IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination

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CU-Alpha Updated: 11 Mar 2024   Responsible Operator Joshua Umansky-Castro KD2WTQ
Supporting Organisation Cornell University  
Contact Person jsu4@cornell.edu.nospam  
Headline Details: The focus of the mission is to increase flight heritage for small, with four self powered radios called Chipsats. The Chipsat design is open source, and will contribute to the amateur radio art by providing amateurs worldwide with an inexpensive, small and easy to use UHF telemetry option to support amateur telemetry activities on Earth and in space. The Alpha CubeSat mission will use the Chipsats to support operating a small light sail into low Earth orbit. This novel sail architecture fully separates from the CubeSat that deploys it, essentially becoming its own free-flying spacecraft. The light sail can be tracked by telemetry using the Chipsats. When in sunlight, the four ChipSats will power on and transmit telemetry from sensors (GPS position, temperature, acceleration, and angular velocity). Collecting this telemetry on the ground is essential for tracking the sail. Compliance: The mission is in compliance with provisions 1.56 and 1.57 as this is a technical investigation carried out by amateurs (university club students) for the purpose of self-training and technology development in an academic context (no pecuniary interest). The mission also complies with Article 25. Transmissions to ground stations are strictly satellite telemetry. Transmissions from the spacecraft are not encoded. The space station call sign shall be transmitted at regular intervals. Contribution to advancement of amateur satellite service: This mission establishes flight heritage for the next generation of ChipSats (gram-scale spacecraft w/ milliwatt-level transmitters) and shall be the first mission to verify a communications link with low-gain amateur ground stations. This is an important step in the democratization of space. For just $200 of equipment ($100 per spacecraft and $100 for ground station) amateur radio operators could achieve communications with an Amateur satellite. Furthermore, the mission exercises the TinyGS global network of low powered, low-cost ground stations. Participation: Due to the limited orbital lifetime of the sail (see 5.7), there may only be a few passes over the ground station at Cornell University. The Alpha CubeSat mission therefore plans to enlist the help of amateur radio enthusiasts around the world, primarily through an established open-source ground station network known as TinyGS. These ground stations shall share received telemetry with a central database, allowing Cornell students to understand the sail’s deorbit trajectory and attitude kinematics. Proposing a UHF downlink using spread spectrum FSK, specifically LoRa modulation, shall be used for this mission. The selected LoRa parameters are as follows: Spreading factor: 12 Coding Rate: 5 Sync Word: 18 Preamble Length: 8 Bandwidth: 125KHz These LoRa settings correspond to: Chip Rate: 125000 chips/s Symbol Rate: 30.52 sym/s Data Rate: 12.18 bytes/s Planning a SpaceX launch to the ISS in August 2024 with CySat-1, BLAST, Foras Promineo, EagleSat-2 and DORA. **A downlink on 437.400 MHz has been coordinated**
Application Date: 23 Jan 2024   Freq coordination completed on 11 Mar 2024

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