[amsat-bb] Satellite telemetry in the classroom

Zach Leffke zleffke at vt.edu
Fri Oct 14 02:51:29 UTC 2016

We used the FunCube telemetry downlink here at VT for a class project 
for the undergrad Satellite Communications class in the ECE department.  
More specifically, we examined the AO-73 to FO-29 crosslinks that happen 
every so often.  The students had to simulate the orbits, determine when 
chains were established between AO-73 to FO-29 to the VTGS, and then do 
a full link budget and doppler computation in one second time steps for 
each chain event.  The project culminated with a couple attempts to 
monitor FO-29, searching for the AO-73 downlink, according to the 
prediction software.  We got lucky and were able to dig out a few 
packets that married up perfectly with the students' simulation software.

We have had a number of other projects for undergraduate independent 
study credit, but those were mostly case by case basis.  I also do 
satellite demos as part of a High School outreach camp run by the VT 
Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) where a 
number of high school senior girls attend the camp and get introduced to 
many different fields of engineering in an effort to convince them to 
attend VT.  For the demos I usually use FunCube telemetry direct 
reception and the dashboard to show them what its like to download data 
from a satellite.  Additionally, we try to track ISS and monitor packet 
traffic, and occasionally I try to make a voice contact or two via 
FO-29  (also, wanted to go after Fox-1 this year for TLM and voice 
comms, but the schedule with the campers didn't line up quite right with 
pass times).

If you would like more info on what all we've pursued here at VT, let me 
know (a number of other previous and ongoing projects, directly related 
to Amateur Satellites).

If you are talking more specifically about actually looking at the 
decoded telemetry data for the purpose of tracking trends over time, or 
something along those lines, then no we haven't really dug into 

Hope this helps, feel free to let me know if you would like more details.

-Zach, KJ4QLP

Research Associate
Ted & Karyn Hume Center for National Security & Technology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Work Phone: 540-231-4174
Cell Phone: 540-808-6305

On 10/13/2016 3:05 PM, skristof at etczone.com wrote:
> I'd like to hear from anyone who has used amateur radio satellite
> telemetry as part of a lesson in a classroom. Any grade level (k -
> undergraduate college) is fine.
> Feel free to contact me on-list or off-list as may be appropriate for
> your response.
> Thank you!
> Steve Kristoff
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