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Cubesat Telemetry (Was: 13 Amateur Satellites to Launch in June)



galysh@juno.nrl.navy.mil wrote:
> I like the beeping cubesats. It gives me 
> opportunities to show kids how to track satellites and collect telemetry 
> at the cansat summer camp I run every year.
> [SNIP] 

As a telemetry fan myself, I think this is great!
Lots of satellites, lots of signals, lots of fun.
I'm excited.

However, there seems to be little or no documentation
(for SOME of the cubesats) on what the telemetry format
will be and what the downlinked bits will mean.

I happen to like chasing satellites and writing
DSP programs to demodulate their signals, but
how will amateurs know how to decode the telemetry
into what it MEANS? The AMSAT cubesat page has links
for each of the cubesats, but some of those cubesat
web sites don't seem to up and running anymore. And,
without the telemetry format and the telemetry
equations, the packets just contain meaningless
numbers and bytes. Oh, the chaos on amsat-bb as
everyone posts the telemetry they received...

I shudder at the thought of trying to switch
between a dozen completely DIFFERENT telemetry
programs all at the same time or within a few
minutes of each other as cubesat after cubesat
flies overhead. By analogy, imagine having to
use a different Internet browser for each website
you wanted to visit!

I personally would rather have one master program
(perhaps tied in with WiSP?) that controls the
radio/modem and that collects and displays all
the telemetry for all the satellites. I would
imagine that this would be a more efficient means
for a diverse group of amateurs to collect the
telemetry and get it to the people who want and
need to get the telemetry than just having everyone
go off and do their own thing and post random
snippets of telemetry to amsat-bb.

Would anyone want to help me write a master CubeTlm
program, or at least help me get all the telemetry
formats and telemetry equations documented together
into one place? If so, email me.

Excited and waiting for the launch,

Douglas KA2UPW/5
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