RAFT Voice Goodbye

It was with sadness that I learned the news of Bob’s passing. He was my mentor (as was Colin, VK5HI) and taught me many things about satellites.
There were times when we were in daily contact. Besides APRS, he left us many interesting satellite projects (PCSAT, PSAT, RAFT, MARS, SAPPHIRE, QIKOM…). I remember a great time when Henk, PA3GUO and I actively supported the ANDE mission. I thank Bob for his confidence in making me the command station of PCSAT and PSAT.
My sympathies go out to his family. Thank you for your life’s work for Amateur Radio, Bob. Rest in peace.

73, Mike


On June 29th at 22:50 UTC a scientific nanosatellite* (a 3U CubeSat) sponsored by the American National Science Foundation will be deployed into its operational orbit and begin transmitting. We are looking to the Amateur Satellite community to track the satellite and record its beacon signals and be the first to confirm operations and report in.

The details:
Timing: The satellite activates itself and begins beaconing 60-minutes after its 22:50 UTC 6/26/21 deployment.
Beacon cadence: every 30-seconds
Beacon downlink frequency: 437.405 MHz
Modulation: GMSK
Telemetry Rate: 19200 baud
Transmitter output power: 1 Watt
Antenna gain 2.15 dBi
Altitude: 490 km circular
Inclination: 51.6 degrees

Pre-deployment predicted Two line elements (TLEs):

1 99999U 21180.95138889 .00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 00001
2 99999 051.6425 279.6175 0007789 261.9289 239.7719 15.23772142000052

(Post-deployment TLEs will be posted at
as soon as available after deployment.)

Send tracking reports to:

*The satellite is known as the Ionosphere-Thermosphere Scanning Photometer for Ion Neutral Studies (IT-SPINS, for short). Built by Montana State University in Bozeman Montana (USA) and by SRI International in Menlo Park CA, and by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the satellite will make scientific observations of emissions from the nighttime ionosphere to study oxygen ion interactions with the neutral upper atmosphere.

AO-73 : Funcube-1

Rotation Period

04 Jun 2021 = 39.0 seconds (from averaged panel temperatures)
05 Jun 2021 = 43.9 seconds (from averaged panel temperatures)
06 Jun 2021 = 49.6 seconds (from averaged panel temperatures)
07 Jun 2021 = 50.1 seconds (from averaged panel temperatures)
08 Jun 2021 = 48.3 seconds (from averaged panel temperatures)
09 Jun 2021 = 46.0 seconds (from averaged panel temperatures)
10 Jun 2021 = 43.0 seconds (from averaged panel temperatures)

Special thanks to Terry VK5GU and Colin VK3HBF for their assistance with downloads this week.
AO-73 continues to rotate in the reverse spin direction about the Z-Z axis with minimal Nutation.

73 de Colin VK5HI.