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  SuitSat to be launched from ISS Feb. 3rd

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Author Topic:   SuitSat to be launched from ISS Feb. 3rd
Astro Bill
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posted 01-26-2006 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SuitSat-1 Satellite to be launched from the ISS on Feb. 3rd

Crewmembers aboard the International Space Station plan to launch a spacesuit into space on Feb. 3rd from the ISS. Called SuitSat-1 it is the first actual space suit to be released into space to serve as a beacon for space enthusiasts on Earth.

Equipped with batteries and a radio transmitter, SuitSat-1 (unmanned and unpressurized) will orbit Earth and will relay the message "This is SuitSat-1, RSORS" in several languages.

More information about this project can be found at the following NASA links:
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/26jan_suitsat.htm?list745906
http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/index.php

Who will be the first Collect Space member to hear the transmission after launch?

[This message has been edited by Astro Bill (edited January 26, 2006).]

edmk5000
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posted 02-01-2006 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for edmk5000   Click Here to Email edmk5000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am all set to receive the SuitSat experiment on Feb 3, 2006. I will post the audio and SSTV image as soon as I can get "good copy."

How many "hams" are here on collectSpace.com?

For those who are not hams but would like to listen to the SuitSat or ISS (ARISS - Amateur Radio ISS), it is quite easy and doesn't require fancy equipment.

Tune a police scanner to 145.990 MHz for the SuitSat and 145.800 MHz for the ISS. For the antenna, a magnetic scanner antenna mounted on top of a car will work just fine.

You will also need to track the station so you know when to listen. http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/tracking/index.html
Just be listening a little early so you don't run the risk of missing anything.

RadioShack is a convenient source of police scanners and antennas. Every scanner out there will receive the 144-148 MHz "2-meter" band, so the cheapest scanner will do.
http://www.issfanclub.com has tons of inforation about the ARISS and SuitSat programs.
http://pd0rkc.ontwikkel.nl has collections of recordings of actual two-way conversations with hams and the ISS crews. One very excited ham from Turkey is heard saying, "I am from Turkey and I love you!" to Bill McArthur! http://pd0rkc.ontwikkel.nl/ISSAUDIO/04012005_NA1SS_TA3EL.mp3

If anyone would like advice on setting up to receive the SuitSat, I would be happy to assist!

Ed
KD4OXJ

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-01-2006 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ed, I would suggest not posting the image or audio to the web. Part of the purpose of Suitsat is to encourage students to try to receive the signal themselves and they are offering incentives (certificates) to that point. By posting it online, you might enable students to take the easy way out. Just something to consider...

Maybe you could offer to e-mail the files to those who want to see/listen to it but don't have access to radios and then only post it online after Suitsat has ended its mission.

Robert
KB2WLF

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited February 01, 2006).]

edmk5000
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posted 02-01-2006 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for edmk5000   Click Here to Email edmk5000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good idea--I will not post the audio or SSTV picture as they are intended to be decoded by the students.

For those who would like to see it and are not able to receive it, I will be happy to email the picture and/or audio to anyone who asks (except the kids!). I am sure it will be all over the net in a matter of time.

I hope some students somewhere will be inspired by this "experiment" and see that space exploration isn't an abstract field, but that it requires hands-on work in many different fields from all kinds of people. This is a project in which the kids can truly get their hands on by tracking the ISS/SuitSat, setting up the equipment, and receiving a "live" message directly from space themselves.

Ed

[This message has been edited by edmk5000 (edited February 01, 2006).]

[This message has been edited by edmk5000 (edited February 01, 2006).]

tegwilym
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posted 02-02-2006 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll be setting up something to run automatically using software to record when I'm not home. (Google "SatSignal").
What kind of software is out there that will decode SSTV signals? I have been out of this stuff for a while so I'm a little behind on what is out there right now. I guess I'll read the article closer too!

I've been a licensed ham since 1986 and have the General class ticket.

Some radio stuff that you may like to check out is my home weather satellite sation. I have it set up to automatically record, process, and post weather images to a web site. Check out the latest images here - http://home.comcast.net/~tegwilym/wxtoimg

Tom - KA7VIK

Carrie
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posted 02-02-2006 06:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Carrie   Click Here to Email Carrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by edmk5000:
How many "hams" are here on collectSpace.com?

KC2OPF here! I was going to mention that Cor also posts here, but I can see you already know him (or at least his website)!

I'm going to try tuning in with my handheld and J-pole antenna. It's going to mean staying up late or getting up early, but it'll be worth it if I hear it!

Carrie

edmk5000
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posted 02-03-2006 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for edmk5000   Click Here to Email edmk5000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tegwilym has a good question about SSTV software. I was going to get a good recording of the SSTV and then "google around" for a decorder program. Looking briefly, I see that there are many free and shareware programs that use a computer's sound card to decode the image and no special hardware is required.

But without having a SSTV recording in advance, I will have to wait to "experiment" with SSTV software.

Anyone else have experience with SSTV??

Ed
KD4OXJ

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-03-2006 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SuitSat away!

FFrench
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posted 02-03-2006 05:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I'm getting flashbacks...
http://www.archiviokubrick.it/film/2001/extra/card/ukcard12.jpg
http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/2001/html/page19.html

Astro Bill
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posted 02-03-2006 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
CNN is intermittently covering the launch of SuitSat-1 "live" on cable. Astronaut Bill McArthur and cosmonaut Valeri Tokarov on the ISS have released the space suit (filled with old clothes and a radio transmitter) as part of a 6-hour spacewalk. CNN reporters stated that the Suit Satellite is expected to remain in space for only 90 hours. See beginning of this thread for more information about SuitSat-1.

More information about the ISS Expedition 12 crew can be found at Space Facts:
http://www.spacefacts.de/english/iss.htm

[This message has been edited by Astro Bill (edited February 03, 2006).]

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-03-2006 10:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Space.com:
quote:
Update for 11:02 p.m. EST Friday Feb. 3:

The unmanned Orlan spacesuit cast off from the International Space Station has ceased transmitting to ham radio operators on Earth, NASA officials said.

SuitSat, an expired spacesuit packed with clothes and a radio transmitter, apparently broadcast a weak signal for the first two orbits - or about three hours - before going silent, NASA commentator Rob Navias said. Amateur ham radio operators listening for the spacesuits signals were reportedly not hearing the five-language greeting or receiving telemetry, he added.

ISS flight controllers hoped that SuitSat's batteries would last for several days, but NASA officials suspect they may have become too cold to properly function. The Orlan spacesuit was uninflated, but sealed when it was tossed into orbit at abotu 6:02 p.m. EST (2302 GMT) by ISS Expedition 12 commander Bill McArthur and flight engineer Valery Tokarev.


[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited February 03, 2006).]

tegwilym
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posted 02-03-2006 10:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Arrrggh! The suit appears to have died early. I spent all evening setting up my 2m radio and software to record the early morning passes, but from reading www.spaceflightnow.com and www.satsuit.org it seems that the batteries may have quit from the cold. The message board on the Satsuit.org site is filled up with comments from Hams around the world who haven't heard anything.
Bummer! I guess we'll have to wait for suitsat-2.

Tom
KA7VIK

Ben
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posted 02-03-2006 11:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Other way around: http://www.Suitsat.org

A lot of amusing posts there. I like the guy who debunked them:

"Come on you USA Ham Operators. .for goodness sakes.. wait until it's over until you start listening!!"

------------------
-Ben

www.LaunchPhotography.com

edmk5000
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posted 02-03-2006 11:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for edmk5000   Click Here to Email edmk5000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone know what batteries were used in the SuitSat?? I know they removed the original batteries from the radio.

Also, telemetry including battery "power" and temperature was supposed to be part of the message. According to www.suitsat.org, it doesn't look like anyone was able to get good enough copy to report what these were before the failure.

RIP Mr. Smith.

Ed

[This message has been edited by edmk5000 (edited February 03, 2006).]

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-04-2006 12:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per a NASA status report, SuitSat ran off three 825-3M rechargeable batteries internal to the Orlan-M.

edmk5000
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posted 02-04-2006 01:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for edmk5000   Click Here to Email edmk5000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They should have gone with the Sears DieHard!!

Astro Bill
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posted 02-04-2006 06:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The mascot for SuitSat-2 should be:
http://www.energizer.com/images/bunny/BnyBigBunny_img.jpg

Ben
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posted 02-04-2006 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reports indicate Suitsat is still apparently transmitting a very weak signal. It was picked up by a lot of people this morning.

Hawkman
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posted 02-04-2006 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkman   Click Here to Email Hawkman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there anybody else besides me who thinks that the pictures of a 'man' floating away from the space station looked kind of creepy?

[This message has been edited by Hawkman (edited February 04, 2006).]

Hawkman
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posted 02-04-2006 05:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkman   Click Here to Email Hawkman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ben:
Reports indicate Suitsat is still apparently transmitting a very weak signal. It was picked up by a lot of people this morning.

Well wouldn't it be turning while floating since it has no way to control it's attitude? Wouldn't that make the antenna turn away every now and then?

Ben
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posted 02-04-2006 08:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/station/exp12/060204suitsat.html

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-04-2006 11:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From AMSAT.org
quote:
SuitSat Status 4 February

It is absolutely clear that SuitSat-1 is alive. It was successfully turned on by the ISS crew prior to deploy and the timing, micro-controller functions and audio appear to be operating nominally. The prime issue appears to be an extremely weak signal.

I have heard several recordings and have monitored two passes today. When the signal is above the noise level, you can clearly hear partials of the student voices, the station ID and the SSTV signal. One of the complicating factors in reception is the very deep fades that occur due to the spin of SuitSat.

Based on the information we know thus far, one can narrow down the issue to the antenna, the feedline, the transmitter output power and/or any of the connections in between. Through your help, we would like to narrow down the issue further and also gather some internal telemetry from the Suit.

If the transmitter is running at full power, we would expect the Suit to end operations in the next few days to a week. If it is not, then it will operate much longer. Since we do not know how long this experiment will last, we ask for those with powerful receive stations to listen for Suitsat---especially during direct overhead passes when the Suit is closest to your area. If you can record these passes and send the audio to us, it would be most appreciated. We will continue to be optimistic that this issue will right itself before the batteries are depleted. So please KEEP LISTENING!

Based on what we have learned, we would like to provide the following guidelines to save you time and facilitate gathering information:

1) You need as high a gain antenna as possible with mast mounted pre-amps. An arrow is the minimal set...it provides very brief snipets of the communications. HTs and scanners won't cut it.

2) I would not waste your time on passes below 40 degrees elevation. SuitSat is too far from your station to receive a reliable signal. We have found that closest approach provides several seconds of SuitSat communication with 22 element yagis.

3) The "gold" we are looking for right now is the telemetry information and how long the vehicle stays operational. So if you hear any of the telemetry, please let us know.

We are also working to get the voice repeater set up on ISS to downlink SuitSat audio on 437.80 in the event that the ISS Kenwood radio can receive the SuitSat transmissions. The repeater may be operational as early as mid-day Sunday. Please do NOT transmit on 145.99, voice or packet, until we have confirmed that SuitSat is no longer transmitting. These transmissions interfere with our ability to hear SuitSat.


Read the full status update here.

edmk5000
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posted 02-05-2006 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for edmk5000   Click Here to Email edmk5000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The PD0RKC site has some recorded audio of the SuitSat. One recording has some telemetry info of Temp: 13C and Volts: 7.9
http://pd0rkc.ontwikkel.nl/

One can really hear that the fading of the signal seems to be at the same interval as the tumble, just as AMSAT says.

Ed

[This message has been edited by edmk5000 (edited February 05, 2006).]

MarylandSpace
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posted 02-05-2006 09:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I, too, had my scanner turned on.

But 1 watt . . . . . . . . .

"Watt's to receive?" (just 1 watt)

I used to enjoy Goddard Ham Radio Group's actual time rebroadcast of shuttle communication on 2 meters, but that has been inactive for some time now.

Garry

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