Happy Birthday FUNcube-1 (AO73)
November 21st 2019, marks the sixth birthday of our very first CubeSat mission, FUNcube-1.
A very short time after the launch from Yasny in Russia and within a few minutes from deployment, the very first frame of data from the low power transmitter on board, was detected and decoded by ZS1LS in South Africa. He was able to relay the data over the internet from his Dashboard to the Data Warehouse and the numbers, appeared, as if by magic, at the launch party being held at the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park.
After a very brief check out, we were able to switch the transmitter to full power, again at the very first attempt, and were quite amazed at the strength of the signal from the 300mW transmitter on 145.935 MHz. The transponder was then switched on and successfully tested.
We finished the day with a request to AMSAT-NA for an Oscar number and were delighted to receive the AO73 Oscar 73 designation!
Since then, FUNcube-1, with a launch mass of less than 1kg, has operated continuously with only a very few interruptions. In excess of 32000 orbits, 750 million miles travelled, and with more than 7 million data packets downloaded and stored in the Data Warehouse.
The spacecraft is presently in continuous sunlight and to convert as much of the sun’s thermal energy into RF (to help keep it cool), it remains in continuous high power telemetry mode. We anticipate this situation will continue until early May next after which we expect to have 3 months with some eclipse periods.
Of course, EO88 – Nayif 1 continues to operate autonomously with the transponder active when in eclipse and JO99 – JY1Sat, which includes image downloads, and which was launched just under a year ago, also remain active on a 24/7 basis.
We still receive many requests for Fitter message uploads for school events…please contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org giving us at least two weeks notice.
We continue to be very grateful to all the many stations around the world that continue to upload the telemetry that they receive to our Data Warehouse. We really need this data to provide a continuous resource for educational outreach.
With that in mind, here is a link to a previous update which shows the correct current Data Warehouse address and the Dashboard software that can be used for each spacecraft