ARLS001 Satellite

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ARLS001 Satellite Package Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Released
into Orbit from ISS

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 001  ARLS001
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  February 1, 2016
To all radio amateurs

ARLS001 Satellite Package Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Released
into Orbit from ISS

A package of two satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads has been
deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS) as
part of a collaborative Texas A&M and University of Texas at Austin
research effort. Built by Texas A&M students, AggieSat4 (AGS4) will
release UT's Bevo-2 CubeSat in about a month, once it is far enough
away from the ISS. Both schools received support from NASA's Johnson
Spaceflight Center (JSC) for the design, construction, testing, and
launch phases. The goal of the overarching LONESTAR (Low Earth
Orbiting Navigation Experiment for Spacecraft Testing Autonomous
Rendezvous and Docking) program is for the two satellites to
individually rendezvous with each other and perform docking and
undocking maneuvers.

"The overall objective is to find ways for small spacecraft to join
together autonomously in space," Helen Reed, KD7GPX, professor of
aerospace engineering and director of the AggieSat Lab at Texas A&M
told NASA. "We need simple systems that will allow rendezvous and
docking with little to no help from a human, which will become
especially important as we venture farther out into space.
Applications could include in-space assembly or reconfiguration of
larger structures or systems as well as servicing and repair."

The AggieSat team received its first beacon signal from the
satellite at its Texas A&M Riverside Campus ground station. The
AggieSat4 team is asking any Amateur Radio operators receiving the
beacon signal to send any data to the AGS4 team via email to,
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AggieSat4 will transmit 9.6 kbps FSK telemetry and 153.6 kbps FSK on
436.250 MHz. Once it's placed into its own orbit, Bevo-2 will
transmit on 437.325 on CW and 38.4 kbps FSK.

Both satellites were launched to the space station during a December
6, 2015, resupply mission. Earlier last week, Astronauts Tim Peake,
KG5BVI, and Scott Kelly made preparations to deploy the sizeable
LONESTAR phase 2 mission satellite package from the ISS, using the
SSIKLOPS deployer. The satellite mission also will demonstrate
communication cross links, data exchange, GPS-based navigation, and
other tasks. AggieSat4 will capture images of the Bevo-2 release.

The satellites were independently developed by student teams at the
two universities. Both teams were responsible for development plans
for their satellite and had to meet established mission objectives.

The Bevo-2 Satellite was designed, built, and tested in the Texas
Spacecraft Lab (TSL) at the University of Texas at Austin. "This
whole experience is very exciting," TSL Director Glenn Lightsey,
KE5DDG, said last fall as undergraduate and graduate students were
in the final stages of their project. "It's great to have a research
program where our students can build satellites that fly in space."

Reed and Lightsey are co-investigators for the LONESTAR 2 project.