Radio Amateur Tests & Down Again & Deinstallation Procedures & IAC

Once again many things happened after the previous post. Various radio amateurs send their transmissions to check if they can be received by MarconISSta. Then we had to find out that the experiment stopped working (again). Why? And what about these deinstallation procedures?

Radio Amateur experiments

MarconISSta’s outreach is becoming bigger and bigger. A very active contact has evolved with Djani Bodlovic (9A4DB). Djani sent some signals during one of the UHF passes which he explained here: Although we did receive the submissions (probably due to the losses of the RF coupler) we will keep trying.

A successful transmission was received from UNSAM students and radio amateurs in Buenos Aires. Although the peak is not that big, we were still able to identify the source and wait for future transmissions!


Partly because of Djani and because of a longer lasting contact with Andrew Back we are also mentioned on several of blogs related to LimeSDR:

They even led us to a NASA webpage about us that we were not aware of 🙂

Down again (!)

It happened again. After September 20th we did not receive any recordings. The reason for this is not completely understood, however it is highly probable that problems occured in the timing files that we created.

Ground control found out about this after they were not able to contact the Astro Pi during the nominal commanding window on September 27th. A hard reboot by Alex Gerst could solve this issue, however afterwards the LimeSDR was not recognized anymore. After a lot of testing with the lab model we think this happened due to an undervoltage condition. Today Alex Gerst plugged the LimeSDR off and on again and we hope that the system is now working nominal again.

During the commanding window tomorrow, first some firmware and gateware updates will be installed. If everything works properly, the measurements can be continued.

Deinstallation procedures

Calm down, we do not need to deinstall the system yet. But the deinstallation procedure was due for some weeks to be checked and agreed by NASA/ ESA staff. The deinstallation is still planned for April 2019, but we already checked if the procedure was written cofrectly. While Tim, Leo, Alex and Fynn tried to find mistakes in the procedure printout, José was guided through the deinstallation process and although we were sure that the procedure was ok, we still found some minor things that needed to be corrected. That is why all experiments have lab models of the hardware and also the reason why procedures are verified with the hardware.


MarconiSSta @ IAC2018

The International Aeronautical Congress is the most important space congress of the week. Obviously MarconISSta should not be missing. Martin had a talk on preliminary flight results and other team members (José, Connor, Jens and two Alexi) participate in the conference, too. It is also a great chance to meet other contributors and supporters of the experiment, including Michael Schmid and Christian Karrasch (DLR), David Honess (ESA) and Oliver Amend (ARISS).

Thanks David Hones for taking some pictures of the talk:

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