Posts Tagged ‘ARISSat-1’

ARISS 20th Anniversary SSTV

This weekend has seen another SSTV event from the International Space Station, this time in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station)

The 20 year history of ARISS was displayed through a collection of 12 images highlighting the accomplishments of the project over the last two decades.

As the ISS has orbited the world it has been transmitting the SSTV signals using FM on the usual downlink of 145.800 MHz, here at my QTH in the UK the passes have occurred late at night into the early morning, averaging 3 - 4 reasonable passes each day.

The signal has been very strong and so some excellent low noise images have been received by many people using just modest equipment. While not the greatest technical achievement in the world it nonetheless generates much needed interest in ARISS and amateur space communication.

My own system consisted of the Yaesu FT-857D and MMSSTV running on the shack PC and was left on automatic receive (I was tucked up in bed) and managed to get decent copies of all the images.

Image 8 reminded me of the fun I had back in 2011-2012 of receiving the ARRISAT-1 and was one of the key things that convinced me to finally get off my backside and actually get licensed, even if it took me another 12 months and to this day haven't really cracked satellites myself! My previous blog posts on that can be found at http://nerdsville.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/arissat-1

Here are the best of my images, for a full description of what each one depicts visit http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/anniversary-image-descriptions.html















ARISS 20th Anniversary SSTV

This weekend has seen another SSTV event from the International Space Station, this time in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station)

The 20 year history of ARISS was displayed through a collection of 12 images highlighting the accomplishments of the project over the last two decades.

As the ISS has orbited the world it has been transmitting the SSTV signals using FM on the usual downlink of 145.800 MHz, here at my QTH in the UK the passes have occurred late at night into the early morning, averaging 3 - 4 reasonable passes each day.

The signal has been very strong and so some excellent low noise images have been received by many people using just modest equipment. While not the greatest technical achievement in the world it nonetheless generates much needed interest in ARISS and amateur space communication.

My own system consisted of the Yaesu FT-857D and MMSSTV running on the shack PC and was left on automatic receive (I was tucked up in bed) and managed to get decent copies of all the images.

Image 8 reminded me of the fun I had back in 2011-2012 of receiving the ARRISAT-1 and was one of the key things that convinced me to finally get off my backside and actually get licensed, even if it took me another 12 months and to this day haven't really cracked satellites myself! My previous blog posts on that can be found at http://nerdsville.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/arissat-1

Here are the best of my images, for a full description of what each one depicts visit http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/anniversary-image-descriptions.html















Last Chance for ARISSat-1 is coming up!

Did you know that you’re running out of time if you’ve been planning on working ARISSat-1? Why do you ask? Well, it’s estimated to be re-entering in January or February 2012. So now is the time to use the on board repeater or get an SSTV pic.

An image from the ARISSat-1 SSTV

Photo Courtesy of AMSAT

The satellite was deployed back in August and since then has lost about 60km of altitude, and is estimated to be losing 1.5km per day. This is due to increased drag on the craft from increased solar activity on the atmosphere. From Southgate ARC:

The orbit period changes about 30 seconds per day, and that will increase steadily. Be certain to update your tracking program Keps from Space-Track or CelesTrak before each pass. They issue revised versions 3-5 times daily.

That’s a lot of revisions, so make sure to stay on top of them if you want to work it. Plus any telemetry data the engineers can get from the satellite will help in future flights. If you want more information on ARISSat-1 feel free to check the related stories below or you can check out these stories done here for more info.

73.

ARISSat-1 One Month in Service

This one is going to be a little short, but here is some highlights of the ARISSat-1 on the event of it’s 1 month of service, and the 1 month of me trying to still receive it. While I am not bitter, I do cry myself to sleep sometimes at night, knowing I may never get to hear it. And if you believed that last sentence, I have some bridges in New York City I would like to offer you a great deal on.

So, here are some of the articles I have posted about ARISSat-1:

An image from the ARISSat-1 SSTV

Photo Courtesy of AMSAT

Also, Douglas, KA2UPW/5 has reported that over 3000 frames of telemetry data has been sent in from the satelitte in the last 2 days. So things are still looking good. If you have any images from the SSTV on the satellite, please share them. I would love to see them.

Now, I haven’t really added much more on the ARISSat-1 because I didn’t want to get too bogged down with it. There are a ton of other stores I wanted to touch on as well. And I will be as we move forward. One of which is an Apple Cider Mobile as Autumn approaches and Apple Cider becomes the new beer for the evenings. Along with cider donuts and cheese curds and all the other goodies you can get at those small stores at family apple orchards here in Upstate NY. All this makes for a fun night at the radio on my favorite 2 meter repeater.

73.

Rich also writes a Tech blog and posts stories every Tuesday and Thursday on Q103, The Rock of Albany’s website, as well as Amateur Radio stories every Monday thru Friday on AmiZed Studios and hosts a podcast called The Kim & Rich Show with his fiance’ Kim Dunne.

ARISSat-1 the Easy Way [VIDEO]

If you’re like me and have been wanting to receive signals from ARISSat-1, it is pretty easy. Here’s is a simple way that you can do it in the field, with just something to record audio and a receiver that can hear the satellite on 145.950MHz.

73.

Rich also writes a Tech blog and posts stories every Tuesday and Thursday on Q103, The Rock of Albany’s website, as well as Amateur Radio stories every Monday thru Friday here on AmiZed Studios.

Free (As In Beer) Satellite Track Software – GPredict

So after ARISSat-1 was deployed, I have been trying to receive a signal from it. Specifically SSTV signals. I haven’t been very sucsessful. For one, I haven’t been able to be at the radio when it makes a pass because of work and family commitments. I’m hoping this week, I’ll have more time to sit down and be there to listen for. But the first thing is, I need to know where it is. 

Screen shot of MacPort installed Gpredict

Screen shot of MacPort installed Gpredict

I took a look at some of the tracking software out there for my Mac and found that there is only really one program that I could find for the Mac natively, that was “fully” featured with all the bells and whistles. But it was pretty steeply priced for me at $98. I decided t see what else was out there for free. The only one I found that I liked, was Gpredict. It’s written for Linux, but there are ports for it for Windows and Mac, and it’s open source, so it’s free.

The only draw back was, it wasn’t native, so I had to install from source or use MacPorts, a project that ports open source Linux software to the Mac platform, since Mac OS X is based on FreeBSD. The install took me about an hour because of all the dependencies needed for GPredict. MacPort installed them all with no problem.

So after some false starts and finally reading some more info on it, I managed to get it running on my Macbook Pro. After I ran it for the first time, it saw that the info for the satellites was out of date and asked to do an update, giving me the option to do it online or through a file I downloaded.

Gpredict supports fast and accurate real-time satellite tracking using the NORAD SGP4/SDP4 algorithms, No software limit on the number of satellites or ground stations and Radio and antenna rotator control for autonomous tracking.

After uploading and doing a little more research, I was able to find ARISSat-1 on the list, under RadioSkaf-V. Once I found it, I was able to track it no problem. Now, it’s just a matter of having the time to do it. In the meantime, I encourage you to check out GPredict, and try it out. Since it’s free you’ve got nothing to lose.

But if you also have a suggestion for Mac satellite tracking software, please, share it in the comments, and share any experience you have with GPredict.

73.

Rich also writes a Tech blog and posts stories every Tuesday and Thursday on Q103, The Rock of Albany’s website, as well as Amateur Radio stories every Monday thru Friday here on AmiZed Studios.

ARISSat-1 First Receive Attempt

Like many hams, I started trying to simply receive ARISSat-1.  My first opportunity was today around 7 AM MT (1300z).  ARISSat-1 was successfully launched (really tossed) from the ISS on Wednesday, 3 August.  I blogged about these events which you can read here.  While I have the Arrow satellite antenna from Arrow antennas, due to work commitments beginning also at 7 AM, I would be unable to go outside and receive the transmission properly.  This meant my only real chance of hearing anything would be via my Diamond 2m/70cm vertical I have attached to the side of my house.  While this solution is less than ideal, I should be able to copy some of the transmitted signals as the satellite passed overhead.

photo

 The 7 AM pass would be my most ideal opportunity with the setup I had available to hear anything.  As you can see from the image to the right, the ARISSat-1 would pass just to the north of Denver metro area.  By the way, the image is a screen capture of the iPhone app titled GoSatWatch.  This app is available in the iTunes store for iOS devices (there is even an iPad version).  The price is $9.99 and is well worth it if you enjoy working the satellites and don’t want to have to lug around a laptop everywhere you go.  In my situation, I can’t easily work satellites from my QTH.  I don’t have a large enough yard and trees and other houses are in the way.  I drive up to a parking lot which overlooks Cherry Creek reservoir.  From this position I can very easily operate the birds without trees and buildings getting in my way. 

Again, I would not have time to drive up to this parking area and would only be able to hear what my vertical antenna was capable of receiving.  My expectation level was set very low and just simply hearing a faint signal would have been considered major success.  I had no expectation of actually being able to copy any audio or data/video.  I had heard reports of other hams being able to hear via an HT and stock rubber duck antenna, so the wait began.

Around 1150z I turned on the digital recorder and just simply set it next to my Yaesu VX-6 hand-held transceiver connected to the outside Diamond antenna.  I’ve used the VX-6 to listen to other birds before and have setup frequencies for some of the common amateur radio satellites.  My interest in satellite operations has sort of come and gone over the last 3-4 years.  I’ll admit I’ve yet to have an actual QSO via satellite.  But have my process for receiving down fairly well.  I do plan to try for QSO’s on AO-51 this weekend. 

Anyway, around 1157z I began hearing faint noises in the static.  I had the squelch open and from 1157z through 1204z I managed to hear both audio (female and male voice transmission) as well as SSTV tones.  Thankfully the conference call just required me to listen and I sort of did this at about 50%.  Most meetings never start on time and this one was no exception.  By the time the satellite had traveled further south, the signals dropped and I shut off the recorder and turned down the squelch. 

2011-08-05 134430 arssat

Once my meeting was finished, I listened to the audio recording and managed to pull out the “secret word” and I plugged the recorder into my Rigblaster and used Ham Radio Deluxe and DM780 to decode the SSTV data.  The image to the left is what I managed to copy.  I’m impressed, especially considering I wasn’t actually pointing an antenna in the exact direction of the satellite pass.  Just about anyone with an external antenna can do the same thing.  You just need to know when to expect the satellite and listen for it. 

If you want to try your hand at listening for ARISSat-1 just set your 2m transceiver on 145.950 and at the very least setup an external antenna.  At present time, ARISSat-1 is just slightly ahead of the ISS which can be tracked here.  You might also want to check out Orbitron.  Orbitron is PC software available to track just about any type of satellite orbiting the earth.  I would expect ARISSat-1 to be added very soon.  But just track the ISS and you should be OK for now.

Until next time…

73 de KD0BIK


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