[amsat-bb] Solution to cubesat tracking

Rob Hardenberg PE1ITR rob at itr-datanet.com
Fri Apr 20 14:36:33 PDT 2007

To all Cubesat designers on the bb,

I find it very hard and difficult to track and find the cubesat beacons. The reason is they are
transmitting short packets once every 2 or 5 minutes.
I was thinking on a simple solution to this problem. Why not running the beacons with continues
wave on very low power? Say 2 ~ 4 milliwatt or so.
On a packet burst the beacon can switch on high power, but in between its switching back to low
power cw. This way its not doing to much on the cubesats power budget and it would easy to track.

This idea is already been tested succesfull. The last few months we are doing tests with the 4
milliwatt 216.980MHz beacon on RAFT. Signals received on a 10 el yagi are very good. I could track
the raft milliwatt beacon back to 3 degrees above the horizon with realtime dsp. On my webpage are
the results of these experiments: http://www.pe1itr.com/satellite/raft.htm

Maybe this idea could be used in de next cubesat launch?

73 Rob PE1ITR

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