UKube-1 CubeSat Completes Mission

From AMSAT News Service:

UKube-1, the UK Space Agency’s first national spacecraft, has now completed
its nominal mission following over 14 months of operations. Discussion is
underway with AMSAT-UK about the possibility of taking over UKube-1 operations
to continue its educational and outreach activities.

Launched in July 2014, UKube-1 is a technology demonstration mission with a
broad set of objectives aimed at attracting and training future generations of
engineers, encouraging collaboration across sectors and institutions, fast
tracking space technology development and engaging with students.

As a 3 unit CubeSat (30x30x10cm), flying 4 main payloads, with all the key
subsystems of much larger satellites, UKube-1 remains one of the most advanced
CubeSats ever built. Despite some technical challenges in orbit, the mission
has achieved a range of milestones including:

• delivery into the correct planned orbit (around 650km, sun-synchronous)
• successful deployment of solar panels and antenna
• good battery health
• slow spin rate measured
• uplink and downlink capabilities checked, including Large Data Transfer,
downlink at 3 speeds, and redundant communications mode
• all core payloads commissioned and data collected for each
• on-board camera technology successfully tested
• data downlinked from multiple ground stations across the globe

UKube-1 has also helped maintain the UK’s leading position in the CubeSat
sector. Participation in the mission placed Clyde Space in an excellent
position to capitalize on the fast growing global nanosatellite market. The
company has experienced 100% year on year growth, both in turnover and
employees, as a direct result from involvement in UKube-1, and is firmly
established as a global leader.

Mark McCrum, Bright Ascension Ltd, said:
“UKube-1 provided us with an invaluable opportunity to gain flight heritage
for our software technology and to get deeply involved in the operation of a
complex CubeSat mission. It gave a huge boost to our credibility as a space
software provider and has been instrumental in winning further work.”

Craig Clark, CEO Clyde Space Ltd, said:
“UKube-1 represents a pivotal achievement in the development and growth of
Clyde Space. The project moved the company from being a spacecraft subsystems
supplier to providing full missions for our customers. To give some context to
the extent that Ukube-1 has had to our business, Clyde Space has more than
quadrupled in size in the last 3 years and there are currently over 60 CubeSats
planned through production here in Glasgow over the next 18 months. The return
on investment for Ukube-1 in terms of jobs and export sales for the UK has been
outstanding and is a great example of industry and the UK Space Agency working
together to put the UK at the forefront of global space technology.”

Professor Andrew Holland, Open University, added:
“Involvement in the UKube-1 mission, though our C3D instrument, has had a
positive effect on our research and technology program within the Space
Instrumentation Group at the Open University, as well as a positive effect on
our technology partners in the project; XCAM Ltd and e2v Ltd. The project has
helped the OU to build a new strand of instrument development within the group,
raised awareness of the CubeSat platform as a potential vehicle to accelerate
the development of scientific space instrumentation, and has provided early in-
orbit-demonstration of technologies. The mission introduced us to new academic
and industrial collaborators operating in the space sector and supported the
career development of the young engineers and scientists working on the

STFC’s RAL Space provided the Ground Station for the mission at Chilbolton
Observatory in Hampshire UK, and UKube-1 operations were commanded from there.

Mission Manager Dr Helen Walker said:
“It has been a very exciting time, made possible only with the great support
from all the teams involved.”

Although the Agency-supported mission phase has ended, discussion is underway
with AMSAT-UK about the possibility of taking over UKube-1 operations to
continue its educational and outreach activities until the satellite orbit
naturally degrades.

More information about UKube-1 can be found in the missions section of the UK
Space Agency website


UKube-1 carries a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards which provide an educational
beacon for use by schools and a linear transponder for amateur radio

UKube-1 nominal frequencies:
• 145.840 MHz Telemetry downlink
• 145.915 MHz FUNcube subsystem beacon
• 400 mW inverting SSB/CW linear transponder
– 435.080-435.060 MHz Uplink
– 145.930-145.950 MHz Downlink

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information]

4U1UN as 4U70UN on satellite October 24-25

4u1unWord has been received, that, in celebration of the UN’s 70th
anniversary, 4U1UN will be activated as 4U70UN on Saturday 24 and Sunday
25 October. The operation by the UN ARC will be from the ground-level
garden area within the UNHQ complex in New York City and will be limited
to daylight hours. Satellite operation is included in the plans, but
time and equipment limitations will exist. Blockage from high rise
buildings toward the West is expected. Best passes will be to the East
of FN30as and North/South overhead. Possible satellites in view may be
AO-73, FO-29, AO-85, AO-7, SO-50, XW-2E and XW-2F. Note that 4U1UN is a
separate DXCC entity. See QRZ.COM for QSL info.

AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL, and Virginia Tech Announce Potential Phase-3E Opportunity


AMSAT-DL depiction of the Phase 3-Express (P3E) satellite in 2005-2006. Changes in the antenna configuration are planned in 2015. The rocket motor and propellant tank will not be needed on the proposed launch opportunity.


The P3E spaceframe will have room for scientific and amateur radio payload. Bdale Garbee, KB0G, is shown with the spaceframe at AMSAT-DL in 2005.

Virginia Tech has approached the US Government to fly the Phase 3-E space frame into High Earth Orbit (HEO) in order to support scientific payloads as well as serve as an amateur radio satellite.  During the AMSAT-DL Annual Meeting on 4 JUL 15, the AMSAT-DL membership approved the concept, agreeing to allow the Phase 3-E space frame that is currently stored in Germany to be shipped to Virginia Tech in the USA for further construction, testing and preparation for eventual launch to HEO should the US Government formally agree to fund such a mission.

Should the project move forward, AMSAT-NA will apply for frequency coordination from the IARU Satellite Advisor and satellite licensing from the FCC as the satellite’s initial operator.

Stay tuned to the AMSAT-DL Journal, the AMSAT-NA Journal, and the AMSAT-NA News Service for further developments and details as they become known.

Fox-1A Launch Date

AMSAT has received a launch date for the Fox-1A satellite. Fox-1A will be launched on August 27, 2015 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on the NROL-55 flight for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The launch time has not been announced.

Fox-1A Operating Frequencies include:
Uplink 435.180 MHz FM
Downlink 145.980 MHz FM

The AMSAT Fox series of satellites will include additional opportunities for launch during 2015-2016:

  • Fox-1B will fly with the Vanderbilt University radiation experiments expected in 2016.
  • Fox-1C* will launch on Spaceflight’s maiden mission of the SHERPA multi-cubesat deployer during the 3rd quarter of 2015.
  • Fox-1D is a flight spare for Fox-1C. If not needed as a spare it will become available to launch on any open launch slot which becomes available and be submitted in a Cubesat Launch Initiative (CSLI) proposal in 2015.
  • Fox-1E is built as a flight spare for Fox-1B but has been included in a student science proposal as part of the November, 2014 CSLI for an ELaNa flight slot. If selected the Fox-1B spare will fly as Fox-1E.

* The flight for Fox-1C has been purchased by AMSAT. It is not funded by the Cubesat Launch Initiative ELaNa program. Fundraising for the $125,000 launch costs for Fox-1C are underway. We have commissioned a unique challenge coin for donors who have contributed at the $100 level or higher. This challenge coin is shaped as an isometric view of a Fox-1 CubeSat, complete with details such as the stowed UHF antenna, solar cells, and camera lens viewport. Struck in 3mm thick brass, plated with antique silver, and finished in bright enamel, the coin is scaled to be approximately 1:4 scale, or 1 inch along each of the six sides. The reverse has the AMSAT Fox logo.

You may donate at:

[ANS thanks the Fox-1 Team for the above information]

Fox-1A Flight Unit

Fox-1A Flight Unit

Fox-1 Engineering Prototype.

Fox-1 Engineering Prototype.