Travis Goodspeed has been experimenting with remote satellite tracking over the internet. His setup uses a satellite dish originally used with a mobile earth station on maritime vessels. Movement of the dish is accomplished with servos and an EiBotBoard wired into a BeagleBone. Travis writes:
My initial build using an RTL-SDR dongle. Data processing is done on my server, with the BeagleBone forwarding data from rtl_tcp. To avoid offending the FCC and ham radio operators everywhere, I disabled the dish’s 1.5GHz transmitter and use only the 1.6GHz downlink antenna. If I can justify the extra weight, I’d like to drop the RTL-SDR in favor of a USRP2 over Gigabit Ethernet in order to get greater bandwidth and sensitivity.
Tracking low earth satellites using RTL-SDR - [Link]
Satellite design team launches blog about project; deployment to be broadcast live on NASA TV and online
A volunteer team of Microchip engineers spent nearly four years working on nights and weekends to develop the ARISSat-1 amateur satellite. On August 3 at 7:30 a.m. (Pacific Time) their hard work will come to fruition when the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled to deploy the satellite during a spacewalk.
The deployment will be broadcast live on NASA TV and online. Additionally, ARISSat-1 design-team leader Steve Bible launched the limited-series Chips in Space Blog on EE Times’ Web site last week, to both educate and entertain readers by relating the story of how he and his colleagues came to build the satellite, and the challenges they ran into along the way. Bible will also provide analysis of the satellite’s deployment and functionality. [via]
ARISSat-1 Amateur Satellite built by Microchip engineers - [Link]
Surrey experts in space technology have today launched a Facebook competition challenging the British public to develop innovative applications that will run on its smartphone-powered satellite due for launch into space next year.
STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) weighs just 4kg and is a collaborative effort between engineers at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and University of Surrey researchers. It is being built in their free time to test innovative ideas for lower cost space missions.
In the spirit of the mission, the four most creative, novel and fun ’App’ ideas will be selected to fly on the Android phone inside STRaND-1. Winners will be invited to STRaND’s Mission Control to observe their app on the nanosatellite as it orbits Earth. [via]
Satellite innovators launch smartphone Space App competition - [Link]
As previously posted, the ARISSat-1 amateur radio satellite remains inside the International Space Station awaiting its anticipated release into orbit this July.
According to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) website, the ARISSat-1 satellite aboard the International Space Station will be on the air using the station’s external antenna, starting on Monday, April 11, at 14:30 UTC and continue until 10:30 UTC on April 13. This temporary activation is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
ARISSat-1 on the air this week (temporarily) - [Link]
Feb. 14, 1989: GPS Enters Orbit | This Day In Tech | Wired.com…
The first of 24 satellites that will make up the global positioning system is put into orbit.
GPS revolutionized navigation, both at sea and on land, by providing position reports with unprecedented, pinpoint accuracy. Each satellite is placed in a specific orbit at a specific altitude to ensure that four or five satellites are always within range from any point on the planet. A GPS receiver picks up signals from the satellites and trilaterates the data to fix the position.
Feb. 14, 1989: GPS Enters Orbit – [Link]
This project can be useful if you are trying to point you antenna to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite. Why do it manually if you can leave this job to automatic tracker based on microcontroller.
The brain of this tracker is a Paralax basic STAMP II, which decodes satellite coordinates (azimuth and elevation) sent by tracking program. It also controls DC motor based rotators that positions antenna. [via]
Explore Low Earth Orbit with Satellite tracker - [Link]