PreSat and NanoSail-D Beacon Alerts

Santa Clara University students invite amateur radio operators worldwide to participate with them by receiving beacon signals from PreSat and NanoSail-D, two pioneering cubesat missions that will launch from the Reagan Test Site (Omelek Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of Marshall Islands) on June 23, 2008 at about 7:00 pm PDT. Both spacecraft will go into Low Earth Orbit as secondary payloads aboard a SpaceX Falcon-1 launch vehicle. The vehicles will be launched into a 685x330 km, 9 degree orbit, with line of site communications only possible at low latitudes. PreSat is a 10 x 10 x 30 cm. spacecraft, that will evaluate the performance of a generic biofluidic sample management and handling system for future advanced in situ spaceborne biology experiments. NanoSail-D is a 10 x 10 x 30 cm. spacecraft, which will deploy a solar sail that also will be used as a drag sail to demonstrate orbital debris mitigation technology. These missions follow the earlier efforts of Santa Clara U. students in launching Genesat 1, in 2006.

Of particular interest to the amateur radio satellite community are the PreSat and NanoSail-D beacons. The PreSat beacon will operate at 437.318 MHz FM, sending an AX.25 packet every 5 seconds; the packet contains data about the spacecraft systems operation. The NanoSail-D beacon will operate at 437.269 MHz FM, sending an AX.25 packet every 10 seconds; the packet contains data about the spacecraft systems operation. The beacons will initiate transmission as soon as each spacecraft is deployed from their separate carriers, which are attached to a Ride Share Adapter.  Amateur radio operators are encouraged to submit received beacon packets through the mission websites in order to receive a web-based QSL card.
 
The PreSat mission website at www.presat.org; the NanoSail-D mission website is at www.nanosaild.org. These sites provide general mission and spacecraft information, instructions on how to contact the Santa Clara University PreSat and NanoSail-D Mission Operations teams, and the latest orbit datam beacon packet format, and other information needed to work the beacons.
 
73,
 
Mike Miller
KE7EGC

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