[amsat-bb] Re: KickSat - a personal spacecraft of your own in space

Zac Manchester fleet at kicksat.org
Tue Oct 11 10:06:11 PDT 2011

Hello All,

Sorry for taking so long to respond here on the AMSAT-BB - I know I've
spoken with some of you separately by email through kickstarter, but I
wanted to make sure I responded to everyone's concerns.

In response to Andreas' comments about wanting to use his own hardware
to listen to the Sprites, this is exactly the sort of thing I want to
encourage, and why I initially posted here.  I posted a brief "Amateur
Radio Information" item in the FAQ on kickstarter with some of this
information, but I'll try to cover everything here.

The Sprites will all be on the same frequency in the 70 cm band, and
each will use a unique PRN spreading code so they can be identified.
The hardware you'll need to receive these signals will be a yagi,
rotator, LNA, and software defined radio (SDR) interface.  We've been
using a USRP box from Ettus Research along with GNU Radio, but the
USRP is pretty expensive, so we're trying to make everything work with
the FUNCube dongle (http://www.funcubedongle.com/).  To work with the
FUNCube, we have to make sure the signal bandwidth is < 80 kHz (it's
currently around 100 kHz).  I'll be posting all the details of our
setup as we refine it, as well as all the code for the SDR.  Even if
you don't sponsor a Sprite, it would be great to have more people on
the ground listening in.  Everything we're doing will be documented,
open-sourced, and freely available online.

We will most definitely abide by all regulations and apply for
frequency coordination with the IARU.  We haven't taken that step yet
because we have to actually be slotted for a specific launch first.
This is also why we don't know our exact frequency yet.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.


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