scientific satellites. Watch for late breaking operational messages via the amsat-bb and detailed information on each of the satellite's respective web pages.

The payload included:

Cute-1.7      Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
SEEDS     Nihon University, Japan
Delfi-C3      Technical University of Delft, Netherlands
AAUSat-II     Aalborg University Cubesat, Denmark
COMPASS-1  Fachhochschule Aachen, Germany
CanX-2      University of Toronto, Canada
CanX-6      University of Toronto, Canada
Cartosat 2A   Indian Space Research Organization (non-amateur radio)
IMS 1       Indian Space Research Organization (non-amateur radio)
Rubin 8-AIS   OHB-System, Germany (non-amateur radio)


An excellent source of information for each of these satellites can be found at: http://space.skyrocket.de/index_frame.htm (scroll down to the April 28 data). Also see Ralph W0RPK Cubesat Webpage at: http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/CubeSat.htm.

Wouter, PE4WJ provided the following status of Delfi-C3:

+ Telemetry indicates that all solar panels and antennas have deployed properly and indicates nominal values for all housekeeping values.

+ Payload data has started to stream in, enabling the team to generate IV curves of the Thin Film Solar Cell experiment. (RASCAL users can view the IV curves by clicking Options-->show IV curves.)

+ The spacecraft is operating in science mode, we have had one orbit in emergency mode, which was most probably due to a databus issue.

+ Amateur radio operators have sent over 40000 frames of data using RASCAL, the Delfi-C3 telemetry capture software.

+ The spacecraft has decided to consistently use the backup radio on 145.930 MHz for its telemetry downlink. The primary radio on 145.870 MHz may be switched on by the groundstation so monitor both frequencies.

+ We have successfully switched the spacecraft to its primary radio on 145.870MHz temporarily, after this switch, the satellite came back on the 145.930MHz downlink. Telemetry indicated that the primary radio on 145.870MHz is healthy and working fine so that is good news. Note that the satellite will normally transmit on 145.930MHz for the time being, unless we command her to go to 145.870MHz.

+ The team is working on the issue with the downlink TX switching off later into the sunlit side of the orbit, which is the reason why Delfi-C3 has not been heard on some passes. It may switch off when the computer does not receive data but the transmitter itself is OK.

Hiroki Ashida at the Tokyo Institute of Technology reported on the status of their Cute-1.7 + APD II satellite. The team is monitoring an anomaly where the telemetry received via FM packet shows very low battery voltage while the CW telemetry reports a nominal reading. If this low voltage condition exists the satellite may be in danger. Further testing in the lab has duplicated this anomaly and the team has confirmed that the batteries are in good shape at this time.

The Cute-1.7 team requests telemetry information from radio amateurs around the world. The satellite transmits its beacon at 437.275 MHz using CW Morse Code. The telemetry data in the beacon includes the battery voltage. Details are explained on their web-page: http://lss.mes.titech.ac.jp/ssp/cute1.7/cwtelemetry_e.html. The packet telemetry is only enabled when the satellite is over Japan.

Masahiko Yamazaki,JQ1YGV at Nihon University reported that the SEEDS satellite is currently overcharging so the team has enabled the FM mode to transmit the DigiTalker and SSTV pictures on 437.485 MHz. See: http://cubesat.aero.cst.nihon-u.ac.jp/index.html

The CanX team reported their spacecraft were doing well, "So far healthy telemetry from both. At some point CanX-2 was generating some 1.8 A and CanX-6 was at 1.4 A. Good temperature on both. CanX-2 propulsion system is holding pressure. We are continuing with commissioning. Both satellites are currentlytransmitting on the Space Research 2.2 GHz downlink. The UHF transmitter on CanX-2 would only be active over the ground station in Toronto, Canada.

Signal reports of the cubesats have been received from around the world. Here is a brief example captured from the amsat-bb ...

Just heard great signals of Delfic3 on 145.930. - Rob PE1ITR

Received good signals from DelfiC3 tonight in IO91TK 15km west of London. Nice to hear another satellite on 2m. Just love that low path loss! Well done Delft University of Technology. - David G0MRF

Very strong signal from Delfi telemetry transmitter. Good work and congratulations to the Delfi team! - Jean-Pierre VE2AHD

Delfi-C3 received in Belgium during the third pass. 194 packets received, decoded with RASCAL and sent to the command station. Signals were loud and decodable during 90 % of the pass. Congratulations to the team. Long life to Delfi-C3. - Claude ON5QI

Just had my one shot for the morning and got an excellent signal, with AOS and LOS within seconds of predicted. The RASCAL program is slick, and nicely accessed the servers to upload the data. - Alan WA4SCA

Both the CUTE1.7 (437.275) and the SEEDS (437.485) CW signals were monitored in Brno JN85HF. - Mirek OK2AQK

Using the latest kepler sets, automatic doppler correction, TS2000X, 2x8 elements beam with no pre-amp picked up the CUTE-1.7 signal beautifully all the way from AOS to LOS ... less than one degree elevation from a 100mW transmitter in space. Fantastic satellite! - Henk, PA3GUO

I copied SEEDS this evening at 44 degrees el. in Honolulu. 73 to all and congratulations to the Nihon University Cubesat Team! - Robert NH7WN

I have updated my web site to include SEEDS SSTV. See http://www.turlington.supanet.com - Robert G8ATE

Heard SEEDS digi-talker and SSTV on 2008-05-03. - Edward BX1AD

I have just copied Cute-1.7 over here in the UK (Wales - IO81EM) using a Kenwood THD-7 and just its helical antenna. - Ken GW1FKY

The members of AMSAT-India and the Indian Ham fraternity congratulate ISRO for the successful 10 pack satellite launch via the PSLV C9 his morning. We would also congratulate the DELFI team, CUTE team and the SEEDS team for their amateur radio satellites which are now placed in orbit. VU2POP Secy AMSAT-India

[ANS thanks all of the Cubesat Teams for the above information]

Additional information