December 11, 2023

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

Ground stations yet to hear from new cubesats (Taipei)

The local research teams that developed two cubesats launched by a Space Exploration Technologies Corp’s (SpaceX) Falcon 9 rocket at 11pm on Sunday are dealing with signal reception problems at their ground stations.

The Transporter-1 mission launched 143 satellites — the most ever deployed on a single mission — from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, after being delayed three times due to technical problems or unfavorable weather.

Taiwan’s two cubesats are the YuSat, designed to monitor road and maritime traffic, and the Ionospheric Dynamics Explorer and Attitude Subsystem Satellite (IDEASSat), designed for ionospheric observation.

By noon yesterday, the two teams had not succeeded in communicating with the cubesats from the ground stations at the National Space Organization (NSPO), National Central University (NCU) and National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU).

However, some overseas amateur radio operators did receive signals transmitted by the two cubesats with corresponding signal frequencies, intervals and coordinates, said NCU Department of Space Science and Engineering professor Loren Chang (張起維), who oversees the IDEASSat project.

That shows the two cubesats are operating, Chang said, adding that researchers would continue to work on solving the signal reception problems.

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