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[aprssig] Naval Academy APRS Satellites

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Fri Dec 8 19:46:46 UTC 2006


Bob,
Thasnk!
Bob
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org 
> [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org] On Behalf Of Robert
Kirk
> Sent: Friday, December 08, 2006 1:20 PM
> To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
> Subject: [aprssig] Naval Academy APRS Satellites
> 
> I saw this nice press release below from the Naval Academy.
> 
> The only problem is that APRS got second billing to those 
> silly, supposedly 
> primary missions :-)
> 
> (Last night's launch was postponed because of wx; hope they 
> make it ok on 
> Saturday.)
> 
> Bob Kirk
> N3OZB
> 
> 
> >THREE U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY SATTELITES TO LAUNCH DURING UPCOMING
SHUTTLE
> >FLIGHT
> >
> >      ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Three satellites with systems
designed, built,
> >and tested by Naval Academy Midshipmen at the Academy's
Satellite
> >Laboratory will be launched into orbit by Space Shuttle
Mission
> >STS-116.  The shuttle is scheduled to launch tonight.
[Thursday]
> >
> >After completion of STS-116's mission to the International
Space
> >Station, the Shuttle will deploy the Naval Academy
satellites, Radar
> >Fence Transponder (RAFT), Military Affiliate Radio System
> >Communications (MARSCOM) and Atmospheric Neutral Density
Experiment
> >(ANDE).  These satellites were designed, built and tested by
> >Midshipmen in the Classes of 2003, 2004 and 2005 under the 
> supervision
> >of Senior Research Engineer Robert Bruninga as a part of our 
> aerospace
> >engineering program.  Current Naval Academy Midshipmen are
working on
> >the next generation Academy satellite, PARKINSONSAT.
> >
> >The primary mission of the RAFT satellite is tied to the
calibration
> >of the Department of Defense's Space Surveillance Radar which
is a
> >major source of satellite tracking data for all spacecraft 
> in the U.S.
> >This radar helps generate the tracking data used by most
satellite
> >tracking systems worldwide.  The MARScom satellite is similar
to RAFT
> >but operates on Navy-Marine Corps MARS frequencies for
volunteer
> >Department of Defense communications experiments.
> >
> >The secondary mission of RAFT and MARScom is to provide a
digital
> >communications relay for mobile units to transmit their GPS
> >coordinates and messages via the satellites. This is a 
> continuation of
> >the Naval Academy's previous Prototype Communications
Satellite and
> >PCSAT2 missions. The downlink is made public in accordance
with the
> >rules of the International Amateur Satellite Service, and is
received
> >by a global system of volunteer ground stations that feed 
> the live web
> >  page network: http://pcsat.aprs.org.
> >
> >ANDE was developed by the Naval Research labs as an
"Atmospheric
> >Neutral Density Experiment" to measure the decay from orbit
of a
> >perfectly spherical 19" ball.  Upon learning that the sphere
would be
> >empty, the Naval Academy proposed an amateur radio 
> transponder for the
> >inside.  Since there could be no external antennas, solar
panels or
> >anything that would disturb the aerodynamic performance of
the very
> >smooth sphere, Bruninga suggested that the spherical
satellite be
> >split in half with an insulator.  The resulting space frame 
> could then
> >be used as the antenna for the VHF system.  There are 112
Lithium "D"
> >cells inside the sphere to power it for a year.
> >
> >Chairman of the Naval Academy Aerospace Engineering
Department,
> >Professor Daryl G. Boden said, "The Aero Department is 
> extremely proud
> >of the midshipmen who have contributed to this effort and of
Bob
> >Bruninga, who never ceases to amaze me with what he can 
> accomplish." [!!]
> >
> >The information from these satellites will be similar to that
of
> >previous Naval Academy satellites and will be distributed by
the
> >network of volunteer ground stations to feed a central live
telemetry
> >Web site http://pcsat.aprs.org.  This makes the downlink
valuable for
> >students and educators because it will be available on a
"live" basis
> >more often than just the few eight minute passes per day that
each
> >single station might receive alone.
> >
> >For technical details on the Naval Academy satellites, see
the
> >ANDE/RAFT operations web page:
> >http://www.ew.usna.edu/%7Ebruninga/ande-raft-ops.html
> >
> >USNA
> 
> 
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