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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”). AMSAT AO-51 Design, Construction and Launch Campaign Presented by Lyle Johnson, KK7P. MicroHAMS 16 November 2004. What is AMSAT?. A group of national organizations which cooperate to design, build, launch and operate Amateur spacecraft AMSAT-NA formed in 1969

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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)

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Amsat oscar 51 echo l.jpg

AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)

AMSAT AO-51 Design, Construction and Launch Campaign

Presented by

Lyle Johnson, KK7P

MicroHAMS

16 November 2004


What is amsat l.jpg

What is AMSAT?

  • A group of national organizations which cooperate to design, build, launch and operate Amateur spacecraft

  • AMSAT-NA formed in 1969

    • Arranged launch of OSCAR-5 for Australia

    • AO-6, AO-7, AO-8 in the 1970’s

      • Free Launches!

    • Assisted with UO-9, UO-11, P3A, AO-10, AO-13 in 1980’s

    • Microsats in 1988-1990 (AO-16..LO-19)

      • Launches no longer free…

    • Focus on AO-40 through 1990’s

  • Volunteer Organization at forefront of Amateur Radio technology


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Who is KK7P?

  • First licensed as WN6JLR at age 13

    • WA7GXD 1967 – 2000

    • KK7P (2000)

  • AMSAT Volunteer, donating time and expertise, since 1983

    • Designed DCE in UO-11

      • PACSAT prototype

      • 29 July 1983 – 01 March 1984

    • Designed Flight Computers for MicroSats

    • Designed much of AO-27

    • Designed several systems on AO-40

    • Assisted JAMSAT for FO-12 and FO-20 projects

    • Assisting KiwiSat effort 1999-present

    • Designing IHU-3 for Eagle, P3E, P5A…

  • Design Engineer to CTO for Modular Mining Systems, Tucson AZ, 1980-2000

    • Moved to Mt Vernon September, 2000.

    • Currently employed by Elecraft, LLC and also work as a consultant.

  • Married to Heather, N7DZU, with 6 kids and 16+ grandchildren


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Why Echo?

  • AMSAT-NA hadn’t designed and launched a satellite since the MicroSats in January 1990

  • EasySats are popular

  • AMSAT-NA needed greater exposure to the Amateur community

  • We needed a success after the problems with AO-40

  • We needed a stepping stone to Eagle


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Echo Timeline

  • 10/2001 – AMSAT BoD Commisisons SpaceQuest to prepare report on new small satellite project

  • 01/2002 – BoD approves project

  • 02/2002 – AMSAT contracts with SpaceQuest to build main “bus”

  • 10/2002 – “Flat Sat” configuration tested

  • 10/2003 – May ’04 set for launch (pushed to 6/29)

  • 12/2003 – Integration Testing Begins

  • 06/2004 – AO-E launched, becomes AO-51

  • 07/2004 – Limited Availability for General Use


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AO-51 Technical Overview


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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)Communications Block Diagram

VHF Rx

UHF Tx

Multi-Band Multi-Mode Rx

Switching Matrix

6 Demodulators

2 Modulators


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AO-51 RF SubsystemsReceivers

VHF PreAmp/Filters

  • 4 miniature VHF FM receivers

    • <40 mW each

    • <40 gm each

  • Each receiver has 2-channel capability

  • Sensitivity is -121dbm for 12db SINAD

4-Way Power Splitter

Four VHF Receivers

Interface Board


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AO-51 RF SubsystemsTransmitters

UHF Hybrid Combiner

  • Two UHF FM transmitters that can be operated simultaneously.

  • 1-6 watts out.

  • Frequency agile in 2.5KHz steps, tunable over about 20 MHz.

Transmitters


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AO-51 RF SubsystemsMulti-band Receiver

  • All-mode, 10m, 2m, 70cm and 23cm.

  • Performance limited by broadband antenna.

Multi Mode Receiver

is under the

UHF Hybrid Combiner


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AO-51 RF Subsystems2.4 GHz S-Band Transmitter

  • Exciter & interface board.

    • Chuck Schultz KE4NNF

  • Exciter draws 38.3 mA

  • +5.0 dBm output.


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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)Mode L/S Hardware Update

Chuck Schultz KE4NNF designed the exciter and Harold Sanderson KT4XK designed the power amplifier. Lou McFadin W5DID mounted & wired the modules. Photo by Stan Wood WA4NFY.

Dual band antenna1268.700 MHz up2401.200 MHz down designed by Stan Wood WA4NFY.


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AO-51 Integrated Flight Computer (IFC)

  • Flight proven, low-power < 300 mW,

  • 6 Rx and 6 Tx SCC (data) channels

  • 1 MB EDAC, 16 MB RAM,16MB flash

  • 6 demodulators

  • 2 modulators

  • Design by KK7P


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AO-51 Spacecraft Flight Software

  • Spacecraft Operating System (SCOS)

    • Thanks to Harold Price NK6K.

  • Boot Loader

    • Bob Diersing N5AHD

  • Command And Telemetry Program

    • Ground station Windows based

  • Boot Loader Prototype

    • Ground station Windows based

Jim White WD0E’s Integration Lab

  • Housekeeping task


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AO-51 Power Generation

  • Six high efficiency Solar Panels

    • Triple junction MCORE GaAs cells (~27%).

    • ~20W when not in eclipse (12-14W per side).

Mark Kanawati N4TPY carrying $20,000 worth of solar cells and sooo casually spreading glue all over


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AO-51 Power DistributionBattery Control Regulator (BCR)

  • Autonomous, fail-safe.

  • 50KHz 89% efficiency.

  • Keeps the spacecraft alive at all costs.

  • Charges the battery using only solar power, so will charge a dead battery.

  • Prevents the battery from overcharging or depleting.

  • Provides the necessary voltages and telemetry.


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AO-51 Power Distribution Batteries

  • Matched set of six NiCd cells

  • 4.4 Ah each, nominal 8 VDC.


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AO-51 Attitude Control (Experimental)

  • Active magnetic attitude control.

  • Semi-permanent magnetic rods

  • Strength and polarity can be adjusted

  • It's possible to turn the satellite upside down.


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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)Operations


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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)Operations

  • AO-51 provides long-distance, VHF/UHF operation with simple equipment.

  • Great for restricted antenna locations

  • QRP!

  • Fun!

    • FM Voice Mode

    • Digital Modes

    • Experimental Modes


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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)Operations

  • FM voice repeater mode

    • Can be Active all the time.

    • 145.920 MHz uplink with 67 Hz PL tone.

    • 435.300 MHz downlink.

    • TX comes on only when it hears a 67 Hz PL for one second and stays on for up to ten seconds after the tone disappears.

    • TX power is 1 Watt may be as high as 6 Watts.


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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)Operations

  • Digital mode

    • Can be Active with Analog Mode

    • 145.860 up, 435.150 down at 9,600 baud.

    • TX typically one Watt.

    • Store and forward bulletin board system (BBS) using PACSAT Protocol Suite.

    • Digital downlink also contains telemetry.

    • Whole orbit data will be available for download.

    • May broadcast periodic APRS status messages.


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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)Operations

  • Experimenters' day

    • Wednesdays (UTC).

    • Any other mode may be in use.

    • Scheduled a week or more in advance.

    • Default is digital; 1268.700 up at 9,600 baud and 2401.200 MHz down at 38,400 baud.

    • Other common modes include:

      • L/S FM voice on same frequencies.

      • 10M SSB Up/U or S FM Down, using PSK31.


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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)Operations

  • Ground Station Equipment

    • 2m Tx w/PL tone capability

      • AO-51 is Sensitive – an HT will work!

    • 70cm Rx

      • Make it a dual-band HT…

    • Most Hams find a handheld 2 or 3 element beam is effective with an HT

      • “Arrow” Antenna is very popular

    • Orbital Predictions

      • Free software for Windows, Macintosh, Linux

      • You can buy software, too! (AMSAT-NA)


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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)Further Information

  • AMSAT-NA Website for the latest information www.amsat.org and click on the Echo Project Page link.

  • “Echo - Operation, Development and Specifications" by G. Gould Smith, WA4SXM. Available from:

    • AMSAT (888) 322-6728


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What’s Next?

Eagle!

  • 8 cu ft, ~100Kg

  • High Eliptical Orbit

  • About 100 Watt power budget


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AMSAT OSCAR-51 (“Echo”)Integration

  • Integration began December 8, 2003

    • Jim White WD0E and Mike Kingery KE4AZN arrived at SpaceQuest in Fairfax VA.

  • Details in Jan/Feb AMSAT Journal.

Project Manager Dick Daniels W4PUJ watching over Integration Team Leader Jim White WD0E at SpaceQuest on 18-Dec-03.


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AO-51 Photos and More…

  • Now let’s go on a tour of the integration and launch of Echo…


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