Friday, November 22, 2013
Having Fun with FUNcube!
Yesterday marked a successful launch of the UK's FUNcube amateur radio satellite. The satellite contains both educational experiments and a linear transponder, and for these initial orbits the satellite is relaying telemetry containing data about the satellite's status (voltages, temperatures, etc). The FUNcube designers have built software that will automatically read and decode the telemetry from an attached software-defined radio (the FUNcube Dongle Pro+), and relay this telemetry to a central data warehouse. This way, students in the UK (and around the world) can see the status of the satellite in almost real-time!
Right before launch, I set up my home station with the software to record and upload the telemetry, and configured my satellite tracking program (SatPC32) to steer the antennas (a pair of VHF yagis) and track the satellite in the expected orbit.
The first visible pass of the satellite over California was around 9:30am yesterday morning, and all systems worked great! Not only was the satellite operating perfectly, but the home station was able to decode and transmit its telemetry to the warehouse. After the pass, I could see on the website that KB5WIA had uploaded 121 frames of data to the warehouse.
I'll leave the system tracking FUNcube for the next while, to add to the pool of satellite data that's being collected right now. It's nice to be part of a truly global effort to help out with this satellite. Fun stuff!
More details on the data being received at:
And lots more details on the FUNcube project itself at: