[aprssig] New APRS Satellite to be deployed from ISS on 21 Aug (APRS)

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Mon Jul 24 19:21:47 EDT 2017


The QIKCOM-1 module containing an APRS transponder and Terrestrial Alert
beacon will be deployed from the ISS on 21 Aug 2017.


Built as a student project Amateur Satellite module at the Naval Academy,
and attached to the NovaWurks SIMPL spacecraft, it will function identical
to the ISS transponder on 145.825 with the same ARISS alias and once they
widely separate, will permit possible dual-hop experiments between it and
the ISS APRS digipeater.  See page.

A second experiment is a terrestrial alert beacon on the North American
continent APRS frequency of 144.39*.  This beacon can alert mobile
operators doing normal APRS activities that the spacecraft is in view and
that they can QSY to the space frequency of 145.825 for a quick satellite
operation.  A European beacon was also planned, but is disabled due to lack
of consensus, and only the two A/B frequencies were possible in the
hardware. This unconventional operation was coordinated in 2014 prior to
the IARU change in policy in 2016 that will no longer coordinate such
out-of-subband operations.

The module and host SIMPL spacecraft have been on the ISS since December
2015, but not deployed due to a SNAFU with the FCC.

Although this is the date of the Great North American Solar Eclipse, as far
as we know at this time, this scheduled deployment has nothing to do with
the Eclipse.  But tens of thousands of hams will be out in the field that
day to observe the eclipse, so remember to bring your APRS HT with you and
listen for QIKCOM-1.  (Release time is unknown at this time).  It is 4
Watts and should be hearable on an HT.

Bob Bruninga, WB4APR and

Todd Bruner, WB1HAI control operator.

* As everyone knows, the terrestrial 144.39 frequency is wall-to-wall
packets in most populated areas and the chance of hearing the QIKCOM-1
module is small, but remember, those people who are driving in remote areas
who are NOT hearing wall-to-wall packets, will have a high probability of
seeing the beacon.  And it is these remote travelers, far from the
terrestrial network that are the ones that might need a satellite to get
their message out!
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