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GAUTENG SDR WORKSHOP POSTPONED BY ONE WEEK
The date for the AMSAT SA/SARL SDR workshop has been moved on by one week to Saturday 19 August 2017. The change of date was necessary to ensure that supplies of the two different dongles can be assured.
The programme will be in two parts. From 9 to 11 am the workshop will focus on the VHF/UHF dongle with subjects like receiving amateur satellites, receiving weather satellites and some amateur astronomy projects and antennas. The second part from 11 am to 2pm will focus on HF dongle, RF noise floor monitoring and automatic recording of data.
No final date for the Cape Town workshop which will mainly focus on the VHF/UHF dongle has been set. Deon Coetzee ZR1DE is planning for around mid-September 2017.
To stay informed about the workshops, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and your name will be added to the mailing list.
AMSAT SA CUBESAT, KLETSKOUS, MAKES GOOD PROGRESS
Speaking at the AMSAT SA Space Symposium held on 27 May at the Innovation Hub Hannes Coetzee said that good progress has been made on KLETSKOUS.
The University of Stellenbosch has come on-board and the optimization of the space frame was addressed by a mechanical engineering student, Francois Oberholzer. Francois is now busy with post graduate studies and manufactured a prototype of this optimised design.
Hannes Coetzee admiring the new Space frame developed by Francois Oberholzer (left), based on the Deon Coetzee ZS1DE original design, with Fritz Sutherland jr ZS6FSJ
Deon Coetzee is developing the mounting and deployment mechanisms for the antennas as well as for the multiple solar panels on KLETSKOUS.
A Command Link will be required for housekeeping purposes and also maybe for in-flight reprogramming of the onboard controller, although this is risky business as the satellite may be killed if the reprogramming is unsuccessful. The best option would be to launch the satellite with flawless software already loaded, if at all possible.
A Scheduler will switch the transponder on and off at pre-determined times. These times will correlate to certain areas being over flown by the satellite. It will be possible to set the onboard clock of the Controller to ensure that the Scheduler performs correctly.
A Telemetry Downlink will be required. Some of the parameters that must be monitored on the ground include battery voltage and temperatures, orientation of the satellite via the radiation sensors in the centres of the five solar panels and the output voltages of the solar panels. It is planned that the Command and Telemetry functions be based on those implemented on the High Altitude Balloon Experiment, HABEX. All the above functionality is under the control of the OBC.
The third prototype On Board Controller (OBC) has been completed and the house keeping software is currently being developed and tested by Brian McKenzie.
Electric Power System (EPS)
In the photograph: Fritz Sutherland explains the PSU to Francois Oberholzer with Frik Wolff ZS6FZ looking on.
For the full document presented at the space symposium download here.
Getting ready for Amateur Radio’s first geostationary satellite
Find out more at the AMSATSA Space Symposium how easy it is to get up and running
Download brochure here
If all goes according to plan the Qatar Satellite Company’s second satellite, Es’hailSat-2, will be placed in a geostationary orbit by a Space-X Falcon-9 rocket in the third quarter 2017. The Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) managed to secure the privilege to have an Amateur Radio payload as part of Es’hailSat-2. Discussions regarding the payload were held with experts from AMSAT-DL, AMSAT-OH and AMSAT-UK.
In a paper presented at the 2016 AMSAT Space Symposium, Hannes Coetzee, ZS6BZP explained that the gain of an antenna on a geostationary satellite is limited by the area that needs to be covered (the satellite’s footprint). With too much gain the beam width becomes very narrow leading to areas not being illuminated by the antenna on the satellite. This is the case for spot beams. In order to cover all the visible Earth from geostationary orbit the beam width may not be less than 17.4° leading to a maximum gain of ~20 dB.
Read the full article here and learn about an inexpensive way to set up a ground station.
AMSAT Kletskous transponder
Download the presentation (PDF) here
Watch the video presentation by Jacques Roux here
AMSATSA DISPLAY AT F'SATI (CPUT)
Photo by ZR1DE
MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN KLETSKOUS EPS
The electric power system (EPS) is the sub-system that provides the satellite with power. The sub-system started out as a set of specifications and requirements which evolved to a basic block diagram. From there a few simple conceptual experiments eventually led to the first prototype. The first prototype was based on 10 V (open-circuit) solar panels, a 2-cell lithium polymer battery and 2 switch mode step-down converters for 3.3 V and 5 V power conditioning. Taking the risk of fire or explosion was somewhat justified by the good energy to weight and power to weight ratio it offered. However, in the meantime a new battery technology has emerged from the laboratory stage to being (fairly) commonly available on the market. This new technology is the lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery. Also based on lithium it still offers a fairly high energy to weight but it is inherently much safer and has electrical characteristics that are very similar to the lithium polymer and lithium ion type batteries. Another advantage is the longer expected lifetime of the LiFePO4 battery.
GET INTO SATELLITES WITH FOX 1A
An easy to operate satellite recently launched by AMSAT NA
Get all the details here
CPUT planning a successor to Africa’s first nanosatellite
The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) is planning a successor to its first CubeSat and has set it vision on ship-tracking. In a paper presented at the recent SAAMSAT space Symposium in Pretoria Daniel de Villiers, Development Engineer at French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI) at CUPT, said that ZACube-2 will be the second satellite in F’SATI’s ZACube-I nanosatellite mission series. These missions are developed at the French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI) and the Africa Space Innovation Centre (ASIC) at CPUT with funding principally from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF). Development of some subsystems has been ongoing for a number of years and has yielded a suite of commercial CubeSat parts that is ready for use in the satellite.
Download the paper here
AMSAT SA SPACE SYMPOSIUM
Anton Janovski ZR6AIC demonstrating the Raspberry Pi based 70cm/2m transponder at the AMSAT SA Space Symposium
Thank you to the sponsors who helped AMSAT SA to hold a very successful Space Symposium
Listen to Hannes Coetzee ZS6BZP recorded at the AMSAT SA 2017 Space Symposium. Listen here
Section dedicated to Software Defined Radio
applications in space.
Listen to an interview about SDR with Deon Coetzee ZR1DE here
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AMSAT SA is building its own
Listen to an interview with Deon Coetzee ZR1DE Click here
African Radio Amateurs will soon have access to a geostationary satellite
In the next few years radio amateurs will have access to two geostationary platforms, one that will service the Americas and another one, particular attractive to South Africans, that will be positioned at 26° East giving 24 hour access to Africa, Europe and the Middle East. These two geostationary projects will be included in commercial platforms similar to Amateur Radio Satellite (AMSAT) South Africa seeking to have an amateur radio transponder included in South Africa’s next satellite currently designated as EOS-1 (Earth Observation Satellite). Read the full story here
RS, the component supplier in South Africa has become
a component sponsor for the KLETSkous project.
TRAX SPONSOR PCBs for KLETSkous More about TRAX
Avnet : a broad line supplier of semiconductors, passives, magnetics, enclosures, optoelectronic, GPS / GSM, interconnect, electromechanical, embedded products and components
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